Day Twenty of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Brooks Benjamin & Kara Seal
Jul27

Day Twenty of July’s First Page Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentors… Brooks Benjamin & Kara Seal

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 … Brooks Benjamin Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads   In sixth grade, Brooks Benjamin formed a New Kids on the Block tribute dance crew called the New Kidz. He wasn’t that good at dancing back then. But now he’s got a new crew—his wife and their dog. They live in Tennessee, where he teaches reading and writing and occasionally busts out a few dance moves. He’s still not that good at it. His first novel, MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS will be released by Delacorte/Random House on 4/12/16.   Brooks’ first page critique … The glare of the late November sun threatened to ruin his hot streak. As Michael spun the bumpy surface of the basketball in (his) sixteen-year-old hands, (I totally understand the need to plug the age as soon as possible, but this seems a little forced.) he adjusted his body, forcing the backboard to become a buffer for the intense light. (This is good. It shows he’s been there before, sun in his eyes, straining to stay focused.) Sweat dripped down his face, but he ignored it. He had to stick to his rhythm. He spun the ball one more time, dribbled twice and then let it fly. SWISH! Nailed it! (This is a little nit-picky, but I think it’d be stronger without this line. Just the SWISH! and then he goes right back to being focused, no distractions, no thinking, just his ritual and uber basketball instincts.) Number twenty-eight. One more to go and it would be a new personal record. A breeze blew, cooling his face, and carrying the smell of wood smoke from the chimneys around him. He could practically taste the traditional Saturday night chili his dad was concocting in the kitchen. This last shot–then he’d head in for a huge bowl topped with cheese and saltine crackers. (This is nice, but I wonder if it’d be stronger to add in how he’s not letting distractions, even tasty chili with cheese (which now I’m craving, thanks), throw him off his game.) Toes on the line, his ritual came without thought—spin the ball four times, dribble twice, shoot. (I really like this line. Almost...

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