THE INSURRECTION…#SonofaPitch: Entry 7 #TeamDarkSide

Tags

, , , , ,

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

starwarssidiousdestiny

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!

starwarskylo-ren-gif

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.

 starwarsdarthrulegalaxy

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!

 

PRISONER OF FATE…#SonofaPitch: Entry 6 #TeamDarkSide

Tags

, , , , ,

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

starwarsdarth

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 6!

starwarssidiouslaugh

Title: Prisoner of Fate

Category and Genre: Adult Fantasy
Word Count: 160,000
Query:

When most people have a mid-life crisis, they buy a fancy carriage. When Komak Cer-Marin has a mid-life crisis, he teams up with a murderer and a possessed healer to stop death itself.

On parchment, Komak has everything a man could desire: status, wealth, family. In reality, status and wealth taste hollow, and he would cheerfully murder his brothers if his hands stayed clean. When enigmatic traveler Sedhan Saphadzar offers Komak the chance at an undying legacy – the creation of an artifact that halts death itself – Komak can’t resist its lure.

But destiny doesn’t come without problems. Sedhan is wanted for murder, with dragonriders hounding him, and he’s hiding something worse. A possessed half-elf healer joins them to flee her heritage, even as she furthers their ends. When their preparations go awry, Komak must decide if a legacy justifies the crimes he’s committed or if he’s willing to stake his life for morals he didn’t know he had.

First 250 Words:

“Sedhan Saphadzar, to speak with Komak Cer-Marin, the lord’s son,” the man said for the seventh time – once to the guard on the bridge across the lake, once at the entrance to the city, once at the outer wall, twice at the first gate, once at the keep entrance, and again here, at the door to the audience chamber.

The guard by the door, like all the guards before, cast him a dubious glance, and Sedhan could almost hear the man’s thoughts. Sedhan’s accent was rich with the unmistakable lilting of the hills of Old Marin, but something still gave the guard pause. Perhaps it was the color of his hair – a dark auburn more common to the deserts of Baerga, lightly dusted with silver and cut short in the style common to travelers. He was lean but muscled, and his face was handsome, if sharply angular. He wore simple traveling clothes, not distinctive to any land, with a plain cloak and linen shirt of the same inky black as his eyes. He carried no weapons, a fact he demonstrated by keeping his cloak back over his shoulders.

Unable to find anything off-putting, the guard grunted his consent. Sedhan pushed the door to the audience chamber open. As he stepped through, he touched the frame and chanted the threshold rite again, as he had whenever in view of a guard or member of the House.

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:

When most people have a mid-life crisis, they buy a fancy carriage. When Komak Cer-Marin has a mid-life crisis, he teams up with a murderer and a possessed healer to stop death itself. (OMG I’m in.)

On parchment, Komak has everything a man could desire: status, wealth, family. In reality, (I think you can cut “In reality”) status and wealth taste hollow, and he would cheerfully murder his brothers if his hands stayed clean. (HA! Love that! Way to show his character.) When enigmatic traveler Sedhan Saphadzar offers Komak the chance at an undying legacy – the creation of an artifact that halts death itself – Komak can’t resist its lure. (Sedhan is offering to help Komak create this artifact…not find it? Komak is lured to the power this would give? Halts death for …just the person who has it or everything?)

But destiny (He thinks his destiny is to do something big like halt death…this is what drives him?) doesn’t come without problems. Sedhan is wanted for murder, with dragonriders hounding him, and he’s hiding something worse. (Are the dragonriders after him because of the murder or something else? Dragon riders make me happy! But the “hiding something worse” is too vague, doesn’t pack any punch.) A possessed half-elf healer (OH! I likey possessed characters! Does this one have a name?) joins them to flee her heritage (What heritage? What is she fleeing?), even as she furthers their ends.(She’s helping them to help herself? How does it help her, by giving her a means to get away from her life? But does she care about what they are doing?) When their preparations go awry, Komak must decide if a legacy justifies the crimes he’s committed or if he’s willing to stake his life for morals he didn’t know he had. (What preparations? How do they go awry? What crimes has he committed? I need to see what he wants…what gets in the way…how he changes, these morals he didn’t know he had…then what the choice is. Does he have to decide to either create this artifact or not? Does he create it and have to decide to use it? How is his life at stake? You lose me with this last paragraph. And I wonder about 160K being a bit long…even for fantasy…though fantasy is tough because world building. Just a thought.)

After having read the first 250…I am a bit confused that it was Sebhan’s POV. This query sets up Komak’s POV. Whose story is it? Or is it omniscient POV?

