Day 1 of June’s Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Ashley Hearn
Jun01

Day 1 of June’s Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Ashley Hearn

Welcome to June’s Setting Workshop! From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected over thirty writers to participate. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a 500 word sample chosen by the writers from a place he or she felt needed help with setting. We hope that not only you’ll learn a little bit about setting that you can apply to your own writing, but that you’ll also be able to get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors and their editing styles. 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 Ashley Hearn Twitter |Website Ashley Hearn is a Young Adult author represented by Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis, an intern for Entangled Publishing, and a producer for the Badger Sports Report, the football and basketball coach’s television show for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an addictive coffee drinker, a Gilmore Girls fanatic, and a proud Gryffindor. When she ferrets away enough gas money, she can be found scouring the Georgia and South Carolina Sea Islands for ruined plantations, folk magic, and a fresh story.   The 500 Word Critique . . . YA Fantasy Hauk slipped out of his hut and stood listening. The night was quiet apart from the constant chirruping of cicadas and a few birds calling from the surrounding forest. [I love the detail with the cicadas! Besides engaging my sense of hearing, it draws to mind a specific region!] The guardian had finished her rounds a while ago; she must have turned in by now. He scanned the camp. The communal fire was out, and the moon barely shone through the clouds, but his eyes were adjusted to the deeper dark inside. [Inside of what?] Like always, he felt quite sure none of the others were sneaking around like him. [Most of your setting, at this point, is observations, but often the most engaging setting details are the ones your character is directly interacting with: the smell of ash in the communal fire pit, the humid nip to the night air, the hut’s rough canvas door…these are the details that don’t just help us picture the world, but make us feel like we’re in it! Would love to see you bring in a few more of these, rather than your character stopping to stare.] It didn’t stop his heart from pounding as he stole across the encampment. [How big is this encampment? Up until now, I’ve been picturing five or six tents...

Read More
Day 1 (Part 2) of June’s Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Summer Spence!
Jun01

Day 1 (Part 2) of June’s Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Summer Spence!

Welcome to June’s Setting Workshop! From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected over thirty writers to participate. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a 500 word sample chosen by the writers from a place he or she felt needed help with setting. We hope that not only you’ll learn a little bit about setting that you can apply to your own writing, but that you’ll also be able to get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors and their editing styles. 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. The 500 Word Critique . . . YA Fantasy   Soft grass tickled his bare feet. [Right off the bat, we’re outside and the grass is alive! I can FEEL it! Great start!] He smiled and leaned down to run his hands through the thin blades and search for the perfect stone. Behind him, his older bothers jeered at each other about hitting too hard with sticks, and their mother screamed for them to get back to work on the farm. [BAM. Already we know we’re on a farm and that our MC has different ideas about what to do with his time than his brothers. And… all revealed through setting!]   A breeze rustled the emerald waves of grass while his tanned fingers dug through the flooded earth. The sun beat down on his exposed back, the wrap around his waist half falling off in his desperate search for a magnificent specimen for his experiment. He knew his mother, his father, his grandparents, and his aunts and uncles needed help in the rice fields. All of his cousins, no matter what their age, spent the harvesting season knee deep in murky water, stripping each rice plant of its tiny grains. [Awesome! We got more specific in this paragraph. This is a great example of not dumping everything at once. We learn a little at a time about our setting, and it’s...

Read More