Day Twelve of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors …  Jenni Walsh & Lisa Maxwell

Day Twelve of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors … Jenni Walsh & Lisa Maxwell

Welcome to July’s First Page Workshop with some of our past and present PitchWars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected many wonderful writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a first page for one lucky writer. The writers are anonymous. Follow along all month to view the first page critiques. We welcome comments and further suggestions, but please keep them kind and respectful. Here are the next two mentors and their critiques …   Jenni Walsh Website | Twitter Jenni L. Walsh is an author of YA fiction who has spent the past decade enticing readers as an award-winning advertising copywriter. Her passion lies in transporting readers to another world, be it in historical or contemporary settings, and her latest project tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. Jenni is a proud graduate of Villanova University, lives in the Philly ‘burbs with her husband, daughter, and goldendoodle, and is represented by the fabulous Stacey Glick of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. She’s a contributor to the newly-formed Kick-Butt Kidlit blog. Jenni’s first page critique … Dust swirled around Coop’s head like pollution, clinging to his hair, skin, and eyelashes. Grit lined his nose and tickled his throat, irritating at times. I like that you open with a visual and emotion, but if you can show his irritation, it’d add to the visual. Also the “at times” threw me a bit. Are there times where he enjoys the grit? Also, right off the bat, I’m wondering if he’s inside or outside to complete the picture. I’m a very visual reader. But Mac kept reminding him restoration was an art form, a way to bond with the vehicle. I’d like to see this dialogue—done quickly—for a few reasons. 1) The way it’s phrased now leads me to believe that Mac would have an interesting voice. 2) The dialogue could help establish Mac’s age if based on his choice of words. We learn later that Mac is an old man, but at this point, I thought it was a kid around Coop’s age, and 3) A few lines later Coop remarks that Mac is famous for topic changes. That idea will come across stronger if we see the random flip flop in dialogue. Coop cut the sander off, and ran his gloved hand across the fender. Admittedly nitpicky thought: he’s wearing gloves, so why isn’t he wearing safety goggles? Less nitpicky thought: what’s going through Coops head. Sure the grit is annoying to him, but—if he’s running his hand over the fender—is...

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