Thursday, May 30, 2019

May 2019 Pass Or Pages Entry #4

Time for the Pass Or Pages feedback reveals! We're so thankful to our agent panel for taking the time to critique these entries. Shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week. You are awesome!



Woman of Ruinous Face, complete at 111,000 words, reimagines the early 20th Century Woman’s Club era. Bonnie Lipshutz is an uncommonly beautiful woman and female [KU1] psychopath who is done with male domination. Having moved to Denver from Chicago after being acquitted for the murder of her husband, she has a plan to first become the Woman’s Club of Denver president, and then use it to run for Mayor on a women’s ticket against the male dominated political machines and moral progressives. 

In the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, 1912 Denver is half Wild West, half City Beautiful icon. Women have won the right to vote, but the city is run by corrupt officials and gambling bosses. Denver’s male politicos niggle over tax rates and corporate rights while the women fight for eight-hour work days, equal property rights, and the resources to survive, and thrive. 

As the elections heat up Bonnie has to deal with a stalker who feels he’s entitled to marry her, a club rival who thinks she is the best thing to come to Denver; the abusive husbands of a friend, who blames her for all his problems; and the new Deputy DA who in convinced she is an arsonist and murderer. [KU2] [AT1] Can Bonnie lead the women of Denver to a Women’s Ticket victory with the help of her dark side, or will it become another excuse to keep her down? 

This book has adult themes that include sex, light BDSM ala Venus in Furs, and a non-violent husband/wife rape scene. These are not gratuitous or graphic, but are important pieces of the character’s identities and experiences.

Woman of Ruinous Face will appeal to fans of Devil in the White City and Edith Wharton. [AT2] It deals with themes of female agency, male/female power, and the darkness within us all.


Katelyn's Notes: 
[KU1] We’ve already been told she is a woman so female isn’t needed.
[KU2] This paragraph reads like a laundry list of plot points and it doesn’t work for me since I don’t know how they all play into the plot or get in her way. As a list they are too vague.

Ann's Notes: 
[AT1] There’s a lot packed into this one sentence. Might break it up.
[AT2] Is that a relevant comp given rape and BDSM?

First 250 words:

Bonnie Lipshutz, as she now called herself, stepped out of an elaborately-decorated, two-story brick brothel and tucked her newly procured contraceptives into her embroidered handbag. Her boldness in entering and exiting through the front door, as opposed to through the alley as the few other daring women did, went mostly unnoticed except momentarily by those inside enjoying the music, spirits, and coupling. 

To the east, Denver Police raided a crib for the sake of appearances only. Scantily clad women waiting to be swept off the street by the cops waved goodbye to red-faced men in long coats, open and flapping in the breeze. 

Bonnie smirked [KU1] at the temporary chaos on the street many of her fellow clubwomen wished to clean up. She enjoyed visiting the seedy street for the sight-seeing, people-watching, and the unique opportunity to acquire condoms or a diaphragm without a husband or condemnatory questions.

On the adjacent corner, a thin man of 25, clean-shaven and baby-faced waved enthusiastically at her. 

Bonnie groaned. He was between her and the optimal route to the Woman’s Club of Denver, and as a rule, she refused to yield to any man. She switched sides of the street to avoid him. He too crossed over. Quickening the intention of her pace, she blew past him, hiding her face under the feather covered brim of her black velvet hat. [KU2]

Frank Perry, now positive of his identification, bucked the awkwardness of being on the bawdy street and gave chase.


Katelyn's Notes: 
[KU1] I’m confused about her character. If she finds this humorous and enjoys it then why be part of something that wants to clean it up?
[KU2] I find myself wondering if there is a reason she doesn’t want to stop for him other than him being a man. I want more information here to better understand her character and decisions.

Ann's Notes: N/A


Katelyn: PASS
Ann: PASS 

1 comment:

  1. With an ambitious premise, I was hoping for vivid writing. I don't know why these Pass or Pages entries keep reminding me of Emma Donoghue. But even with my issues, I would still recommend these authors give her a read or two. Here I'm thinking of Frog Music, which I read recently. If you were thinking Room, at least you knew who I was talking about.

    Frog Music would particularly benefit this writer. My favorite character in it isn't the main character but the quirky supporting one, based on a real person, who's comparable to Bonnie. Donoghue's mistake was leaning away from her best character. But reading how she approached her at all would be a good way to understand how to describe Bonnie's movements and character more vividly, so that she captivates the reader, as she needs to.


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