Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hangover Round 2 Entry #16

TITLE: Sincerely Emiline
GENRE: Contemporary YA

When the parents of rebellious 16 year old Emiline resort to a
non-traditional punishment of switching roles with her for a week in
order to teach her a lesson about bad behavior, she learns the
importance of truthfulness. But when a party “game” turns tragic,
Emiline struggles with the realization that revealing a dark secret
will not only save her dying friend, it will ultimately cause her best
friend banishment by the girl's family.

I was conceived during a game of Scrabble.

To clarify any possibly grotesque images that just popped into your
mind, my name was conceived using spare Scrabble tiles. You know,
right before normal people quit the game for lack of an intelligent

Sixteen years ago, during a raging blizzard.

I suspect the naming was Amy’s stellar idea. She’s my mother. Amy is
all about random creativity and has a Pinterest board that won’t quit.

Calling my parents by their first names tends to irritate them, so
naturally I do it every chance I get these days.

John, my father, threatens to ground me when I call him by his first
name, but he never does. Amy definitely wears the pants in that

So I envision the naming thing went down something like this:

Amy propped up in front of a cozy storybook fire in the living room.
Feet up. In my mind John has eyebrows so I’m assuming the cozy fire is
either one of those click-on versions or Amy built it. John is not
exactly the handyman type. In fact, the only thing Amy allows him to
change is his underwear.

I envision Amy to resemble a mythological Medusa, red hair twirled up
in those bright bendy hair things from Walmart- the kind that make
your hair all spirally. Of course, back then she was blown up to the
size of the QE II because, as she tells it - she was ten months
pregnant with me.


  1. This is good, vivid, original writing. I like it. I think you're trying to get too much information in though instead of taking one thought and following it to its logical conclusion. Same goes for the logline. The first part is a great, commercial premise but it's difficult to understand the second part and see how it fits in.

    It's hard to follow the Scrabble game to the sitting in front of a fire (actually I re-read this and got it was a storybook fire, not her reading a storybook in front of the fire and therefore the confusion as to where the Scrabble game had disappeared to) Also why does she think John has eyebrows? Doesn't she know if her father has eyebrows?

    Lastly I'm wondering if you're spending too much time explaining the getting of her name instead of setting us off with immediate action. Always comes back to the action. Dammit. Good luck with this.

  2. You can trim your logline. We know it's non-traditional, you don't need to tell us, so, "When the parents of rebellious 16 year old Emiline punish her by switching roles with her for a week, she learns the importance of truthfulness."

    The second part doesn't seem to relate. Does she tell the truth in the party game? And is the dying friend, her best friend, or are they two different girls?

    I like the idea of being named by Scrabble, but I don't think the "envisioning" works for you. Too much speculative telling.

  3. I like this idea a great deal.

    Maybe less is more in the logline... And I am confused about the party game. Is she in the 'role' of parent at this time? I do understand the dad's eyebrows line and think it's great, but muddles the image too much.

    I like the voice and the idea- good luck!

  4. Logline:
    The logline is full of information but I’m not sure I understand how the first sentence relates to the second. The two don’t seem to go together. I’m sure they do in the story, but not so much in the logline. Maybe pick just the main conflict, the decision directly related to that conflict, and the stakes for that conflict and leave the other sub-plots out of the logline.

    Your logline should contain Character, Conflict, Decision, and Stakes.


    The third paragraph is random and thrown in there. Maybe it’s the second part to the first sentence, but where it is currently placed, it feels clunky and awkward.

    The explanation of her calling her parents by their names and the mom wearing the pants is all telling. Actually, the whole scene is telling. Maybe start the story with some kind of action and work the story of her name’s creation for later in the story.

    Thanks for sharing & good luck!

  5. The story sounds interesting. Almost Freaky-Friday-esc! Can Lindsey Lohan be in it?

  6. I love how you start the novel, because grotesque images did pop into my head after the first line! lol. I think after the second paragraph though, you should go right into the scrabble scene and forget explaining her parent's names until then. So after, "You know, right before normal people quit the game for lack of an intelligent word." You should go right into, "I envision the naming thing went down something like this:" then explain the raging blizzard and who her parents are. Just make sure you keep the first 2 paragraphs, because those are interesting.

    Hope this works out for you!

  7. Very entertaining already. I agree that the logline is a bit too long, and a bit confusing when it comes to the best friends...but your writing voice is apparent, your MC's voice is strong and unique. The naming of the MC via Scrabble letters is fresh, funny idea.
    Indeed, take into consideration all that has been offered you in terms of these critiques, and your story will strengthen!
    Great work! Thank you!

  8. Love your voice, style and MC. Emiline's humor comes across loud and clear. I too struggled with the log line. If they trade places, is the party an adult one? Or does this happen after her punishment?