Monday, July 22, 2013

July First Five Pages Workshop Revisions with Guest Mentor Susan Dennard

The entries for the second (and final) revision round for this month's First Five Pages workshop are up based on the phenomenal initial rounds of feedback from our guest mentor Susan Dennard and the other mentors and workshop participants. Thanks to everyone who volunteered an opinion!

The changes have been dramatic. Please take a look below and see what the writers have done to incorporate the suggested changes. And by all means, let them know what else is left to do!

As always, we encourage everyone to participate! It's a great chance to peek over the shoulder of a popular, published author and see if what she sees is the same as what you notice when you read critically.

Before you post comments though, please check here to find out how to participate. Looking for tips on how to read the first five pages? Check here.

About Susan Dennard

Susan is a 28-year-old reader, writer, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. She used to be a marine biologist, but now she write novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels for kids, teens, and adults about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (she really likes swoon-worthy rogues).

She grew up in the southern US, where she suffered from mosquitoes, humidity, and a desperate desire to live in a castle. Oh, and crazy vegetarian parents who never let her eat meat. Needless to say, she read a lot in those days and often composed wretched stories for her sister’s amusement. (Really, they were veryveryvery wretched stories.)

She currently live in the Midwestern US with her French husband and Irish setter, and you can learn more about her crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on twitter, facebook, or Goodreads.

Her debut, Something Strange and Deadly, came out in 2012 from HarperTeen, and the sequel, A Darkness Strange and Lovely, is out this month. you will never believe how happy this makes me!

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is  going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.


Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead.

The evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. 

When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.

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