Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bait and Pitch Workshop--Week 4--Contest Pitches!

Note: If you’re here looking for fishing tips, you’ve come to the wrong end of the blogosphere.

Okay, this week we are working on CONTEST pitches. That means you are giving us your best 35-word pitch on a single manuscript and we will give you our communal feedback. Read the full list of rules with all their glorious explanations here

The Rules

Bait and Pitch is open to ALL fiction categories AND, by popular demand, memoir
This is open to manuscripts of any status. 
Post your pitch using the format below as a comment on this blog post.
One pitch per week. 
You post, you crit. 
You revise and want more feedback, you critique somebody new.
If you revise, post it as a REPLY to your original pitch. 
Critiques must include AT LEAST one piece of positive feedback. Purely negative or power-trippy critiques will be deleted. 
Don’t be an asshole. 
If you cross the line, *I* will critique your pitch in a similar manner. K? *grinz*

Formatting Your Pitch

NAME: The Wicked Pitch of the East



PITCH: This is where you will write your 35 words (and only 35 words). 


The Wicked Pitch of the East (aka Dannie)


  1. NAME: Brandon Brown

    CATEGORY/GENRE: Adult/Paranormal Urban Fantasy

    TITLE: Dream Walker

    PITCH: Leah is a fledgling psychic vampire who must master her powers to uncover her connection to a madwoman, or become a slave to a dark world that threatens to consume her whole.

    1. This pitch has a great gritty tone and the phrase "fledging psychic vampire" is very efficient. It would be great to play with the end of the sentence to help flesh out the stakes-- is the "dark world" that threatens internal (i.e. descending into madness, which, given she just turned into a psychic vampire might not be an unreasonable reaction), or is there an external threat? I'm guessing the madwoman ties somehow to the psychic part, but I don't yet have a sense otherwise of why uncovering that connection is so important. How does it tie to the conflict if it's not purely internal? Also, I think you can drop "whole" at the end to save a word. "Consume her" is a powerful phrase. Good luck!

    2. "fledgling psychic vampire" works really well, however, there isn't enough here for me.
      Lines/words like "master her powers" and "threatens to consume her whole" comes off a little generic. I'd like to know what "the dark world" is - is this a real world? our world? an alternate world?
      I think it's very close to being great, if you can find a way to make it more impactive. As you have told us Leah is a "fledgling" I assumed she didn't have her POWERS all sorted as yet, so perhaps you could go from Vampire who must... to ...Uncover and then you'll have almost 10 words to feed into the story more.

    3. Thanks for your feedback guys.

    4. With this being an adult book I'm wondering what her age is. Anyway, I agree with the people who posted above, "fledging psychic vampire" is a good way to start, that's what made me read this. You use a lot of "her" like "her world" "her connection" etc. I think it would be more powerful if you could weed some of them out. Why is the madwoman mad? What is this dark world? I know this must be short, but you need to use words that make someone crave your novel and your query for more. I like "consume her" that's great imagery and saying she'd become a slave, just define the world a bit. Good luck!

  2. Name: Geni P
    Category/Genre: YA Magical Realism (seriously, it is)
    Working Title: Poison Apples
    Pitch: Snow White meets Better Off Dead when 16 y.o. Bianca’s magnetic effect on animals repels her boyfriend. Singing in the talent show might win him back, unless a handsome new accompanist changes her tune.

    1. I have to admit, I had no idea what Better off Dead is and had to look it up.
      Now, this might be well known to most people, or maybe people in the USA so my comment could be pointless, but if Better of Dead is not all that well known, the problem with referencing something not all that well known is it can stop people. Again, ignore if this is a movie everyone in the USA knows, I'm from Australia :)

      I liked the first bit about Bianca repelling her boyfriend and thought it was a clever use of only a few words to create an image but I then was lost re: the talent show reference as I didn't know what that had to do with her BF, animals or Snow White.
      If the talent show is important, I might suggest saving words to make the connection with Bianca's effect on animals and a talent show by removing the reference to Snow White and Better off Dead, as I didn't understand how that referenced to the rest of the pitch anyway.
      I'd also maybe leave out her age if you need the word-count and start with... Bianca's magnetic effect on animals repels her boyfriend... (etc)

    2. Sorry, my phone wasn't posting to this blog very well, and it took me a few days to get on my computer internet.

      I also had to look up Better Off Dead and I am in the US. There are a lot of characters here, and I wasn't sure from the pitch if Bianca is her own or an alias of one of the first two mentioned. Maybe only mentioning one character by name and referring to the rest based on their relationship tp him or her will streamline this pitch.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Name: Emily Moore
    Genre/ Category: Upper MG Contemporary
    Title: Rowdy Days of Dom Sanders

    Dom’s summer’s getting better. He’s kissed a girl and finally gotten his horse. When he witnesses a murder, he must decide if testifying for a bully is worth his life.

  5. Let me start by saying MG is not my thing, I prefer older age-bracket novels.
    Having put in place my caveat, for me, there's a lot to like here. I get a clear sense of the MC and what's at stake - not easy to do in 35-words or less.
    I do think however, the bit about the horse is totally out of place. I'm sure the horse-sub-plot is very important in the MS, but here, because I have no context, it just doesn't work for me. I (kind of) see why you did it, i.e. showing two things happened that made this summer great, but I think it would work better if you referenced the second good-thing with the bully?

    Something like "...he kissed a girl and the school-yard bully broke his leg so can't catch Dom all summer..."
    OK that's not great, I'm sure you can come up with something better and more fitting for your MS, but I'm sure you get my point :)

  6. NAME: Brittney Coon

    CATEGORY/GENRE: Contemporary NA


    PITCH: 21 yo Sydney doesn’t believe in love, only having summer boys. Jason plans to be more than a one-night stand. He wants to melt her heart of ice.