 

First 250 Words:
“Sedhan Saphadzar, to speak with Komak Cer-Marin, the lord’s son,” the man said for the seventh time – once to the guard on the bridge across the lake, once at the entrance to the city, once at the outer wall, twice at the first gate, once at the keep entrance, and again here, at the door to the audience chamber. (I am confused with POV here. First I thought it was the guard, who was listening to the man…then I realized it must be the man…but who is the man? I like the having to repeat the sentence over and over…protocol. Lol. And the man…is he annoyed at having to say it? Is it routine? Has he had to do this before to see the same leader or a different one? Put us in his head. Is he anxious to get to speak with Komak? Is he nervous? Excited?)

The guard by the door, like all the guards before,(A bit of description here.) cast him a dubious glance, and Sedhan could almost hear the man’s thoughts (his thoughts? Or his doubts? Or how the guard must be pondering the individual before him, questioning if he should allow him in?). (Oh, the man is Sedhan!) Sedhan’s accent was rich with the unmistakable lilting of the hills of Old Marin (Is that good? Would the guard not like that?), but something still gave the guard pause. Perhaps it was the color of his hair – a dark auburn more common to the deserts of Baerga, lightly dusted with silver and cut short in the style common to travelers. (Would that hurt his chances of getting in?) He was lean but muscled, and his face was handsome, if sharply angular. (feels like omniscient POV) He wore simple traveling clothes, not distinctive to any land, with a plain cloak and linen shirt of the same inky black as his eyes. He carried no weapons, a fact he demonstrated by keeping his cloak back over his shoulders. (Can Sedhan look down at himself…or brush some dust from his shoulder or straighten his shirt so we can see what he has on without being told what he looks like? Does he usually carry a weapon? How badly does he want in? Is he worried they won’t let him in? What are his intentions? I want a hint of something, so I can be worried or scared or excited. I want to be drawn in with a promise of something.

Unable to find anything off-putting, the guard grunted his consent. (With omniscient POV we would certainly know what the guard thought…if it is Sebhan’s then he can think that he must have passed inspection because the guard let him through. And Sedhan is…overjoyed? Is this the final door keeping him from his goal?) Sedhan pushed the door to the audience chamber open. As he stepped through, he touched the frame and chanted the threshold rite again, as he had whenever in view of a guard or member of the House. (Why? What does the chant do or mean?)

I am dying to know more about Sebhan. The chant suggests magic, which makes me curious. But I need more emotion to draw me in, more tension to pull me into the story. We don’t have to know his intentions, but a feel for if he’s up to no good or going to try to manipulate…what is in this for Sebhan?

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!

 

DEADLY DREAMS…#SonofaPitch: Entry 5 #TeamDarkSide

Tags

, , , , ,

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

starwarsani

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 5!

starwarskylodarkgenerous

Title: Deadly Dreams
Category and Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 70,000

Query:

Penda’s International Society has been protecting humans and supporting psychics since the 600s. Spencer is Lynch is one of Penda’s most dangerous combat operatives. He’s near indestructible and highly trained. When new recruit, Veronica “Ronnie” Danson, moves into his home Spencer knows he’s met his match. She’s smart, funny, and beautiful and he’s determined to make her his. Just as Spencer thinks he’s getting somewhere, one of their housemates is killed. Spencer’s determined to find her murderer and throws himself into the investigation, uncovering far more than he expected.
Ronnie’s been thrown into a world of magic, psychics, and terrifying other races. Now her friend is dead and she fears she might be next. Ronnie’s dreams offer clues that could lead them to the culprit but revealing them could expose her own secret. Ronnie’s secret might cost her everything. Her freedom. Her love. Her life.
First 250 Words:

Birmingham, UK

It was happening again but this time it wasn’t a dream. Ronnie’s chest tightened as the now-familiar barista locked up the coffee shop for the night and turned to walk towards her. Ronnie had witnessed his fate so many times but still didn’t know how to stop it. She struggled to move her feet, to keep him from crossing the road. She tried to shout out to him, to warn him, to do anything to get his attention. No sound came out.

She stood rooted to the spot, silently reliving her nightmare.

The gigantic beast staggered out of the alleyway, pale skin sallow, black eyes darting around.

Was he looking for her?

The beast stumbled towards the barista.

Surely she would wake up now. Except it wasn’t a dream. It was real.

She couldn’t stop it. Panic clawed at her chest. Her breath came in short gasps. She couldn’t even close her eyes.

The beast struck out at the barista, knocking him to the ground with one hard swipe of its hand. Blood pooled on the ground around the barista’s head as the beast let out an inhuman wail, revealing six rows of sharp teeth. It reached down, lifted the limp body and threw him against the wall. The beast lumbered forward, swaying slightly.

