July Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Naomi Hughes & Lauren Spieller
Jul08

July Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Naomi Hughes & Lauren Spieller

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 the next two mentors and their critiques … Naomi Hughes Naomi writes quirky middle-grade books (mostly about unicorn riders) and is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. She lives in rural Oklahoma with her family, a hyperactive Border Collie, and a gaggle of obnoxious tree frogs (all named Sherlock). She loves coaching writers through the revision process and offers freelance editing at www.naomiedits.com. Website Twitter Naomi’s critiques … Critique #5 – Query: Dear Agent: Dr. Evelyn Adams can prevent death. Nice hooky opener! I am immediately intrigued. Sure, the distance grows between Evelyn and her lab assistant/lover after he becomes a test subject. He resurrects normally—except for his memory of days spent neither dead nor alive. I thought she could only prevent death. “Resurrection” implies that she’s bringing him back from the dead. But those are just nightmares. I’m not sure this paragraph is the best follow-up to your hook. You start off with the very interesting premise of preventing death, and I was expecting you to explain/develop that a bit further here. As it is I’m left with a bit of whiplash, because I have no idea how Dr. Adams can prevent death or whether preventing death is a normal thing in your world. Perhaps something like But just when she’s about to go public with her revolutionary [specific death-preventing ability/product/procedure], one test subject—her own lab assistant/lover—has an abnormal resurrection might be a smoother transition. When the probiotic Whoa, wait. What probiotic? Is that what Dr. Adams uses to prevent death? This needs to be mentioned sooner, as in the example sentence above. goes public, a desperate wife breaks the rules to save her already dead husband. Enter an apocalypse. This is really vague, and since it sounds like a pretty huge event in your plot, I think you need to be much more specific as to its cause and effect. Why is it against the rules to resurrect someone who’s already dead, and how does that cause an apocalypse? And exactly what sort of apocalypse does it cause—wars? General rioting? A zombie plague? People can be so stupid. I know you’re going for voice here, but I’m not...

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