Monday, July 15, 2013

Let’s Have at Those Pitches! By Linda S. Glaz


Okay, I have a few pitches to start it off.
Remember, only 25-30 words.
Grab our interest.
Make us want to read on.
Cause us to go, “Whoa, now that’s a read I wanna have.”
I’m going to start you off with a few pitches for you to think on, and then let you brave souls share your own one-liners with the rest of us. The rules are, there are no rules…NOT!

Here you go:
--you can’t critique if you don’t give us your one-liner
--when you critique, you must do it constructively. Let’s help each other improve.
--no nasty, harmful comments allowed. I WILL take them down.
AS WRITERS, WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
So let’s help each other be all that we can be.
(Yes, I stole that from the Army, so shoot me!)
Anyway, here are a few that I picked for all diff reasons. What do you think of them?
Following each is the word count.
One: When her family and livelihood are taken away, can Payton survive without marriage to the master of Kent Hall?   (19)
Two: Little girls are disappearing from birthday parties; will Torey's older sister discover how before more girls are forced into human trafficking?   (21)
Three: Can a conservative talk show host anger a listener enough that he attempts to shut her mouth for good?  (19)
Four: In spite of her legal blindness, Kelsie Patterson searches for the stranger who suffered a head wound while protecting her during a mass shooting at her local mall.  (28)
Five: During these uncertain times, what people need most is a good laugh. “The Sense of Humor” will put you on a fast track to healthier, happier living. 
Six: A secret from a grim page of American history threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives.  (16)
Seven: In A Ton of Gold, a long forgotten folktale leads to murder, arson, and kidnapping.  Can Crystal Moore save her only remaining family?  Can she save herself?  (27)
Eight: She's a social coordinator from New York City; he's a Texas bull rider. He thinks she's too polished; she thinks he's insane.  (22)
Nine: How often must an undercover agent die in order to stay alive? (only 12, woot!)
Ten: A heavy equipment operator must overcome rumors to help battered women, even if it means losing her job and the respect of the man she shouldn't love. (27)
Eleven: A young teen struggles to understand his mother's rejection until he discovers it was for his own protection.  (18)
Twelve: An unexpected friendship with a needy young woman and a midlife romance surprise an Iowa Gold Star mother amidst post WWII challenges. (22)
Give us your genre(if you want) and your one-liner!
Let's help you make it stronger.
Okay, here goes. Who is brave soul numero UNO?

48 comments:

Veronica Leigh said...

Here is a pitch for my YA:

When Hanna begins her diary, life changes forever. From her family hiding Jews, to her boyfriend’s involvement in the resistance, to the destruction of her beloved Poland- the diary bears witness to it all.

veronicaleighbooks@gmail.com

Linda Glaz said...

This really gets my attention. I love it! You can pare it down even more by living out words not really necessary:
When Hanna begins her diary, life changes forever. Hiding Jews, her boyfriend’s involvement in the resistance, the destruction of her beloved Poland—her diary bears witness to it all.
But I'm not sure you need to. That reads very smoothly and it seems perfect for that quick opportunity to pitch. Really well done! What's everyone else think?

Jennifer Major said...

What if your greatest fear was your only salvation?


When a second chance at love finds Sarah Monroe and Tag Hutchinson, will her frightening secrets overwhelm any hope they have of happiness? Or will Tag's own heartbreaking memories be the key to saving them both?

Jennifer Major said...

Oops, sorry. Historical fiction...

Jennifer Major said...

I'm ready to read Veronica's. It wasn't "Hanna's diary tells it all" which can mean any diary at any time. The words "diary" and Jews" popped off the page and had me right away. Then the word "resistance" nailed it. EVERYONE who can read has heard of a Jewish girl who wrote a diary, so the subconscious lights up our anxiety for Hanna.
Well done, I'd read this, YA or not.

Jody said...

Sounds great! Action packed for sure. I'd live to read it.

Jody said...

Here's my pitch for inspirational romance:

A reclusive widow falls from her roof and lands in mystery, adventure, and romance; will she conquer her fears and embrace a new life?

Jody said...

*love not live

Linda Glaz said...

Jennifer, I did cut it down just a tad, as you don't really need their names at this point, but either way is fine. With the names, it just felt a tad lengthy.
A second chance at love is filled with frightening secrets and heartbreaking memories, one which overwhelms and one which could be key to saving them both.

Saving them both from what? The secrets? Intriguing.

Linda Glaz said...

Jody, I really connected with that one. By saying reclusive, you'd told us so much about her without telling us a thing. And we know all sorts of things are going to happen to her. I think you packed a lot in 24 short words.

