Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission Sandra

Name: Sandra Cormier (Chumplet)
Title & Genre: MALLET -- Mystery
Pitch: When Vicky & her rich boyfriend vanish while taking his plane for fish & chips, Amanda wants to worry but she's too busy staying alive.

1st 250 words:

In the short time I knew John Rouge, I rarely heard him refer to anybody by name. Sweetheart, Dude, Pal, Buddy. When Vicky introduced us, he called me Honey.

He'd made his fortune with some dot-com company, and sold it for millions before everything went bust. Now he spent his self-imposed retirement jetting around the globe, big-game fishing and building schools in Nepal. He joined two polo clubs, one in Tottenham and another in Florida.

When Vicky called to offer a seat at the sponsors' table at a local charity match, I jumped at the chance. Sitting with the fashionable set and getting free food and drinks piqued my curiosity.

On a steamy Sunday morning, I headed for the polo grounds on the Montgomery farm in Gormley. Signs with red arrows pointed the way to the venue, and I scanned for the entrance.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a broken rail on a long row of cedar fencing to my left.

Someone should fix that, I thought. In the same moment a reddish-brown blur filled my vision.

"Shit!" I slammed on the brakes and struggled to keep my Toyota from spinning out of control. Gravel spit in every direction. I managed to bring the car to a halt on the narrow shoulder facing the way I had come.

When my heart and the dust settled, I searched the roadside, wondering if I'd hit the deer.

It wasn't a deer. It was a horse.


  1. I felt like your pitch did a great job of piquing my curiosity - a combination of the benign and the tragic, and your opening page is a great hook.

    A couple of small suggestions - for me the real story started with the line 'When Vicky called to offer...'. Everything before that read like John's biography might work better if it's woven into the story when he's introduced.

    Your action with the car spinning out of control was great. I'd definitely keep reading after a hook like that.

  2. Love the pitch. I agree with Loralie. The story starts for me at "When Vicky called..." as well. It gets you into the action quicker. The story about John could unfold as this chapter goes along.

    I also get a sense of the voice right away. Nicely done.

  3. Enjoyed your writing style and the excellent tweet-sized pitch. I like the short lead in, as long as John is a major force in this chapter/novel. First paragraphs always set my expectations, and my first focus is on John.

    Writing is great--lean and clear without being choppy. Nice job.

  4. Echoing the others about where the story starts. Not sure why you're opening with John's history when an opening should be about your MC Amanda.

    Also, nice tension right away with nearly hitting the horse.

  5. Great hook! Loved the mc's voice.

    Maybe starting with the accident would work best, or clue the reader on the mc's driving and thanking about this John would give immediate connection to mc's conflict.

  6. I like the hook.

    The mc's voice is great, but I wasn't pulled in until she starts talking about where she's going. It almost seems disjointed going from talking about John to driving and the accident.