Pitch for WIP

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Jude Hardin
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Pitch for WIP

Post by Jude Hardin » December 7th, 2009, 5:13 pm

This is a mock-up pitch for a work in progress. Just wanted to get some thoughts/suggestions:

Welcome to Pewee Valley, Tennessee, population 642. Three retired carnival workers--a clown, a fortuneteller, and a magician--friends since childhood, are celebrating Thanksgiving at different locations when a sinister presence buried long ago deceptively claws its way to their conscious minds. It seems the men have been anointed from the fountain of youth, but their newfound vigor comes with a hefty price tag: human lives. Relentlessly prodded by the insatiable entities that have taken up residence in their brains, they will stop at nothing to get “the fuel.”

Derek Wall, the lone constable on patrol, just wants to finish his shift and drink himself to sleep in front of the TV. He looks forward to a call from his daughter, but otherwise the holiday means nothing to him. Responding to a 9-1-1 for a domestic dispute, he walks into a double murder scene and then is kidnapped by the suspect--a young woman named Jo who is determined to prove that her octogenarian grandfather was responsible for the carnage.

Isolated by last night’s ice storm and a twenty-car pileup on the interstate leading to town, Derek and Jo team-up to track the rogue grandpa. As the body count rises, though, it becomes apparent that there is more than one killer and that an unseen force is controlling them.

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Mira
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Re: Pitch for WIP

Post by Mira » December 7th, 2009, 5:25 pm

Jude - I feel nervous giving feedback on a WIP. It's so risky - other people can't know your vision.

Trust your gut, and see where it takes you. That would be my advice.

Follow the story. Who knows where it will go.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Pitch for WIP

Post by Nathan Bransford » December 7th, 2009, 5:27 pm

Yeah, for works in progress I think it can be helpful to organize into a pitch just to see how your story sounds to you and to make things organized, but I'm reluctant to critique the pitch itself. Things might be changing, and it's important to first get the novel where you want it to be. And to do that, I'd listen most to the people who are reading and critiquing the whole manuscript.

Jude Hardin
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Re: Pitch for WIP

Post by Jude Hardin » December 7th, 2009, 5:31 pm

Thanks, Mira and Nathan. Good advice.

hyrum
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Re: Pitch for WIP

Post by hyrum » December 7th, 2009, 11:48 pm

Try organizing your pitch into a full query. I've done that for some of my WIP's and I'm surprised at how many large flaws that flushes out. Plus a few that after I put it down on paper couldn't see an agent getting excited about it, so I stripped out some of the extra elements that didn't add to the story to make it better overall.

bunderful
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Re: Pitch for WIP

Post by bunderful » December 8th, 2009, 4:04 am

Jude Hardin wrote:This is a mock-up pitch for a work in progress. Just wanted to get some thoughts/suggestions:

Welcome to Pewee Valley, Tennessee, population 642. Three retired carnival workers--a clown, a fortuneteller, and a magician--friends since childhood, are celebrating Thanksgiving at different locations when a sinister presence buried long ago deceptively claws its way to their conscious minds. How did it do that? It seems the men have been anointed from the fountain of youth (all of the sudden and they never knew? confused.), but their newfound vigor comes with a hefty price tag: human lives (why?). Relentlessly prodded by the insatiable entities that have taken up residence in their brains (oh, is that what happened? I thought they were annointed from the fountain of youth...), they will stop at nothing to get “the fuel.”

Derek Wall, the lone constable on patrol, just wants to finish his shift and drink himself to sleep in front of the TV. He looks forward to a call from his daughter, but otherwise the holiday means nothing to him. Responding to a 9-1-1 for a domestic dispute, he walks into a double murder scene and then is kidnapped by the suspect--a young woman named Jo who is determined to prove that her octogenarian grandfather was responsible for the carnage. (what carnage? and what does this have to do with the paragraph above?)

Isolated by last night’s ice storm and a twenty-car pileup on the interstate leading to town, Derek and Jo team-up to track the rogue grandpa (who is one of the people mentioned above in first paragraph?). As the body count rises, though, it becomes apparent that there is more than one killer and that an unseen force is controlling them.
Think about how this is all organized and give over the information in an order that makes sense. I really like how it starts. It draws the reader in, but then I get confused. You have to keep up the interest and energy level without sacrificing details and order.

- Rena

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Re: Pitch for WIP

Post by casnow » December 8th, 2009, 4:29 am

Your pitch really had me interested in the first paragraph, but in the middle of the second paragraph (right after, he is then kidnapped), you lost me. Who is Jo? Why does she suspect her grandpa? Why did she kidnap the policeman instead of just asking him for help?

The last sentence is okay, but try something other than "isolated"... maybe "Trapped by last night's..."

From reading this, I don't know if it is comedy or horror...

Jude Hardin
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Re: Pitch for WIP

Post by Jude Hardin » December 8th, 2009, 7:47 am

Some good points Hyrum, Rena, and Casnow. Thanks.

Krista G.
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Re: Pitch for WIP

Post by Krista G. » December 8th, 2009, 3:28 pm

When you work this up into a query letter, you might try rewriting it from the main character's point of view. As it is, I can't tell if the MC is Derek, Jo, or the three crazy great-grandfathers. If the grandpas, you could rework the first paragraph to give us a better sense of their terror/euphoria, or however they're feeling. If Derek or Jo, open with them. But whoever it is, start with the present action happening to that MC. Right now, the opening paragraph reads a bit like back story.
Author of THE REGENERATED MAN (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, Winter 2015)
Represented by Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary
www.motherwrite.blogspot.com

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