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$1.99 E-Book Deal - THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 25 September 2017 · 41 views

I'm rolling into the beginning of October excited about the upcoming release of THIS DARKNESS MINE! If you want a taste of how I do thrillers, try out <a href="[url="https://www.amazon.com/Female-Species-Mindy-McGinnis-ebook/dp/B01AFXMGTO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1506353124&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=mindy+mcginnis"]https://www.amazon.com/Female-Species-Mindy-McGinnis-ebook/dp/B01AFXMGTO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1506353124&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=mindy+mcginnis[/url]" target="_blank">THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES for $1.99!</a><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-l5EQ0-28fsU/WckkMD5yK8I/AAAAAAAAEC8/fkxwraqzBS0lI6wFie6wiM6JCUwBxFj2QCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/41AIj83EabL.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-l5EQ0-28fsU/WckkMD5yK8I/AAAAAAAAEC8/fkxwraqzBS0lI6wFie6wiM6JCUwBxFj2QCK4BGAYYCw/s320/41AIj83EabL.jpg"[/url] width="212" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>2017 Tayshas List Selection * YALSA Top 10 Best YA Fiction of 2017 * School Libray Journal Best of 2016 * Junior Library Guild Selection * The Globe and Mail Best Books of 2016 * Bustle’s Best Young Adult Books of 2016 * Mashable’s 8 Best YA Books of 2016 * Seventeen's 10 Best YA Books of 2016 * CCBC Choices 2017</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a relentless and riveting contemporary YA novel that examines rape culture through alternating perspectives. A stunning, unforgettable page-turner.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.</i></div>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/199-e-book-deal-female-of-species.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/199-e-book-deal-female-of-species.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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#PitchWars Critique: CAMBION

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 25 September 2017 · 42 views

