Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pitchwars Query Critique – BRISKWOOD BLOOD RAIN


 
Here is another query critique for our pitchwars hopefuls. I’ve pasted the entire query and first page, then again with my comments. Thank you so much to Christopher Joubert for sharing with us!
 
 

Dear Mentor,

When Miles Parker walks into one of his final classes of high school, the only thing on his mind is how poorly he is about to do on a quiz he didn’t study for. Then, his teacher dies – and vanishes – in front of him. After this unexplainable event happens, he thinks his day can’t get any stranger.

 

He’s wrong.

 

When severe weather roars into the small city of Briskwood and cancels school for the rest of the day, Miles thinks nothing of it. Then, the rain suddenly turns red and mutates people into gray, spike-covered creatures hell-bent on terrorizing everything that moves.


Miles soon finds himself trapped inside of his job, the Royal Cinema Theater, along with his best friend Trevor Johnson. There, he also meets a group of teenagers who can’t seem to get along, even in a time of crisis.

 

After one of the freakishly mutated people ends up inside of the building, Miles and the others find themselves up against an enemy that is much stronger than they are. The race for survival against this new, deadly species is on.

 

With the blood rain falling all around him and the yellow-eyed creatures, the threaders, out to murder anything that breathes, Miles may not live to see his graduation day.

 

This novel connects with me on a personal level because I have worked in a movie theater for more than three years now and I am familiar with how a dangerous situation would affect the fragile system of the business.

 

BRISKWOOD BLOOD RAIN, a stand-alone novel with strong series potential, is a thrilling apocalyptic page-turner with commercial appeal that is currently complete at 61,000 words. Readers of Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne and Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts will enjoy this adventure.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Christopher Joubert

 

 

Chapter 1

 

It looks like my first accomplishment of the day is booking myself a one-way-ticket to detention. Senior year has kicked my ass. Lately, I just haven’t been able to get enough sleep because of the never-ending pointless stuff that comes along with the last year of school. Just yesterday, I was forced to take what felt like a million pictures for my graduation invitations. The smell of bacon wafts up the stairs into my room and gives me just the push I need to begin another long day.

 

“Miles, you’re going to be late.” My mom screams from downstairs.

 

“Mom, you should be used to this by now.” I yell back, my voice echoing down the halls of our large house. I drag myself from the sanctuary of my bed to the bathroom, turn on the sink, and brush my teeth. The morning light breaks through the dark storm clouds outside and shines through the window. As I throw on a wrinkled Breaking Bad T-shirt and a pair of jeans splattered with spots of pizza sauce, it thunders loudly. I slam the door to the bathroom and bound down the winding spiral staircase.

 

When I enter the kitchen, I find my mom dancing to music from whatever decade used an excessive amount of horns. Not stopping to figure it out, I say hello to her over the noise of the blasting portable speaker, grab a handful of bacon, and head towards the front door. She clears her throat behind me, loud enough to be heard over the blasting saxophones and trumpets.

 

“What?” I whip around and peek my head back inside the kitchen.

 

“Are you forgetting what I asked you to do last night?” Damn. I honestly have no idea what she’s talking about and I don’t exactly have the time to hear her lecture me if I admit that. She glares at me, giving me the thorny and disapproving look that blooms inside of every mom when her child starts to mature. Small wrinkles line the sides of her sad, blue eyes. Her auburn hair is twisted into two braids and peppered with streaks of gray.

 

And now with my comments!

 

Dear Mentor,

When Miles Parker walks into one of his final classes of high school, the only thing on his mind is how poorly he is about to do on a add subject quiz he didn’t study for. Then, his teacher dies – and vanishes – in front of him. After this unexplainable event happens, he thinks his day can’t get any stranger.

 

He’s wrong. Nice!

 

When severe weather roars into the small city of Briskwood and cancels school is cancelled for the rest of the day, Miles thinks nothing of it. the weather caused the cancelation but didn’t cancel school. Then, the rain suddenly turns red and mutates people into gray, spike-covered creatures hell-bent on terrorizing everything that moves. This could be fleshed out…this is a huge part of the story and it’s told kind of in a hum drum way. Spice this up.


