Son of a Pitch Entry #9 – Gale

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Title: GALE
Age and Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 92,000
 
Query:

A young fisherman and a mysterious selkie must stop the deadly, magical storms before they destroy his human village and her faerie world.


Eighteen-year-old Callum discovers a young woman collapsed on his beach and befriends her despite his family’s warnings against sea folk. The girl, Murron, is a selkie, a mythical creature who can transform from a seal into a human. With no memory of her past, she falls in love with the vast skies and sweeping heather.


And then nature begins to unravel.


Gales batter the fishing village, threatening not only Callum and Murron’s budding romance, but all of Orkney. Callum and Murron discover the faerie ruler Teran, lord of winter and chaos, causes the storms. Murron’s memories hold the key to stopping Teran, but a tempest rips the young lovers apart. Callum and Murron must battle the treacherous seas and reset Teran’s magical imbalance before the storms destroy the human world and trap Murron under the sea forever.

 
First 250 Words:

Midsummer’s Eve always brings change. At least, that’s what everyone in Orkney said. The grannies liked to taste the wind and predict the coming change.

Callum Anderson figured the change would come whether he knew about it or not, so he focused on the present. Instead of sitting near a granny’s knee listening to her guesses, he wandered the shoreline, taking care not to get sand on his woolen trousers. He glanced up and down the beach as he walked toward the sea, looking for any clumps of kelp the water washed on shore.

The sun warmed his stubbly face, and he basked in the heat. Callum had shed his cap and cloak at midday, and he prayed that winter and storms would not come again. Sunlight never felt so good.

He spied movement behind a cluster of rocks nearby, so he strolled toward them, ruffling his dark brown curls and shoving his hands in his pockets. Midsummer’s change didn’t occur to him on that sluggish, warm afternoon.

Winds swept across the sea, turning water into small waves that crested toward shore. The islands of Graemsay and even Hoy were dark mounds far across the gray water. The sun had eaten the morning mists hours before, and a perfect Midsummer’s Eve anchored the summer of 1746.

A dark figure splashed in the waves by the rock cropping. Callum squinted, jogging over.

As he reached the grouping, a person climbed from the water on the far side of the rocks.

13 thoughts on “Son of a Pitch Entry #9 – Gale

  1. First, my disclaimer: All suggestions are IMHO and are meant to be thought provoking. Take ‘em, leave ‘em. This is your rodeo, so it’s up to you.

    Query: (I skipped the overview- I want to understand those points in the next part)
    Eighteen-year-old Callum discovers a young woman collapsed on his beach and rescues her. Despite his family’s warnings against sea folk, he befriends her. (Who is Callum? Does he believe in the lore? Does he think the village legends are ridiculous? Adding a line or two could give us a feel for the culture and Callum.)

    The saved girl, Murron, is a selkie, a mythical creature who can transform from a seal into a human. With no memory of her past (or what she was?), she falls in love with the vast skies and sweeping heather? As in the flower? And her human rescuer? Got a snippet to share about Murron? Does she settle into village life with ease? Are they suspicious of her?

    Callum and Murron challenge/defy/ignore? the village warnings/concerns about their romance until nature begins to unravel.? (Reading the first 250 below makes me feel as if there have been stories about the selkies and other myths– work that in. Does their romance trigger Teran? What triggers the unraveling?– then add other details that set up the whole nature goes crazy part.)

    Gales batter the fishing village, threatening not only Callum and Murron’s budding romance, but all of Orkney. The faerie ruler Teran, lord of winter and chaos, causes the storms as he pursues Murron. Her memories hold the key to stopping Teran, but a tempest rips the young lovers apart.

    Callum and Murron must battle the treacherous seas and reset Teran’s magical imbalance before the storms destroy the human world and trap Murron under the sea forever. (those are some serious stakes – good job)

    Consider beefing up the first two paragraphs up a bit and share more of the story. Sounds like a great story.

    First 250 Words:
    Midsummer’s Eve always brings change. At least, that’s what everyone in Orkney said. The grannies liked to taste the wind and predict the coming change. (I love this line!)
    Callum Anderson figured the change would come whether he knew about it or not, so he focused on the present. Instead of sitting near a granny’s knee listening to her guesses, he wandered the shoreline, taking care not to get sand on his woolen trousers. He glanced up and down the beach as he walked toward the sea, looking for any clumps of kelp (Del – needed?the water) washed on shore. (Why is he looking for kelp? This feels like a specific detail but I don’t understand the value. If relevant, hint at reason. I love the detail of Callum not wanting sand on his trousers. That sentence says so much!!)
    The sun warmed his stubbly face, and he basked in the heat. (Was it the setting sun, later afternoon sun?) Callum had shed his cap and cloak at midday, and he prayed that winter and storms would not come again. Sunlight never felt so good.
    He spied movement behind a cluster of rocks and strolled toward them, ruffling his dark brown curls and shoving his hands in his pockets. Midsummer’s change didn’t occur to him on that sluggish, warm afternoon as the winds swept across the sea, turning water into small waves that crested toward shore. The islands of Graemsay and even Hoy became dark mounds far across the gray water. The sun had eaten the morning mists hours before, and a perfect Midsummer’s Eve anchored the summer of 1746.
    A dark figure splashed in the waves by the rock cropping. Callum squinted, jogging over to find/see/catch a person climbing from the water on the far side of the rocks.

