What have I done to myself? I apologize if these are getting tedious, but I feel the need to get to everyone’s now. It’s only fair. I only ask that you, the readers, and especially those of you who received a critique, continue to hang in there and voice your own opinions. And if you’ve rewritten, don’t be afraid to post and hear what others say. I think they’ll be happy to help. Here’s the original post: Perfecting Your Pitch.
96. anon 3:59
A heterosexual teenager in an all boy’s school faces a moral meltdown when he becomes attracted to a classmate only to later discover the classmate is a girl masquerading while she hides out from killers.
Okay, folks, help me out here, but hasn’t this been done in more than one movie? It sounds like a movie I remember seeing as a teen and a more recent one starring Amanda Bynes. Either way, I’m not sure the fact that a heterosexual boy thinks he’s having feelings for another boy only to discover it’s a girl is enough. At least not different enough. The hiding out from killers could work, but again, my concern is this sounds too familiar. Granted, I’m not an expert in YA, but that would be why I would reject it.
97. anon 4:01
She dates, she kills, she’s miserable.
Meet Livia, a five-foot-three contract killer whose boyfriend, Evan, has just left her for another woman. Hurt, confused and angry, Livia makes a go of continuing on in the life she made for herself. Which would be easier if her ex wasn’t her boss, too. Also not helping is James, her teacher of all things violent and partner. It’s James that gives her the rules to kill by and the ultimately the final push Livia needs to let Evan go, once and for all.
Your first line of your paragraph is really great. I love the idea of a heroine who is a contract killer and think that has potential to be really interesting. Your first pitch line, though, “She dates, she kills, she’s miserable,” doesn’t have the effect I think you want it to have. Most would say of course, especially since most think that both dating and killing are miserable jobs. My problem with your pitch is that you grab me with the fact that your heroine is a contract killer, but the rest sounds very ho-hum. Nothing special or cool, but just another average love story. And of course my bigger concern is that your book has the same problems.
Private Anna Lowry always made her father proud, so now she’ll do anything to fulfill his dying wish of ending the galatic war for independence, and that means traveling across the galaxy in search of an item that might not exist and battling her traitorous captain to get it. “The Delandar Tapestry” is complete at 80,000 words.
It doesn’t grab me. I think you have potential, but we need to dig a little deeper in the story to bring that potential out. Get to the heart of the battle and the travel. And tells us what she’s really looking for. The truth is that you aren’t really giving me any of her conflict.
The computer found Mr. Perfect; does it matter that she lied?
Rose is undercover for a travel magazine on the inaugural voyage of the CyberMatches Singles Cruise. She exaggerates the data on her computer survey so her CandiDates will be diverse. The computer pairs Rose with Scott, the hot genius who wrote the CyberMatches software and is convinced of its infallibity. How will Rose tell her dream guy that their match is based on a lie?
I wish I had better news. Your one sentence interests me, but in the end I’m afraid I don’t feel this is different enough. In fact, since the popularity of online dating I feel this is a story I’ve seen a hundred times before. In the end it seems to me that you don’t have enough conflict. A man and a woman and a misunderstanding over a dating survey is not going to be enough to carry any story. What else is going on to make this stand out? Are there diamond smugglers on the ship? Does it sink? Is her husband also with her? What else makes this book more than just a boy meets girl, boy hates girl, boy loves girl story?
What if a woman became a vigilante after the assassination of her husband, but every murder looked like an accident?
(Title) is a psychological thriller about a pseudo-sheltered, solitary widow who struggles to protect the people she loves from physical harm amidst a civilian world of ineffective law enforcement and unverifiable threats. As she adopts a secret life of creating accidents to remove dangerous people from the lives of her loved ones, the secrets that protect everyone else threaten to destroy her. Vigilante justice creates new threats, and she must keep a little girl safe while trying to find peace for her own soul. But she’s not the only one who would do anything to keep someone safe.
Oh, sweet Ana. Pitch 100. I’ve been working to get to you for weeks.
Your first line grabs me, but I think you could skip the last section. I would assume that she makes each murder look like an accident, otherwise she isn’t going to get too far on her mission. I like this concept, but my first concern when reading your pitch is that the book is going to be overwritten. “(Title) is a psychological thriller about a pseudo-sheltered, solitary widow who struggles to protect the people she loves from physical harm amidst a civilian world of ineffective law enforcement and unverifiable threats.” Wouldn’t it be better just to say: “(Title) is a psychological thriller about a sheltered, solitary widow struggling to protect those she loves. After the assassination of her husband, Tillie goes on a murderous rampage all in the name of vigilante justice. But now….”? And here’s where you tell us your character’s real conflict. What is she really facing and what is she really up against?
Okay, readers, it’s up to you now (and no slacking off on me!). . . .