Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pitchwars Critique – INTO THE PALE



Here is another query critique for one of our pitchwars hopefuls. Thank you so much to Ellie Cypher for sharing with us! Ellie has asked that I critique the first page of her newest WIP, so there’s no query with this one. I’ve posted the full page, then again with my comments.

 

The answer to what freezes first is the eyes.

 

That ain’t something most people would guess. Most folk would say it was the fingers or toes. Or maybe even the guts, if they were out. Once, I’d even heard a man say it was the tongue that froze first. But I know better. Always have.

Raising a gloved hand to my fur lined hood, I tilted my head and looked at the body by my feet.

 

Guess he knew now too.

 

I scuffed my boot across the crystal-flecked surface of the man’s canvas blue jacket. The motion sent small swirls of snow, as fine dust, out into the cold draught around us. The night had froze the man’s breath right across his face. The warm water of his lungs expelled and made real, like a spider’s web. I reached down.

 

Only idiots tried to cross the Ice Flats in the night. Greta had been once again right. Usual. Buried treasure my ass. Only thing out this way was the cold. And death. And hunger. Lots of hunger.

 

“Marjorie!”

 

I started. Shit. Would she not just leave me be? The holler came again. I frowned and jumped up.

 

Way I figured it, anyone dumb or greedy enough to think otherwise pretty much damn well had it coming. It ain’t like they couldn’t see all them grave markers out front. Little grey stone warnings in the permafrost, they made a jagged line of snowy teeth. A boundary line between life and death. Between the Flats and the whole rest of the world.

 

 

Now with my comments!

 

 

The answer to what freezes first is the eyes. I like this first line but maybe simplify to make it more punchy with just, What freezes first are the eyes or, The eyes freeze first.

 

That ain’t something most people would guess. Most folk would say it was the fingers or toes. Or maybe even the guts, if they were out. Once, I’d even heard a man say it was the tongue that froze first. But I know better. Always have. Love this voice and super creepy inner monologue.

 

Raising a gloved hand to my fur lined hood, I tilted my head and looked at the body by my feet.

 

Guess he knew now too.

 

I scuffed my boot across the crystal-flecked surface of the man’s canvas blue jacket. The motion sent small swirls of snow, as fine dust, out into the cold draught around us. Nice! The night had frozen (or keep wrong for voice) the man’s breath right across his face. The warm water of his lungs expelled WC, maybe too a big a word for current voice… and made real, WC solid like a spider’s web. I reached down. And does what? Touches his face, his frozen breath? Or does she just kneel down?

 

Only idiots tried to cross the Ice Flats in the at night. Greta had been once again right. Usual. Buried treasure my ass. Only thing out this way was the cold. And death. And hunger. Lots of hunger.

 

“Marjorie!”

 

I started. Shit. I’m fine with cursing in YA but on the first page might be a little off putting for some…you can make a world building curse that she uses that isn’t actually a bad word. Would she instead of she, maybe a name…is this the Greta mentioned above? not just leave me be? The holler came again. I frowned and jumped up.

 

Way I figured it, anyone dumb or greedy enough to think otherwise pretty much damn well had it coming. It ain’t like they couldn’t see all them grave markers out front. Little grey stone warnings in the permafrost, they made a jagged line of snowy teeth. A boundary line between life and death. Between the Flats and the whole rest of the world. Love this paragraph!

 

This is a very good first page…I would definitely keep reading to see what’s next.

 

Thanks again to Ellie Cypher for sharing her work with us!

For the next query visit Kate on her blog on 10/13 at katekaryusquinn.blogspot.com and I’ll have another critique right here next Tuesday!
 

4 comments:

  1. @Ellie Cypher- great beginning!! How much of the work is finished? Was this the same work you submitted for Ink & Insights 2016?

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Ellie Cypher- great beginning!! How much of the work is finished? Was this the same work you submitted for Ink & Insights 2016?

    ReplyDelete

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