Day 7 of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Michael Mammay
May10

Day 7 of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Michael Mammay

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 Michael Mammay Michael Mammay serves in the army and lives in the southeast. In his spare time he writes adult science fiction and fantasy, usually with explosions. He’s represented by Lisa Rodgers of JABberwocky Literary. You can follow him on Twitter @michaelmammay   Michael’s 500 Word Critique . . . MG Historical Novel, 1966 Shakespeare was right. The world is a stage, and I’ve been shoved onto it, buck naked, to play a solo I haven’t practiced. At least, that’s how I feel as I plow through the muggy August afternoon on my way to the library, wishing my one and only friend, Anna, hadn’t given herself food poisoning, yet again.  Because sitting on the bench in front of the library are the two people who always, always, make me feel like I’m playing out of tune in their perfectly tuned little world. “Why, Birdie, what a surprise!” Carol puts her hand on her cheek. Monique giggles. “Rose City is pretty small.” I twist one of my braids. “It’s not too unusual to run into someone you know.” Monique rolls her eyes at me. Shoot. Out of tune. No matter how hard I try. The Stones “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” blares in my brain. The writing here is really solid, which is great because it really lets us dive into the  voice. I think the first line puts us in the wrong space. Opening with Shakespeare feels a lot like an adult speaking. Really the entire opening line. I know there are MG kids who know Shakespeare, but I’d want to establish that before jumping in with it. I like the idea of The Stones to set the time period, but again, not sure that’s a kid’s thought. It works for me, because I know the song. Not sure for an MG audience. With that said, I love the music theme you run...

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Pitch Wars: The Synopsis … simplified
May10

Pitch Wars: The Synopsis … simplified

Will you need a synopsis for Pitch Wars? I’m not going to lie. You may need one. Many mentors might ask for one to make that final mentee decision. I get it.  I hate writing synopses. But, unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil. Agents and editors may ask you for one. Get yours ready right after you finish your manuscript. Some writers do one before they even write the book. I can’t do that because I never follow an outline. So I thought I’d share with you how I do my synopses. Here’s a simplified formula. I hope it helps you tackle that dreaded synopsis. 1st Part (1 paragraph) – The hook. What makes your story unique? Find that special something that sets your story apart from all the other stories out there with similar premises. Your manuscript about the bonds of friendship isn’t special enough. But put the friends in a moon station or on a deserted island where they have to trust each other to survive and you have something unique. 2nd Part (1 paragraph) – Act I. The slice of life. It’s simply your character’s life before a door closes forever on the main character and life as they knew it changes. 3rd Part (1 to 2 paragraphs) – Act II. Inciting incident. No going back. Start with your Inciting incident. How do you find the inciting Incident? The inciting incident takes the character from Act 1 of the story into Act 2. Your inciting incident should follow the “slice of life.” It’s the point of no return. Your character hasn’t a choice to go back to his or her normal life. She has no choice but to move forward. 4th Part (1 to 2 paragraphs) – Act III. All seems lost. The climax. Make sure to define the stakes in the story and add the road map to the climax. Keep it clean and on the main plot. 5th Part (1 paragraph) – Closing. Wrap it up and give the ending. Yes, you give the ending of the story. You can also add that it’s a standalone with series potential if you want. Add what is unique about your story. That something cool that makes an agent/editor want to make an offer. Don’t be vague. No teasers. The agent/editor must know everything important in the story. Don’t add backstory or subplots. Do add your voice. Your synopsis should always be written in third-person, present tense no matter the tense or POV of your novel. Keep your synopsis to around 500 -1000 words. A one-page synopsis is single-spaced with breaks between paragraphs. Two-pages or more should be...

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BORN TO TREASON by E. B. Wheeler . . . Happy Release Day!
May10

BORN TO TREASON by E. B. Wheeler . . . Happy Release Day!

TITLE: Born to Treason AUTHOR: E.B. Wheeler PUBLISHER: Cedar Fort, Inc. PUBLICATION DATE: May 10, 2016 Amazon |  Barnes & Noble  |  Goodreads About the Book . . . Smuggling pages from a forbidden book is a small act of defiance against Queen Elizabeth I, but it entangles Joan Pryce in a plot that may cost her heart and her life. Joan is not only Catholic—her beliefs outlawed by the queen—but also Welsh, a people long oppressed by the English. When Joan’s father dies, she is cast out from her home. Nicholas, the childhood friend she was supposed to marry, is a cold stranger, disfigured by an accident no one talks about. Smuggling religious books gives Joan a chance to do something about the injustices around her, and spend time with a handsome outlaw, but draws her into a world where everyone has a secret. An agent of the queen is closing in on her, and she must choose between her loyalty to her faith, her country, and her heart. One misstep will land her at the gallows. About the Author . . . E.B. Wheeler is the award-winning author of The Haunting of Springett Hall and Born to Treason, as well as several short stories, magazine articles, and scripts for educational software programs. She’s a 2016 Pitch Wars mentor and is represented by Abigail Samoun of Red Fox Literary. She has an M.A. in history and, in addition to writing, she also consults about historic preservation and teaches history at Utah State University. Connect with E. B. Wheeler . . . Website |  Twitter  | ...

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