#SonOfAPitch #TeamDiscord Entry 4: Fearless

Title: Fearless

Category and Genre: YA Contemporary

Word Count: 83,000 words

 Query:

Seventeen-year-old Annie Armani’s life has been a whirlwind since she won her first mixed martial arts title by knocking her opponent out in a single punch. Everyone now wants a chance to beat her for the title and prove what Annie has feared all along: that her victory was a fluke.

With her next title match upcoming, Annie finds herself the star of a half-documentary, half-reality show chronicling her journey. Annie struggles to comprehend the hoopla surrounding her title fight and instead of embracing her newfound celebrity status, she hides. While she may be a fighter in the ring, she’s mentally closing herself off to the people around her, including Jake Duff, her new trainer. Scarred from her father’s disappearance, disappointed with her mother’s attachment to a jailbird boyfriend, and unaware of her half-sister’s desire for her attention, Annie avoids any discussion about her family while TV producers and interviewers attempt to wrangle a sob-story out of her. The producers, however, aren’t looking for confessions regarding her self-identified “daddy issues” or her trouble fitting in at her uppity private school. They want her to shed light on her older brother’s recent death—who was also an MMA fighter, and Annie’s idol. 

 

First 250 Words:

As I walked into the convenience store, I immediately recognized the fight showing on the old TV hitched up in the corner. I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt over my head, my hands stuffed in the two pockets. I cursed the fact that the words “Donovan’s Fight Club” adorned the back of the sweatshirt in big letters. I grabbed the milk I had come in for and scooped up a bag of Skittles for Margie. I walked up to the counter, pulling out a wad of bills from my back pocket. The attendant’s eyes were glued to the TV. The fight reflected in eyes as I put my items on the counter.

            “Gimme one sec, okay?” he said, his eyes staying on the fight. “This girl’s gonna throw a punch like nothin’ I ever seen before.” He paused to chuckle, still watching, tossing chips into his mouth. “She’s gonna be the next big MMA star.  I don’t even know what MMA means, but they say she’ll never lose a fight.”

            “MMA—it stands for Mixed Martial Arts.”  I swallowed.  “Look, I have somewhere to be.  Besides, isn’t this fight old news?”

               “Old news? They show it over and over, and every time, I have to stop and watch. It’s—what do the kids these days say?—it’s gone viral. The girl’s local, too. Her first real fight, and she won like it was nothin’.”

            Following the clerk’s gaze, I looked over just in time to see the knock-out punch. 

5 thoughts on “#SonOfAPitch #TeamDiscord Entry 4: Fearless”

  1. Hi! Kathy from #TeamRarity here to read all the words! And share my thoughts. If my ramblings inspire ideas, great! If not, please ignore!

    Seventeen-year-old Annie Armani’s life has been a whirlwind since she won her first mixed martial arts title by knocking her opponent out in a single punch. Everyone now wants a chance to beat her for the title and prove what Annie has feared all along: that her victory was a fluke. (Annie is a MMA fighter and, though she won, she doubts her ability…But what does she want? To win again? To prove herself?)

    With her next title match upcoming, Annie finds herself the star of a half-documentary, half-reality show chronicling her journey. Annie struggles to comprehend the hoopla surrounding her title fight and instead of embracing her newfound celebrity status, she hides. While she may be a fighter in the ring, she’s mentally closing herself off to the people around her, including Jake Duff, her new trainer. Scarred from her father’s disappearance, (He left before or after her win?) disappointed with her mother’s attachment to a jailbird boyfriend, and unaware of her half-sister’s desire for her attention (in Annie’s POV, it might be her annoying half-sister who won’t leave her alone), Annie avoids any discussion about her family while TV producers and interviewers attempt to wrangle a sob-story out of her. The producers, however, aren’t looking for confessions regarding her self-identified “daddy issues” or her trouble fitting in at her uppity private school. They want her to shed light on her older brother’s recent death—who was also an MMA fighter, and Annie’s idol. (Whoa…that info hit me out of nowhere! It seems like an important pieces of info. Okay…what is the main story here? What I thought it was at the beginning, seems to be wrong. What does the mc want? What stands in her way? What is the conflict? The TV people wanting her to talk and her wanting to hide? I want to know about the brother earlier…Annie…MMA winner, her brother, her idol, would be proud if only he hadn’t died/been killed…She doesn’t want to talk about him. Only the press does. With her upcoming match, Annie faces a TV crew filming her life…asking her questions…She doesn’t want to talk about him…why? What decision does she face? What stakes are there? What will or won’t happen that will devastate her if she chooses one thing or another? If she talks about her brother…what? I think I’m missing the story. Is this about a girl heading to a MMA fight trying to prove herself…or is it something else?)

