Wednesday, November 25, 2015

PitchWars Critique - AFTER SHOCK

PitchWars is at its heart about the writing community. And even though at the end of the day Mindy McGinnis and I were only able to choose two mentees, we still wanted a way to give feedback to the many many many others who had been kind enough to share their work with us. Our decision to do this via our blogs, rather than a private email, is so that (hopefully!) everyone can learn a little bit from this feedback.

I'm happy to say that quite a few people have been generous enough to take us up on this offer! So, through November, Mindy and I will be posting these critiques on Mondays and Wednesdays. Make sure to look for them on both of our blogs as we'll be posting totally different critiques.

And for anyone out there looking for personalized feedback, I am now offering manuscript critique services which you can find out more about here.

You'll see my comments in red.

Dear Ms. Quinn:

Three months ago Nash Adams lost his girlfriend in a fiery car crash. Moving on from Tara’s death has been nearly impossible, but Nash is finally ready to try—until the day that Tara shows up at his baseball game. Great opening!

But the person that Nash sees isn't actually Tara: she's Natalie Grey, the new girl in town who looks exactly like Tara. But even with the resemblance to someone she’s never met, Natalie’s convinced that it’s all one big coincidence. Sometimes people look like each other; it’s no big deal. But as they grow closer, Nash and Natalie find out that the similarity between the two girls isn’t just skin-deep—and it’s definitely a big deal. Okay, it's a big deal how? What exactly is at stake here? You may have a big twist that you don't want to spoil, but right now I think you need a bit more to intrigue an agent.
With his past—and future—suddenly taking the form of a single person, Nash has to decide how far he’s willing to go for the girl he loved...and the one he’s falling for. This is great, but again I want to know specifically what he's being asked to do. Is it his life on the line? Something else? This just feels a bit too vague.
Told from two points of view, AFTER SHOCK is a YA paranormal romance, complete at 87,000 words. The story will appeal to fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout and Kimberly Derting. Great comps.
I am submitting my work to multiple agents. You really don't need this - it's generally assumed you're submitting to other agents. You can contact me at (phone number), or at (email). You can just put phone and email under your signature. 
Thank you for your consideration.  No bio??

The Story: Two Months After Tara Died 
Nash: After seems redundant to have "after Tara Died" above and then "after" again here
March: 31st, 2015  You might want to avoid putting the year just because that can date a book.

2:37 PM 
“STRIKE TWO!” The umpire yells as my pitch glides smoothly over the plate. 
“There you go, Nash! You got it!” Coach shouts from the dugout. Mom shouts it too, 

because they’re one and the same. 
I take a deep breath. Last batter, last out, last game I’ll ever play. Would love a little bit of a hint here as toy why this is his last game.

Last opportunity for a strikeout.
Pitchers, as a whole, heavily rely on one of three techniques to rack up outs: Flyballs, 

groundballs, or strikeouts.

Flyball pitchers give up a lot of home runs when they’re off; they’re temperamental.
Groundball guys give up a lot of base hits when they’re not pitching well; they’re too 


Strikeout pitchers, though? When they’re off, all they do is give up runs. They’re 

temperamental and too emotional and run their mouths about shit that they have no idea about. Great voice here.

And I’m the all-time school leader in strikeouts. You can probably guess which kind of 

pitcher/person I am from that.

I check on the runner at first, taking my time. There’s no rush, nowhere to go. The truth is that there’s nowhere I’d rather be—at least anymore—than standing on this mound, watching the runner return to his base, getting ready for the next pitch.
I turn my body back towards the plate, watch as the batter steps back into the box, and wait for Kelsey Isle’s sign.

I think the voice here is really great. The baseball stuff seems solid (says someone who knows only the basics about it). I'd definitely keep reading to see what happens next.

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