<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LyLc65ac7FQ/WcfshxJOVjI/AAAAAAAAECc/MWzEcNJIsAk9Pjm8r7XvJ0mGhlIQrOAPgCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/pitch-wars-cover.jpg"]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LyLc65ac7FQ/WcfshxJOVjI/AAAAAAAAECc/MWzEcNJIsAk9Pjm8r7XvJ0mGhlIQrOAPgCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/pitch-wars-cover.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="188" [url="src="]src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LyLc65ac7FQ/WcfshxJOVjI/AAAAAAAAECc/MWzEcNJIsAk9Pjm8r7XvJ0mGhlIQrOAPgCK4BGAYYCw/s400/pitch-wars-cover.jpg"[/url] width="400" /></a></div><br /><br />My PitchWars mentor-partner&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://katekaryusquinn.blogspot.com/"[/url] target="_blank">Kate Karyus Quinn</a>&nbsp;and I agree that we didn't read a single query that was bad - nor did we read any first pages that were unsalvageable. And honestly with as many submissions as we had, we were surprised at the quality of them. Which is why we decided to offer query and first page critiques on our blogs to everyone who submitted to us.<br /><br />Quite a few people have taken us up on the offer. Through November, Kate and I will be posting these critiques on Mondays and Wednesdays. Any writer can learn from these - not just the author of the material being critiqued. You'll see my comments in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>. Echoes are highlighted in&nbsp;<span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">blue</span>.<br /><br /><b>Query:</b><br /><br />As the product of a union between a human mother and a demon father, sixteen year-old Gabriel “Gabe” Geoffries is what is known as a Cambion; a demonic creature with the potential for near limitless power. Despite this, Gabe has always tried to maintain a normal life. Unfortunately, a normal life is no longer an option when Gabe is attacked by a Fire Elemental, sent to track him down.<br /><br /><span style="color: #93c47d;">So far, so good. You've done a great job of getting the basic idea of your story into the first para, with a decent hook as well. The only thing that raises questions for me is the line about him having "near limitless power." It makes it hard to believe that he would face much in terms of a struggle or obstacles then, plotwise.</span><br /><br />Gabe discovers this Fire Elemental was sent by a centuries-old demon named Vanitas that wishes to use Gabe’s power for his own malevolent ends. <span style="color: #93c47d;">Which are what?&nbsp;</span>Gabe and those closest to him are able to avoid this looming threat until his mother, Alice, is kidnapped to be used as bait to lure Gabe to Vanitas. With no other choice, Gabe must rescue his mother, knowing he is walking head first into a trap that he may not escape from.<br /><br />But in order to rescue his mother and defeat Vanitas, Gabe must give into the power within him, <span style="color: #93c47d;">Has he struggled against this power before? You say he wants a normal life, but you don't mention that it's a hard decision to make or a struggle to maintain&nbsp;</span>while simultaneously unleashing a great darkness that could threaten his very humanity and consume him. But if Gabe refuses to tap into the full extent of his power not only will Vanitas succeed in claiming Gabe for himself, Gabe will also be forced to watch those he cares about most die.<br /><br />CAMBION is a young adult contemporary fantasy, complete at about 56,000 words.<br /><br /><span style="color: #93c47d;">I think what we need here is a better feeling of the overall plot in terms of motivation - on Vanitas' end. Why does he want Gabe and his abilities? What is his end goal? Is the end of the world an option? Does he want to enslave humanity? What's at stake here if Gabe fails, other than losing his mother? And we need to know more about Gabe's power - what is it? What can he do? Only bad things? Does he worry about his own nature? Does tapping into his power create problems? These are the kind of questions that need addressed in order to make this something more than a shadow of Percy Jackson.</span><br /><br /><b>1st Page:</b><br /><br />A bead of sweat trickled down the side of Gabe’s face. He was hot; very hot. Although, most people would be hot if they were holding off a dome of fire that was trying to engulf them, with nothing but their mind. <span style="color: #93c47d;">Sentence structure is a little awkward here.</span><br /><br />Gabe was trying to maintain his focus, but that was becoming more and more difficult because he had been at it for over an hour and all he wanted to do was <span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">sleep</span>. He didn’t think some <span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">sleep</span> was unreasonable since it was almost one-thirty in the morning. <span style="color: #93c47d;">The fact that he's thinking about sleep takes away from the danger of the fire dome.</span><br /><br />“Keep it up, Gabe. Keep it up,” said a tall, skinny man with a mess of salt and pepper hair, who was standing twenty feet away next to a shorter woman with long, blonde hair. <span style="color: #93c47d;">Lots of character description and un necessary specifics about how far away they are. This could just be me, because I'm not a fan of character description or over description of movements (or lack of). But I think you need more strength in a first page than details like this.</span><br /><br />The blonde-<span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">hair</span>ed woman was <span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">biting at her fingernails</span> like a beaver on a log while occasionally glancing over her shoulder as if expecting company. <span style="color: #93c47d;">There's only one woman in the room that we know of, you don't have to specify her hair.</span><br /><br />“Alice, it’s one-thirty in the morning,” said the man with the salt and pepper <span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">hair</span>. “No one is coming to Heuser Park at one-thirty in the morning.” <span style="color: #93c47d;">Same comment as above.</span><br /><br />“I know, Wylt. I just worry that one of these nights we’re gonna get caught. That dome of fire that Jimmy is using on Gabe isn’t exactly subtle,” Alice said as she continued to <span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">bite the nails</span> of one hand while using the other <span style="color: #93c47d;">I think we can assume that she's pointing with a hand, and you don't need to say that she's still biting the other. The point of showing nail biting is to illustrate that she's nervous - which, that's a good job of showing instead of telling. However, to say that she's still doing it creates echoes&nbsp;</span>to point at a boy standing about ten feet in front of Gabe as he shot a pillar of fire at Gabe.<br /><br /><span style="color: #93c47d;">Again with specifics about distance, I don't think it's entirely necessary, but it could be my own likes and dislikes coming through. Right now opening with these two boys throwing fire at each other in a practice setting is a good opening, but the writing needs punched up. </span>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/pitchwars-critique-cambion.