    First 250 Words:

    As I walked into the convenience store, I immediately recognized the fight showing on the old TV hitched up in the corner. I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt over my head, my hands stuffed in the two pockets. (So this fight is troubling to her…) I cursed the fact that the words “Donovan’s Fight Club” adorned the back of the sweatshirt in big letters. I grabbed the milk I had come in for and scooped up a bag of Skittles for Margie (who is Margie?). I walked up to the counter, pulling out a wad of bills from my back pocket. The attendant’s eyes were glued to the TV. (What does this guy look like? Any sights, sounds, smells?) The fight reflected in eyes as I put my items on the counter. (watch repetition of “eyes”)

    “Gimme one sec, okay?” he said, his eyes (More eyes…his gaze locked on the TV) staying on the fight. “This girl’s gonna throw a punch like nothin’ I ever seen before.” He paused to chuckle, still watching, tossing chips into his mouth. “She’s gonna be the next big MMA star. I don’t even know what MMA means, but they say she’ll never lose a fight.”

    “MMA—it stands for Mixed Martial Arts.” I swallowed. (What is she feeling here? What is she thinking?) “Look, I have somewhere to be. Besides, isn’t this fight old news?”

    “Old news? They show it over and over, and every time, I have to stop and watch. It’s—what do the kids these days say?—it’s gone viral. The girl’s local, too. Her first real fight, and she won like it was nothin’.”

    Following the clerk’s gaze, I looked over just in time to see the knock-out punch. (And she feels…what?)

    Nice! I want to be in her head a bit more. She’s hiding…from what? Why? I’d love a bit of detail, description to really put me there.
    Thanks for sharing your words!

  2. Query:
    Seventeen-year-old Annie Armani’s life has been a whirlwind since she won her first mixed martial arts title by knocking her opponent out in a single punch. Everyone now wants a chance to beat her for the title and prove what Annie has feared all along: that her victory was a fluke.
    With her next title match upcoming, Annie finds herself the star of a half-[I’m too much in love with hyphens, but both of these aren’t necessary] documentary, half reality show chronicling her journey. [I’d reword:] Annie struggles to comprehend [or accept, maybe?] the hoopla surrounding her title fight and her newfound celebrity status. She hides [what does this mean? Just that she’s closing herself off? If that’s what you mean, I’d take this out, because you’re showing it in the next sentence]. While she may be a fighter in the ring, she’s mentally closing herself off [I’d just say “shutting out the people around her”] to the people around her, including Jake Duff, her new trainer.
    [New paragraph] Scarred from her father’s disappearance, disappointed with her mother’s attachment to a jailbird boyfriend, and unaware of her half-sister’s desire for her attention [ok, all this comes out of left field. I’d find a new way of introducing it. Consider not giving so much away- just enough to hook us so we want to read. Maybe something like:]And then there’s the problems at home. Annie avoids discussing her family with the TV producers and interviewers…no matter how hard they attempt to wrangle a sob-story out of her.
    [Maybe new para? Not sure. Tighten the following:]The producers, however, aren’t looking for confessions about her “daddy issues” or her trouble fitting in at her uppity private school [I think you can take the private school part out – you’ve already hooked us, and “daddy issues” is punchier (bad use of words maybe) if you let it sit alone]. They want her to shed light on her older brother’s recent death—who was also an MMA fighter, and Annie’s idol.
    [Lots of stuff to make me want to read this! Good query!]

