Tags

, , , , ,

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

starwarsdarth-maul-gif-two

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 10!

starwarssidiouslaugh

Title: The Spider Man

Category and Genre: (YA/Horror)
Word Count: (63,000)

Query:

In The Spider Man, honor student, track star, and reluctant medium Tressa Murphy knows that lonely ghosts are everywhere. She also knows that they can never, ever touch the living. Except that Jenner can. Jenner, the sexy wall-climbing ghost who has haunted her family for years has been visiting her at night and together he and Tressa have been breaking all the rules.

For Tressa, keeping her confusing secrets under control is becoming impossible as the malevolent spirit of Jenner’s abusive stepfather rises from the river to terrorize her, and Jenner’s whispered invitations to join him on the other side are sounding more and more tempting every night. Only when Tressa embarks on a road trip to face the truth about Jenner’s last days does she begin to understand her family’s history and the extraordinary possibilities of her own life, as well as the dangerous forces conspiring to end it. Only when she embraces her responsibilities to those who are living can she find happiness with Silas, the fellow artist who loves her, and break away from the dead boy who would destroy her.

 

First 250 Words:

Jenner wasn’t always a troubled ghost with tendencies toward madness. Once he was a boy who did what it took to save his sister. Please remember him first for the fact that he was good. He was very young but his heart was a hero’s heart and that part of him never died.

When they were sixteen Jenner’s twin sister Ellen had taken to wearing jeans and heavy boots to bed at night and blocking the door with her dresser. It was made of oak and a good shield against danger. Ellen felt safer with the door barred since their mother’s boyfriend Nolan moved back in.

Nolan was not good.

He sometimes left their mother for long stretches when no one would know where he was. Those were oasis times when Ellen and Jenner forgot that he existed the same way children who get over the stomach flu forget that they were ever sick. Lately Nolan was around all the time like a nausea that would never lift. He drank whiskey and swore at their mother. He leered at Ellen and when no one was looking found excuses to brush his body against hers.

Ellen and Jenner hated him.

Mom’s hand shook around her cigarettes as ash drooped off their ends. Jenner stayed out of the house as much as possible. To Jenner, Nolan was a source of quick, sharp kicks from steel-toed boots and the smell of engine oil.

starwarskylo-ren-gif

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:

In The Spider Man, honor student, track star, and reluctant medium Tressa Murphy knows that lonely ghosts are everywhere. (I’d cut the beginning of this sentence and add in her age… “Honor student, track star, and reluctant medium, (insert age) year old Tressa Murphy…” And I LIKE GHOSTS!) She also knows that they can never, ever touch the living. (Because if they do something terrible happens or because they physically cannot?) Except that Jenner can. Jenner, the sexy wall-climbing ghost who has haunted her family (So not just Tressa knows of him?) for years has been visiting her at night and together he and Tressa have been breaking all the rules. (what rules are they breaking and why…what drives her to break them?)

 

For Tressa, keeping her confusing secrets (what secrets? Why does she have to keep them under control?) under control is becoming impossible as the malevolent spirit of Jenner’s abusive stepfather rises from the river to terrorize her (why is he terrorizing her?), and Jenner’s whispered invitations to join him on the other side are sounding more and more tempting every night (OH NO TRESSA! What is driving her to consider death? Jenner’s dad or other things?). Only when Tressa embarks on a road trip to face the truth about Jenner’s last days (Wait, she’s going to find where Jenner lived and died? Why?) does she begin to understand her family’s history and the extraordinary possibilities of her own life (what possibilites? What family history?), as well as the dangerous forces conspiring to end it (What dangerous forces?). Only when she embraces her responsibilities to those who are living can she find happiness with Silas (who’s Silas? You can’t just throw him at me at the end here! AH!), the fellow artist who loves her, and break away from the dead boy who would destroy her.

I love ghosts! I love evil ghosts! I would read this. But the query is vague. Tell us what Tressa can do, her “powers” and why she does it. Tell us her secrets. Tell us her fears. Tell us what she is willing to do to get what she wants. Tell us the pivotal moment where she has to decide between life and death. Is it when she faces Jenner and his father? Give us Silas earlier, so we know she has something to fight for. Show us the life she could lose.

 

First 250 Words:

Jenner wasn’t always a troubled ghost with tendencies toward madness. (Love!) Once he was a boy who did what it took to save his sister. Please remember him first for the fact that he was good. (This sentence takes me out of the story…don’t know how I feel about it, like breaking the fourth wall) He was very young but his heart was a hero’s heart and that part of him never died.

When they were sixteen Jenner’s twin sister Ellen had taken to wearing jeans and heavy boots to bed at night and blocking the door with her dresser. (When is this? What year?) It was made of oak and a good shield against danger. Ellen felt safer with the door barred since their mother’s boyfriend Nolan moved back in. (Oh no.)

Nolan was not good.

He sometimes left their mother for long stretches when no one would know where he was. (you can tighten this sentence up. “He would disappear for long stretches.” Might be all you need.) Those were oasis times when Ellen and Jenner forgot that he existed the same way children who get over the stomach flu forget that they were ever sick. Lately Nolan was around all the time like a nausea that would never lift. (Nice!) He drank whiskey and swore at their mother. He leered at Ellen and when no one was looking found excuses to brush his body against hers.

Ellen and Jenner hated him.

Mom’s hand shook around her cigarettes as ash drooped off their ends. Jenner stayed out of the house as much as possible. To Jenner, Nolan was a source of quick, sharp kicks from steel-toed boots and the smell of engine oil. (Nice!)

This is probably a prologue? Because after reading about Tressa in the query I expected to be in her head…but this is interesting. I don’t mind prologues, if it is info we need and there is no other way to give it to us. Jenner’s story is heartbreaking for sure. When you introduce him as a ghost later, we’ll know all about him and Nolan. No mystery. If that’s what you want, go for it.

I wonder if the entire ms omniscient POV?

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!

 

 

Advertisements