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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 7!

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Title: The Insurrection

Category and Genre: Adult Thriller

Word Count: 105,000

Query:

Lilah and Harry are looking forward to college in a few months, but abduction by mercenaries and a harrowing escape across North Africa change their plans.

Ten years later, using smooth charm and cold calculation, Harry builds a new cartel to destroy the oil driller who had ordered the kidnapping. Helping Harry is Temple, the man who rescued them. Three powerful families, all with agendas of their own, join the alliance. Lilah will be the puppet leader through whom they control the world’s energy supply.

But, Lilah is no one’s puppet. As oil cartel boss, she knows how to wield power and make enemies toe the line. She will annihilate Temple, now the president of United States, to maintain control of her business empire and save Harry’s life.

First 250 words:

January 1974

Egypt-Libya border

The blades of the search-and-rescue helicopter cut through humid, salty air one thousand feet above the Mediterranean. The steep escarpment came into Temple’s view, sparse vegetation between ridges. His headset sputtered over the roar of the engines.

“Senator,” said the pilot, “I think that’s Lilah.”

Gripping the door-frame, Temple leaned into the wind and surveyed the scene below. Vehicles bound for Alexandria were stalled on the hilly pass by Gaddafi’s border patrol. The soldiers had separated the men from the women, holding them at gunpoint away from the caravan. Temple strained to spot the girl. “Where?” he shouted into the mouthpiece, blinking away the gritty sand in his eyes.

“Not with the crowd, sir. Check the port side,” the pilot said. “She’s wearing something yellow.”

There. Temple saw her. A figure running between boulders, her robes fluttering behind. Lilah was at least a couple of hundred feet from the group under inspection, concealing herself behind the limestone formations. She looked up at the chopper for a second before plastering herself to the side of a rock. After weeks of reconnaissance, they’d finally located one of the abducted teenagers. “She’s hiding from the border patrol,” Temple muttered. “What about the boy? There were two kids.”

“Probably with the caravan. Let me—” The pilot stopped, cursing. “We have a problem, Senator. Look.”

One of the soldiers had detached himself from his team and was following Lilah. If she got caught, there was little a single search-and-rescue chopper could do to help.

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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:

Lilah and Harry are looking forward to college in a few months, but abduction by mercenaries and a harrowing escape across North Africa change their plans. (Does the ms start here? Or in ten years? If the story starts in ten years, this opening is backstory. You can weave it into the query, as motivation. Start us off with the story we will be reading.)

Ten years later, using smooth charm and cold calculation, (how about working in the first para here? Ten years after being abducted and escaping across North Africa,) Harry builds a new cartel to destroy the oil driller who had ordered the kidnapping (How did he learn who it was?). Helping Harry is Temple, the man who rescued them (And Temple is also a friend? A business man…why is this guy helping?). Three powerful families (Three families? Other than Harry and Temple?), all with agendas of their own (agendas for…revenge? And against whom?), join the alliance (What alliance?). Lilah will be the puppet leader through whom they control the world’s energy supply. (Throwing Lilah in here, threw me off. Is this a dual POV ms? If so, intro Lilah separately, give us who she is and what she wants, then link the two together?)

But, Lilah is no one’s puppet. As oil cartel boss, she knows how to wield power and make enemies toe the line. She will annihilate Temple, now the president of United States (whoa, when did that happen? What was he before?), to maintain control of her business empire and save Harry’s life.

Harry wants revenge for having been kidnapped. What does he have to do to get it? What is in his way?

Lilah just wants to keep her business?

Why is Harry’s life in danger? From whom?

Are Harry and Lilah still friends? Are they working together?

What is the final decision each has to make? What are the possible consequences of their choices? Do they find the man who kidnapped them? Why did he kidnap them? Is Lilah after revenge too? And what about Temple? His POV begins it…what does he want?

 

First 250 words:

January 1974

Egypt-Libya border

The blades of the search-and-rescue helicopter cut through humid, salty air one thousand feet above the Mediterranean. The steep escarpment came into Temple’s view, sparse vegetation between ridges. His headset sputtered over the roar of the engines.

“Senator,” said the pilot, “I think that’s Lilah.”

Gripping the door-frame, Temple leaned into the wind and surveyed the scene below. Vehicles bound for Alexandria were stalled on the hilly pass by Gaddafi’s border patrol. The soldiers had separated the men from the women, holding them at gunpoint away from the caravan. Temple strained to spot the girl. “Where?” he shouted into the mouthpiece, blinking away the gritty sand in his eyes.

“Not with the crowd, sir. Check the port side,” the pilot said. “She’s wearing something yellow.”

There. Temple saw her. A figure running between boulders, her robes fluttering behind. Lilah was at least a couple of hundred feet from the group under inspection, concealing herself behind the limestone formations. She looked up at the chopper for a second before plastering herself to the side of a rock. After weeks of reconnaissance, they’d finally located one of the abducted teenagers. (Is Lilah one of the abducted teens? Or is she on the ground helping?) “She’s hiding from the border patrol,” Temple muttered. “What about the boy? There were two kids.”

“Probably with the caravan. Let me—” The pilot stopped, cursing. “We have a problem, Senator. Look.”

One of the soldiers had detached himself from his team and was following Lilah. If she got caught, there was little a single search-and-rescue chopper could do to help. (NOOOOO! RUN LILAH!)

Good start! I think I need to know a bit sooner that they are looking to two teens who had been abducted…that Lilah is one of them. For some reason I read it as she was part of their team and doing something for them on the ground. Right after “I think that’s Lilah”…give me who she is and that they are looking for her…and for how long maybe.

I love the descriptions. The sights and sounds really make it come to life.

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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