July Workshop with PitchWars Mentors … Brooks Benjamin & Rae Chang
Jul07

July Workshop with PitchWars Mentors … Brooks Benjamin & Rae Chang

Welcome to the July Query & 1st Page Workshop with some of our PitchWars mentors. We selected many wonderful writers from a drawing held in June to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued either a query or first page for two writers. The writers are anonymous and the titles/genres are hidden. Follow along all month to view the critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are are first two mentors and their critiques …   Brooks Benjamin Brooks is a filmmaker, teacher, husband, SCBWI member, and father to a 75-pound demented German Shepherd mix named LeeLoo. He is represented by the fantabulous Uwe Stender of TriadaUS Literary. His debut MG novel, MY 7TH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS, will be published by Delacorte/Random House in the Spring of 2016. Website Twitter Facebook Add MY 7TH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS on Goodreads! Brooks’ critiques … Critique #1 – First Page: Chapter One Avery There was a new song on the radio. Or maybe it wasn’t new—spending thirteen hours a day either in school or rehearsal made it hard to keep up. I texted my best friend, Megan, to ask if she’d heard it just as my mom pulled off the freeway and into downtown traffic. It was a game between Megan and me—who could discover the next song or video that would go viral. She usually won, though.I like this setup! I’m already getting a solid glimpse of the main character here. Just from this I’m guessing the rehearsal is dance-related. If so—YAY! Song on Mix 96 right now. Next viral. She texted me back. Walking home. What’s it called? This is probably just personal preference, but I’d italicize the message she texts so it stands out against the narration. I turned up the volume but couldn’t make out the lyrics. Not sure. House party tomorrow. Call in Sick. Sneak Out. A small flurry turned in my stomach. I’d give anything to party with Megan. Maybe I’d finally be able to. Quitting ballet tonight. Using Plan B. YAY! And very nice getting to the inciting incident this fast. *** The good thing about this is that it doesn’t sacrifice character development. In fact, it’s because of the character that this is happening. Which creates a very active role for your main character. Avery’s making decisions early on that are going to send her spiraling into some sort of trouble later on. However, I’d still italicize or at least create some little “text tag” so we know who’s sending what message. (Megan: House party tomorrow…) OMG! Go Avery! My mom turned...

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