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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 2!

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Title: The Iceni and the Roman

Genre: NA Historical Romance

Word Count: 95,000

Query;

Devona watched her parents be slaughtered by the Romans in the battle led by the Queen Boadicca. Her tribe, the Iceni, were nearly wiped out in the massacre, leaving her to raise her younger brother. Her hatred and fear of the Romans grows with each passing month as they desecrate what little her tribe has left.

Felix joined the Roman legions to escape the grasp of his older brother, but his brother has sway among the military’s leadership. To force him as far away as possible, Felix finds himself assigned to the barbarian lands of Britannia. Once he arrives, he finds himself intrigued by a young woman as she stands beside a funeral pyre. A girl who hates Romans for what they did to her clan.

Despite the odds, Felix and Devona fall in love and face off against a rival suitor for Devona, overcoming the laws that will not acknowledge Devona as Felix’s wife, and more importantly, Felix’s brother forcing them apart because their union would humiliate the family. An Iceni barbarian cannot marry a Roman noble. But they will fight, because they refuse to believe their love will break in a time where love has almost no value.

 

First 250 Words:

Devona

The carnage left a metallic stench in the air. Blood covered everything, and yet, the Roman soldiers still advanced, crushing men, women, and children alike between their wall of shields and the unbroken row of carts and horses.

Grabbing my brother, I dragged him backward, out of the way of the onslaught. In the distance Boudica’s cries echoed over the wails of our dying people. Clearing the carts, I swung around. Mother’s face appeared in the commotion, her bronze hair streaked with dark liquid. Our eyes met and she nodded. She wanted me to flee, and to keep my younger brother safe. There was no doubt in my mind she knew she would die along with most of our people. The Iceni faced near extinction.

With a tug of his hand, I ran my brother from the battlefield. Reaching the edge of the field, I coaxed him up a tree, following right behind him. Climbing as high as we could, we hid. I covered his ears to block out as much of the horrors as possible, but I did not have such a luxury.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as the final stages of battle passed, each one drawing out fewer and fewer final cries of death. Finally, the battlefield fell quiet. Looking out, I watched as the Romans, each covered in blood, streaks soiling the polish on their armor and shields, effortlessly parted the remaining carts and pushed through.

“You killed them all!” The woman’s cry echoed from among the dead.

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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;

Devona watched her parents be slaughtered by the Romans in the battle led by the Queen Boadicca. Her tribe, the Iceni, were nearly wiped out in the massacre, leaving her to raise her younger brother. (These first two sentences could be combined. The opening “Devona watched…” could be stronger. The Romans slaughtered ? year old Devona’s parents in the massacre that nearly wiped out her tribe, the Iceni. She must find a way to keep her little brother safe…) Her hatred and fear of the Romans grows with each passing month as they desecrate what little her tribe has left. (And what does she wish for? What drives her…a promise to care for her brother?…a desire to live? Where does she go, does she run? Not sure we need to know Queen Boadicca’s name in the query, unless she is key to the plot.)

Felix joined the Roman legions to escape the grasp of his older brother, but his brother has sway among the military’s leadership. To force him as far away as possible, Felix finds himself assigned to the barbarian lands of Britannia. (Felix joins the legion to escape his brother, but the brother is a leader in the legion? Wouldn’t that put him with his brother? Or his brother is a Roman leader, who can dictate what happens in the military? Why is he escaping his brother? His brother gets him assigned far away…why? And what does Felix want? I want to know less of the brother and more about Felix.)

After these, I expect a dual POV ms. Each story is set up…now move into where they link.

Once he arrives, he finds himself intrigued by a young woman as she stands beside a funeral pyre. A girl who hates Romans for what they did to her clan. (On arriving, Felix is intrigued by a young woman standing beside a funeral pyre. Then I want a sentence about Devona…how she sees Felix… how they learn who each other are…)

Despite the odds, Felix and Devona fall in love and face off against a rival suitor for Devona, overcoming the laws that will not acknowledge Devona as Felix’s wife, and more importantly, Felix’s brother (the brother is a key person…I’d like to know his name) forcing them apart because their union would humiliate the family. An Iceni barbarian cannot marry a Roman noble. But they will fight, because they refuse to believe their love will break in a time where love has almost no value. (I don’t think the “despite the odds” is needed. I’d make this “fall in love” bit stronger…make us believe that they want to be together no matter what. A rival suitor threatens to what? Will this guy take her, does she like him at all? And the sentence “An Iceni cannot marry a Roman noble” seems redundant…OH FELIX IS A NOBLE…I’d like to know that earlier. I kinda love the last line…yeah. The stakes here…If they win and get married what might happen? Or if they are parted…what would that do to them?)

 

First 250 Words:

Devona

The carnage left a metallic stench in the air. Blood covered everything, and yet, the Roman soldiers still advanced, crushing men, women, and children alike between their wall of shields and the unbroken row of carts and horses. (good visuals, maybe a bit of emotion from the mc in here to set us in her head right away? How does she react to the stench, to the sight of blood and her people being killed? Is it day or night? Cold or warm?)

Grabbing my brother, I dragged him backward, out of the way of the onslaught. (how old is the brother? How is he reacting? Is she dragging a kicking and screaming four year old or a stunned eight year old?) In the distance Boudica’s (who?) cries echoed over the wails of our dying people (Might name the tribe here). Clearing the carts (what carts? Are there horses too?), I swung around. Mother’s face appeared in the commotion, her bronze hair streaked with dark liquid. Our eyes met and she nodded. She wanted me to flee, and to keep my younger brother safe. There was no doubt in my mind she knew she would die along with most of our people. The Iceni faced near extinction. (Why? A bit of her thoughts on why they were being killed. And it can be small, like for being in the wrong place.)

With a tug of his hand, I ran my brother from the battlefield. Reaching the edge of the field, I coaxed him up a tree, following right behind him. Climbing as high as we could, we hid. I covered his ears to block out as much of the horrors as possible, but I did not have such a luxury.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as the final stages of battle passed, each one drawing out fewer and fewer final cries of death. (Is she watching? Or just listening? What does she see? What is she feeling?) Finally, the battlefield fell quiet. Looking out, I watched as the Romans, each covered in blood, streaks soiling the polish on their armor and shields, effortlessly parted the remaining carts and pushed through. (Don’t need “I watched” we know it’s what she sees.)

“You killed them all!” The woman’s cry echoed from among the dead. (And I’m dying to see the lone woman standing in the bloody fields…)

I like this beginning! The writing is solid. I want to know why they are being killed. Who are the Iceni? What is Devona going to do and how will she deal with how life has changed? I want to know what she wants? She promised her mother to save her brother, so she’s doing that…now she’s driven by that promise?

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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