    Enjoyed the first 250 very much! I made a few comments and added a question or two. Thumbs up! Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your feedback! Here’s my edited first 250. (Actually 252. Is that okay?)

    Midsummer’s Eve always brings change. At least, that’s what everyone in Orkney said. The grannies liked to taste the wind and predict its coming.

    Callum Anderson figured the change would come whether he knew about it or not, so he focused on the present. Instead of sitting near a granny’s knee listening to guesses, he wandered the shoreline, taking care not to get sand on his woolen trousers. He glanced up and down the beach as he walked toward the sea, looking for any clumps of kelp washed ashore.

    The sun warmed his stubbly face, and he basked in the heat. Callum had shed his cap and cloak at midday, and he prayed that winter and storms would not come again. Sunlight never felt so good.

    He spied movement behind a cluster of rocks nearby and strolled toward them, ruffling his dark brown curls and shoving his hands in his pockets. Midsummer’s change didn’t occur to him on that sluggish, warm afternoon.

    Winds swept across the sea, turning water into small waves that crested toward shore. The islands of Graemsay and even Hoy were dark mounds far across the gray water. The sun had eaten the morning mists hours before, and this Midsummer’s Eve predicted a perfect summer for 1746.

    A dark figure splashed in the waves by the rock cropping. Callum squinted, jogging over to find a person climbing from the water on the far side of the rocks.
    Callum’s mouth dropped open and he blinked, unable to believe his eyes.

    Like

    • 🙂 Good stuff.
      I do have one question. the last sentence:
      Callum’s mouth dropped open and he blinked, unable to believe his eyes.
      Do you need the last phrase? Can you replace that? Most people’s mouth opens from disbelief.
      Callum’s mouth dropped open when he’d gotten close enough for a better look? Just imply it was from disbelief. just a thought 🙂

      Like

  3. UPDATED QUERY:

    GALE is YA historical fantasy told from dual perspective and set in 18th century Orkney, Scotland, complete at 92,000 words.

    A young fisherman and a mysterious selkie must stop the deadly, magical storms before they destroy his human village and her faerie world.

    Eighteen-year-old Callum discovers a young woman collapsed on his beach and befriends her despite his family’s warnings against dangerous sea folk. The girl, Murron, is a selkie, a mythical creature who can transform from a seal into a human. With no memory of her past beyond her faerie nature, Murron falls in love with Orkney’s vast skies and sweeping landscapes. Callum smoothes a path for her to stay, trying to silence the village’s concerns of a selkie in their midst.

    And then nature begins to unravel.

    Gales batter the fishing village, threatening not only Callum and Murron’s budding romance, but all of Orkney. Callum and Murron discover the faerie ruler Teran, lord of winter and chaos, causes the storms, but not why. Murron’s memories hold the key to stopping Teran, but a tempest rips the young lovers apart. Callum and Murron must battle the treacherous seas and reset Teran’s magical imbalance before the storms destroy the human world and trap Murron under the sea forever.

    Like

    • Bah, no, ignore that comment. I made more changes. (Sorry!)
      Does this clear things up:
      UPDATED QUERY (Again)

      Eighteen-year-old Callum has been taught to never trust anyone that comes from the sea. But when a beautiful young woman washes up on the beach by his village, Callum befriends her anyway. The girl, Murron, is a selkie, a mythical creature who can transform from a seal into a human. With no memory of her past beyond her faerie nature, Murron falls in love with Orkney’s vast skies and sweeping landscapes. Callum smoothes a path for her to stay, trying to silence his neighbors’ and family’s concerns of a selkie in their midst.

      And then nature begins to unravel.

      Gales batter the fishing village, threatening not only Callum and Murron’s budding romance, but all of Orkney. Villagers blame Murron, and though Callum defends her, she’s afraid they might be right. A selkie on land could tear the delicate balance weaving the Otherworld and human world together.

      Callum and Murron discover the faerie ruler Teran, lord of winter and chaos, is gaining power over the seasons and seas, and these storms are just the beginning of his new reign. Murron’s memories hold the key to stopping Teran, but a tempest rips the young lovers apart. Callum and Murron must battle the treacherous seas and reset Teran’s magical imbalance before the storms destroy the human world and trap Murron under the sea forever.

      Like

  4. Updated query…:)
    Eighteen-year-old Callum has been taught to never trust anyone that comes from the sea. But when a beautiful young woman (Weave next sentence into here…maybe name her here? Murron, a mythical selkie able to transform into a seal…) washes up on the beach by his village, Callum befriends her anyway. The girl, Murron, is a selkie, a mythical creature who can transform from a seal into a human. With no memory of her past beyond her faerie nature, Murron falls in love with Orkney’s vast skies and sweeping landscapes. (with no thought to what she has lost?) Callum smoothes a path for her to stay, trying to silence his neighbors’ and family’s concerns of a selkie in their midst.

