Day 3 (Part 2) of June Settings Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Hayley Stone
Jun03

Day 3 (Part 2) of June Settings Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Hayley Stone

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 Hayley Stone   Website  |  Twitter Hayley Stone has lived her entire life in sunny California, where the weather is usually perfect and nothing as exciting as a robot apocalypse ever happens. When not reading or writing, she freelances as an editor and graphic designer, falls in love with video game characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in German from California State University, Sacramento. Her debut novel, Machinations, releases July 26th from Hydra/Random House. She loves connecting with writers and readers. Visit her on Twitter: @hayley_stone The 500 Word Critique . . . Adult Women’s Fiction   “Are you real?” She stared into his blue eyes. “Am I dreaming again?” “Of course I’m bloody real.” He sat down on the floor. ((What is the texture of the floor? Is it soft carpet, hardwood, linoleum? Since this character complains about the fact of having to sit on the floor right after this, it benefits us to know if it’s genuinely uncomfortable. Not only does it create pathos between the reader and this character, it can also be telling that the character is tired enough to plop down anywhere.)) “I do wish you’d get some furniture in here, I’m fed up of sitting on the floor. I’ve tried to bring a chair through but it doesn’t let me.” “What doesn’t let you?” Laura was baffled. “What do you mean, you’ve been here nearly every night?” “The mirror doesn’t let me,” he said matter-of-factly. “Only me and Chester seem to be able to come through.” “Through the mirror?” Laura wasn’t making any sense of his words. “You came through the mirror?” ((This is a perfect opportunity to describe the mirror in question. Let the reader view it through Laura’s eyes—is it common, everyday? Did she purchase it from a Wal-Mart? Or was it a gift, some kind of inheritance that has...

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Day 3 of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Michael Mammay
Jun03

Day 3 of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Michael Mammay

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 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 The 500 Word Critique . . . Adult Historical Romance   Culloma, California October 1870 From the moment Grace Savoy stepped off the covered wagon, she was certain this was all a mistake. She clutched the hands of her twin daughters, Olive and Helen, as a man dragged their trunks through the mud in front of them. Her lady’s maid followed behind them clutching her bag of personal items she wanted guarded at all times. Had Henry received her letter announcing their arrival? She immediately regretted her decision to wear her best boots as she forcefully pulled each foot through the thick mud. An unsavory stench filled the air and she subconsciously reached for the rosary in her pouch for strength. A single curl of auburn hair fell to her cheek as beads of sweat began to form on her forehead. I like the setting here—it gives a good picture. A couple of minor points: you mention the mud, twice. It’s okay, if the mud is that pervasive, but done once with a little more feeling might carry more impact. You could use setting here—the mud—to help characterize your MC’s feelings on the place. Perhaps try to convey what she’s feeling as she is forced to try to pull each foot from the mud. Is she wearing the right footwear, or is she unprepared? Regarding the unsavory stench—that’s an example of where telling is probably not your best option. You could make that a lot stronger by describing it. What does it smell like? Garbage? Rotting meat? How does MC react to the smell? Does she fight not to retch? Tying the setting to the...

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DARKNESS SHIFTING by Sarah L. Blair … cover reveal and excerpt!
Jun03

DARKNESS SHIFTING by Sarah L. Blair … cover reveal and excerpt!

Pre-order the Kindle version of Darkness Shifting here! Goodreads Blurb: Darkness Shifting is the first book in the Tides of Darkness Series. Paranormal Investigator, Sidney Lake doesn’t jump at shadows. The weird stuff is her jurisdiction. When the mangled body of a supposedly extinct creature turns up in New York City’s subway system, she’s number one on the Medical Examiner’s speed dial. But this case hits too close to home when clues point her toward the truth about her parents’ brutal murder twelve years ago. Her boss Mitchell Harris, questions whether she should continue to investigate. However, Sidney insists on facing her greatest fears and putting her parents’ memory to rest once and for all. What she uncovers sheds a light on secrets that reach further into the darkness than she ever wanted to go… and leads her to a future she never imagined. Excerpt: A door at the back of the room next to the fireplace opened before Mitch could answer. The man who emerged wasn’t quite as tall as Mitch, but as soon as he stepped through the door, his presence seemed to expand to fill the enormous space. Sidney didn’t need to be introduced. It was very clear who this man was. At first glance, his shoulder length hair was jet black, but when he stepped into the light it picked up gold and orange tones from the fire and she saw that it was actually a very dark brown. It reminded her of pure chocolate falling in loose waves around his square face, ending in stark contrast with the edge of his pristine, white collar. His eyes were the same dark liquid brown as his hair. She could tell the second she met his gaze that this man didn’t feel the need to impress anyone. His deep set eyes were soft, holding a hint of amusement, as if he didn’t have to think about what she might do or say because he already knew. “I apologize for the wait. Mitchell, it’s good to see you again.” The voice that came out of his mouth was unexpected and familiar at the same time. It sounded British, but it was more rugged than the Queen’s English. In all her years at boarding school in the UK, she hadn’t heard anything like it. It held lilting notes of Welsh, but there were gruff hints of a Highland brogue in there as well. She recalled hearing it at one point in the hospital, but she didn’t remember actually meeting him. The men shook hands as if they’d been pals in grade school. Sidney stayed behind Mitch, not wanting to...

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