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/pitchwars-critique-cambion.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 23 September 2017 · 56 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://rclewisbooks.com/"]http://rclewisbooks.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet,&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/query-critiques.html">shoot[/url] us an email</a>.<br /><br /><a [url="href="]href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s400/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] width="247" /></a>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to&nbsp;punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"[/url] target="_blank">AgentQueryConnect</a>. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>.<br /><div><br /></div>Eighteen-year-old Dallas <span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">might be</span> a girl, but she fails to understand most other girls: why they spend hours getting ready, why they actually want to wear dresses, and why they don’t mind perpetuating myths that girls are magical creatures who don’t abide by laws of biology. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">You'll want to be careful with your wording. I don't know that most girls do want those things, or fall into those categories. Sure, some... but not most.&nbsp;</span>She’s especially mad that Valerie, the girl who everyone knows will be prom queen, claims girls don’t poop. Dallas <span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">might be</span> a lesbian, but girls don’t have to be lesbians to realize Valerie’s version of femininity is a straight jacket, right? It’s also annoying that Dallas has an unexplainable crush on the not-gay-at-all Valerie, and that the two are in the running for the same college scholarship. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">It might be better to rephrase this a lot of this opening para little more succinctly - she has a love / hate relationship with Valerie, who represents everything Dallas isn't, and they are in competition for a scholarship. Everything else here is a little overwritten for query purposes.</span><br /><br />When Dallas’s English teacher says students can do social media activism projects in lieu of their senior papers, Dallas jumps for the chance to start vlogging. Her topic: girls should ditch the constraints of femininity and appropriate the subtle perks masculinity could offer them if they weren’t so keen on depriving themselves. The project title: #GirlsShitToo. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">You've really got to get #GirlsShitToo into your hook. It's beautiful.&nbsp;</span>Valerie is not a fan. And neither is Adree, another girl from Dallas’s English class who starts a counter project that accuses Dallas of unfairly condemning femininity and all that’s great about it. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Nice! I like that you're addressing the opposite argument, too.&nbsp;</span>When their two projects turn into a vlog battle, they garner an audience far wider than their English class. <span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">Hello, unexpected online fame</span>. The worst part: sometimes, Adree is right. In front of the whole Youtubeverse. Dallas wishes she could despise her, but she starts crushing on her, too. Oops. And their viewers, including Valerie, must sense it, because they start shipping “Dalladree,” and Valerie’s sudden interest in Dallas’s love life turns them into...good friends!?<br /><br />When it seems like things couldn’t get more interesting, the high school principal, Mr. Runsberger, catches wind of Dallas’s project. Taking issue with the “vulgarity” of the title, he tells her she needs to terminate the whole thing or face expulsion. Her topic, he says, is “making a mountain out of a molehill,” and might damage her chances of winning the Hearst scholarship. <span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">Hello, self doubt</span>. Once faced with a discrimination complaint and public accusations of sexism, Runsberger agrees to let Dallas continue the project with a different title...but it’s clear he’s pissed off and intends to find other ways to punish her before she graduates.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Again, more of a summation here would be great. She's running into backlash in both her real life... and I think it's safe to assume in her online life as well. Surely not everyone is on her side, especially if the two vlogs both have big followings. Summarize: Facing backlash in both her real and virtual lives, Dallas' shot at the scholarship&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">she's gunning for is jeopardized. (See how concise that is?)</span><br /><br />With everything that’s happened, Dallas isn’t even sure she should continue, wondering if opting for the senior paper will put an end to all the ridiculousness. But Dallas’s fans aren’t going to let her quit that easily. And the semester has been thrilling...but how will it conclude? <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Don't end with a rhetorical, it's a tease. Also, this last para needs to pull the other two vloggers back in, along with how their relationships have changed as a result of their vlog war, and if the other two play any part in her decision to continue or quit.</span><br /><br />#GST (80,000 words) will appeal to readers who celebrate contemporary YA with diverse characters in progressive places (Upside of Unrequited); and with feminist themes, including explorations of identity (Girl Mans Up); and that illuminates how social media has become an inseverable part of many teens’ lives (Queens of Geek).<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Great comp title. I highly suggest just titling this #GirlsShitToo, dropping the acronym. It's attention getting, and titles always change through the course towards publication. Having such a working title won't preclude you from publication. It could, in fact, get attention.</span><br /><br />I have a Master’s in English Rhetoric and Composition and a desire to assist the movement to get more diverse books published and change the world along the way. <strike>Please consider representing me!</strike><br /><strike><br /></strike><span style="color: #6aa84f;">They know you want them to represent you. The <i>please</i> won't help :)</span><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;"><br /></span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Watch your echoes. I hi-lited them <span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">in blue</span>. Overall, work on being more succinct. You've got a great premise here that I think could really take off, but you need to get more plot and less voice into this query.&nbsp;</span>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-saturday-slash_23.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-saturday-slash_23.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Book Talk & ARC Giveaway: ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS by Maggie Stiefvater

