Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pitch Madness

The lovely and talented Brenda Drake once again hosts Pitch Madness through her blog. I won't go into the details here as she covers them better than I ever could. However, I do encourage you to read on, especially all you lurking agents, because (drum roll) here is my entry (formatted as required by the contest): 

Name: J.M. Bray
Genre: NA Fantasy
Word Count: 93,000

Vincent expected to make friends in college, not have visions. The apparitions tell him to become possessed. If he doesn't allow it, evil creatures will enter our world. And he thought Calculus was hard. 

The young warrior staggered as a severed hand clawed at his boot. His tall muscular frame ached with wounds and fatigue. Gore and blood dripped from his short blond hair.

The battle started hours before when the beasts came out of the mist, their talons clacking over the rocky soil. They were randomly assembled, a disjointed collection of nightmarish animals. Sharp teeth erupted at all angles from their gaping maws, some piercing their own faces. Serpentine drool oozed from their mouths, hanging in long strands before finally plopping to the ground. Where it struck, fires burst into life, as if they brought the flames of the Abyss with them. Strangely, the creatures smelled of mint, as if they had freshened up before setting out on wanton destruction.

Randolf, his Second, turned with a smile. "Coleman, my lad, this looks like a bit more than a small infestation.

Coleman gazed at the approaching horde. "That it does."

"If things go wrong at least we'll have a good smell about us."

Coleman's gray eyes sparkeld. "Wrong? It looks like a party's comin' our way."

As the first beast clambered at him, Coleman brought his longknife through a powerful downward strike. The blow severed its taloned claw and carried into the creature's head, splitting it to the chin. What served for its brains and brackish blood, splattered him. Fortunately, the gore didn't' start fires, like its spittle, which found a gap in his leather armor, scalding him. What should have felled the beast, merely made it stumble.


  1. Yay. Glad you decided to post it! Good luck!!

    1. Thanks Stacey. I hope to see you in round two. :-D

  2. Terrific pitch! This is not normally my type of reading, but the pitch is interesting. Best wishes!

    1. Hi Amanda. I appreciate the comment, and encouragement. I've had that quite a lot from Beta readers who are surprised at enjoying a Paranormal Fantasy.

  3. This is a great opening! I love the descriptions of the battle going on here. Everything from the oozing to the plopping to the splattering. Wonderful job!

    Best of luck in the contest and thanks for posting!

  4. Yay Marky Mark! :) (I had to do it. You know you love me.) I love your pitch, as you know, and I, too, don't usually read this type of story but you drew me in! So glad we became CP's! I thought I might post my pitch on my blog, too. Great way to get feedback.

    1. Yes, I do...and it's a good thing ;-) I'm delighted we did as well. It's funny though, what you said applies to me with your novel. Still loving it, even as I read it for the third time. Post that pitch and two-fiddy!

  5. I'll be honest: I don't usually read books with bloody gore (sorry, nightmares:(
    so my feedback can be taken with a grain of salt.

    HOWEVER, let me say this: I'm an absolute verb nerd & your use of the verb clacking in
    "...their talons clacking over the rocky soil." made me swoon.
    I love anyone who can use a verb that evokes a sound that makes me feel as if I"m there in the scene. I'd buy this for anyone who did read the genre based on that alone!

    Congrats on the strong entry, you did a fabulous job of setting a scene.
    Best of luck & thanks for sharing!

    (aka @tartanfrog13)

    1. Hi Dina,

      Thank you so very much for your encouraging comments, it's wonderful to know when you make an impact. Congratulations on being a "first." I've had a "squee", and a few "cried like a baby" but never a "Swoon." :-)

      I admit the few moments in the story such as these do border on the macabre. Be assured that none are gratuitous, but serve a greater function in the plot. The strange thing is that I can't watch most horror movies for the same reason, but I can read or write about it without any difficulty whatsoever.

      Are you in Pitch Madness as well? I'd love to take a peek at yours if you have it posted. I'll click through your name and see what I find.


    2. Your very welcome, J.M.!

      As for me, guessing I'm toast.
      I posted mine yesterday and despite hundreds of visits, no one left a comment.

      Soul-crushing, really.
      Blood & gore dripping is starting to sound about right.

      Clack, clack, clack

  6. I really liked the pitch. I hope they patch you through to round two... I liked what I read and want more, good luck!

    1. Thank you S.K. I hope they do as well, of course we all do. ;-) Are you entered?

  7. Hmm. I definitely commented yesterday, but it's not showing up for some reason... at any rate, let me try again.
    I love this idea. A MC who has to allow himself to be possessed for the greater good = much more sophisticated and intriguing than someone who's possessed against his will. And who are the apparitions? Why Vincent, why now? Is this really happening, or is he losing his mind? AHH! So many tantalizing pieces making me want to read more. So I would definitely say you've got a strong pitch. The first 250 are evocative and I love things with gore and war, anyway, so I was drawn right in. Excellent stuff. Best of luck to you in the contest! And thanks for following me on Twitter. I'm kinda new and trying to build my network of writerly types. :-)

    1. Hi Lisa.

      Thanks for the post, sorry your other one floated off into the ether.

      Those are exactly the thoughts I hoped to spur and it's exciting to see it happen. :-) The idea of a "good possession" is one that has intrigued me for some time. Fleshing it out in the story was a challenge at times, but a fun one. I know it's "my baby" but though I've written it, and read it a dozen or more times, the whole thing still works. I hope/believe other people will resonate with the tale as well.

      I'm glad to TweetMeet too.

  8. Thanks again one and all for the feedback and comments. Unfortunately, the contest judges didn't agree with us...I didn't make it out of round one. Thats writing.