    And then nature begins to unravel. (Oh!)

    Gales batter the fishing village, threatening not only Callum and Murron’s budding romance, but all of Orkney. Villagers blame Murron, and though Callum defends her, she’s afraid they might be right. A selkie on land could tear the delicate balance weaving the Otherworld and human world together. (Is she scared as she starts to question whether she is causing the problems? Starts to wonder if she should leave…though she has no idea where to go?)

    Callum and Murron discover (how?) the faerie ruler Teran, lord of winter and chaos, is gaining power over the seasons and seas, and these storms are just the beginning of his new reign (his intent to do what?). Murron’s memories hold the key to stopping Teran Does she remember anything? How do they know?), but a tempest rips the young lovers apart. Callum and Murron must battle the treacherous seas and reset Teran’s magical imbalance before the storms destroy the human world and trap Murron under the sea forever. (As in no longer able to be human again?)

    ~Is this dual POV? I’m not sure from the query whose head we’re in, whose emotions we’re dealing with. BUT I LOVE FAERIES! Selkies are cool! And A big evil Faerie Lord? YES!

    Updated 250…
    Midsummer’s Eve always (brings-brought, the ms is in past, right?) change. At least, that’s what everyone in Orkney said. The grannies (love grannies!) liked to taste the wind and predict its coming. (Predict the change? As in whether it would be good or bad?)

    Callum Anderson figured the change would come whether he knew about it or not, so he focused on the present. Instead of sitting near a granny’s knee (at 18…that seems like something he wouldn’t do anyway…) listening to guesses, he wandered the shoreline, taking care not to get sand on his woolen trousers. He glanced up and down the beach as he walked toward the sea, looking for any clumps of kelp washed ashore. (why? Do they use kelp?)

    The sun warmed his stubbly face, and he basked in the heat. Callum had shed his cap and cloak at midday, and he prayed that winter and storms would not come again. Sunlight never felt so good.

    He spied movement behind a cluster of rocks nearby and strolled toward them, ruffling his dark brown curls and shoving his hands in his pockets. (Midsummer’s change didn’t occur to him on that sluggish, warm afternoon.- this feels like the author’s voice/narrator coming through, keep us in Callum’s head, what IS he thinking/feeling? Give us insight into him and let us know him…what does he want?)

    Winds swept across the sea, turning water into small waves that crested toward shore. The islands of Graemsay and even Hoy were dark mounds far across the gray water. The sun had eaten the morning mists hours before, and this Midsummer’s Eve predicted a perfect summer for 1746. (Love this!)

    A dark figure splashed in the waves by the rock cropping. Callum squinted, jogging over to find a person climbing from the water on the far side of the rocks. (Does he see anything that indicates that this is not simply a person? Is he curious…cautious?)
    Callum’s mouth dropped open and he blinked, unable to believe his eyes. (and he is scared? Unsure what to do?)

    ~Nice opening! I’d like a bit more of Callum to shine through, to let us know where the story is going, his journey to become what he will become. Otherwise, good start of world building…”grannies” “wool pants” The whole Midsummer’s Eve talk. I’d read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this entry – a lot of my concerns have already been addressed, I did have a couple more-

    Beautiful scene in the 250. I’m left ungrounded by the change you’re talking about. Some sort of magical change? A change in the weather? It’s midsummer, and yet he’s still worried about winter storms? When you talk about winds sweeping across the sea, I think that there’s a storm coming, because he was worried about that…but that seems to not be the case. Is it a wild and sudden wind, or a steady breeze? If it’s steady, tell me about it when you first start to set the scene.
    Good tension – I want to keep reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. UPDATED 250

    Midsummer’s Eve always brings change. At least, that’s what everyone in Orkney said. The grannies liked to taste the wind and predict its coming.

    Callum Anderson figured change would come whether he knew about it or not, so he focused on the present. Instead of sitting near a peat fire listening to their guesses, he wandered the shoreline, taking care not to get sand on his woolen trousers. He glanced up and down the beach as he walked toward the sea, looking for any clumps of kelp washed ashore—his least favorite chore. Callum would rather be getting ready for the bonfire in town tonight.

    The sun warmed his stubbly face, and he basked in the heat of the sluggish afternoon. Callum had shed his cap and cloak at midday, and he prayed that winter and storms would not come again. Sunlight never felt so good.

    He spied movement behind a cluster of rocks nearby and, curious, strolled toward them, ruffling his dark brown curls and shoving his hands in his pockets.

    Steady winds swept across the sea, turning water into small waves that crested toward shore. The islands of Graemsay and even Hoy were dark mounds far across the gray water. The sun had eaten the morning mists hours before, and this Midsummer’s Eve predicted a perfect summer for 1746.

    A dark figure splashed in the waves by the rock cropping. Callum squinted, jogging over to find a person climbing from the water on the far side of the rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

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