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 22 September 2017 · 57 views

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1500451773l/30025336.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1500451773l/30025336.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="316" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1500451773l/30025336.jpg"[/url] width="212" /></a></div>Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.<br /><br />At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.<br /><br />They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">*********************************************************************************</div><div style="text-align: left;">Want to help me with mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.</div><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><br /><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b276" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b276/"[/url] id="rcwidget_v44q9k1t" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script>[/url]

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#PitchWars Critique: IT ONLY HURTS WHEN I'M DEAD

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 20 September 2017 · 50 views

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FgLbm7lEVD8/Wb7JA-LwhZI/AAAAAAAAEBY/Jr0KmV5cASMHht1aYYaHiYbLRayws1xhgCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/pitch-wars-cover.jpg"]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FgLbm7lEVD8/Wb7JA-LwhZI/AAAAAAAAEBY/Jr0KmV5cASMHht1aYYaHiYbLRayws1xhgCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/pitch-wars-cover.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="151" [url="src="]src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FgLbm7lEVD8/Wb7JA-LwhZI/AAAAAAAAEBY/Jr0KmV5cASMHht1aYYaHiYbLRayws1xhgCK4BGAYYCw/s320/pitch-wars-cover.jpg"[/url] width="320" /></a></div><br />My PitchWars mentor-partner&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://katekaryusquinn.blogspot.com/"[/url] target="_blank">Kate Karyus Quinn</a>&nbsp;and I agree that we didn't read a single query that was bad - nor did we read any first pages that were unsalvageable. And honestly with as many submissions as we had, we were surprised at the quality of them. Which is why we decided to offer query and first page critiques on our blogs to everyone who submitted to us.<br /><br />Quite a few people have taken us up on the offer. Through November, Kate and I will be posting these critiques on Mondays and Wednesdays. Any writer can learn from these - not just the author of the material being critiqued. You'll see my comments in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>. Echoes are highlighted in&nbsp;<span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">blue</span>.<br /><br /><b>Query:</b><br /><br />In what was supposed to be Charlie's first night alone--truly alone--with his boyfriend, Joe, Charlie gets chased out of the house by Joe's cultist family. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">It might be best to explain why he's chased out. Because of his sexuality is implied, but I think clarification is necessary.&nbsp;</span>He’s then rescued by a pack of werewolves in a night so surreal that he can't quite believe any of it actually happened. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Because these two things are so disparate, you need something stronger here than "can't quite believe..." and with more of a teen voice. Something like WTF?, if that fits the voice of the novel.</span><br /><br />Joe may be a cultist or a victim. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">I'd rephrase as "cult member"&nbsp;</span>To find out, Charlie turns to the one person he's spent years avoiding--Joe's never-quite-ex-girlfriend Augustina. Together, they discover that the wolfling pack is a supernatural police force. And that Joe's family is willing to murder children in order to resurrect their father. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Whose father? The way this is stated it sounds like the father of the wolves, but that can't be right because the wolves saved Charlie from the cult. And how do those things tie together? The wolves are police force, okay, but why does the cult have their attention? Are they trying to stop this "father" from being resurrected? And why? Right now what you have here only implies these things - you need to specifically state them.</span><br /><br />To help the wolves, and rescue Joe <span style="color: #6aa84f;">sounds like they've decided that he's a victim, then?</span>, they must first access the magic deep inside of themselves. Augustina is a natural wizard, but a lifetime in the closet blocks Charlie. Not even a werewolf's bite can change him. To unlock his magic he must pass through the underworld. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Why?&nbsp;</span>What he becomes puts everyone at risk. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">This is a tease, which doesn't work in a query. What does he become and what effect does it have on the plot?</span><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;"><br /></span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Right now you need to draw things together a little more than they are. Are Charlie and Augustina working with the wolves side by side? Or are they two separate groups sharing the same goal, but not conspiring?&nbsp;</span><br /><br />It Only Hurts When I'm Dead is where <i>The Howling</i> meets <i>Portlandia</i>. It was inspired by my love of a good horror story, and the native Oregon philosophy to take nothing too seriously. I hope it will appeal to readers who like the humor of <i>Me Speak Pretty One Day</i> and the suspense of <i>Sunshine</i>. It is complete at 96,000 words.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">I think the mashup and comp titles here are great. If this is an #OwnVoices story, you'll want to mention that. The only thing I'll add is that 96k is pretty long for a debut novel, especially for one that is humorous. I'd take a really hard look at what you've got and shave off as much as 25k.</span><br /><br />Currently a Boston resident, my short story "Contra Dance" appeared in The Louisville Review.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Nice bio!</span><br /><br />1st Page:<br /><br />Charlie jogged into the dark night, gravel skittering beneath his shoes, excitement rising with every step. A porch light gleamed ahead of him, but otherwise Joe's house was dark. The driveway stood empty. But that was all part of the scam. They'd made up a story of camping with the Alden family so they could spend a weekend together--alone--and never leave the bedroom, if possible. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">This is fine, but immediately raises the question of their story. The problem isn't that they have a story to explain their <i>absence</i> (fine), but that they don't have a story to explain their <i>presence</i>... they're alone at Joe's house - which is what they're actually trying to cover. What you need to explain here to the reader is the absence of Joe's family, but Joe still being present. (Or honestly, just skip that bit. He's home alone. It happens).</span><br /><br />He ran up the porch steps and slammed into the door. Because it was locked. For a second, heart racing in his chest, he thought Joe had bailed on him. But then he heard shuffling inside the house. The door cracked open. A hand flashed out and yanked him inside. Joe slammed him against a wall, kissing hard before the door even shut.<br /><br />Alone. Together. No parents to keep quiet for. No siblings to avoid. Charlie had staid <span style="color: #6aa84f;">stayed</span> over at least a dozen times before, but always slept on the floor because Joe was so scared. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Of consummating or of being caught?</span> This would be the first night truly together. Joe was all raw, uninhibited passion, so hot he was on fire. No more modest pecks. No more fleeting kisses before running off like a beaten dog. This was the real Joe, kissing with such intensity that it made Charlie giggle. He couldn't help himself.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Yeah again - the family that has been preventing this action is gone. Explaining that is what needs to happen. Is the Alden family mentioned in the first para Joe's family? So are they camping? So the excuse about camping is Charlie's excuse to be absent from his home, but what is Joe's excuse for not being along with his family camping? Anyway, as you can see, there's a lot of confusion mixed up in this. Might be better to drop the idea of them setting up a scam in the first place, and just leave it that there was an opportunity.</span>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/pitchwars-critique-it-only-hurts-when.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/pitchwars-critique-it-only-hurts-when.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Katherine Locke On Setting Hard Deadlines - And Holding Yourself To Them

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 19 September 2017 · 48 views

