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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 9:

Title: TALES OF THE RASHA LA

Category and Genre: YA, Contemporary Fantasy

Word Count: 58,000 words

Query:
…and since it was their turn the monarchs told their own story, a tale of lost children returned to earth as butterflies on the wings of the Fyrstellia, the falling stars.
For when the Lord of Light granted men a mortal lifespan He founded a halfway house in the nearby heavens as well, where angels could bring the fallen and tend their spirits until they were ready to enter the Light. For most it was only a short stay, but not for the children.
“They don’t want to go on”, reported the Keeper of the Halls. “They want to go back”.
Here are two that did–‘Rasha La’ such monarchs call themselves—-together with an account of their journey into Mexico, caught up along the way in the fortunes of the fairy people on earth.
The main characters, monarchs of that little-known subspecies, are recently arrived in the wildwood: Yero and Boca, a girl and a boy.
You’ll find them sheltering overnight in a thorn bush and awaken early with them to an awareness of predators in the trees above—-a roost of hungry crows—-some wary of the monarch toxicity, some not. Debate ensues about the butterflies’ edibility and the Top Crow calls for a review of the old ‘Warnings’.
They’ll survive this peril, one of many, but a greater threat is about to overtake them: They are the last monarchs of Northern Autumn. They have delayed their migration too long and are about to be overwhelmed by the change of seasons.

250 words:

A thorn bush was perfect. It was already dark in the woods and the wandering monarchs knew that a veil of thorns was better protection overnight than their own reputation. They couldn’t have chosen a worse perch, as we shall see. But they were young, just passing through, and unaware of local customs. A brisk shower awoke them in the wee hours, but otherwise the night passed quietly until early dawn when…
Splat!
A drop hit one of the butterflies, jarring her awake. She fumbled around in the gloom and poked her companion.
“Boca! Wake up. It’s raining again”.
He tried to ignore her. “Lemme be, Yero. Fold your wings”.
Splat!
Before she could do so the next drop landed on her back and dribbled down her leg. That was the end of her patience. She folded her wings tight and poked him harder.
“It’s raining! I’m moving!”
That brought him awake, bewildered. He felt perfectly dry.
Splat!
The third drop split on her neatly folded wings and trickled down both sides. She yelped and tip-toed away through the thorns in search of leaves to perch under. Boca followed in the dim light.
By good chance there was a canopy of leaves close by. The tough buckthorn bush had thus far ignored the frosts of autumn, retaining most of its green leaves even now on the doorstep of winter.

The new perch was much better. Occasional drops splashed harmlessly off the canopy now and all would have been well except for a strong, fetid odor.

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:
…and since it was their turn the monarchs told their own story, a tale of lost children returned to earth as butterflies on the wings of the Fyrstellia, the falling stars. (The beginning of a hook here…I would cut the first part of the sentence go with the second part. A tale of lost children, fallen angels, the Rasha La, returned to earth as butterflies…to do what? To face what? Hook us here.)
(Intro our mcs…Yero and Boca, a girl and a boy, fallen angels waiting to be ready to enter the light, only they want to go back, to life, to earth…this sets up the mcs and what they want)
For when the Lord of Light granted men a mortal lifespan He founded a halfway house in the nearby heavens as well, where angels could bring the fallen and tend their spirits until they were ready to enter the Light. For most it was only a short stay, but not for the children. (This is worldbuilding and gets in the way of your query.)
“They don’t want to go on”, reported the Keeper of the Halls. “They want to go back”. (This isn’t a mc…this is a detail not needed in the query.)
Here are two that did–‘Rasha La’ such monarchs call themselves—-together with an account of their journey into Mexico, caught up along the way in the fortunes of the fairy people on earth.
The main characters, monarchs of that little-known subspecies, are recently arrived in the wildwood: Yero and Boca, a girl and a boy. (I want to know what they want, what is their goal? Then add in what they face to get there…a journey through Mexico, how does that hinder them? The fairies, what do they do?)
You’ll find them sheltering overnight in a thorn bush and awaken early with them to an awareness of predators in the trees above—-a roost of hungry crows—-some wary of the monarch toxicity, some not. Debate ensues about the butterflies’ edibility and the Top Crow calls for a review of the old ‘Warnings’. (Last sentence is unnecessary detail for a query.)
They’ll survive this peril, one of many, but a greater threat is about to overtake them: They are the last monarchs of Northern Autumn. They have delayed their migration too long and are about to be overwhelmed by the change of seasons. (What is their goal? What are they doing on earth? What are the stakes? If the seasons change, what happens to them? How much time do they have?)

*A beautifully written query, though it needs a bit more to make it a working query. A little too much detail and not enough of the big picture. I am very intrigued by your concept! I have a feeling the writing mirrors that in the ms, so YEA!

250 words:

A thorn bush was perfect. It was already dark in the woods and the wandering monarchs knew that a veil of thorns was better protection overnight than their own reputation. They couldn’t have chosen a worse perch, as we shall see. But they were young, just passing through, and unaware of local customs. A brisk shower awoke them in the wee hours, but otherwise the night passed quietly until early dawn when… (Oh…)
Splat!
A drop hit one of the butterflies, jarring her awake. She fumbled around in the gloom and poked her companion.
“Boca! Wake up. It’s raining again”.
He tried to ignore her. “Lemme be, Yero. Fold your wings”.
Splat!
Before she could do so the next drop landed on her back and dribbled down her leg. That was the end of her patience. (Why? Is she just impatient or have they been in this situation before?) She folded her wings tight and poked him harder.
“It’s raining! I’m moving!”
That brought him awake, bewildered. He felt perfectly dry.
Splat!
The third drop split on her neatly folded wings and trickled down both sides. She yelped and tip-toed away through the thorns in search of leaves to perch under. Boca followed in the dim light.
By good chance there was a canopy of leaves close by. The tough buckthorn bush had thus far ignored the frosts of autumn, retaining most of its green leaves even now on the doorstep of winter. (And it being close to winter is…bad? For butterflies, right?)

The new perch was much better. Occasional drops splashed harmlessly off the canopy now and all would have been well except for a strong, fetid odor.

*I am interested in the odor! What is it!?!? A couple of butterflies, hmmm…I like the voice, but I want a hint at something bigger. A hint at what they are doing? At their goals? What is this book going to be about? Two butterflies in the rain is nice, but what of the journey? A bit of emotion…worry about where they have to go, a touch of anxiety, or excitement…something to connect me to what is about to happen. Why do I care about two butterflies in the rain? I just need a little bit more.

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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