Miles soon finds himself trapped at work inside of his job, the Royal Cinema Theater, along with his best friend Trevor Johnson. There, he also meets and a group of teenagers who can’t seem to get along, again, kind of bland language, especially for an apocalyptic event even in a time of crisis. *

 

After one of the freakishly mutated people ends up inside of the building, Miles and the others find themselves up against use stronger words…like fighting an enemy that is much stronger than they are. The race for survival against this new, deadly species is on. This is a great end summary sentence.

 

With the blood rain falling all around him and the yellow-eyed creatures, the threaders, out to murder anything that breathes, Miles may not live to see his graduation day.  Delete this but move “murder anything that breathes” and “yellow-eyed creatures” up and weave in, since those are good images. “May not live to see his graduation day” is funny, but maybe move to * and tweak. Or see if it fits elsewhere since it relays the humor you touch on throughout.

 

This novel connects with me on a personal level because I have worked in a movie theater for more than three years now and I am familiar with how a dangerous situation would affect the fragile system of the business.  Funny but a lot of words for something that an agent probably won’t be interested in.

 

BRISKWOOD BLOOD RAIN, a stand-alone novel with strong series potential, Great! is a thrilling apocalyptic page-turner with commercial appeal that is currently complete at 61,000 words. Readers of Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne and Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts will enjoy this adventure. Great comp titles, capitalize them.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Christopher Joubert

 

Good start to a query, but make it more hooky!

 

Chapter 1

 

It looks like my first accomplishment of the day is booking myself a one-way-ticket to detention. Great first line! Mention here that he slept through his alarm or is running late, or hasn’t managed to get out of bed yet to set the scene. Senior year has kicked my ass. Lately, I just haven’t been able to get enough sleep because of the never-ending pointless stuff that comes along with the last year of school. Just yesterday, I was forced to take what felt like a million pictures for my graduation invitations. The smell of bacon wafts up the stairs into my room and gives me just the push I need to begin another long day.

 

“Miles, you’re going to be late.,Mmy mom screams from downstairs.

 

Mom, yYou should be used to this by now.” I yell back, my voice echoing down the halls of our large house. I drag myself from the sanctuary of my bed to the bathroom, turn on the sink, and brush my teeth. He would probably pee first. J But this info doesn’t have to be in there. The morning light breaks through the dark storm clouds outside and shines through the window. As I throw on a wrinkled Breaking Bad T-shirt and a pair of jeans splattered with spots of pizza sauce, it thunders loudly. Tweak this sentence…you make it sound like his jeans thunder loudly. I slam the door to the bathroom and bound down the winding spiral staircase.

 

When I enter the kitchen, I find my mom dancing to music from whatever decade used an excessive amount of horns. Not stopping to figure it out, I say hello to her over the noise of the blasting portable speaker, grab a handful of bacon, Wouldn’t that be gross and greasy? and head towards the front door. She clears her throat behind me, loud enough to be heard over the blasting saxophones and trumpets.

 

“What?” I whip around and peek my head back inside the kitchen.

 

“Are you forgetting what I asked you to do last night?” Damn. I honestly have no idea what she’s talking about and I don’t exactly have the time to hear her lecture me if I admit that. She glares at me, giving me the thorny and disapproving look that blooms inside of every mom when her child starts to mature. Way too self-aware here. Small wrinkles line the sides of her sad, blue eyes. Her auburn hair is twisted into two braids and peppered with streaks of gray.

 

This is a good first page, you’ve got a great voice for Miles. It just needs tightening up…too much unnecessary info.

Thanks again to Christopher Joubert for sharing his work with us!

For the next query visit Kate on her blog on 10/27 at katekaryusquinn.blogspot.com and I’ll have another critique right here next Tuesday!

2 comments:

  1. Wow this was such an interesting and intriguing read! loved the way the first paragraph was written and how it ended on he was wrong! very intriguing

    ReplyDelete