Day 14 (Part 2) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor J.C. Davis
May19

Day 14 (Part 2) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor J.C. Davis

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 J.C. Davis Website  |  Twitter As a child, J.C. Davis spent her days inventing secret worlds and finding forgotten places. Busy reading her way through the local library, she never imagined writing books of her own until one day, all grown up, she fell in love with a children’s book and decided to rediscover a few of those secret worlds she’d invented. Ms. Davis’s first book is locked in a drawer guarded by attack trolls. Her second, however, is out on sub and hoping to find a home soon. A programmer by day, Ms. Davis lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, two kids and a pair of hedgehogs with nerdy names. Ms. Davis is an amateur photographer, runs a Harry Potter meet-up group, and is an unrepentant book addict. Ms. Davis is represented by Mandy Hubbard of the Emerald City Literary Agency. J.C.’s 500 Word Critique . . . MG Contemporary A chorus of greetings met me as I walked down the hall toward Mr. Schipko’s writing class: You’re first sentence is so important – it’s your first chance to invite the reader into your world, your first promise. A good first sentence should do any of the following (sometimes more than one): establish voice, introduce scene, set a mood, establish character, create a question, show the reader the unusual. Right now I don’t feel like you’re first sentence is doing any of those things. It’s pretty standard and could be from any novel. Can you make it stand out so this sentence could only ever be your novel? I suggest starting with the fact that Liza is a twin and resents not having her own identity (which you establish a few paragraphs down) as that is what sets her apart. Also, it’s hard to tell from just the first 500 words – but what is the inciting incident? Can you begin...

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Day 14 (Part 1) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Sonia Hartl
May19

Day 14 (Part 1) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Sonia Hartl

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 Sonia Hartl Website  |  Twitter I’m an author of young adult contemporary stories and a reader of anything I can get my hands on (books, cereal boxes, bumper stickers). Like most writers, I got my start making up stories as a kid. Mostly about penguins and the North Pole. As a teenager I moved on to bad, angsty poetry before creating longer works of fiction. My first manuscript was an impressive 180,000 words, after which I spent a few years writing short fiction to learn how to say more by saying less. My work has appeared in the The Writers Post Journal, Boston Literary Magazine, and the anthology Bearing North. I’m a member of SCBWI and represented by Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary Agency.   Sonia’s 500 Word Critique . . . YA Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling In the early twilight hours, before the sun chased away the evening shadows, I heard [Adding in filters such as ‘I heard, I saw, I felt’ keeps your reader at a distance from your character. Since this is first person, you want to get as close as possible, and this sentence works better without the filter] a haunting voice that hypnotized me. The voice was distant, and beautiful, and like a snake slithering towards its prey, the voice swept in, and filled my room.  When it found me, the voice entered my thoughts and took control. I’d never heard this voice before, but I knew it belonged to her. [The voice repeats a lot in this small paragraph. I’m also not getting a sense of your MC yet, I feel like I’m getting a better sense of this voice, and your MC is just a passive witness. Maybe open with your MC active in her story before getting into this voice, or have your MC doing something when the voice enters their mind.] In the last few years,...

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