The world seemed to fade away until all Ronnie could see was the nightmare in front of her. She didn’t hear the van approaching or see people spilling out of it.

starwarsmaulsaber

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:

Penda’s International Society has been protecting humans and supporting psychics since the 600s. (You had me at protecting humans and supporting psychics…because I want to know protecting from what cool monsterish things!) Spencer is Lynch (Spencer Lynch without the is?) is one of Penda’s most dangerous combat operatives. He’s near indestructible and highly trained. (I don’t think you need this last sentence…I think the “most dangerous combat operatives” does it. And what does he want? What does he do?)

Here…I’d set up Ronnie…who she is and what she wants…

When new recruit, Veronica “Ronnie” Danson, moves into his home Spencer knows he’s met his match. She’s smart, funny, and beautiful and he’s determined to make her his (love at first sight?). Add in a line about Ronnie…what she thinks of him. Just as Spencer thinks he’s getting somewhere, (Or just when their relationship begins?) of their housemates is killed. (Link the roommate to being Ronnie’s best friend) Spencer’s determined to find her murderer and throws himself into the investigation, uncovering far more than he expected.
Ronnie’s been thrown into a world of magic, psychics, and terrifying other races (like what? Give a bit of what we’ll see, what makes your ms unique. And thrown into the world how?). Now her friend is dead and she fears she might be next. (Why would she think she was next?) Ronnie’s dreams offer clues that could lead them to the culprit but revealing them could expose her own secret. Ronnie’s secret might cost her everything. Her freedom. Her love. Her life. (why? Why is revealing her secret so dangerous? How will it endanger her life? You mention psychics…are her dreams like that and isn’t that normal? Or are her dreams different?)

Interesting! I am drawn to Ronnie’s story more…these dreams interest me…are they her secret or is there more? I expect a dual POV ms. For me, it makes sense to set up each character, who they are and what they want, a para for Spencer, then a para for Ronnie…then bring their stories together at the end. When Spencer meets Ronnie…when Ronnie meets Spencer…then big terrible murder happens and stakes! I want to know what they want. What drives them through the story? I also want to know what they do. Protecting humans…means what? Do they fight and kill monsters? Do they simply track them? And what about the psychics? What role do they play? After reading the first 250…maybe start the query with Ronnie’s story since the ms starts with her?

 
First 250 Words:

Birmingham, UK

It was happening again but this time it wasn’t a dream. (Maybe a stronger first line would be… This time it wasn’t a dream.) Ronnie’s chest tightened as the now-familiar barista locked up the coffee shop for the night and turned to walk towards her. (bit of description of the barista, just a brushstroke, something distinguishing? And the shop? What does it look like? Any other little details? Why is she there? Anyone else around? What time is it?) Ronnie had witnessed his fate so many times but still didn’t know how to stop it. (Had she been trying to figure out how to stop it? Witnessed it in a dream?) She struggled to move her feet, to keep him from crossing the road. She tried to shout out to him, to warn him, to do anything to get his attention. No sound came out. (why can’t she move or speak? Frozen like magic, like in her dream? Or is she that afraid?)

She stood rooted to the spot, silently reliving her nightmare. (Does she often have nightmares that then come true? Is this the first time she sees her dreams come true?)

The gigantic beast staggered out of the alleyway, pale skin sallow, black eyes darting around. (Since we haven’t seen this monster say… “A gigantic beast…” Does he smell? Sounds?)

Was he looking for her? (If she has dreamed this, she would know what the beast was going to do…why does she think this?)

The beast stumbled towards the barista.

Surely she would wake up now. Except it wasn’t a dream. It was real.

She couldn’t stop it. Panic clawed at her chest. (You had her chest tightening earlier…so maybe not use chest here.) Her breath came in short gasps. She couldn’t even close her eyes.

The beast struck out at the barista, knocking him to the ground with one hard swipe of its hand. Blood pooled on the ground around the barista’s head as the beast let out an inhuman wail, revealing six rows of sharp teeth. (Nice. I like this beast.) It reached down, lifted the limp body and threw him against the wall. The beast lumbered forward, swaying slightly. (Is it going for the barista again? Or where is it going? Heading to Ronnie?)

The world seemed to fade away until all Ronnie could see was the nightmare in front of her. (Oh, it is coming for her? So if she dreamed this, she knows she’s next? Why go somewhere in real life where she is attacked in her dream? Why is she there?) She didn’t hear the van approaching or see people spilling out of it. (Just one of my pet peeves, maybe, but If she doesn’t see the van…why are we seeing the van? Is this close POV or more omniscient?)

I like the paranormal! I like monsters! I like strange scary dreams that suddenly happen in real life! So I am intrigued and would keep reading…though, I wonder why I care about this monster out killing a random barista? Why are we seeing this with Ronnie? I want to know her better…What does she want? Are these dreams new? Is seeing a monster in real life weird for her? I know…it’s just one page! What do I want everything? No…just hints.

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!

TROWEL AND ERROR…#SonofaPitch: Entry 4 #TeamDarkSide

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 4!

starwarsdarthrulegalaxy

 

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.

starwarsemperor

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!

