Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pitch Critiques

Jessica over at the BookEnds Agency blog is offering "Perfecting Your Pitch" critiques. Just leave your one-sentence or one-paragraph pitch in the comments, and she'll choose as many as she can to critique on the blog.

In a fun coincidence, Agent Kristin is talking about the same thing right now (though not offering critiques, alas).

Because I can't help myself, and figuring out this whole query thing is a long-running obsession with me, I spent all my writing time this morning working up a new version and posting it. I tried to take the advice of both agents, which basically boiled down to "try to make it read like back cover copy".

So that's what I did, trying to set up the situation and give a feel for some of the external conflict (Breadalbane, political climate, etc.), while coming right out and saying that Elspeth and Alec fall in love, but only hinting at the separation that drives the story from climax-resolution.

It may look like 3 paragraphs, but if you count closely you'll note it's only 5 sentences long. *g* So we'll see if it gets picked and what she has to say.

I left out everything about why they can't have a relationship, and Elspeth's trade-off with the Earl to save his life after his capture and sentencing - and their "one night" together that the title draws on - and Alec's journey into the present to find her...which is kind of my core idea and the crux of the whole story. I wasn't thrilled about it. But I was matching the tone of cover copy for books in my genre, so again I guess we'll see.

My problem is, whenever I get it worked down into what I feel is a nice, tight little package (like I did for EE) the commenters always want to know this or that, and answering everything baloons my tight 5 sentences out into 2-3 paragraphs, almost like a short synopsis but still trying for a hook instead of revealing the ending as a true synopsis would.

And often the "sucessful" queries posted have much longer bodies, with more detail. So which to use when I actually get to the query stage?


Personal status update: Sven is angry with me, but I married into Red Sox Nation and watching the first game of the World Series with DH last night pre-empted any writing I would have gotten done, just like the ALCS pre-empted it last week. I hope the Sox take this thing in 4, because I don't think I'll be very productive at home until it's over, and work is too busy right now to sneak in much writing time here.


Precie said...

LOL about the Sox. I don't follow baseball, but I'm actually rooting for the Sox because a friend of mine in New England could get free appliances if they win. :)

Cindy said...

Hi Jenny!

I've been drifting over here and lurking a bit. You've got the prettiest blog!