Day Nineteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Kate Brauning
Jul25

Day Nineteen of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Kate Brauning

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 … Kate Brauning Website | Twitter | Buy Her Book Kate is the author of How We Fall (YA contemporary) and a senior editor at Entangled Publishing. She earned her B.A. in English literature, then went on to teach high school English, and intern with a publishing house and a literary agency. She first edited with Month9Books before moving on to edit adult and YA fiction for Entangled Publishing. She’s represented by Carlie Webber of CK Webber Associates. She loves unusual people, good whiskey, dark chocolate, everything about autumn, bright colors, red maple trees, superstitions, ghost stories, anything Harry Potter, night skies, pie, and talking about books. She’s working hard on her next few novels, and if you see her, say hello, because she’d love to take you out for coffee and ask you what you’re reading. Follow her on Twitter or her blog, or check out How We Fall! Kate’s first page critique … Shayde Slaughter stood in the fog-drenched alley, a sour grimace hidden by his ski-mask. The black nylon sheath squeezed everything but his eyes, just wearing it made him feel crazy like it pressed on all the wrong parts of his brain. Like he needed any help in that department. Tucking a plastic water pistol in his waistband, Shayde crept along until he reached the end of the building and peered through the murk. Intriguing first paragraph—you’ve got some really great word choice here. I don’t feel grounded, though. I can’t tell from this if he’s a kid playing a game with his friends, or a man doing something dangerous. Really wonderful first paragraphs have a first line that encapsulates one of the main themes of the book, or a line of action that tells us something significant about the characters (see Gone Girl’s first line!). And then almost immediately we need to be grounded in what that character is doing and why. We can tell he’s in a ski mask sneaking around, but not much else so far, and that makes it a bit confusing. Frowsy streetlights dotted the darkened streetscape. Char-winged bats swooped and flitted through the swirling damp. A lean Ford hugged the opposite curb. Mist tumbled...

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