ASHES, ASHES…#SonofaPitch: Entry 3 #TeamDarkSide

Tags

, , ,

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

starwarskylowalk

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 3!

starwarssidiouscompletetraining

Title: Ashes, Ashes
Category and Genre: all ages, literary science fiction
Word Count: 72,000

Query:

Joshua Samson Loys is writing a novel about drug-running teens captive in a prison city, captive in a city of walls that house only the most high-profile criminals.  In a world of guns, bullets, and alcohol, his protagonists, character-versions of himself and his friend Alexa, struggle to fight the addiction of the drugs they sell, and fight to stay alive through gang wars and ruthless gang hunts: risking their lives to find a way to escape the prison city.  But…just as the drugs are an addiction for “character” Joshua, so the novel is an addiction for real-life Joshua; and, as the days wear on, “real” Joshua struggles to keep fiction straight from reality, to defy the drug of his words.  Just as his characters struggle to find their escape from the city, so, too, Joshua must learn how to set himself free from his prison of ink and paper.

First 250 words:

He knows the sound of gunshots the way he knows the sound of his own heart.

The familiar crack of the gun, the rancid smell of gunpowder filling his nostrils, the shout of a voice that isn’t his.  Nowadays, he’s come to expect it the way he’s come to expect the incessant metronome of his heartbeat, the way he’s come to expect his parents’ absence (because they are gone, gone forever, and they’re never coming back).  He lives by the sound of his heart, drumming its way through minutes and hours and days (and weeks, if he’s lucky), and so, too, he lives by the staccato refrain of the guns, by the harsh shout of strangers’ voices.

Today is worse than most days.  The kitchen didn’t have much food left for him, and his sister ran off somewhere, and hasn’t showed up since.  And he misses her.  As much as he hates to admit it, he actually misses her, arrogant spoiled brat that she is.  So, like always, he takes a sip of water, watching the little particles swim as he swirls the glass.  It won’t take long until he feels better.  That realization is oddly comforting.

It burns on its way down.  It burns, so intense, so sharp that the pain is almost enjoyable, like some strange form of release.

starwarsdarthforcestrong

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:

Joshua Samson Loys is writing a novel about drug-running teens captive in a prison city, captive in a city of walls that house only the most high-profile criminals.  In a world of guns, bullets, and alcohol, his protagonists, character-versions of himself and his friend Alexa, struggle to fight the addiction of the drugs they sell, and fight to stay alive through gang wars and ruthless gang hunts: risking their lives to find a way to escape the prison city.

(I’d make this a different paragraph, feels like moving into the obstacles/stakes part.) But…just as the drugs are an addiction for “character” Joshua, so the novel is an addiction for real-life Joshua; and, as the days wear on, “real” Joshua struggles to keep fiction straight from reality, to defy the drug of his words.  Just as his characters struggle to find their escape from the city, so, too, Joshua must learn how to set himself free from his prison of ink and paper.

I really like this! The premise is super intriguing. Reminds me of Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds, which I loved.

Calling it literary sci-fi…there is nothing in this query that says sci-fi. I think it’s just literary. And all ages? Ummm…have to see what others think, but definitely cross category. I can see YA and adult reading it, but not MG.  

I feel like I know more about “character” Joshua than “real” Joshua and I would love a few sentences about him. I wonder too about starting with “real” Joshua, his life…how old is he? What does he do in real life that he is escaping from?…and lead into that he is writing a novel. Then give us “character” Joshua…and name him, unless Joshua refers to him as “character” Joshua, but I think knowing his name is important, as he is a main character. Then end with the last couple of sentences.

I’d read this!

 

First 250 words:

He knows the sound of gunshots the way he knows the sound of his own heart. (awesome opener!)

The familiar crack of the gun, the rancid smell of gunpowder filling his nostrils, the shout of a voice that isn’t his.  Nowadays, he’s come to expect it the way he’s come to expect the incessant metronome of his heartbeat, the way he’s come to expect his parents’ absence (because they are gone, gone forever, and they’re never coming back). (nice bit of detail about his life)  He lives by the sound of his heart, drumming its way through minutes and hours and days (and weeks, if he’s lucky), and so, too, he lives by the staccato refrain of the guns, by the harsh shout of strangers’ voices. (I like the repetition of the heart relating to gun shots. Love the writing style and voice!)

Today is worse than most days.  The kitchen didn’t have much food left for him, and his sister ran off somewhere, and hasn’t showed up since.  And he misses her.  As much as he hates to admit it, he actually misses her, arrogant spoiled brat that she is.  So, like always, he takes a sip of water, watching the little particles swim as he swirls the glass.  It won’t take long until he feels better.  That realization is oddly (why oddly?) comforting. (The particles in the water confused me at first, I thought maybe his water was dirty, as if this world was post-apocalyptic…then I realized that it was a drug, I think. Maybe this could be clearer.)

