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

starwarsmaulhood

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 8!

starwarsani

Title: Lucid

Category and Genre: YA/Psychological Suspense

Word Count: 98,000

Query: 

The Diana Banesbury School for Exceptional Young Women is one of the last surviving members of its kind—a rigorous ivy and brick institution intended to propel its few lucky, wealthy students straight to the Ivy Leagues. So when popular, charismatic megalomaniac Marlowe Brady decides to stop sleeping, everyone notices. But when chronically depressed loner Gwyneth Rosewood decides to stop sleeping, eating, drinking, and living altogether, no one does. No one, except Marlowe, whose unwanted intervention lands them both in the school’s infirmary, where another student offers an unconventional solution to Marlowe’s insomnia: lucid dreaming, the ability to control one’s dreams.

Along with two students from the infirmary, the four form a club in the pursuit of lucid dreaming, and at Marlowe’s insistence, move into an abandoned classroom in the woods around the school where they can dream undisturbed. But as they learn more about their own identities and each other, Marlowe’s behavior becomes strange and restrictive, and Gwyn begins to suspect she has ulterior motives for bringing them together. As Gwyn leads the charge to uncover Marlowe’s motive and past, Marlowe works to maintain her control over the three of them by using gas lighting and manipulation to render them incapable of discerning reality from dream. To prevent the end she’s planned for them, the three girls must work together and find a way to wake themselves from her influence.

First 250: 

Marlowe Brady lay awake at three in the morning in the fourth bed in the first of two rows in the Goldfinch dormitory of The Diana Banesbury School for Exceptional Young Women. It was November ninth. She was wearing silk pajamas, and doing fairly well considering the circumstances. The circumstances were that she’d been awake since November sixth.

In the first fifty hours, nothing very interesting had happened. But during the fifty-sixth, a fly landed on the bulb of the green shaded lamp on her bedside table.

At first, Marlowe tried to watch it without turning her head, by shifting her eyes as far in its direction as they’d go. But this gave her a headache, so eventually she resigned to face it, pressing her cheek against the pillow, her dark hair falling over darker eyes.

People didn’t tend to believe that insects had free will, or made decisions, but Marlowe had never doubted. Sometimes she would mentally urge the fly to move in one direction or the other, and most of the time it wouldn’t. But on the rare occasion that it did, she became re-invigorated by the illusion that her will had been so strong that it’d been unable to resist, that it was the sheer force of her own thoughts that pushed it back onto the heat of the glass bulb when it wandered off. She indulged in the idea that this small living thing would burn itself alive if she wanted it.

Not that she did.

starwarssidiouscompletetraining

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: 

The Diana Banesbury School for Exceptional Young Women is one of the last surviving members of its kind—a rigorous ivy and brick institution intended to propel its few lucky, wealthy students straight to the Ivy Leagues. So (I’d delete the “So”.)  when popular, charismatic megalomaniac Marlowe Brady decides to stop sleeping, everyone notices. But when chronically depressed loner Gwyneth Rosewood decides to stop sleeping, eating, drinking, and living altogether, no one does. No one, except Marlowe, whose unwanted intervention lands them both in the school’s infirmary, (They end up in the infirmary…why? An unwanted intervention? That is a bit vague. Did Gwyn try to kill herself? Is everyone worried about Marlowe and that Gwyn tried to commit suicide?) where another student (Is this student important? Give her a name?) offers an unconventional solution to Marlowe’s insomnia (I thought she decided to stop sleeping. It’s insomnia?): lucid dreaming, the ability to control one’s dreams. (Why did she decide to stop sleeping? And now why would she want to start sleeping and control her dreams?)

Along with two students from the infirmary (who are they? Why are they joining?), the four form a club in the pursuit of lucid dreaming, and at Marlowe’s insistence, move into an abandoned classroom in the woods (There’s a room in the woods?) around the school where they can dream undisturbed. But as they learn more about their own identities and each other, Marlowe’s behavior becomes strange and restrictive, and Gwyn begins to suspect she has ulterior motives for bringing them together. (whose POV? If we’re with Marlowe. She doesn’t become strange and restrictive, she is driven to do what she needs to because of her desires. Is this ms multiple POV?) As Gwyn leads the charge to uncover Marlowe’s motive and past, Marlowe works to maintain her control over the three of them by using gas lighting and manipulation to render them incapable of discerning reality from dream. To prevent the end she’s planned for them (What end?), the three girls must work together and find a way to wake themselves from her influence. (And if they don’t escape her what will happen? What do they have to face to escape?)

I have POV questions…the beginning set up Marlowe, but the end was more Gwyn. If there are multiple POVs set up each character and what they want and what they will do to get it. The other girls in the club…are they important enough to name? Is this Marlowe vs Gwyn? What drives them to try lucid dreaming and what drives Marlowe to manipulate?

This ms sounds so cool! The premise is intriguing! Lucid dreaming. Manipulation. Sounds dark and awesome, like quite a ride! I would so read this.

 

First 250: 

Marlowe Brady lay awake at three in the morning in the fourth bed in the first of two rows in the Goldfinch dormitory of The Diana Banesbury School for Exceptional Young Women. (anyone else there? Sounds? Smells?) It was November ninth. She was wearing silk pajamas, and doing fairly well considering the circumstances. The circumstances were that she’d been awake since November sixth. (I’d combine those last two sentences, just hit us with “fairly well, considering she’d been awake since November sixth. BAM! And that’s crazy.)

In the first fifty hours, nothing very interesting had happened. (What is driving her to stay awake? Let us know her character by telling us if this is voluntary about what she intends to achieve.) But during the fifty-sixth, a fly landed on the bulb of the green shaded lamp on her bedside table.

At first, Marlowe tried to watch it without turning her head, by shifting her eyes as far in its direction as they’d go. But this gave her a headache, so eventually she resigned to face it, pressing her cheek against the pillow, her dark hair falling over darker eyes.

People didn’t tend to believe that insects had free will, or made decisions, but Marlowe had never doubted. Sometimes she would mentally urge the fly to move in one direction or the other, and most of the time it wouldn’t. But on the rare occasion that it did, she became re-invigorated by the illusion that her will had been so strong that it’d been unable to resist, that it was the sheer force of her own thoughts that pushed it back onto the heat of the glass bulb when it wandered off. She indulged in the idea that this small living thing would burn itself alive if she wanted it.

Not that she did. (Oh…but maybe she did.)

Dude. A great start! I am very interested. I love being in Marlowe’s head and learning how she likes to manipulate. This is definitely not going to lead anywhere good! I like the writing and tone.

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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