Linda Glaz said...

BTW, these are all great so far. Way to go. Makes me want to pick up a book!

Karen Wingate said...

Jodie, I really like your pitch. It's succinct and fresh. Lots of widows out there but the reclusive part catches my eye. Discussion about introverts is real big right now so you have a popular topic you can play off of. Go for it!

Linda Glaz said...

Totally agree with Karen. That word draws the reader right in.

Jody said...

Grateful for the encouragement. Doing research for that one now, and planning to start in November.

Jennifer, "frightening secrets" gave me chills.

Carrie said...

Waaaay fun!

One: When her family and livelihood are taken away, can Payton survive without marriage to the master of Kent Hall? (19)
-I don’t usually like names, but this works. I like it!

Two: Little girls are disappearing from birthday parties; will Torey's older sister discover how before more girls are forced into human trafficking? (21)
-Spooky and intriguing, but why “Torey’s older sister?” Suggests the reader will not have the immediate interaction with the book.

Three: Can a conservative talk show host anger a listener enough that he attempts to shut her mouth for good? (19)
-Ooooh, nice. What about reversing it: Can an angry listener shut a talk show host’s mouth for good? I took out the conservative as it made the sentence bulky. (12)

Four: In spite of her legal blindness, Kelsie Patterson searches for the stranger who suffered a head wound while protecting her during a mass shooting at her local mall. (28)
-Sounds like an interesting book. We don’t need her name just yet, or a lot of detail. Just enough to shiver…
A blind woman searches for the man injured while saving her life during a mass shooting. (16)

Five: During these uncertain times, what people need most is a good laugh. “The Sense of Humor” will put you on a fast track to healthier, happier living.
-Perfect. I’m needing it.

Six: A secret from a grim page of American history threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. (16)
-Wrote it.

Seven: In A Ton of Gold, a long forgotten folktale leads to murder, arson, and kidnapping. Can Crystal Moore save her only remaining family? Can she save herself? (27)
-Interesting book, just needs a tweak by removing names. When a long forgotten folktale leads to murder, arson, and kidnapping, can a mother save herself and her family? (19)

Eight: She's a social coordinator from New York City; he's a Texas bull rider. He thinks she's too polished; she thinks he's insane. (22)
-Love it.

Nine: How often must an undercover agent die in order to stay alive? (only 12, woot!)
-Perfect.

Ten: A heavy equipment operator must overcome rumors to help battered women, even if it means losing her job and the respect of the man she shouldn't love. (27)
Interesting angle. I’m not sure rumors are enough stakes, but love the “man she shouldn’t love.”
Eleven: A young teen struggles to understand his mother's rejection until he discovers it was for his own protection. (18)
-Perfect.

Twelve: An unexpected friendship with a needy young woman and a midlife romance surprise an Iowa Gold Star mother amidst post WWII challenges. (22)
-Looks great. I’d reverse it and take out the “Iowa Gold Star” as I have no idea what that means.
Amidst post WWII challenges, a mother’s finds unexpected friendship with a needy young woman and a midlife romance. (18)

Linda Glaz said...

Super comments, Carrie. Good insight on a lot of these submissions. Brave souls who bared it all for us to tear apart. Well done, Carrie!

Janet Grunst said...

She fled Scotland on a ship to Virginia to escape deception, disillusionment and disgrace
only to discover that her attitudes
bind her even more than her indenture.

Life was better than she dreamed,
now the conflict between the
British and the colonists
threatened the loss of everything dear, even her husband.

Linda Glaz said...

I can tell you seriously that this one caught my attention right away. Not many escape Scotland to go to Virginia and this had me right away.

KatieC said...

Okay, here's my attempt! It's YA.

*When a youth group on a mission trip gets stranded in a mysterious garden oasis, they must find a way out before the natives make them permanent residents.*

Crystal L Barnes said...

These are some great pitches.

I write historical romance. Here's mine...

A Texas rancher fulfills his friend’s dying wish to marry the new widow but discovers protecting his wife and his heart isn’t easy with the killer still on the prowl.

KatieC said...

I love Linda's comments for 1 & 2! Spot on.

Jay Faubion said...

When a supernatural enemy threatened to destroy his family, the missionary vowed to protect them. But who will defend them now that he's gone?

Genre: Suspense

Jay Faubion said...

A teen girl has been taken, chosen for death by a two hundred year-old cult. Scott Douglas must find her before the church assembles for the spring sacrifice.

Genre: Suspense

Connie Leonard said...

