1St 5 pages writing workshop 1st 5 pages may workshop – veile rev 2 gas density of air


I agree that you could go through and strip out all the tentative phrasing: likes and justs and evens, etc. Really, just tightening up the colloquial turns of phrase. It may seem like they’re lending to your voice, but I think you’ll find once you take them out, you won’t miss them. You could also go through and get consistent with your contractions.

The superhero additions are great, but they gets a little repetitive in this read. Probably because it’s all new additions. I also concur that the pacing feels a little clunky since you’ve changed SO much over the past few revisions. It happens! So, once you have a chance, I’d recommend giving the text a breather (I know, we haven’t had a chance to do this since the workshop started!) and after a break, go back and try to read the whole thing fresh, and you’ll see where you need to smooth it out.

The first sentence of your pitch is GREAT. The rest is too long 🙂 . I think you can move straight from that into explaining — on a conceptual level — the tone of the story and how it shapes the adventures Lucy will soon experience. Think about how effective your first sentence is at establishing the age, the personality of your main character, and the inciting incident. Harness this efficiency in the rest of a one-paragraph pitch that packs in the crux of the story’s conflict and indicates how you’re going to tell it.

Aside: I’m a little confused by the first sentence of your third paragraph, too — how does the fairy hunter explain why Lucy is the only big fairy? This might not even matter for a revised pitch, but it stuck out to me as confusing so I’m mentioning it.

Because all the changes you’ve made in a short period of time, there’s some smoothing out remaining to be done. So it’s time to get out the fine grit sandpaper! As mentioned by others, I think you can trim some words. And look out for phrases like: "two small wings flicked back and forth on her back." The two backs feel awkward to me.

I’d also suggest you try to show Lucy’s emotions more, rather than just describe them. Consider: "Fear, confusion, and excitement spun a tangled web of disjointed thoughts in her brain." It’d be great to actually see those emotions play out rather than merely having the narrator tell us how she felt. You do it well elsewhere in the pages, like when you describe her sweaty fingers or her racing heart. We should see more of that.

As for the pitch, I think it needs some work, to be honest. The overall dynamic feels great–she doesn’t fit into the human world or the fairy world. Love that. And I like the addition of peril in the form of the fairy hunter. But in general, I feel like the pitch is too in the weeds. You get into her blowing up a rose bush and wearing a bulky sweater but you don’t explain the larger issues that someone reading the pitch would need to know. For example, you probably need to explain why Lucy wakes up with wings in the first place. Was she always a fairy and only just grew her wings? Was she magically transformed into a fairy overnight? Was she cursed?

Your opening line certainly grabs our attention now, but the telling that follow it keeps us removed from the character: "Fear, confusion, and excitement spun a tangled web of disjointed thoughts in her brain." Perhaps slow down a little bit here. Ground us in Lucy’s world. Hook us with that opening line, then let us *experience* the whole situation with Lucy. Show us how she feels. Give us a few beats to feel it with her. You’re very close with this opening.

If you explore this traditional pitch format, it should help you focus on your central story question. Right now I’m not sure what that is! Is it: Why is Lucy a fairy? Remember, the plot is what happens to your character in order to help her grow over the course of the story. I’d like to see a little more of that reflected in the pitch: what Lucy wants (is she trying to get RID of the wings?), what actions she takes and how conflict prevents her from reaching her goal, and finally the consequences if she does not reach her goal (ie: the stakes). You have a lot of interesting elements, but in the pitch we need to focus on the STORY.

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