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Son of a Pitch round two has begun! This week my blog will be dedicated to the authors of these amazing entries.

Comments are for the Son of a Pitch critiquers and authors only! All other comments will be deleted, them’s the rules peeps.

At the end of the week, I will vote for my favorites…I think five…I should check that.

Onward!

Welcome to Team Rarity!

Entry 4:

Title: Scrapetown
Category and Genre: Adult Horror
Word Count: 82,000

Query:

Ghosts in the mirror aren’t stressful enough, so thank god Clare Monroe also lives with anxiety, Georgia summers without A/C, and quicksand feelings for her best friend Isobel. At least she knows the scrapes are harmless, half-sentient remnants trapped in reflections . . . until one of them eviscerates a friend minutes after Clare left him alone.

A necromancer stalks her adopted city of Atlanta, able to manifest scrapes and bend them to his will. He knows about Clare’s hidden gift, her unrealized potential—and how to win her undivided attention. When the killer turns his eyes (living and dead) on Isobel, Clare sees no choice but to embrace her own unsettling capacity for necromancy.

She finds an unexpected ally in bayou warlock Remy Leignon, whose snark might hide a kinship Clare has craved through years of obsessively hiding her abilities. But as they race to trap the enigmatic necromancer and Clare finally explores the true scope of her power, the line between survival and ambition begins to blur.

First 250 Words:

The dead thing in her closet whispered low and cigarette-rough.

Sprawled on her back, whiskey swimming in her head and floaters in her eyes, Clare Monroe tried not to notice.

Glass crashed from the living room; a sloppy curse. “Nothing broke!” Isobel called, then burbled something between a belch and a giggle. Couch springs squealed as she collapsed back down, the sound cutting right through the closed door between them.

Clare shut her eyes. Ignored that too.

Concentrate on your breathing. A siren wailed out towards Emory. More sly grumbles from the closet, the scrape’s voice catching on her cotton sheets like fingernails on skin. Don’t think about it. Attention gave it power.

Don’t think—

Too late.

Clare rolled over and stared at her closet. A slurry of Spanish crept around her mattress, welling up around her naked calves.

Unsteady footsteps and a rusty hinge marked Isobel’s journey to the bathroom; the shower turned on. Clare honed in on the dead thing’s voice so she wouldn’t listen for the soft flump of clothes hitting tile.

“No puedo respirar, no puedo…”

“Go away,” Clare whispered.

Her white closet door shone dully despite the lack of moonlight. (No light at all, nothing to turn innocent glass or metal into a reflective surface where a scrape might creep.) Behind the door, underneath the towel tacked over the mirror, the thing that had most likely been a stroke victim named Luis Delgado let out a wet and gravely sigh.

Now for my thoughts.

But first, a reminder, I am not an expert. I am a writer. My comments are my opinions. If any of these strange wordy things that pop into my brain and onto the page make sense for YOUR ms and makes YOUR writer’s brain spin with all the inspiration, YEA!!! Use them…run with them…let your creative brain go! If reading one of my insanely odd thoughts just makes you shrug and sparks no new idea, forget it! YEA!

I am here to help YOU make YOUR ms the best it can be. I do not want to rewrite it. I do not want it to be something else. Your words should be yours. I WANT TO HAVE A GREAT TIME!

Feel free to ask questions. Feel free to post any rewrites in the comments. I will be happy to answer anything and read revisions! Anything I can do to help get the creative juices flowing.

CRITIQUE:

Query:

Ghosts in the mirror aren’t stressful enough, so thank god Clare Monroe also lives with anxiety, Georgia summers without A/C, and quicksand feelings for her best friend Isobel. At least she knows the scrapes are harmless, half-sentient remnants trapped in reflections . . . until one of them eviscerates a friend minutes after Clare left him alone. (Wait…OMG…Scrapes? Mirrors? I LOVE THIS IDEA! However, this beginning confused me a bit. I had to reread it. What about starting with a hook like… Scrapes, the half-sentient remnants of people(?) trapped in reflections, are harmless. Or not. Then go into the next para with To –add in what she does? Or some tidbit about her-Clare Monroe, the stress of ghosts in the mirror is only made worse by anxiety, Georgia summers without A/C, and quicksand feelings for her best friend Isobel. At least the scrapes can’t hurt anyone. Until one (describe it a little give us a small detail we’ll never forget, A CREEPY TERRIFYING DETAIL!) eviscerates a friend minutes after Clare left him alone. Left the friend alone…in a room with a mirror? Left the scrape alone? What exactly happened? That was a lot…I know…I got very excited about this idea and couldn’t stop.)