Welcome to the SNOB - Second Novel Ominipresent Blues. Whether you’re under contract or trying to snag another deal, you’re a professional now, with the pressures of a published novelist compounded with the still-present nagging self-doubt of the noobie. How to deal?<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1499345659l/34448522.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1499345659l/34448522.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="315" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1499345659l/34448522.jpg"[/url] width="212" /></a></div>Today's guest for the SNOB is Katherine Locke,&nbsp;author of <a [url="href="]href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34448522-the-girl-with-the-red-balloon?ac=1&amp;from_search=true"[/url] target="_blank">THE GIRL WITH THE RED BALLOON</a> and the forthcoming companion. She writes about what she cannot do: time-travel, magic, and espionage. Katherine not-so-secretly believes most YA stories are fairy tales and lives with two good cats, two bad cats, and one overly enthusiastic dog.<br /><br /><b>Is it hard to leave behind the first novel and focus on the second?</b><br /><br /><i>I only just turned in Book 2 so this is all fresh in my mind! It wasn’t that hard to leave behind the first novel and focus on the second because while I was still working on my first book with my editor, I’d written it in 2014, three years ago. I am not even sure I thoroughly remember that process. But it was hard to leave behind the feel of the first book. I had it stuck in my head that my second book (same world, different characters—more of a companion book) needed to have the same structure, voice and feel of the first book. That had me all sorts of stuck for several months.</i><br /><br /><b>At what point do you start diverting your energies from promoting your debut and writing / polishing / editing your second?</b><br /><br /><i>I turned in my second book between BEA/Bookcon and ALA Annual, so it was a little bit of a balance this spring. But my first book was through copy-edits when I started drafting the second book. I only had to pause to do proofreads. I found that balancing drafting and marketing/editing isn’t difficult for me, but I really can’t draft two different books at the same time. I like to have one in brainstorm stage, one in drafting stage, and one in editing/copyedits stage.</i><br /><b><br /></b><b>Your first book landed an agent and an editor, and hopefully some fans. Who are you writing the second one for? Them, or yourself?</b><br /><br /><i>I was very leery of feeling like my second book had been written for someone else. That’d happened before, and I didn’t want it to happen again. At the same time, I also always pick something to teach myself with each new book. And for my second book, I decided I wanted to learn how to write a tighter plot, something with more of a thriller feel. So I had to balance the desire to write something outside my wheelhouse with the desire to write something that also felt like a Katherine book.</i><br /><i>As for the part where I inevitably have more cooks in the kitchen for this book, when I needed to make changes to the book, away from the proposal my editor had approved, she and my agent were very supportive. They both wanted me to write the book I could and wanted to write. I added a new point of view, changed the main arc and added another plotline for that new POV. They weren’t insubstantial changes. I should have known that was coming, though, because I did the same thing between drafts one and two of book one. In the end, I really felt like the book I turned in was my book, not for anyone else. But I sure hope other people enjoy it!</i><br /><br /><b>Is there a new balance of time management to address once you’re a professional author?</b><br /><br /><i>Definitely. I should have written Book 2 over the winter after the proposal was approved. But I was stuck between rage and despair after November and had a hard time getting going. Then my deadline moved up several months (the worst direction for a deadline to move) which turned into a blessing in disguise. I am extremely motivated by external deadlines. I wrote and revised my second book four times in 100 days.</i><br /><br /><i>That’s not my ideal schedule, but it was the one I had to work with, and that made me very efficient. I wrote every night, most mornings and 5-8 hours a day each weekend day (I have a dayjob, so sadly, I can’t write all day.) I used all the tricks in the book (blocking the internet, headphones, and using whatever process worked for the book) to get it done. Because there wasn’t an option not to get it done.</i><br /><i><br /></i><i>Like I said, though I’m very good at sitting down and doing the work when I need to, I have to set hard deadlines for myself and treat them as real deadlines. For my book 2, I took my editor’s deadline and worked backward from that to set my own first draft deadline. Friends, including some writer friends, would say, “Well, it’s not a real deadline. That one’s in June.” Except my deadline for the first draft to be done April 1st was just as real as that one, because otherwise I wouldn’t make my June deadline. I have to treat my own personal deadlines as real and as serious as any deadline imposed by a contract, editor, or agent.</i><br /><br /><b>What did you do differently the second time around, with the perspective of a published author?</b><br /><br /><i>I would have started Book 2 earlier. But, again, there were external world events and I know I wasn’t the only one derailed by those. But I would have started Book 2 earlier because that pace wasn’t my preferred pace. I should have also asked for phone calls about Book 2’s proposal with my editor prior to the first proposal that I eventually threw out the window. I think I was in the mindset that I’d mess her up when she was working on Book 1. I think talking it out with her would have solved my plot, POV and structural problems much faster and I would have written it with fewer tears. Or maybe not. I guess I’ll find out next time!</i>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/katherine-locke-on-setting-hard.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/katherine-locke-on-setting-hard.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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#PitchWars Critique: SOMA

