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

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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 6!

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Title: Prisoner of Fate

Category and Genre: Adult Fantasy
Word Count: 160,000
Query:

When most people have a mid-life crisis, they buy a fancy carriage. When Komak Cer-Marin has a mid-life crisis, he teams up with a murderer and a possessed healer to stop death itself.

On parchment, Komak has everything a man could desire: status, wealth, family. In reality, status and wealth taste hollow, and he would cheerfully murder his brothers if his hands stayed clean. When enigmatic traveler Sedhan Saphadzar offers Komak the chance at an undying legacy – the creation of an artifact that halts death itself – Komak can’t resist its lure.

But destiny doesn’t come without problems. Sedhan is wanted for murder, with dragonriders hounding him, and he’s hiding something worse. A possessed half-elf healer joins them to flee her heritage, even as she furthers their ends. When their preparations go awry, Komak must decide if a legacy justifies the crimes he’s committed or if he’s willing to stake his life for morals he didn’t know he had.

First 250 Words:

“Sedhan Saphadzar, to speak with Komak Cer-Marin, the lord’s son,” the man said for the seventh time – once to the guard on the bridge across the lake, once at the entrance to the city, once at the outer wall, twice at the first gate, once at the keep entrance, and again here, at the door to the audience chamber.

The guard by the door, like all the guards before, cast him a dubious glance, and Sedhan could almost hear the man’s thoughts. Sedhan’s accent was rich with the unmistakable lilting of the hills of Old Marin, but something still gave the guard pause. Perhaps it was the color of his hair – a dark auburn more common to the deserts of Baerga, lightly dusted with silver and cut short in the style common to travelers. He was lean but muscled, and his face was handsome, if sharply angular. He wore simple traveling clothes, not distinctive to any land, with a plain cloak and linen shirt of the same inky black as his eyes. He carried no weapons, a fact he demonstrated by keeping his cloak back over his shoulders.

Unable to find anything off-putting, the guard grunted his consent. Sedhan pushed the door to the audience chamber open. As he stepped through, he touched the frame and chanted the threshold rite again, as he had whenever in view of a guard or member of the House.

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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:

When most people have a mid-life crisis, they buy a fancy carriage. When Komak Cer-Marin has a mid-life crisis, he teams up with a murderer and a possessed healer to stop death itself. (OMG I’m in.)

On parchment, Komak has everything a man could desire: status, wealth, family. In reality, (I think you can cut “In reality”) status and wealth taste hollow, and he would cheerfully murder his brothers if his hands stayed clean. (HA! Love that! Way to show his character.) When enigmatic traveler Sedhan Saphadzar offers Komak the chance at an undying legacy – the creation of an artifact that halts death itself – Komak can’t resist its lure. (Sedhan is offering to help Komak create this artifact…not find it? Komak is lured to the power this would give? Halts death for …just the person who has it or everything?)

But destiny (He thinks his destiny is to do something big like halt death…this is what drives him?) doesn’t come without problems. Sedhan is wanted for murder, with dragonriders hounding him, and he’s hiding something worse. (Are the dragonriders after him because of the murder or something else? Dragon riders make me happy! But the “hiding something worse” is too vague, doesn’t pack any punch.) A possessed half-elf healer (OH! I likey possessed characters! Does this one have a name?) joins them to flee her heritage (What heritage? What is she fleeing?), even as she furthers their ends.(She’s helping them to help herself? How does it help her, by giving her a means to get away from her life? But does she care about what they are doing?) When their preparations go awry, Komak must decide if a legacy justifies the crimes he’s committed or if he’s willing to stake his life for morals he didn’t know he had. (What preparations? How do they go awry? What crimes has he committed? I need to see what he wants…what gets in the way…how he changes, these morals he didn’t know he had…then what the choice is. Does he have to decide to either create this artifact or not? Does he create it and have to decide to use it? How is his life at stake? You lose me with this last paragraph. And I wonder about 160K being a bit long…even for fantasy…though fantasy is tough because world building. Just a thought.)

After having read the first 250…I am a bit confused that it was Sebhan’s POV. This query sets up Komak’s POV. Whose story is it? Or is it omniscient POV?

 

First 250 Words:
“Sedhan Saphadzar, to speak with Komak Cer-Marin, the lord’s son,” the man said for the seventh time – once to the guard on the bridge across the lake, once at the entrance to the city, once at the outer wall, twice at the first gate, once at the keep entrance, and again here, at the door to the audience chamber. (I am confused with POV here. First I thought it was the guard, who was listening to the man…then I realized it must be the man…but who is the man? I like the having to repeat the sentence over and over…protocol. Lol. And the man…is he annoyed at having to say it? Is it routine? Has he had to do this before to see the same leader or a different one? Put us in his head. Is he anxious to get to speak with Komak? Is he nervous? Excited?)

The guard by the door, like all the guards before,(A bit of description here.) cast him a dubious glance, and Sedhan could almost hear the man’s thoughts (his thoughts? Or his doubts? Or how the guard must be pondering the individual before him, questioning if he should allow him in?). (Oh, the man is Sedhan!) Sedhan’s accent was rich with the unmistakable lilting of the hills of Old Marin (Is that good? Would the guard not like that?), but something still gave the guard pause. Perhaps it was the color of his hair – a dark auburn more common to the deserts of Baerga, lightly dusted with silver and cut short in the style common to travelers. (Would that hurt his chances of getting in?) He was lean but muscled, and his face was handsome, if sharply angular. (feels like omniscient POV) He wore simple traveling clothes, not distinctive to any land, with a plain cloak and linen shirt of the same inky black as his eyes. He carried no weapons, a fact he demonstrated by keeping his cloak back over his shoulders. (Can Sedhan look down at himself…or brush some dust from his shoulder or straighten his shirt so we can see what he has on without being told what he looks like? Does he usually carry a weapon? How badly does he want in? Is he worried they won’t let him in? What are his intentions? I want a hint of something, so I can be worried or scared or excited. I want to be drawn in with a promise of something.

Unable to find anything off-putting, the guard grunted his consent. (With omniscient POV we would certainly know what the guard thought…if it is Sebhan’s then he can think that he must have passed inspection because the guard let him through. And Sedhan is…overjoyed? Is this the final door keeping him from his goal?) Sedhan pushed the door to the audience chamber open. As he stepped through, he touched the frame and chanted the threshold rite again, as he had whenever in view of a guard or member of the House. (Why? What does the chant do or mean?)

I am dying to know more about Sebhan. The chant suggests magic, which makes me curious. But I need more emotion to draw me in, more tension to pull me into the story. We don’t have to know his intentions, but a feel for if he’s up to no good or going to try to manipulate…what is in this for Sebhan?

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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