    First 250 Words:
    As I walked into the convenience store, I immediately recognized the fight showing on the old TV hitched up [I think I know what you mean by “hitched up”…] in the corner. I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt over my head, my hands stuffed in the two pockets [avoid passive here by saying, “stuffing my hands into the pockets.”]. I cursed the fact that the words “Donovan’s Fight Club” adorned the back of the sweatshirt in big letters [I don’t have enough context to know why this is. Does it have something to do with the fight on TV? The way it’s written I’m not entirely sure they’re connected. Consider rewording to clarify slightly]. I grabbed the milk I had come in for and scooped up a bag of Skittles for Margie. I walked up to the counter, pulling out a wad of bills from my back pocket. The attendant’s eyes were glued to the TV. The fight reflected in eyes as I put my items on the counter.
    “Gimme one sec, okay?” he said, his eyes staying on the fight. “This girl’s gonna throw a punch like nothin’ I ever seen before.” [Ok, I think I might know why she’s worried about the sweatshirt now, but I was still a little ungrounded above. Grounding is so important (and tetchy) in the first pages] He paused to chuckle, still watching, tossing chips into his mouth. “She’s gonna be the next big MMA star. I don’t even know what MMA means, but they say she’ll never lose a fight.”
    “MMA—it stands for Mixed Martial Arts.” I swallowed. “Look, I have somewhere to be. Besides, isn’t this fight old news?”
    “Old news? They show it over and over, and every time, I have to stop and watch. It’s—what do the kids these days say?—it’s gone viral. The girl’s local, too. Her first real fight, and she won like it was nothin’.”
    Following the clerk’s gaze, I looked over just in time to see the knock-out
    punch.
    [This is a really great concept! Agents and editors I’m sure are going to love it!]

  3. Query:

    Seventeen-year-old Annie Armani’s life has been a whirlwind since she won her first mixed martial arts title by knocking her opponent out in a single punch. Everyone now wants a chance to beat her for the title and prove what Annie has feared all along: that her victory was a fluke. <>
    <>

    With her next title match upcoming, Annie finds herself the star of a half-documentary, half-reality show chronicling her journey. Annie struggles to comprehend the hoopla surrounding her title fight and instead of embracing her newfound celebrity status, she hides. While she may be a fighter in the ring, she’s mentally closing herself off to the people around her <>, including Jake Duff, her new trainer. Scarred from her father’s disappearance, disappointed with her mother’s attachment to a jailbird boyfriend, and unaware of her half-sister’s desire for her attention, Annie avoids any discussion about her family while TV producers and interviewers attempt to wrangle a sob-story out of her. <>The producers, however, aren’t looking for confessions regarding her self-identified “daddy issues” or her trouble fitting in at her uppity private school. They want her to shed light on her older brother’s recent death—who was also an MMA fighter, and Annie’s idol. <>

    First 250 Words:

    As I walked into the convenience store, I immediately recognized the fight showing on the old TV hitched up in the corner. I pulled the hood of my sweatshirt over my head, [my hands–delete] stuffed <> in the two pockets <> [. I–delete] cursed the fact that the words “Donovan’s Fight Club” adorned the back of the sweatshirt in big letters. <> I grabbed the milk I had come in for and scooped up a bag of Skittles for Margie <>. I walked up to the counter, pulling out a wad of bills from my back pocket. The attendant’s eyes were glued to the TV. The fight reflected in <> eyes as I put my items on the counter.

    “Gimme one sec, okay?” he said, his eyes staying on the fight. “This girl’s gonna throw a punch like nothin’ I ever seen before.” He paused to chuckle, still watching, tossing chips into his mouth. “She’s gonna be the next big MMA star. I don’t even know what MMA means, but they say she’ll never lose a fight.”

    “MMA—it stands for Mixed Martial Arts.” I swallowed. “Look, I have somewhere to be. Besides, isn’t this fight old news?”

    “Old news? They show it over and over, and every time, I have to stop and watch. It’s—what do the kids these days say?—it’s gone viral. The girl’s local, too. Her first real fight, and she won like it was nothin’.”

    Following the clerk’s gaze, I looked over just in time to see the knock-out punch.
    <>

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