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 18 September 2017 · 65 views

<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BNhn1I7Ff-I/WabkjEXvqWI/AAAAAAAAEA0/Q7DIE9Dcjnc87ybtjhw0GF4T7XCSyuvlQCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/pitch-wars-cover.jpg"]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BNhn1I7Ff-I/WabkjEXvqWI/AAAAAAAAEA0/Q7DIE9Dcjnc87ybtjhw0GF4T7XCSyuvlQCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/pitch-wars-cover.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="188" [url="src="]src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BNhn1I7Ff-I/WabkjEXvqWI/AAAAAAAAEA0/Q7DIE9Dcjnc87ybtjhw0GF4T7XCSyuvlQCK4BGAYYCw/s400/pitch-wars-cover.jpg"[/url] width="400" /></a></div><br />My PitchWars mentor-partner&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://katekaryusquinn.blogspot.com/"[/url] target="_blank">Kate Karyus Quinn</a>&nbsp;and I agree that we didn't read a single query that was bad - nor did we read any first pages that were unsalvageable. And honestly with as many submissions as we had, we were surprised at the quality of them. Which is why we decided to offer query and first page critiques on our blogs to everyone who submitted to us.<br /><br />Quite a few people have taken us up on the offer. Through November, Kate and I will be posting these critiques on Mondays and Wednesdays. Any writer can learn from these - not just the author of the material being critiqued. You'll see my comments in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>. Echoes are highlighted in&nbsp;<span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">blue</span>.<br /><br /><b>Query:</b><br /><br />For a lab-grown Sri Lankan boy with combustion problems, seventeen-year old Soma is fairly well adjusted. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Great hook, I love the humorous voice. Make sure though, that this voice is consistent with the voice in the manuscript itself.</span> Most days, he is too busy scavenging trash spheres and fixing toilets to notice <span style="color: #6aa84f;">to notice something usually implies discovery, and I'm assuming Soma already knows he's the only human. Perhaps a word change to something like "care?"</span>&nbsp;he is the only human in his colony.<br /><br />To other humans living in orbit around nuclear-ravaged Earth, the synthetic people who make up Soma’s colony are a disposable workforce. To Soma, they are the only family he’s ever known.<br /><br />When all the synthetics in Soma’s colony are culled, he is left among the lifeless bodies of his loved ones. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Why are they culled?&nbsp;</span>He flees his colony, chased by an enigmatic black ship, <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Why is he being chased?</span>&nbsp;and is then drawn into an assassination plot <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Drawn in by whom?</span>&nbsp;against the kleptocrat who rules over human colonies—the ruthless Man of Means.<br /><br />Soma becomes entangled in escalating acts of synthetic terrorism: a reluctant child soldier in a war with no moral high ground. Strange, when all he wanted was a place to sleep—and maybe galactic peace, so he has time to properly fall in love with the boy who might be an enemy agent.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">What you have here is well-written, but the plot pieces are so vague that I have no idea what is actually going to happen in the book, or who else might be in it other than Soma, and the ultimate villain. Get your supporting characters in there - one or two - and illustrate the plot by answering (succinctly) the questions I posed above. Otherwise this comes across as a bit of a mish-mash with no real focus. Also, you mention that he has "combustion problems." Like, a firestarter? how does this play into the plot? Does his ability have a spot in the assassination attempt?</span><br /><br />Soma is my first foray into YA fiction. I have a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Calgary. My short stories have appeared in Canadian magazines such as NōD and Dandelion. My short story “Rabbit Control” was nominated for the 2011 Journey Prize.&nbsp;Inspired by Saint-Exupéry’s <i>The Little Prince</i> and Garth Nix’s <i>Shade’s Children</i>, this manuscript is 89k words and features an intimately diverse cast <span style="color: #6aa84f;">probably should give them some space in the query then</span>&nbsp;and an LGBTQ protagonist.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Great bio!</span><br /><br />1st Page:<br /><br />Soma knew he shouldn’t start fires. This one… this one wasn’t his fault.<br /><br />Still, just in case, he hid under his cot and cradled his blistered fingers while the young doctor gathered up his charred toys and sketches. She whispered a bad word, covered her face with shaking hands, and left him in the char and smoke of his glass room.