Day 3 (Part 2) of the May Pitch Wars Voice Workshop with Mentor Summer Spence
May04

Day 3 (Part 2) of the May Pitch Wars Voice Workshop with Mentor Summer Spence

Welcome to May’s Voice Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected over thirty writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a 500 word sample that the writer chose from his or her manuscript where he or she felt they needed help with their voice. Our hope that these samples will help you with your work and that you’ll get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors. We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques.  If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones.   And now we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Summer Spence   Website  |  Twitter Summer Spence is a YA author living in scenic Utah (and always pining for California, her true home), with degrees in English Literature and Theatre. She began her storytelling career on stage as an actor, where she fell in love with words and the beautiful challenge of creating human beings out of them. Then she figured out she could do that without changing out of her pajamas, and she became a writer! Summer is represented by Heather Flaherty at The Bent Agency.   Summer’s 500 word critique . . . YA Science Fiction The sapphire blue dress for my coming-of-age ceremony fit as I expected—soft, smooth, and suffocating. [Great start – an unexpected juxtaposition that lets the reader into the character’s state of mind immediately!] The perfect dress for the perfect healer princess. Or in my case, the perfect imposter. And by the time our five moons had risen, everyone would know the truth. For the tenth time, I attempted to wind my hair into an elaborate knot, but the long black strands slipped and fell through my shaking fingers. I yanked [strong verb! Helps keep the voice active]  out the remaining hair pins and took a long breath. The scent of roses, sweet and strong, filled my head but did nothing to calm my nerves. I shoved open my balcony doors. Above, two moons already peeked over Shelazon’s western horizon. So little time left. [We are given a little great world building here with the moons – but still in the voice of the character AND it pertains to the immediate problem the character faces. Part of a character’s voice is what they notice in the world around them and how they interact/understand it. Bravo!] Below my balcony, healers with dark robes and darker expressions roamed the palace patios and gardens. Several of the elders inspected rows...

Read More
Day 3 (Part 1) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars mentor, Helene Dunbar
May04

Day 3 (Part 1) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars mentor, Helene Dunbar

Welcome to May’s Voice Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected over thirty writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a 500 word sample that the writer chose from his or her manuscript where he or she felt they needed help with their voice. Our hope that these samples will help you with your work and that you’ll get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors. We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques.  If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones. And now we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Helene Dunbar Website  |  Twitter Helene Dunbar is the author of THESE GENTLE WOUNDS (Flux, 2014), WHAT REMAINS (Flux, 2015) and BOOMERANG (coming from Sky Pony in 2017). Over the years, she’s worked as a drama critic, journalist, and marketing manager, and has written on topics as diverse as Irish music, court cases, theater, and Native American Indian tribes. She lives in Nashville with her husband and daughter and exists on a steady diet of readers’ tears. Represented by Lauren MacLeod at The Strothman Agency. Photo by Stephanie Saujon   Helene’s 500 Word Critique . . . YA Historical             Ladies do not scramble up the outer walls of their homes with their skirts hitched up and bound about their knees. (I’m only marking this here, but you only need one space after a period) They do not cling to trellises filled with shriveled roses, pricking their fingers upon thorns and biting back oaths they are not supposed to know, as they push open the windows of chambers they were forbidden to enter. I actually love this opening paragraph. It makes me curious about your MC, who she is and why she’s doing these things that she knows she isn’t supposed to.             I hold my breath. This is clichéd and I wanted more of a transition. “I’ve never cared about being a lady” or “But there are more important things than being a lady” or something that both connects the paragraphs and gives us the tiniest idea of why she’s doing this.  The leaded casements defy my cold fingers at first, but I finally work my nails into the a narrow crack and pull.  When last I was allowed to see my sister, two days ago, I had taken care to leave the casements unlatched when last I was allowed to see my sister, two days previous. I admit that I...

Read More