Women's contemporary fiction:

A woman fighting for life discovers that Christ is bigger than any crisis, including cancer.

Connie Leonard said...

Inspirational romance:

She loves symphony. He loves country music. Can they rediscover the love and harmony they once shared?

Linda Glaz said...

Crystal love the twist of suspense added in. Very well written, you let us know exactly what to expect. Well done! Sheesh, you guys are all writing awesome pitches!!!

Linda Glaz said...

Katie, again, you've let us know precisely what to expect. Just enough hint that there's going to be trouble. Enough to pique an agent or editor's interest. Good job!

Linda Glaz said...

Connie, they're both great, but the second one is awesome. The first is fine, but just a tad vague. (then again, it could just be me, I don't do women's fiction very well) :(
But the second one had me right now!

Linda Glaz said...

Jay, you know I love suspense, and while they both grabbed my attention, that second one had me waiting at Amazon to buy!!! Great one.

Linda Glaz said...

There have been a bunch of amazing pitches here, today. Hopefully you all get that one on one in the elevator...remember, no pitches in the rest room,LOL, but take the opportunity in the elevator and let 'em have it. Best wishes to you all.

durtonthebible said...

A young scribe's faith shatters when the search for a powerful relic goes wrong. Yet, faith may be the only thing that can save those he hurt.

Genre: classic fantasy

durtonthebible said...

(I already see an improvement!)

A young scribe's faith shatters when the quest for a powerful relic goes wrong. Yet, faith may be the only thing that can save those he hurt.

Andrea Cox said...

When a Marine captain loses his best friend, can he overcome PTSD and rediscover the love that still awaits him?

Genre: Women's Fiction

Linda Glaz said...

I love it right up to the "can save those he hurt"
I'm not sure where the hurt came in. Did he do something to them while he was searching???? Make that clear and I think you have a winner. Try again???

Linda Glaz said...

Andrea, can you give us a tad more hint about losing his friend? How? And what love might await him??? Give a bit more detail.

Andrea Cox said...

When his best friend dies in his arms, can a Marine captain overcome PTSD and rediscover the love of his high school sweetheart?

Linda Glaz said...

Oh yeah, now you've told me more and I can connect with it. Well done, Andrea, very well done!!!

Andrea Cox said...

Thanks, Linda! Your compliment means so much to me.

Linda Glaz said...

Andrea, you did it. You gave us much more to go on. Very important in pitches not to be vague!

Andrea Cox said...

Thanks for the advice, Linda!

durtonthebible said...

I appreciate the feedback! Here's another attempt that clarifies and expands (a little):

genre: classic fantasy

In a land of clashing kingdoms and gods, a young scribe's faith shatters when he betrays a young woman during a quest for a powerful relic. Yet, faith may be the only way to rescue her.

Linda Glaz said...

So much stronger, thanks for taking another stab at it. We tend to want to be vague in our pitches in order to create the sense of wanting our readers to read on, but sometimes, we don't tell enough to get their interest in the first place. For ex.After being betrayed, could she ever trust again? We have no idea what happened to her at all. How about:
After her husband's unfaithfulness, would Emma be able to trust a man again? Trust God again?
Now we know the betrayal and we find out she's having trust issues not only with men but with God. Sometimes a little is just too little. But your second pitch here spelled out more for us. Way to go!

durtonthebible said...

I appreciate the help. I am very raw on how much detail is needed for each audience. Sometimes the back of the book blurb feels like a movie trailer that gives too much away. But if no one ever reads... But a pitch is different, I'm learning. From my perspective, this appears to be a tough line for many.

Linda Glaz said...

It IS hard. I have a terrible time writing my own. So much info, so little space. :) but your second one was much much better!

Karen deBlieck said...

OK. So here is mine.
New project that I think will fit into the YA/Contemporary perhaps Paranormal?

Teenage playboy, Sam, is as conceited as he is handsome—his God given super human strength doesn't help. Will his reckless behavior save those in Judgement High or destroy him?

karen.deblieck@gmail.com

Linda Glaz said...

It's fine the way it is, but I just tweaked it a tad. Not sure which I like better, but here you go anyway!

Teenage playboy, Sam: conceited, reckless, and handsome. His God given super human strength doesn't help the humility. Will his uncontrolled behavior save those in Judgment High or destroy him?

Sounds like a great story!

Karen deBlieck said...

This idea is one that just popped into my head. It's starting to grow on my thought.

Thanks Linda for giving us all such a great opportunity! Truly a blessing as we navigate the path to being a published author!

Linda Glaz said...

Any time!