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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 4!

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Title: Trowel and Error

Category and Genre: Adult, Women’s Fiction

Word Count: 65,000

Query:  

Eleanor Blake is an archaeologist hiding behind a boring desk job after a traumatic incident in the field. When she meets Tom Gage in a case of mistaken identity during a road trip, she sees the new relationship as a step forward. Eleanor soon discovers that learning to trust herself again is hard, and surrendering to love is harder. Finally pursuing a life of purpose and fulfillment, she finds that it may take her far away from Tom, and separate them permanently.

 

First 250 Words:

Eleanor Blake glanced with trepidation at the menacing clouds gathering on the horizon. She hated the thought of driving through a storm, but the prospect of delaying her journey was worse. Random gusts of wind buffeted the car and raindrops spattered the windshield. She fumbled for the wipers control in the unfamiliar vehicle, finding it just as the deluge hit.

Red lights glared and she tapped the brakes. The speed of the traffic slowed until it was stopped altogether. The car windows were fogged, the glass pebbled with raindrops, making it hard to see. But something was moving out there. A lone figure, obscured by a heavy pack, only jeans and a pair of hiking boots she imagined squelching through the puddles were visible. Eleanor was sympathetic, but every warning she had ever heard about hitchhikers clamored in her mind. Offering this stranger a ride might be kind, but that didn’t make it right. Not for her. The walker removed the pack and set it on the ground, looking into the distance. Water dripped from the end of a ponytail and ran down the back of a denim jacket. A ponytail? A woman!Her initial sympathy was rekindled, the sense of possible danger faded. She hit her  directional signal and pulled over, pressing the button to lower the window.

“Can I give you a ride?”

The head turned and Eleanor’s eyes widened as a jolt of adrenaline flooded her stomach. The person looking back at her was a man.

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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:  

Eleanor Blake is an archaeologist hiding behind a boring desk job after a traumatic incident in the field. (Too vague…what incident?) When she meets Tom Gage in a case of mistaken identity during a road trip (mistaken identity here is confusing…how does she meet him?), she sees the new relationship as a step forward (What relationship?). Eleanor soon discovers that learning to trust herself again is hard (Why? What happened that she doesn’t trust herself?), and surrendering to love is harder (why?). Finally pursuing a life of purpose and fulfillment (doing what?), she finds that it may take her far away from Tom, and separate them permanently.

First of all, this is too short for a query and too vague. I want a bit more detail for me to know her…why is she hiding behind a desk job? What happened that she can’t trust herself or fall in love? Then show me her falling in love, make it important. Then what happens that she could lose it? What does she have to choose between? Why is being separated permanently bad?

 

First 250 Words:

Eleanor Blake glanced with trepidation at the menacing clouds gathering on the horizon. She hated the thought of driving through a storm, but the prospect of delaying her journey was worse. Random gusts of wind buffeted the car and raindrops spattered the windshield. She fumbled for the wipers control in the unfamiliar vehicle, finding it just as the deluge hit. (I thought the storm was on the horizon? But it’s here already? And where is she going? Is where she’s going important? Is she nervous already without the thought of driving through a storm? Is the radio on? What does the car look like? Snack food on the seat next to her? Any little details can really make this come to life. The type of music she listens to or bag of M&Ms can help build character.)

Red lights glared and she tapped the brakes. The speed of the traffic slowed until it was stopped altogether. (where is she? By a big city?) The car windows were fogged, the glass pebbled with raindrops, making it hard to see. (Nice!) But something was moving out there. A lone figure, obscured by a heavy pack, only jeans and a pair of hiking boots she imagined squelching through the puddles were visible. (The figure being obscured by the pack confuses me a bit…is the pack on their back? Then how does that obscure them? Instead of telling us it’s a heavy pack, show us the hunched figure slowly moving, we’ll get that the pack is probably heavy. She can see jeans and hiking boots? How far away is the figure? If they are right by the road, would she be able to see their feet? The rain just started…would there be puddles and mud already?) Eleanor was sympathetic, but every warning she had ever heard about hitchhikers clamored in her mind. (amen, sister!) Offering this stranger a ride might be kind, but that didn’t make it right. (right? Or safe…or smart?)  Not for her. The walker removed the pack and set it on the ground, (stretching their shoulders?) looking into the distance. Water dripped from the end of a ponytail and ran down the back of a denim jacket. (Are they facing away? Do they have a hat?) A ponytail? A woman! Her initial sympathy was rekindled, the sense of possible danger faded. She hit her  directional signal and pulled over (If the stranger is on the side of the road and she is stopped in traffic…is it bumper to bumper?…why pull over? Can she pull over?) , pressing the button to lower the window.

“Can I give you a ride?”

The head turned and Eleanor’s eyes widened as a jolt of adrenaline flooded her stomach. The person looking back at her was a man. (Oh snap. Is this good? Bad? AH!)

Good set up. The title is cute! But I want to know Eleanor! A stranger in the rain is interesting, I want to know why he is wandering in the storm. But what about Eleanor? Why is she there? Where is she going? Who is she? If this stranger is trouble…we need to care about her so we keep reading to see what happens. We know she’s cautious, we know she will offer to help someone…but I want more. What about her mental state? Is she happy…nervous? Is this storm adding to her frustration or anxiety or is it annoying? Is she going somewhere good or possibly terrible? What is she facing in her life? What does she want? I know…that’s a lot for a page. Hints at these will help.

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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