A necromancer stalks her adopted city of Atlanta (maybe tell us she lives in Atlanta before, then here just give us the necromancer stalking the city), able to manifest scrapes and bend them to his will. (OOOOH! I like this guy, sounds fun.) He knows about Clare’s hidden gift, her unrealized potential—and how to win her undivided attention. (How does he know about her? AND UNREALIZED POTENTIAL? Dude. This sounds like the ms is in his POV as well as Clare’s, right?) When the killer (wait…killer? Who is the killer? The necromancer? No…the scrape/killer who murdered her friend?) turns his eyes (living and dead) on Isobel, Clare sees no choice but to embrace her own unsettling capacity for necromancy. (which does what to her?)

She finds an unexpected ally in bayou warlock Remy Leignon, (he seems thrown in here. Does she seek him out for help? Does she happen upon him? How does he enter the scene?) whose snark might hide a kinship (kinship…as in someone to understand what she can see? Someone who can help her learn how to control it? She didn’t want to learn, to really understand her power until Isobel? And now she needs to know?) Clare has craved through years of obsessively hiding her abilities. But as they race to trap the enigmatic necromancer and Clare finally explores the true scope of her power, the line between survival and ambition begins to blur. (Stakes here. What is her final choice she faces? To survive, learn enough about her power to get rid of the killer and save Isobel? Or become powerful to save Isobel? What? If she gives into the power what happens? Will she not save Isobel? Why is the call to power, this ambition so strong?)

*I got a little lost. Clare…her gift. The scrape who kills her friend. A necromancer, who wants to win her attention, but why? For what purpose? And a killer? Who is that? Okay…The necromancer is using scrapes to kill…he wants Clare for something and threatens to kill Isobel so Clare will…what? Give in to the power she could have…so he can what, use it, steal it? I need a better sense of how all these things connect. Is the ms in multiple POV? If so, I’d like to see in the necromancer’s head. See what he wants. If this is just Clare POV, make sure you show us the necromancer through her eyes.
First 250 Words:

The dead thing in her closet whispered low and cigarette-rough. (LOVE! I’M IN LET’S GO!)

Sprawled on her back, whiskey swimming in her head and floaters in her eyes, (Love this!) Clare Monroe tried not to notice.

Glass crashed from the living room; a sloppy curse. “Nothing broke!” Isobel called, (Who is Isobel?) then burbled something between a belch and a giggle. Couch springs squealed as she collapsed back down, (Clare can’t see this, right? She can hear the couch and imagine how the sound happened, if she has a crush on her, now would be the time to give us a hint…Clare imagines her falling onto the couch, her cute drunk smile, the way her hair is probably a mess, a wonderful mess) the sound cutting right through the closed door between them.

Clare shut her eyes. Ignored that too. (Ignored the sound of Isobel? Why?)

Concentrate on your breathing. A siren wailed out towards Emory (Emory? Who or what? Where is there a siren?). More sly grumbles from the closet, the scrape’s (because I read the query, I know what this refers to, but uncertain whether I would connect it to the mention of the dead thing earlier… can add a bit before it… the closet, the remnant of a life, the scrape’s) voice catching on her cotton sheets like fingernails on skin. Don’t think about it. Attention gave it power.

Don’t think—

Too late.

Clare rolled over and stared at her closet. A slurry of Spanish crept around her mattress, welling up around her naked calves. (Nice!)

Unsteady footsteps and a rusty hinge marked Isobel’s journey to the bathroom; the shower turned on. Clare honed in on the dead thing’s voice so she wouldn’t listen for the soft flump of clothes hitting tile. (Because hearing that would, what? Make her think of what she doesn’t have?)

“No puedo respirar, no puedo…”

“Go away,” Clare whispered.

Her white closet door shone dully despite the lack of moonlight. (No light at all, nothing to turn innocent glass or metal into a reflective surface where a scrape might creep.) Behind the door, underneath the towel tacked over the mirror, the thing that had most likely been a stroke victim named Luis Delgado let out a wet and gravely sigh. (Love it! Creepy and fabulous!)

I hope some of that, maybe just one little thing, helps!

Thank you so much for being a part of Son of a Pitch!

Thank you for sharing your words!

And may the road of revising and querying and publishing be a great one!

Be sure to join us on Twitter! #SonofaPitch is super fun! #TeamRarity rocks!

 

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