It burns on its way down.  It burns, so intense, so sharp that the pain is almost enjoyable, like some strange form of release.

You’ve hooked me. I’m dying to know where he is…why are there gun shots all the time? What is this world? Worldbuilding…I’d love a bit of detail of the kitchen. Sights, sounds, smells. Can he see outside?

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!

THE ICENI AND THE ROMAN…#SonofaPitch: Entry 2 #TeamDarkSide

Tags

, , , , ,

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

starwarsemperor

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 2!

starwarsmaulpace

 

Title: The Iceni and the Roman

Genre: NA Historical Romance

Word Count: 95,000

Query;

Devona watched her parents be slaughtered by the Romans in the battle led by the Queen Boadicca. Her tribe, the Iceni, were nearly wiped out in the massacre, leaving her to raise her younger brother. Her hatred and fear of the Romans grows with each passing month as they desecrate what little her tribe has left.

Felix joined the Roman legions to escape the grasp of his older brother, but his brother has sway among the military’s leadership. To force him as far away as possible, Felix finds himself assigned to the barbarian lands of Britannia. Once he arrives, he finds himself intrigued by a young woman as she stands beside a funeral pyre. A girl who hates Romans for what they did to her clan.

Despite the odds, Felix and Devona fall in love and face off against a rival suitor for Devona, overcoming the laws that will not acknowledge Devona as Felix’s wife, and more importantly, Felix’s brother forcing them apart because their union would humiliate the family. An Iceni barbarian cannot marry a Roman noble. But they will fight, because they refuse to believe their love will break in a time where love has almost no value.

 

First 250 Words:

Devona

The carnage left a metallic stench in the air. Blood covered everything, and yet, the Roman soldiers still advanced, crushing men, women, and children alike between their wall of shields and the unbroken row of carts and horses.

Grabbing my brother, I dragged him backward, out of the way of the onslaught. In the distance Boudica’s cries echoed over the wails of our dying people. Clearing the carts, I swung around. Mother’s face appeared in the commotion, her bronze hair streaked with dark liquid. Our eyes met and she nodded. She wanted me to flee, and to keep my younger brother safe. There was no doubt in my mind she knew she would die along with most of our people. The Iceni faced near extinction.

With a tug of his hand, I ran my brother from the battlefield. Reaching the edge of the field, I coaxed him up a tree, following right behind him. Climbing as high as we could, we hid. I covered his ears to block out as much of the horrors as possible, but I did not have such a luxury.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as the final stages of battle passed, each one drawing out fewer and fewer final cries of death. Finally, the battlefield fell quiet. Looking out, I watched as the Romans, each covered in blood, streaks soiling the polish on their armor and shields, effortlessly parted the remaining carts and pushed through.

“You killed them all!” The woman’s cry echoed from among the dead.

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;

Devona watched her parents be slaughtered by the Romans in the battle led by the Queen Boadicca. Her tribe, the Iceni, were nearly wiped out in the massacre, leaving her to raise her younger brother. (These first two sentences could be combined. The opening “Devona watched…” could be stronger. The Romans slaughtered ? year old Devona’s parents in the massacre that nearly wiped out her tribe, the Iceni. She must find a way to keep her little brother safe…) Her hatred and fear of the Romans grows with each passing month as they desecrate what little her tribe has left. (And what does she wish for? What drives her…a promise to care for her brother?…a desire to live? Where does she go, does she run? Not sure we need to know Queen Boadicca’s name in the query, unless she is key to the plot.)

Felix joined the Roman legions to escape the grasp of his older brother, but his brother has sway among the military’s leadership. To force him as far away as possible, Felix finds himself assigned to the barbarian lands of Britannia. (Felix joins the legion to escape his brother, but the brother is a leader in the legion? Wouldn’t that put him with his brother? Or his brother is a Roman leader, who can dictate what happens in the military? Why is he escaping his brother? His brother gets him assigned far away…why? And what does Felix want? I want to know less of the brother and more about Felix.)

After these, I expect a dual POV ms. Each story is set up…now move into where they link.

