Elizabeth Browne

Letters to Myself

by Elizabeth Browne

The assignment was simple: a journal entry, every day, from the beginning of the school year until the end.

Zach thought it was a waste of time. He had the life everyone wanted, at least, until he started wanting things he shouldn’t.

Ariah thought it would be easy. She was good at analyzing every possible outcome, and she was better at keeping secrets. She was wrong. Senior year is not easy.

Tristan Cooper, second year teacher, and not too far from his own senior year of high school, wanted to prove to his students how much a person can change in one year. He had never made the wrong decision in his life. Until now.

Brought together in an environment that ought to be strictly platonic, Zach, Ariah and Tristan soon find their worlds turned upside down by emotions beyond their control. Perhaps some boundaries are made to be crossed…

Letters to Myself is a 50,000 word Young Adult novel that explores the daily struggle to stay within the lines we’ve drawn for ourselves, and the repercussions of straying beyond them.

Arielle: I’m intrigued by this idea. And by the little I know about these characters. Your voice comes through nicely. Your pitch is only 181 words, and I would definitely have used those other 19 to help fill out these characters. Because you have three protagonists, we don’t get to spend much time with each them in the pitch. So you have to draw us in as quickly as possible. Check out Cari Noga’s pitch from last year’s NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza. She was our winner and did this very successfully.

David: This triangle, set in the world of high school, if executed correctly, will have a big audience. I like the way you put words together. Each character has a nice twist at the end of their little paragraph. I think it would help immensely if you gave us a couple of physical descriptors of our characters. Just a couple of word pictures. And while I am intrigued by this pitch, it doesn’t go far enough, IMHO. It seems to get very generic at the end. “Their worlds turned upside down by emotions beyond their control.” That’s an idea instead of an action. Obviously I don’t want you to give away the ending, I just need you to take me right to the edge of the cliff, and leave me hanging off it. I don’t want you to give me the whole cow, just some more cream. I also don’t think the title does your story justice. It doesn’t capture what’s best about this pitch.