Everything's Not Lost
1. With nothing to live for after his dog dies, and tired of getting beat up by Bull the Bully every day, Victor tries to kill himself by taking a bottle of sleeping pills. He lives, and checks into the psych ward, only to discover that his roommate is Bull.
2. Compulsive gambler Tony Tucker tries to convince his wife, Janet, not to leave him on the side of the road after they get evicted and have to live in her car. All he needs is a grubstake and a lucky weekend. But where to get the grubstake? Then he spots the bank.
3. After their plane full of contraband crashes and burns in the Sahara, Josh and Tammy realize they've got nothing left but each other. Too bad they hate each other. As Tammy takes off hiking toward the Nile, Josh realizes this might be his very last chance to get laid, and follows.
4. Derrick throws a coin in an old well and wishes that everything gone missing would turn up -- namely his keys, passport, and plane ticket. When the continent of Mu appears in the Atlantic Ocean he begins to think something's up. Then, his ex-girlfriend's half-decayed corpse makes headlines.
5. Sharon McGee wakes up on the outskirts of Las Vegas with a headache and a wedding ring she can't remember receiving. Did she really marry the handsome croupier barfing on the other side of a nearby dune? She's got her purse, her car keys, her wallet, and her habit's only got a bit of sand in it. The only thing that seems to be missing is her virginity, and the Mother Superior won't be happy to hear that.
6. Just when Dwight is about to print out the Chaucer dissertation he's been working on for 7 years, his Commodore 64 bursts into flames and destroys the entire document, plus his house and car. He's lucky to escape with his jammies and Mad Felix, the haunted cat with the glowing red eyeballs.
Everything’s Not Lost is a complete young adult novel at 50,000 words, written in snarky-yet-endearing first person narratives, uniquely alternating back and forth between two voices. [If they're the voices of Morgan Freeman and Stewie Griffin, I'll definitely get the audio book.] [As the word "unique" means "like nothing else," I wouldn't use it to describe alternating between two voices, which is actually pretty common.]
Meet Victor and Bull… [If it was Victor the Bull, I'd be hooked. Especially if he's as funny as Bullwinkle the Moose. Is he?]
Sixteen year old Victor is a tortured dweeb-of-a-kid who has the most self-absorbed, snobby and altogether useless parents alive. His mother loves to tell him he was a mistake. They ride him about everything just to keep up appearances. Like when he only gets a perfect SAT score on the math, they lose their minds and un-invite him from their upcoming European vacation, so he can stay back with a tutor to get his reading and verbal parts up to, you guessed it, perfect. [If I were Victor I'd purposely miss a few SAT questions if I thought it would get me out of going on vacation with my parents.] His life sucks.
Sixteen year old Bull gets the crap beat out of him by his alcoholic grandfather. His mother conceived him under the boardwalk when she was only 17 and is still just as clueless. He’s never met his dad but dreams of running away to the beach for a father-son reunion. [Dammit, now I can't get "Under the Boardwalk" out of my head.] Yeah right. He likes to take out his anger on Victor. Always has; he's brutal. And his life sucks too.
When Victor realizes the only thing worth living for is his dog, which suddenly dies the morning his parents leave him home, he decides he wants to die. He takes an entire bottle of his mother’s sleeping pills and prays he never wakes up. But, he does.
When Bull tries to ward off his grandfather’s drunken-fist-attack with a loaded gun, accidentally shooting himself in the thigh, [I'm guessing Bull didn't get a perfect SAT score, either.]
Drawings from The Children's Picture Book of Gun Safety, courtesy SkoolKids Books.
that’s when the two boys’ lives collide. [I was under the impression their lives had been colliding regularly.] They both end up in the same psych ward, in the same room [, where Victor continues to get pummeled, not only by Bull but also by a male nurse named Bruno]. Much to their shock they spend the next five days together, and it gets ugly before it gets better. [Why is this shocking?] Group therapy is not only where they meet new friends, and new loves, but it’s where true healing begins. [Been looking for love in all the wrong places? Try the psych ward.]
Victor and Bull tell you their own stories, in their own sarcastically-charming way, with humor and tears, hope and light. [Light?]
I am a proud member of SCBWI. I have received honorable mention in the national Children’s Writers Fiction Contest sponsored by Stepping Stones Magazine for my children’s picture book manuscript, The Question.
Upon your request, I will send you my completed manuscript. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your reply.
If you're in the psych ward because you tried to kill yourself because your life sucks, partly because there's a bully who beats you up every day, you might have the sense to tell them you don't want to room with the bully. Or does he want to room with Bull, figuring Bull will succeed where the sleeping pills failed?
If Vic takes the sleeping pills the day his parents leave for Europe, and wakes up the next day, how does he end up in the psych ward? Does he just go there and say Let me in?
I would expect Bull was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound and that it was either claimed to be an accident or he was arrested for attempted murder. What's the diagnosis that puts him in a psychiatric hospital? Killing Gramps seems perfectly sane to me.
Most of this is introducing the two characters. The main plot is set in the hospital. If you condense the setup to something like:
Sixteen year old Victor is a tortured dweeb-of-a-kid who has the most self-absorbed, snobby and altogether useless parents alive. His life sucks. Then his dog dies.
Sixteen year old Bull gets the crap beat out of him by his alcoholic grandfather. His life sucks too. And he likes to take out his anger on Victor.
With nothing to live for, Victor takes an entire bottle of his mother’s sleeping pills and prays he never wakes up. But he does. Meanwhile, Bull tries to ward off his grandfather’s drunken fist-attack with a loaded gun, accidentally shooting himself in the thigh. Both boys end up in the psych ward at the same time--and in the same room.
. . . you should have room to tell us about the real plot with some specifics.