Once he arrives, he finds himself intrigued by a young woman as she stands beside a funeral pyre. A girl who hates Romans for what they did to her clan. (On arriving, Felix is intrigued by a young woman standing beside a funeral pyre. Then I want a sentence about Devona…how she sees Felix… how they learn who each other are…)

Despite the odds, Felix and Devona fall in love and face off against a rival suitor for Devona, overcoming the laws that will not acknowledge Devona as Felix’s wife, and more importantly, Felix’s brother (the brother is a key person…I’d like to know his name) forcing them apart because their union would humiliate the family. An Iceni barbarian cannot marry a Roman noble. But they will fight, because they refuse to believe their love will break in a time where love has almost no value. (I don’t think the “despite the odds” is needed. I’d make this “fall in love” bit stronger…make us believe that they want to be together no matter what. A rival suitor threatens to what? Will this guy take her, does she like him at all? And the sentence “An Iceni cannot marry a Roman noble” seems redundant…OH FELIX IS A NOBLE…I’d like to know that earlier. I kinda love the last line…yeah. The stakes here…If they win and get married what might happen? Or if they are parted…what would that do to them?)

 

First 250 Words:

Devona

The carnage left a metallic stench in the air. Blood covered everything, and yet, the Roman soldiers still advanced, crushing men, women, and children alike between their wall of shields and the unbroken row of carts and horses. (good visuals, maybe a bit of emotion from the mc in here to set us in her head right away? How does she react to the stench, to the sight of blood and her people being killed? Is it day or night? Cold or warm?)

Grabbing my brother, I dragged him backward, out of the way of the onslaught. (how old is the brother? How is he reacting? Is she dragging a kicking and screaming four year old or a stunned eight year old?) In the distance Boudica’s (who?) cries echoed over the wails of our dying people (Might name the tribe here). Clearing the carts (what carts? Are there horses too?), I swung around. Mother’s face appeared in the commotion, her bronze hair streaked with dark liquid. Our eyes met and she nodded. She wanted me to flee, and to keep my younger brother safe. There was no doubt in my mind she knew she would die along with most of our people. The Iceni faced near extinction. (Why? A bit of her thoughts on why they were being killed. And it can be small, like for being in the wrong place.)

With a tug of his hand, I ran my brother from the battlefield. Reaching the edge of the field, I coaxed him up a tree, following right behind him. Climbing as high as we could, we hid. I covered his ears to block out as much of the horrors as possible, but I did not have such a luxury.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as the final stages of battle passed, each one drawing out fewer and fewer final cries of death. (Is she watching? Or just listening? What does she see? What is she feeling?) Finally, the battlefield fell quiet. Looking out, I watched as the Romans, each covered in blood, streaks soiling the polish on their armor and shields, effortlessly parted the remaining carts and pushed through. (Don’t need “I watched” we know it’s what she sees.)

“You killed them all!” The woman’s cry echoed from among the dead. (And I’m dying to see the lone woman standing in the bloody fields…)

I like this beginning! The writing is solid. I want to know why they are being killed. Who are the Iceni? What is Devona going to do and how will she deal with how life has changed? I want to know what she wants? She promised her mother to save her brother, so she’s doing that…now she’s driven by that promise?

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!

FOUND…#SonofaPitch: Entry 1 #TeamDarkSide

Tags

, , , , ,

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

starwarssidiouslaugh

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 1!

starwarsmaulhood

Title: Found

Category and Genre: NA Romance/Sci-Fi
Word Count: 82,000

Query:

Ray is thrilled to be assigned the task of seducing Laney. She’s gorgeous, innocent to the point of naïveté, and unaware of her parents’ dangerous pasts. Plus, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for his exceedingly powerful, villainous father who has been deemed king of the mutati, the salacious underground society of physiologically altered individuals. Complications arise when Ray falls in love with Laney and starts to do the unthinkable: question his father. He  is so desperate to rule beside the king that he’s willing to hurt—even destroy—Laney.

Ray must carefully balance protecting the girl he loves and taking his rightful place in the billion-dollar organization next to the father he regards so highly. Will he realize that he cannot truly protect her before it’s too late?

 

First 250 Words:

I was six rows away, but my unnaturally perfect eyesight allowed me to see her just fine as she hustled through the store. Mine weren’t the only eyes following her, and even though I had become accustomed to it, I still fucking hated it. For now, I could do nothing but let them openly gawk at her. Oblivious to their attention, she focused on pushing her heavy cart to the front and then settled in the least busy line. I nonchalantly followed and hit the text that would send the store’s computers into a temporary virus stricken state.

My stomach started doing all kinds of crazy shit as I sauntered into the line. I was finally going to talk to her. Two idiots had the same idea, but one grimace from me and they changed their trajectory. I don’t know what others see in my eyes exactly, but I think it has to do with death and the lives I’ve taken.

Unwilling to go down that path, I concentrated on the beautiful, dark-haired girl in front of me. I grabbed the latest Motor Trendmagazine and a local newspaper from the wire rack she stood next to, leaning in close so she  was sure to get a good whiff of my custom-made cologne.

