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shatteredsmooth

2/11/2018_ShatteredSmooth Intertidal 1-3_4,449 words

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Hi All,
 
A little back ground: I got impulsive and pitched a WIP during Carina Pitch and an editor requested a proposal (due March 4) including a minimum of 7500 words of the manuscript. Attached are the first three chapters. 
 
This was the pitch: 
Enby/M friends to lovers:
Homeless & unemployed, Ainslie’s life has hit rock bottom. When they meet up with an old friend, a tarot card obsessed drag-queen named Pete, they follow the cards and series of hunches on a quest for a fresh start & new home. 
 
Does the story I have sound like the one I pitched? As far as sub genre, do you think this feels more like magical realism or light contemporary fantasy?
 
The mc's pronoun is they/them/theirs. The editor who requested the ms uses those pronouns, so I'm guessing they won't be a problem. However, if you notice places where it isn't clear who the pronoun is referring to, please let me know. 

 
Other than that, I'm open to any type feedback. 
 
Thank you! 
 

P.S. There are a few swears, but otherwise, I don't think there is anything that needs a content warning. 

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On 2/11/2019 at 8:14 AM, shatteredsmooth said:
Does the story I have sound like the one I pitched? As far as sub genre, do you think this feels more like magical realism or light contemporary fantasy?
 
The mc's pronoun is they/them/theirs. The editor who requested the ms uses those pronouns, so I'm guessing they won't be a problem. However, if you notice places where it isn't clear who the pronoun is referring to, please let me know. 

Your questions

Yes, it sounds like your pitch. I don't think the pronouns were a problem. I think my biggest question is how long were you planning on this running? I don't think it has enough 'thickness' for a full novel, but could make a great novella or short of some other form.

Overall

This piece I think actually would work really well in the anthology we are both in. I'm not sure how it will fare as a longer piece, as there's not enough tension to keep me invested. It was hard to keep reading in that last chapter as I was waiting for something to kick off, or some inciting incident.

Overall though I think this is the best piece of writing you've submitted to the forum thus far. It has a lot of heart and great characterization. With a little bit more forward momentum it'll be a great piece.

 

As I go

- pg 3: trespassing is one word, not two

- end of page three: while I had been enjoying the ambiance, it's dragging on way too long at this point. I need either a plot development or some tension

- ch1: I'm not sure how I feel about the first chapter. From a technical writing standpoint it's solid, and I like the imagery. I think it might just not be my genre, because I don't sense an immediate threat, thereby don't have any tension. I also wonder at this point how A can save their old house when they have failed to follow through, it seems, on a number of prior things (like PhD, etc.). I think I might need a reason for the failures and some show that things have changed and this is the turning point in A's life. That might help a lot

- pg 5: as an academic aside, if they went right from undergrad to PhD, I'm not surprised they didn't make it. That's hard.

- pg 9: Is A purposefully coded as bipolar? 

- I enjoy the A&P interaction

- aren't all wines fruit wines??

- pg 12: ah okay, so definitely bipolar

 

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I think this is definitely some of your best work so far (and I see @kais agrees!). I got sucked into the story, even though there wasn't a whole lot of plot going on yet. As kais says, this is a great beginning for a novella or novelette. I think I have a higher limit for description with a lack of momentum, but I'm looking for something big to happen at least in the next chapter, whether it's between A and P, or with the magic.

Speaking of which, it sounds more like magical realism to me, but again, the magic hasn't really been explored, so it could go either way.

It does sound very much like the pitch, so I don't see any problem there. I didn't have any problem with the pronouns either.

Notes while reading:
pg 1: "further onto that little strip of land that belonged to no one"
--Some confusion on this. Has the land been sold or not? If it's been sold, then A is trespassing, and that they haven't spoken to family in a while makes me think the land was sold against A's wishes.

pg 2: "land that someone else technically owned"
--ok, so it has been sold.

pg 9: Ok, P's a little intense...

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1 hour ago, kais said:

This piece I think actually would work really well in the anthology we are both in. I'm not sure how it will fare as a longer piece, as there's not enough tension to keep me invested. It was hard to keep reading in that last chapter as I was waiting for something to kick off, or some inciting incident.

 

Interesting. Originally, I wrote this with that anthology in mind, but thought there was no way I was going to wrap it up with in the word count, got overwhelmed, and decided to rework the other one to fit it. 

 

1 hour ago, kais said:

- pg 5: as an academic aside, if they went right from undergrad to PhD, I'm not surprised they didn't make it. That's hard.

 

Good catch! They didn't do that. It looks like I messed up the wording there in one of the twenty hundred times I changed that sentence trying to decide what their BA and MA were in. 

3 hours ago, kais said:

- aren't all wines fruit wines??

Yes technically, but some stores in my area label any wine made with a fruit that isn't a grape a "fruit wine." I'll change it, because it does sound kind of silly when you point it out. 

 

3 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 1: "further onto that little strip of land that belonged to no one"

So if I'm not mistaken, in Massachusetts, you can't technically own land below the high tide line (though there is some ambiguity people some people technically own salt marsh), so the little strip of land between the water and the high tide line is legal for A to walk on. I'll clarify that this is what they are on.

 

3 hours ago, kais said:

Overall though I think this is the best piece of writing you've submitted to the forum thus far. It has a lot of heart and great characterization. With a little bit more forward momentum it'll be a great piece.

 

 

3 hours ago, Mandamon said:

think this is definitely some of your best work so far (and I see @kais agrees!). I got sucked into the story, even though there wasn't a whole lot of plot going on yet.

Yay! Thank you both! 

 

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On 2/12/2019 at 0:09 PM, kais said:

aren't all wines fruit wines??

Technically yes, but if you're talking about wine and spirits, "wine" is specifically made from grapes, and "fruit wine" is the same process using any other kind of fruit (that doesn't have its own special name like perry (pears) and cider (apples). Mead and dandelion wine can sometimes be called a "fruit wine" even though they're made from honey and dandelions, respectively, just to make things even clearer). I understood immediately what it was, but then, I have a bunch of alcohol-trivia-and-history aficionados in my family. :) 

Unfortunately, I don't have much to add beyond that. I agree on pretty much all counts with @kais and @Mandamon. It's a bit slow to get going, but I don't mind because I did get invested in it. Though, like Mandamon, I got a bit antsy by the end of the third chapter waiting for something to happen. This is easily the best piece I've read from you, and with P's connection to the stars and astrology, I agree with Kais that it'd be a good fit from what I know of that anthology. I also agree that it'd be great as a novella, but it would need a really meaty inciting incident to make what I've seen so far feel like it could support the length of a novel.

Sorry this is mostly a RAEBNC   

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