35 Word Pitch: Twenty-three-year-old nursing student Camila is supposed to be dead. Saved from an exploding plane by a teleporting En...

Adult Speculative: Camila Folds - Judge the Judges Adult Speculative: Camila Folds - Judge the Judges

Adult Speculative: Camila Folds - Judge the Judges

Adult Speculative: Camila Folds - Judge the Judges


35 Word Pitch: Twenty-three-year-old nursing student Camila is supposed to be dead. Saved from an exploding plane by a teleporting English teacher, she must prove her worth to his secret society or never see her five-year-old son again.

Name: Erin Hall (writing as Rowan Hall)
Genre: Adult Urban Speculative
Title: Camila Folds
Word Count: 83,000
If your main character could be any Star Wars character, who would they choose and why?: Camila would be Ahsoka Tano because she’s spunky, a problem solver, eager to prove herself capable, and, though she doesn’t know it, she’s just started an apprenticeship.

35 Word Pitch: Twenty-three-year-old nursing student Camila is supposed to be dead. Saved from an exploding plane by a teleporting English teacher, she must prove her worth to his secret society or never see her five-year-old son again.

First 250 Words:
Camila Maria Vera jumped out of an exploding plane with a man she barely knew. The alternative was death, but Abuela still would not have approved.
Still, she did it, and although she had moments later when she regretted it and everything that followed more than late night black coffee and onion rings runs, most human beings probably would have done the same thing. It’s remarkable what we can justify when the airborne vehicle we are in is disintegrating a mile over the desert.

Before the disintegration, though, and before the regret, and well before Abuela ever got wind of what might have happened that night, Camila Maria Vera argued with the woman checking her in for her flight back to Los Angeles from Atlanta. It was mostly about the special item the airline had now lost twice, though the fact Camila was holding the airline to their promise of an upgrade to first class on this red-eye also came into play.

“Daniel Harriman,” Cami said, pulling out the business card with the name of the oh-so-penitent manager upon it. “He assured me,” she added, speaking firmly, using a lot of eye contact, and channeling the last of her dwindling energy at the woman, “that my insurance would be comped and I would be upgraded to first class for the return flight. It should already be done.”

Despite the fact that she was frizzy-haired and haggard from three days of wearing a Yoda Hoodie in 90 degree and 90% humidity weather, she did her best to keep it together.


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6 comments:

  1. Overall, I like it! One tip I've heard is to use more contractions unless it changes the tone of the writing. Like would have would not to would've/wouldn't. The first and last sentences of the 250 are my favorite.

    The pitch feels clear and concise to me!

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  2. Love the pitch! The 250 is great, too. My only advice would be to lose 'a lot' before eye contact. Might just be a pet peeve of mine, but I don't think it adds anything and it gives the sentence a rather bland feel.

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  3. I like it overall. Your second sentence made me giggle-snort. In the pitch, "is supposed to be dead" makes it sound like someone was trying to kill her, but I'm not sure if that's the case. In the 250, is there a reason you used Camila's full name twice? The second time it felt a little odd, especially when she becomes "Cami" later. And was the slip into 2nd person in the 2nd paragraph intentional? I think starting with her jumping out of the plane and then backing up actually works nicely here to create more tension and keep me reading. I want to know more about why she jumped out of the plane!

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  4. I really like your pitch. It's clever and very clear. I can't think of anything I'd change.

    However, I'm not sure I like how the 250 starts. I mean, I do like the action and the first line is great, but then you basically do a reset and start the story at the airport which feels like a bit of a cheat to me. It makes me think that the story isn't starting in the right place. The first two paragraphs feel like a teaser of what's to come, but they don't feel part of the story because they're not exactly a flash forward, nor is the bottom half of the excerpt a flashback.

    The only other thing I'll mention is that I thought the "she" in the last paragraph was the check-in lady, not the MC. Might be useful to mention her name there.

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  5. Pitch: Intriguing, though I'd love to know a little more about how Camila needs to prove her worth. Is there any way to change this to something more detailed without blowing through the word limit?

    250: I LOVE this voice. It reminds me of the omniscient narrator from Jane the Virgin (almost fairy tale-like), and has a cheeky, fun undertone that makes me want to keep reading. Honestly, any edits would be nit picks, and I think this is great as is. I would definitely read on.

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  6. Good morning Kimberly,
    Nailed it on the pitch. Great premise. I'm all in.
    250 words:
    but Abuela still would not have approved. (Two things here. 1st, you use the word still again in the next sentence. 2nd, pov. do we have Abuela's pov elsewhere in the story? She knew Abuela would not approve.
    More than late night black coffe and onion rings runs. (more than late night stale coffee and greasy onion rings. New sentence- Most human beings...(Why say human beings? are their aliens in this story so you have to make that point. also the comparison to human beings feels distant from the world and people she might know) Maybe; Everyone she knew would have done the same. It's remarkable what we'll do to survive when the plane we're in...
    Paragraph 3; I changed this to avoid using the word though twice in the same paragraph...It was mostly about the special item the airline had now lost twice now. Camila was holding them to their promise of an upgrade to first class on this red-eye.
    Paragraph 4; I switched a few words around “Daniel Harriman,” Cami said, pulling out the business card with the name of the oh-so-penitent manager. “He assured me,” she spoke firmly to the woman, using a lot of eye contact, and channeling the last of her dwindling energy, “that my insurance would be comped and I would be upgraded to first class for the return flight. It should already be done.” (I shouldn't have to ask) Make her try to be assertive and in the last paragraph show how inadequate she feels about it by describing her her hagard look.
    Despite the fact that she looked hagard from three days in 90 degree heat with 90% humidity, she smothed her frizzy hair, straighted her yoda hoodie and smiled. or and staired her in the eyes.
    I can't wait to get to the explosion. The set up at the beginning was so tight that I know it's coming and I don't mind waiting for it and turning the pages at all.
    Thanks for allowing me to read and leave my feeble comments.

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