Her phone dinged a notification at the exact same time I received a text. It was her best friend who was traveling through Europe. I received the same picture that she did as well as the caption.

starwarsdarthcrush

And my critique…Yes, I do these right here, if you don’t want to read my thoughts, then stop right 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 light your mind with thoughts…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:

Ray is thrilled to be assigned the task of seducing Laney. (Why is he seducing her? For whom?) She’s gorgeous, innocent to the point of naïveté, and unaware of her parents’ dangerous pasts (oh! Intriguing! What pasts?). Plus, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for his exceedingly powerful, villainous father who has been deemed king of the mutati, the salacious underground society of physiologically altered individuals (These mutati sound cool! What do they do?). Complications arise when Ray falls in love with Laney and starts to do the unthinkable: question his father. (So he finally talks to her? They date?) He  is so desperate to rule beside the king that he’s willing to hurt—even destroy—Laney.

Ray must carefully balance protecting the girl he loves (protecting her? From what? From his father?) and taking his rightful place in the billion-dollar organization next to the father he regards so highly. Will he realize that he cannot truly protect her before it’s too late?

Too late for what? We need to know the stakes. If he chooses one thing what will or won’t happen or if he doesn’t choose something what devastating thing will happen? We need to see the moment when he has to make that choice.

I’d like a bit more set up of Ray. How old is Ray? What is his life normally like? Who is he? What does he want? He’s a mutati, so what does he look like/ What is different about him than a human? He works for his father, the King, right? So he can one day rule? Why? For the power, the money? Is that all he values? What is he doing to reach his goals? Seducing Laney? Why?

Then what gets in the way of him achieving his goals? Blammo…love gets in the way, but how? Does she gets him to think differently? She shows him a world he never knew existed? How does being with her change him? How is he questioning his father? What will his father do to him if he keeps questioning? What is supposed to happen to Laney that he wants to change?

I don’t get a sci-fi vibe from the query, but paranormal. I get an action thriller vibe with romance. 

I think the query is a bit short. Add in a few details of things that make this unique, give us the flavor. I am extremely interested in the mutati…the world is intriguing.

 

First 250 Words:

I was six rows away, but my unnaturally perfect eyesight (world build a bit here…how is his eyesight unnaturally perfect? A device? An enhancement?) allowed me to see her just fine as she hustled through the store. (Six rows…I immediately thought of a movie theater, then you said store and I was a bit confused. He can see her through the tall shelves of the store? Add a bit of detail…she was in aisle 9 with the boxed mac n cheese, use that to give us her character…where is he? Is he checking out the candy in aisle 3? Give us a bit of his character. Is he nervous? Is he happy following her? A hint of why he’s following her. And is there awful music playing over the speakers? Giving sights, sounds, and smells will really put us there.) Mine weren’t the only eyes following her, and even though I had become accustomed to it, I still fucking hated it. (Accustomed, because he’s been following her for a while?) For now, I could do nothing but let them openly gawk at her. (Why wouldn’t he let them? What else would he do?) Oblivious to their attention, she focused on pushing her heavy cart to the front and then settled in the least busy line. I nonchalantly followed and hit the text (on his phone? A special phone or regular one? World build here.) that would send the store’s computers into a temporary virus stricken state. (Oh! How? WHY? A hint at his intentions would be great!)

My stomach started doing all kinds of crazy shit as I sauntered into the line. I was finally going to talk to her. (After how long? How long has he been following her? What does he need to tell her?) Two idiots had the same idea (How does he know? Do they start to approach? What do these idiots look like?), but one grimace from me and they changed their trajectory. I don’t know what others see in my eyes exactly, but I think it has to do with death and the lives I’ve taken. (Oh. A killer. Nice!)

Unwilling to go down that path (go down the path of memories? Why not give us a taste, a glimpse into the past? Why doesn’t he want to remember?), I concentrated on the beautiful, dark-haired girl in front of me. (How is she standing? What does she smell like? Is she humming or looking at something?) I grabbed the latest Motor Trend magazine and a local newspaper from the wire rack she stood next to, leaning in close so she was sure to get a good whiff of my custom-made cologne. (custom-made? How? What does it do?)

Her phone dinged a notification at the exact same time I received a text. It was her best friend who was traveling through Europe. I received the same picture that she did as well as the caption. (so his phone is set to receive what she does? Why?)

 So this is present day?

If this is sci-fi, give me a bit of sci-fi tech. In my head, this is paranormal with the mutants, though in the first page it reads as an action thriller…spies possibly or crazy stalker, maybe FBI…I don’t have a clear picture of what he is doing and why. What are his intentions? To follow? Stalk in a creepy way? Is he going to nab her? Which is a lot to ask in a page, I know. But hints, little details can help.

How long has he been following this girl? I can tell he’s almost protective over her, almost like a hovering jealous ex. I don’t see any details of the mc…the frayed or perfect edges of his jacket sleeve as he looks at his phone. I don’t hear the squeak of his worn tennis shoes (or black boots) as he walks through the store. Paint us a bit of a picture so we get to know him.

