Day 8 (Part 2) of the June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Sonia Hartl
Jun10

Day 8 (Part 2) of the June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Sonia Hartl

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 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. The 500 Word Critique . . . New Adult Fantasy   Apart from Lea, they showed no sign whatsoever that they had even noticed me entering the office room. That much were they engrossed into their stupid poker game. [This sentence reads a bit wonky to me, maybe reword?] Nina stretched herself like a giant ginger cat and kept sending enigmatic smiles to Lea who showed nothing but the perfect poker face. I could have bet she even tried to play footsie with him. [There are a lot of names being dropped in this opening paragraph, and I have no idea who is who and why they are relevant. The scene hasn’t really been set, I don’t have a good grasp of what this looks and feels like, and it’s pretty much all telling without showing what is going on in the room. Like mentioning that no one noticed your MC except Lea, but no showing of how Lea noticed your MC or showing the other characters ignoring the MC. No details about the office or blocking of the scene. Are all these people seated around a table? How is Nina stretched out...

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Day 8 of the June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor K.T. Hanna
Jun10

Day 8 of the June Setting Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor K.T. Hanna

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 K.T. Hanna Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Wattpad Tumblr | Instagram | Google+ KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds. Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you. When she’s not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, plays computer games, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn’t sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky. Note: Still searching for her Tardis The 500 Word Critique . . . Adult Thriller [I want to start by saying: Toward the end of this section there’s a spark of interest, and if the setting was a bit more tangible, I would be eager to read more. However, knowing this is a thriller, I don’t get any atmospheric feeling from this first page. I get the feeling it starts in the wrong place, but not knowing the story, I can’t say that with 100% conviction. I’ve gone through and made suggestions anyway, but I do urge you to look at your story and see if this is the best way to start. If this isn’t where it starts, but partway through instead, make sure to try and increase the atmosphere (my suggestions are just suggestions, guidelines that will hopefully help you – I’m not saying this is how it must be done.)]   The jet was black and larger than other aircraft on the strip. The stairs were already down, cool air escaping from within. Chase had flown before, but always shared planes with eighty other souls. This was a private jet and looked expensive as hell. He’d have been more excited had his pilot not been twelve. “How many hundreds of thousands did this cost?”   [Right here you’re telling me things instead of showing them. The jet...

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Pitch Wars Success Story with Stephanie Herman and her Mentor Whitney Fletcher
Jun10

Pitch Wars Success Story with Stephanie Herman and her Mentor Whitney Fletcher

  Our favorite part of hosting pitch contests around here is when we hear about successes. Today we celebrate Stephanie Herman and her Pitch Wars mentor Whitney Fletcher! Stephanie recently signed with Leon Husock of L. Perkins Agency, and we’re so over-the-moon excited for yer. So please join me in congratulating Stephanie and Whitney as they share with us their amazing Pitch Wars success story. Stephanie, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Whitney? I spent a lot of time looking at the different mentors, reading their blog posts and social media, basically being slightly creepy.  Whitney was the first I added to my list, and it was a bit of a no-brainer.   My manuscript matched several of the things he said he loves to see in fiction, from bittersweet endings to unusual steampunk.  Not only that, but the media he loves lined up so perfectly with mine.  He specifically named several of my absolute favorite books and shows, including Kameron Hurley and the anime Darker than Black, so I thought since we love the same types of things, he’d be likely to “get” my fiction.  Mine is a weird book, and that was important to me; I was sure any writer at the mentor level could offer great advice, but someone ostensibly in my target audience as well would appreciate the unique aspects of the book, and be better able to help me enhance them. Whitney, what about Stephanie’s application made you choose her? Oh, where to begin? Steph’s MS really captured a vivid setting that felt different than a lot of the traditional fantasy fare, even in just the first pages. I loved the concept of a city besieged by carnivorous plants. Moreover, she didn’t stop there–she took that idea and thought about realistic implications that world would have as far as politics, economics, etc. The characters were vivid and the action was crisp. There was no doubt that the writing skills were there. Further, when I looked at her presence on social media, I saw that she was positive, supportive, and engaged with the other contestants–all of which signaled someone who would be willing to work hard and seriously consider any suggestions I had. Stephanie, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? Well, I was an alternate, so things weren’t nearly as intense as they were for some of the other mentees!  That’s OK with me though, Whitney gave me some comments, particularly around pacing. I had finished a major revision a couple months before I applied, and hadn’t looked at the book for a while, so while I was going through and looking for places to extrapolate Whitney’s comments,...

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