12.17.2006

HH Com 106

After her pedophile boyfriend breaks her heart, Liz, fourteen, is left with no option other than revenge. A night of attempted suicide, drugs use, and driving through the wall of a dining room ends with a severed penis and a pop course in body disposal.

When her father, the town sheriff, senses his only daughter is hiding something, his discovery sends Liz straight to baby booking. Now working her way through one juvenile detention center after another, Liz has to work the system, making and breaking alliances with the different cliques that populate her group homes. Will Liz survive her new surroundings? Will she ever get her life back under control?


YA market of course.

The problem, other than the obvious one that I don't think you're serious, is that you've got "working her way through one juvenile detention center after another" with no reason that she's getting out of one and getting put in another. Unless of course she's still severing penii and disposing of bodies while incarcerated.

Are the film rights available?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is "baby booking" regional? the only other place I have heard this term is on The Wire.

Anonymous said...

I am all for the creative imagination of writers, new twists, new take on things.
However, I'm noticing in several hooks for YA books, 14 seems to be the magical age used.
Well, I have a 14 year old daughter and I can assure you, pedophile boyfriends, drugs, drinking, suicide, typical mainstream assumptions, isn't exactly the day to day reality of this age group of kids.

No, I am not a naive Mother. But stretching these scenarios at that age group is pushing an imaginary line into an abyss of fanatic paranoia. Trying to imagine my 14 year old driving through a wall, much less doing it while holding a penis loses all sense of imaginary possibility.

Yes, there are some screwed up 14 year olds out there. But on the whole, I think if you are going to write about that age group, it could help to hang out with a group of them to understand their interests, social issues and what would push their reading buttons.

Or, up the age to a more believable possibility. An age where they are left alone with boyfriends, have driver licenses, have spare money to purchase drugs etc.

There are plenty of ways kids that age could be sent to baby booking, pick one, keep the rest of your story and you have a possibility.

Anonymous said...

That first 'graf is hilarious!! The funniest one I've read yet. This one has me hooked! Liz, just watch where you place that hook, plz.

Anonymous said...

Obviously a joke. No one would spew this kind of overwritten pedophile/drug garbage and be serious.

Anonymous said...

Total joke, right?

carlynarr said...

Anon 2, you have a couple of good points, but please don't assume that all members of the YA audience want to read about things they can relate to in their day-to-day lives when they go to buy a book. Do you think everyone who reads The Da Vinci Code or Lisey's Story wants to read those books just because they can relate?

Drinking/drugs/suicide/pedophile boyfriends are not necessarily non-interesting to young teens just because they don't encounter them all the time. However, a more important point I feel bears mentioning is that the contemporary YA market is inundated with books dealing with drinking/drugs/suicide/rehab. I can understand wanting to write a book with serious themes, but I don't feel what's been outlined here has anything noteworthy to distinguish it from other mid-list YA books out there.

Anonymous said...

While I too suspect this is a prank submission, the fact that no one's sure raises question about what is on the market.
Point being...as a group, YAs do not spend their baby-sitting money on new-release hardbacks. So it's obviously parents and relatives and libraries buying this stuff. Logic says they either approve of this subject matter for their children's recreational reading, or they don't know/care what's in it--they're just happy the kid's reading. Either one is disturbing.

Anonymous said...

anon 2, you may have your head in the sand and be in denial about what kids are actually doing these days. Pharming parties, asphyxiation to get high, bracelets ranking their level of promiscuity and yes, pedophile boyfriends have all been a part of your kids' life or the life of someone they know.

HawkOwl said...

I think what's lame isn't the topic, which almost certainly happened to somebody somewhere, it's the tone. It makes me think that whatever you have to say about teenage drug addicts who murder pedophiles is not going to be realistic and constructive. And like the one with the five middle-schoolers and ther pervert, this would be much more valuable as a well-done adult piece than as YA.

michaelgav said...

My daughter is also fourteen. I'm not naive, but this tendency to universalize the behavior of outliers bothers the shit out of me.

I recognize that extremes are (A) easier to write about and (B) more interesting to read about. But a pitch about a fourteen-year-old that begins with "After her pedophile boyfriend breaks her heart"...? Well, sorry, but I think you're trafficking in depravity.

Xiqay said...

Am I stupid?

What is a pedophile boyfriend? Doesn't pedophile refer to people who crave sex with pre-pubescent children? At 14, I'm guessing this girl is not pre-pubescent, so what does this phrase mean in this story context?

I'm not buying the story. I read a lot of YA. I write YA. Deal with issues, but leave out the kitchen sink.

Anonymous said...

Well said Michael!
And for the annon who said "anon 2, you may have your head in the sand and be in denial about what kids are actually doing these days"

I don't think Anon2 had their head in the sand, they said they weren't naive, I think the point was at age 14 the kids can't drive, they don't have money, and a pedophile boyfriend coupled with penis holding crashes is far fetched enough to pass as sensationalism. I had my 16 year old read the hook, without influence by me, and received a "Oh please, we aren't that stupid Dad"

To the Author, the suggestion from the teen was this," There are plenty of ways to get sent to Juvenile Detention that are believable, and I'd be interested in reading what it's like for a kid in juvy"

Find a new vehicle to get your girl sent to baby booking, and keep writing your story. Good Luck.

luna_the_cat said...

You know, the thing that bugged me was the "driving through the wall of a dining room", and her father (the town sherriff) only THINKS she's hiding something????????

Um, well, yeah. Driving through a wall is generally hard to hide, but it also generally involves a lot of other things that the principle characters involved aren't going to want to talk about. Yanno.

Eviltwin said...

If this is serious, what I'm interested in is the relationship between the girl and her sherriff father. The various other elements seem to be a stew of the Amy Fisher case and Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson (Parallel Universe of Liars features a teen girl engaging in quasi-consensual sex with her grown-up neighbor), plus your classic hard luck juvie stories. There are heaps of tales of teens using drugs, being in juvie, being on the street, etc. What makes this different? The father-daughter relationship?

Anonymous said...

At 12 most of the kids in my class had already smoked weed and a few did acid. A couple were messing with asphyxiation to get high and almost all of them were drinking. Oh and inhaling butane was done in during class. Did I mention I went to a middle class private school? By the time highschool hit, about JR year alot of kids were doing coke or crank. That was 12 years ago. I had a couple of friends in some gangs that did some pretty hard core stuff, and no my parents NEVER knew, until a couple of them were nearly beaten to death and gang raped as an initiation. Stuff like that does happen in that age group.

Anonymous said...

While we're talking about all the corrupted things children do in both recent and distant times...

let's not forget that there are still plenty of kids who reach eighteen without drinking, smoking, doing drugs, having sex, and sometimes even romantic relations of any kind--nor much interest in them.

And I'm talking about kids in public and private schools, that still hang out with the more rebellious types, that watch the same shows on TV and so forth...

This world has all kinds of people in all kinds of places... let's never forget that.