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!

#SonofaPitch…Welcome to #TeamDarkSide

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

starwarskylodarkgenerous

Son of a Pitch has begun. This week the peer critiques are happening. Those participating have linked their blogs with their query and first 250 words to our fearless leader and creator of Son of a Pitch Katie’s blog here.

Read about the contest here. Read about the authors critiquing in the next round here. Read about the publishers jumping in for the final round here.

And yes, I am one of the lucky authors who gets to read and critique all (or as many as I can) the queries and first 250s then vote on my favorites. As well as being a critiquer, I am a host! On Monday I will post ten entries. Please do not comment unless you are a critiquing author! But feel free to read! Find the author on Twitter, tell them good luck! Follow #sonofapitch on Twitter for all the fun.

starwarsmaulpace

The theme for this event is Star Wars…I might have suggested that…maybe.

So I am choosing to be #TeamDarkSide.

starwarsdarth

And no one is shocked, I see. If you know me, you know I like dark.

starwarssidiouslaugh

I like creepy.

starwarsani

I like scary.

starwarskylo-ren-gif

I like evil.

starwarsmaulhood

Give me a great villain and I’ll follow you anywhere. The most powerful emotions come from our fears and uncertainties. The darkness will show you the light. The white is brighter because of the black. Staring into the shadows, wondering what lurks in their depths, is pure joy. What good are fears, if we can’t face them? Words can bring all this to life, infuse us with power.

So hopefully there will be plenty of fantasy, dark fantasy, and horror entries to grace the screen of my little blog.

Give me the dark words!

I write YA fantasy and horror. I am a YA type of girl, though I will read adult and a good MG is always welcome. I am a fantasy and horror girl, hold the kissing, please…but I read all sorts of things and realize that kissing is hard to avoid.

starwarsdarthcrush

I am an honest critiquer, pointing out what doesn’t work for me as well as what does work. And remember, my comments are my opinions. That’s it. Opinions. Things to digest. If what I say sparks some grand idea, GREAT! Run with what your creative brain tells you. If my comment makes you shrug…move on and forget it. For in the end, this is YOUR story. Go with your gut. Follow your heart…all those cliches.

starwarssidiouscompletetraining

What I look for…well, that’s hard to define. I want the characters and setting to come to life. I want to melt into the words and never come out. I want the world and characters to invade my brain.

Voting? Well, when it comes to that, I will mostly choose based on the first 250, on what taste those opening words leave on my mind. Let’s be honest, queries are weird.

starwarsmaulsaber

Good luck to all participating. And welcome to the fun. Critiques for everyone and new friends will be made.

starwarsdarthrulegalaxy

If you’re lucky you’ll get to be on #TeamDarkSide and I’ll see you all next week! Can’t wait to read all the words! When writer’s unite magic happens.

starwarssidiousdestiny

#Magicday…Movies

Tags

, , , , , ,

Last week I took myself to see RINGS. Samara is back! I like all The Ring movies and really enjoyed the newest one.

ringsposter

Yesterday the family and I went to see The Lego Batman Movie. I SMILED AND LAUGHED THE ENTIRE TIME.

legobatmanmovieposter

I would go see a movie everyday in the theater. I love seeing the stories on the big screen, watching the characters and plot unfold…it’s magic.

Movies share stories of adventure, of terror, of fun, of emotion. They can make us smile or cry or scream. They can leave impressions, images in our minds that can change us.

Getting lost in a story, staring at the visual magic on a screen, is one of my favorite things. I always have a list of the ones I want to see…horror, comedy, action, sci-fi, fantasy, super hero, thought-provoking, visually stunning, or just plain fun. I love them. Even kissing movies…well, some of them (let’s not go crazy).

I love sitting in the dark theater. I love popcorn and M&Ms. I love going with people or by myself. I love the way movies add magic to life.

What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?

What’s the next movie you’ll see?

 

Release Day… A Pizza My Heart

Tags

, , , , ,

Today is a great day for those who love pizza.

pizzaariel

Today this is now mine. This is on my phone and hot and ready to eat…I mean read.

img_3132

What a fabulous idea the wonderful Jolene Haley had…a book full of stories celebrating pizza!

starwarspizza

I know so many of the talented writers who were chosen that I couldn’t wait to own it! TO READ ALL THE STORIES CENTERED AROUND MY FAVORITE FOOD! *smells the cover*

You can buy it now for only $.99 here! THAT’S RIGHT $.99!!!!!

Should be a super fun read with stories in all genres! I can’t wait to take a bite.

pizzaeating

Happy release day to Jolene and all the authors!

You can't hear, but he is obviously screaming "PIZZAAAAAAAAA"!

You can’t hear, but he is obviously screaming “PIZZAAAAAAAAA”!