Day 7 (Part 2) of June Setting Workshop With Pitch Wars Mentor Addie Thorley
Jun09

Day 7 (Part 2) of June Setting Workshop With Pitch Wars Mentor Addie Thorley

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 Addie Thorley Website | Twitter  Addie Thorley writes Young Adult historical fiction and fantasy. She has a passion for multicultural stories with exotic locales and anything with magic and KISSING! When she’s not writing, Addie works as a professional equestrian and does everything from riding award-winning show horses to training wild mustangs. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and wolf dog and enjoys gallivanting in the woods, running, and eating cookies in her spare time. She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. The 500 Word Critique . . . Middle Grade Steampunk Adventure Wil inserted the brass key and turned it until the lock clicked. He hesitated. Uncle Henry had never allowed him in the attic. But his uncle was gone and Aunt Edith barely recognized him. He pocketed the key in his loose cotton trousers, pushed open the door and reached for the lantern. Holding it up, he stepped inside and closed the heavy wooden door–well, mostly, leaving it cracked for a quick escape. (This is a great first paragraph! It hooked me right away. I love that we get an insight into Wil’s family situation, and you’ve done a fantastic job setting the scene. Specific details like the brass key, his loose cotton trousers (rather than something more modern/ordinary like jeans), and using a lantern instead of switching on a light or grabbing a flashlight really help to ground us in your world. I also love the sense of mystery/ danger you’ve created with the cracked door.) The room was larger than he expected with high ceilings. (I think you can push this description harder. This is our first glimpse of the forbidden attic—really dig in and set the scene. Does it have a smell? That’s usually the first thing I notice about attics. How large is “bigger than expected”? Can you compare it to something that would reveal more about this world? Are...

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Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence; Advice from the Frontlines of Hollywood by Lane Shefter Bishop
Jun09

Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence; Advice from the Frontlines of Hollywood by Lane Shefter Bishop

Website | Twitter The Art of the Single Sentence By Lane Shefter Bishop Everyone in the entertainment industry has heard of the quick-sell, the logline, the elevator pitch, and they also know the necessity of creating that selling sentence, since most network and studio execs barely have time to eat lunch these days. But the struggle arises when it’s time to actually put down on paper that all-important marketing device. Then the question looms large – how can you possibly condense your story into only a single sentence? It’s not easy to do but once created, that logline is invaluable for highlighting what’s special about your work and for ultimately helping to make the sale. My new book Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence; Advice from the Frontlines of Hollywood (available on Amazon) goes into much more detail about how to cultivate a top-notch logline. However, below are the broad strokes in order to get you started, which I’ve developed over years of teaching the craft at writer’s conferences both across the country and around the world. First of all, think long and hard about what is most unique about your content because this is truly the heart of your logline. Additionally, understand that the answer to that query always involves you being as specific as possible. Why is that? Because it is the details of your tale that make your material different from everyone else’s. When you describe your story with generalities like “a woman trying to save the world” or “ a man determined to fall in love” your masterpiece sounds terribly generic – one of many in the same arena – which is never a good thing when you are trying to sell. But by being as specific as possible you immediately bring front and center what’s wonderfully different about your work. Using the same two examples as above, see how being specific changes everything: “a woman determined to free sex slaves through an underground sting” or “a heterosexual man who suddenly falls in love with his gay best friend”. Immediately, these two stories become more exciting because by concentrating on the specifics, we are starting to discover what makes them special. Next, bring your attention to the top three essentials of every great story – Who is the protagonist? What do they want? (an actual want, not an emotional one) and what is at stake if they don’t achieve that goal? These fundamentals make up the meat of your logline so it’s imperative to always define them first. Once you have those tenets in place, you are ready to begin the process known in...

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Day 7 of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Stephanie Scott
Jun09

Day 7 of June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Stephanie Scott

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 Stephanie Scott Website | Twitter | Instagram Stephanie is a Young Adult writer whose debut ALTERATIONS is set for release in 2016 by Bloomsbury Spark. She’s an active member of Romance Writers of America and its online YA chapter YARWA. She enjoys dance fitness and cat memes, and Pinterest is driving her broke. Born and raised in Kalamazoo where there are no zoos, she’s a Midwest girl at heart. She now lives outside of Chicago with her tech-of-all-trades husband. You can find her chatting about TV and all things books on twitter and Instagram at @StephScottYA The 500 Word Critique . . . New Adult Contemporary Romance “Believe me; I’m not going to let a chance to have you forever get away.” “Okay,” I said, exhaling deeply and putting aside all fears and uncertainties and deciding to go with it. I felt at ease for once, at peace somehow, knowing that he would not hurt me. “Come on, let’s go. I know you are hungry; you must be with all that work this morning”, he said, his smile appealing to the growing hunger deep within my loins. Grabbing my hand, we walked to the parking garage, got in his car, and left. He plugged in his iPod and selected a playlist called driving tunes. Jake Owen’s Real Life started playing and I looked over at Nicholas.   The first instance of setting here is the parking garage. This is a good place to show some character point of view though the setting details. If you want to go for more humor, you could take the loins comment and tie that in. Something like, He smiled, and despite our walk through a very public parking garage, my loins signaled, get him alone. When they’re in the car, how does it feel to be in an enclosed space with someone your Main Character (MC) is so turned on by?...

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