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Son of a Pitch, round 2, begins! Welcome to Team Dark Side.

starwarsani

Eleven posts, for eleven entries. Four other blogs are hosting more! The comment section is for Son of a Pitch authors to leave their thoughts. So please do not comment unless you are a Son of a Pitch author. Thank you!

Onto entry 5!

starwarskylodarkgenerous

Title: Deadly Dreams
Category and Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 70,000

Query:

Penda’s International Society has been protecting humans and supporting psychics since the 600s. Spencer is Lynch is one of Penda’s most dangerous combat operatives. He’s near indestructible and highly trained. When new recruit, Veronica “Ronnie” Danson, moves into his home Spencer knows he’s met his match. She’s smart, funny, and beautiful and he’s determined to make her his. Just as Spencer thinks he’s getting somewhere, one of their housemates is killed. Spencer’s determined to find her murderer and throws himself into the investigation, uncovering far more than he expected.
Ronnie’s been thrown into a world of magic, psychics, and terrifying other races. Now her friend is dead and she fears she might be next. Ronnie’s dreams offer clues that could lead them to the culprit but revealing them could expose her own secret. Ronnie’s secret might cost her everything. Her freedom. Her love. Her life.
First 250 Words:

Birmingham, UK

It was happening again but this time it wasn’t a dream. Ronnie’s chest tightened as the now-familiar barista locked up the coffee shop for the night and turned to walk towards her. Ronnie had witnessed his fate so many times but still didn’t know how to stop it. She struggled to move her feet, to keep him from crossing the road. She tried to shout out to him, to warn him, to do anything to get his attention. No sound came out.

She stood rooted to the spot, silently reliving her nightmare.

The gigantic beast staggered out of the alleyway, pale skin sallow, black eyes darting around.

Was he looking for her?

The beast stumbled towards the barista.

Surely she would wake up now. Except it wasn’t a dream. It was real.

She couldn’t stop it. Panic clawed at her chest. Her breath came in short gasps. She couldn’t even close her eyes.

The beast struck out at the barista, knocking him to the ground with one hard swipe of its hand. Blood pooled on the ground around the barista’s head as the beast let out an inhuman wail, revealing six rows of sharp teeth. It reached down, lifted the limp body and threw him against the wall. The beast lumbered forward, swaying slightly.

The world seemed to fade away until all Ronnie could see was the nightmare in front of her. She didn’t hear the van approaching or see people spilling out of it.

starwarsmaulsaber

And now my critique. Yes, I am doing it right now, if you don’t want to read my thoughts, stop here.

First, a disclaimer…

Hi, my name is Kathy. I am not a writing god or expert. I will tell you what works for me and what doesn’t. I will put in honest reactions. Please take the comments that make sense to YOU for YOUR ms. Please disregard any comments that aren’t relevant. I will ask a butt-ton (seriously, I don’t know exactly how much a butt-ton is, but it’s a lot) of questions to spark your creative brain. Any questions that I ask that give you an AH-HA moment run with all those ideas! The questions that don’t send lightning to your mind…ignore. Please listen to all the other wonderfully talented people who will stop by.

Thank you for sharing your words. Your words are important. You are awesome!

Query:

Penda’s International Society has been protecting humans and supporting psychics since the 600s. (You had me at protecting humans and supporting psychics…because I want to know protecting from what cool monsterish things!) Spencer is Lynch (Spencer Lynch without the is?) is one of Penda’s most dangerous combat operatives. He’s near indestructible and highly trained. (I don’t think you need this last sentence…I think the “most dangerous combat operatives” does it. And what does he want? What does he do?)