<br /><br />That night, the doctor returned—but it wasn’t to give Soma needles before bed. She gave him a cocoa bar instead, bundled him in a gray bed sheet, and smuggled him out. From between the fabric, Soma saw a dozen glaze-eyed children in identical glass cells, each with tubes in their arms and burn scars across their hands. They boarded a ship and pulled out of the orbital compound. Soma bounced in the co-pilot seat, babbling about how much bigger Old Earth looked outside picture books. The doctor listened, brushed silver hair out of her pale eyes, and gave him tight, thin-lipped smiles whenever he paused to breathe.<br /><br />Two naps and a pee-break later, they arrived at a dirty outer-ring colony that smelled like socks. The doctor stashed Soma in a jagged crack under an Indian take-out restaurant, touched his cheek, and warned, “No matter what happens, little brother, remember. No fire.”<br /><br />Then she left. Her chrome-and-amber ship drew a long wake.<br /><br />Soma was a little scared, but mostly excited. He’d never left his glass room before. Or been without artificial gravity, or seen stars. He crawled out of the crevice and stared.<br /><br />This strange colony was made up of thousands of floating boulders—lunaroids—with nanocables webbed between them. When Soma squinted, he saw that the larger lunaroids had been converted into buildings, hollowed out and framed with aluminum hatches and windows. Occasionally, there were man-made structures—grinding wheels and eccentric factories that looked like animal skulls. Old Earth hung overhead, like an enormous ceiling made of burnt toast, with the inner colony ring a trail of cream across it. Soma grinned, determined to love it all. He crawled back under the restaurant, finished his cocoa bar, and dreamed of loud noises.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">This is quite good, but I feel like we need to know Soma's age? The only action we see him taking here is crawling... he could be an infant or a toddler not sure on his feet yet. I realize this probably operates as more of a prologue, since Soma is seventeen in the actual manuscript. Generally speaking, prologues are not a good idea. Yes, it's an interesting jumping in point, and the beginning of Soma's story, but he doesn't have a lot of agency here. He's hiding, being assisted by someone else, then abandoned. The first line of dialogue in a book that is titled with his name doesn't belong to him. I suggest finding a better starting point for this book, with Soma the age he is throughout the text, and working his backstory in. Yes, it's hard -- but so is hooking an agent with a prologue.</span>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/pitchwars-critique-soma.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/pitchwars-critique-soma.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 16 September 2017 · 60 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://rclewisbooks.com/"]http://rclewisbooks.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet,&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/query-critiques.html">shoot[/url] us an email</a>.<br /><br /><a [url="href="]href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s400/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] width="247" /></a>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to&nbsp;punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"[/url] target="_blank">AgentQueryConnect</a>. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>.<br /><br />Seventeen-year-old Juliet doesn’t want to grow up. Growing up, apparently, means getting forced into therapy after what her mother calls a “psychotic break.” <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Good beginning.&nbsp;</span>Juliet just calls it trying to fly off a balcony to join Peter Pan in Neverland. But instead of Neverland, she finds herself in a weekly group for “troubled young women.” The meetings already sound like torture to Juliet, who hates opening up to people almost as much as she hates getting older.<br /><br />Growing up means finding out that her snooty classmate Rachel is in the therapy group too. To her surprise, though, Juliet discovers that Rachel has her own demons. Her high-achieving older sister isn’t as perfect as anyone thought, and without her role model, Rachel’s lost her own way. As Rachel’s life falls apart, she and Juliet form a tentative friendship, helping each other to become more vulnerable and vowing to make it out of group alive.<br /><br />But for Juliet, growing up also means running away from her emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend, Theo, who always—always—finds his way back to her. So when Theo comes crashing back into her life once again, Juliet’s dreams of moving past her breakdown, creating a tentative friendship with Rachel, and feeling “normal” again seem as impossible as finding Neverland.<br /><br />In the same vein as Words on Bathroom Walls and Under Rose-Tainted Skies, THE LOST GIRL is a 60,000-word YA contemporary novel sprinkled with Peter Pan quotes and Juliet’s letters to the titular character.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Honestly dear, this is fantastic! Send it out into the world!!</span>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-saturday-slash.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-saturday-slash.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Book Talk & Giveaway: ONE DARK THRONE by Kendare Blake

