I’ve critiqued the first 150 pitches that came in and I want to thank everyone who participated. I know there are closer to 250 entries, but there’s just no way I can do them all and do them justice. Here are my final, randomly picked, pitch critiques. I noticed a few of you resubmitted, and in most cases I tried to avoid critiquing the same person multiple times. I also apologize to all of those I wasn’t able to get to and thank you for sending them in. If I ever find the energy to do this again, I would encourage everyone to get your submissions in early and fast.
Here’s the original post . . . Perfecting Your Pitch. And please feel free to use the comments to critique those pitches I missed on your own or tell me what some of your favorites were. I’ll follow up tomorrow with a recap of the entire experience.
151. Ken McConnell
Two of the four members of programmer Joshua Jones’ web team are dead. Killed at their computers without a mark on their bodies. How were they killed and by whom? Only Joshua and his odd assortment of geek friends are capable of finding out how the murders were committed. Can they succeed before Joshua and his coder girlfriend become the next victims of a psychotic hacker?
Your first two sentences are enough to grab my attention. You lose me after that, I’m afraid. How were they killed and by whom is what nearly every mystery/suspense is about, so it seems redundant to put that in the paragraph. Instead I want to know about the desperate time constraints Joshua and his team are up against and what unique tactics they need to use to solve these crimes. Other questions that come to me, though, are why can only Joshua solve the crimes? What about the police?
Murder was the beginning of Hope’s short life together with Ian, but before that, she had a past; as a priest, a homeless person and a Broadway dresser. Now she has a different life, as a 64 year old single mother of a 16 year old replica of herself. But what will she do when the actor she turned away for love walks back into her life to claim their daughter and her reason for living?
The opening line is great, but the rest I don’t care about. The opening line grabs me, but then you mention nothing about murder and instead it turns into what sounds like a very typical love story—nothing special.
153. Mystery Robin
Anya Swanson knows broken—whether bodies or hearts. As an insurance adjustor for the perilous fishing industry, she’s seen her share of hurt. But when she probes too deeply into one suspicious claim, the casualties hit closer to home than she ever imagined.
It appears to be just a tragic accident—an inexperienced deckhand washed overboard in the Bering Sea. But when another deckhand on another boat goes over in a similar manner—and dragging a woman along with him—Anya takes it personally. They had dinner plans.
But before she can file the death claim, Anya discovers he may not be dead at all. In fact, he may be behind both deaths. And wouldn’t you know…he intends to keep that date.
Almost every week I receive a submission for an insurance adjuster or claims adjuster or something similar, so my first question would be how yours stands out. As you have it written here, this doesn’t stand out enough for me to ask for more. Although, that being said, it is a great pitch, I enjoyed reading it, and it does pique my interest, so there’s a very good chance that if you catch me on a good day I might request more. In the end, though, I just don’t think your hook is quite strong enough.
A fear of flying sounds normal enough – unless you have wings. Already a misfit within her tribe, it is certainly not aiding Lani’s ambitions to live up to family tradition. When a cursed stone comes into her possession, Lani’s greatest fear transpires. No longer able to fly, how will she heed the Seer’s warning and travel across the ravine to a friend in danger? As Lani fights to unravel the curse of THE BLACK LUCK STONE and draw from her true strengths, a life hangs in the balance.
Love this! Great pitch, great idea. Really well done. Congrats!
155. anon 3:58
Toni Tutoro just wants to go home…to the city where she died, where her human family was murdered, and to a dangerous man she’s never met, who’ll love her in ways she thought were lost the day her heart stopped beating.
This has potential. I like this pitch a lot, but would want to know more. What is she if she died? Honestly, I hope she’s not a vampire. There are so many of those it’s hard to sell another now. But this is a great example of a short pitch.
Thanks again to all who participated!