Here…I’d set up Ronnie…who she is and what she wants…

When new recruit, Veronica “Ronnie” Danson, moves into his home Spencer knows he’s met his match. She’s smart, funny, and beautiful and he’s determined to make her his (love at first sight?). Add in a line about Ronnie…what she thinks of him. Just as Spencer thinks he’s getting somewhere, (Or just when their relationship begins?) of their housemates is killed. (Link the roommate to being Ronnie’s best friend) Spencer’s determined to find her murderer and throws himself into the investigation, uncovering far more than he expected.
Ronnie’s been thrown into a world of magic, psychics, and terrifying other races (like what? Give a bit of what we’ll see, what makes your ms unique. And thrown into the world how?). Now her friend is dead and she fears she might be next. (Why would she think she was next?) Ronnie’s dreams offer clues that could lead them to the culprit but revealing them could expose her own secret. Ronnie’s secret might cost her everything. Her freedom. Her love. Her life. (why? Why is revealing her secret so dangerous? How will it endanger her life? You mention psychics…are her dreams like that and isn’t that normal? Or are her dreams different?)

Interesting! I am drawn to Ronnie’s story more…these dreams interest me…are they her secret or is there more? I expect a dual POV ms. For me, it makes sense to set up each character, who they are and what they want, a para for Spencer, then a para for Ronnie…then bring their stories together at the end. When Spencer meets Ronnie…when Ronnie meets Spencer…then big terrible murder happens and stakes! I want to know what they want. What drives them through the story? I also want to know what they do. Protecting humans…means what? Do they fight and kill monsters? Do they simply track them? And what about the psychics? What role do they play? After reading the first 250…maybe start the query with Ronnie’s story since the ms starts with her?

 
First 250 Words:

Birmingham, UK

It was happening again but this time it wasn’t a dream. (Maybe a stronger first line would be… This time it wasn’t a dream.) Ronnie’s chest tightened as the now-familiar barista locked up the coffee shop for the night and turned to walk towards her. (bit of description of the barista, just a brushstroke, something distinguishing? And the shop? What does it look like? Any other little details? Why is she there? Anyone else around? What time is it?) Ronnie had witnessed his fate so many times but still didn’t know how to stop it. (Had she been trying to figure out how to stop it? Witnessed it in a dream?) She struggled to move her feet, to keep him from crossing the road. She tried to shout out to him, to warn him, to do anything to get his attention. No sound came out. (why can’t she move or speak? Frozen like magic, like in her dream? Or is she that afraid?)

She stood rooted to the spot, silently reliving her nightmare. (Does she often have nightmares that then come true? Is this the first time she sees her dreams come true?)

The gigantic beast staggered out of the alleyway, pale skin sallow, black eyes darting around. (Since we haven’t seen this monster say… “A gigantic beast…” Does he smell? Sounds?)

Was he looking for her? (If she has dreamed this, she would know what the beast was going to do…why does she think this?)

The beast stumbled towards the barista.

Surely she would wake up now. Except it wasn’t a dream. It was real.

She couldn’t stop it. Panic clawed at her chest. (You had her chest tightening earlier…so maybe not use chest here.) Her breath came in short gasps. She couldn’t even close her eyes.

The beast struck out at the barista, knocking him to the ground with one hard swipe of its hand. Blood pooled on the ground around the barista’s head as the beast let out an inhuman wail, revealing six rows of sharp teeth. (Nice. I like this beast.) It reached down, lifted the limp body and threw him against the wall. The beast lumbered forward, swaying slightly. (Is it going for the barista again? Or where is it going? Heading to Ronnie?)

The world seemed to fade away until all Ronnie could see was the nightmare in front of her. (Oh, it is coming for her? So if she dreamed this, she knows she’s next? Why go somewhere in real life where she is attacked in her dream? Why is she there?) She didn’t hear the van approaching or see people spilling out of it. (Just one of my pet peeves, maybe, but If she doesn’t see the van…why are we seeing the van? Is this close POV or more omniscient?)

I like the paranormal! I like monsters! I like strange scary dreams that suddenly happen in real life! So I am intrigued and would keep reading…though, I wonder why I care about this monster out killing a random barista? Why are we seeing this with Ronnie? I want to know her better…What does she want? Are these dreams new? Is seeing a monster in real life weird for her? I know…it’s just one page! What do I want everything? No…just hints.

For the author of this entry…Feel free to comment on what I have said and you can certainly post revisions!

Again, THANK YOU for participating. Sharing your words and opening up for critique is difficult. We all are here to help you make your ms as shiny as possible. Good luck with all the writing!

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