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 15 September 2017 · 49 views

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1487862160l/29923707.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1487862160l/29923707.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="314" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1487862160l/29923707.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a></div>The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?<br /><br />With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">*********************************************************************************</div><br />Want to help me with mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.<br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b275" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b275/"[/url] id="rcwidget_jcc3fmoz" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script>[/url]

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/book-talk-giveaway-one-dark-throne-by.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/book-talk-giveaway-one-dark-throne-by.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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#PitchWars Critique: WINGS IN THE WIND

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 13 September 2017 · 53 views

<div style="text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BNhn1I7Ff-I/WabkjEXvqWI/AAAAAAAAEA0/Q7DIE9Dcjnc87ybtjhw0GF4T7XCSyuvlQCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/pitch-wars-cover.jpg"]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BNhn1I7Ff-I/WabkjEXvqWI/AAAAAAAAEA0/Q7DIE9Dcjnc87ybtjhw0GF4T7XCSyuvlQCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/pitch-wars-cover.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="188" [url="src="]src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BNhn1I7Ff-I/WabkjEXvqWI/AAAAAAAAEA0/Q7DIE9Dcjnc87ybtjhw0GF4T7XCSyuvlQCK4BGAYYCw/s400/pitch-wars-cover.jpg"[/url] width="400" /></a></div><br />My PitchWars mentor-partner&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://katekaryusquinn.blogspot.com/"[/url] target="_blank">Kate Karyus Quinn</a>&nbsp;and I agree that we didn't read a single query that was bad - nor did we read any first pages that were unsalvageable. And honestly with as many submissions as we had, we were surprised at the quality of them. Which is why we decided to offer query and first page critiques on our blogs to everyone who submitted to us.<br /><br />Quite a few people have taken us up on the offer. Through November, Kate and I will be posting these critiques on Mondays and Wednesdays. Any writer can learn from these - not just the author of the material being critiqued. You'll see my comments in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>. Echoes are highlighted in&nbsp;<span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">blue</span>.<br /><br />Query:<br /><br />Sixteen-year-old Madison Winslow attends the elite, yet peculiar, Aisling Academy where she’s been nominated to win a crown scintillating in <span style="color: #6aa84f;">I think this should be "scintillating <i>with</i> not <i>in." </i>Regardless, don't use words like <i>scintillating</i> in your query if it's not something that would pop up in the pages of the book itself as well&nbsp;</span>diamonds and internship opportunities. She discovers her best friend, Brooke, sprawled on the ground dead below their dorm room’s balcony. Madison’s life begins to disintegrate into anguish. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">So, you said that the school is "peculiar" but there's nothing to clarify if this is supernatural, mysterious, or what. Also, is this crown a literal object, or an epitome of something?&nbsp;</span><br /><br />Madison becomes the primary suspect in Brooke’s murder. As the semester spirals out of control, Madison has to clear her name and unveil who killed Brooke. When she stumbles upon her BFF’s shocking secrets – drug usage and an affair with a married councilman – the murderer tries to end Madison’s nagging questions permanently. Madison nearly suffocates in her school’s laboratory and almost drowns in a lake. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">I have to point out that's essentially the same mode of death.</span><br /><br />Madison has to navigate her way through a maze of questions about friendship and loyalty while trying to dodge being the killer’s newest target.<br /><br />Wings In The Wind is a 54,000-word young adult neo-noir mystery similar to Pretty Little Liars and Veronica Mars. Wings In The Wind is my first novel. I have a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and am currently a freelance writer.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">This query needs specifics in order to stand out. Right now it reads like any other "someone died and the main character must clear her name while also protecting herself and trying to get good grades as well" story. What makes this one different from the others? How is the school peculiar? Are there any supporting characters at all? Madison and the victim are the only named characters in the query. Why is it titled Wings in the Wind? That last question isn't necessarily important to explain within the query, but thinking about that might give you some ideas about how to differentiate this story from hundreds of others just like it.</span><br /><div><br /></div><div>1st Page:</div><br />The light pole's glare <span style="color: #6aa84f;">technically, the light <i>pole</i> doesn't produce light</span>&nbsp;shined on her body <span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">like a</span> spotlight. Her arms and legs weren’t sprawled out <span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">like an</span> angel, but instead <span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">like a</span> rag doll with no control. Her beautiful dark strands of hair were blowing in the wind near the flowerbed while other strands were already sinking into puddles of blood. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Lots of comparisons at work here, resulting in echoes.</span><br /><br />I turned away from the dorm room balcony ready to scream. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">A scream is a very primal thing, not something you really prep for.&nbsp;</span>I couldn’t help myself; I looked again out of disbelief. I wanted to see if she was sprawled on the ground below me. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Disbelief is one thing, this is more like a memory wipe - she's checking it see "if" she's sprawled on the ground. She knows she is.</span><br /><br />I turned away from the balcony and called school security. My hands shook as I told the guard my roommate, Brooke Holt, had fallen out of our dorm room window on the eighth floor. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">How does she feel? Right now we have a good physical description of what she's seeing, but we don't know how she really feels.</span><br /><br />I rubbed my forehead <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Is that an important physical action?</span>&nbsp;and blurted out, “She’s been my best friend since we were little kids!”<br /><br />The guard asked me if Brooke was moving. I heard a cry I've never heard before. The guttural "no" came from me.<br /><br />The next couple of hours were blurry. I know I ran along the dark hall to the elevator. My hand shook when I pressed the key for the first floor. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">The way this is phrased it sounds like the second and third sentences themselves took hours to transpire, which I doubt is your meaning.</span><br /><br />I paced back and forth in the elevator praying Brooke was fine. Maybe she was resting from the fall. Perhaps she was knocked unconscious and would wake when I got to her.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Right now what you have here needs to be more woven together for a narrative. These are a lot of short, concise sentences that need to be brought together with the character's feelings in the moment, and also more environment. You said there's snow - is the room cold? Is the main character leaning over the balcony? Is the railing frozen? Does she have goosebumps? How does her stomach feel, seeing her friend like that? She blurted about being friends as children, but what caused that? Was she thinking about a particular moment in their childhood when she said that? Give us more internalization and paint the environment more clearly to really bring the reader in.</span>

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