Thursday, August 28, 2014

#BaitAndPitch: Twitter Pitches!

TWITTER 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 TWITTER pitches. That means you are giving us your best 140 characters including your hashtag & Category/Genre abbreviation (info below) 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
This is open to manuscripts of any status. 
Bring a friend.
One pitch per week. 
You post, you crit. 
You edit, you critique again.
If you revise, post it as a REPLY to your original pitch. 
Critiques must include AT LEAST one piece of positive feedback. 
Don’t be an asshole. 
If you cross the line, *I* will critique your pitch in a similar manner. K? *grinz*

Formatting Your Pitch

Yes, you MUST use the #BaitPitch hashtag, as you would with any contest. 

NAME: The Wicked Pitch of the East

CATEGORY/GENRE: YA/Fantasy

TITLE: WHERE ARE THOSE WILD THINGS, ANYWAY?

PITCH: #BaitPitch (YA/F)When Max grows up,yada yada yada.Use Twitter/Word to make sure you only have 140 characters or expect the verbal beatdown.

Cheers!


The Wicked Pitch of the East (aka Dannie)





227 comments:

  1. OK, I'll dive in -- though last week's pitch still needs work, here's a new one (I hope this is Kosher):

    6 bodies+1 lost night=a new life for Miranda. Ten yrs after cutting all ties, a funeral pulls her home to face the past. #BaitPitch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get tripped up by the equation. I also feel like you could get stakes into this and they are missing right now.

      Ten years after cutting all ties, a funeral pulls Miranda home to face the past, [stakes go here]

      Delete
    2. I agree. Now is the equation part of her past? did someone meaningful die or is it the way they die that pulls her back. Maybe 6 bodies + 1 lost night 10yrs ago causes Miranda to start a new life... something like that. But tie in WHY this murder brings her back

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the feedback. Here's a new version--though I'm not sure if it's an improvement:

      When she awoke in a strange house to find 6 dead bodies, Miranda ran. Ten years later, an urgent trip home endangers her life. #BaitPitch

      Delete
    4. I like your second pitch a lot better! It's easier to read and more clear. Maybe say, 'Ten years later, a trip back home....' I don't think we need to know 'urgent' in the pitch. Good job and good luck!

      Delete
    5. Agree with Shari. Much better. Great job!

      Delete
    6. I'm so confused by what agents/editors respond to in a twitter pitch. I've heard them say some need more stakes, then other times they love the pitch just because it's clever. It also seems they respond to a sense of irony, which you had in the first try. The first one had more "voice." But the second does tell the story. I'm torn!!

      Delete
    7. Oh huh, my reply was eaten. Here it goes again. I think you have room to squeeze in more;

      Ten years after Miranda awoke to 6 dead bodies in a strange house, she returns to [what is her action/choice/risk]. #BaitPitch

      Delete
    8. Like the second one.
      How about - Miranda awoke to 6 dead bodies in a strange house. 10 yrs later, she returns to face the aftermath.

      Delete
    9. Ooooh. I love the use of the word 'aftermath'. Revisions here I come! Thanks everyone.

      Delete
  2. Name: Amber

    Category/genre: YA/Paranormal

    Title: THE NEWCOMER

    Pitch: #BaitPitch (YA/P) When Evelyn was born, she was given the gift of knowing. She must either bring salvation or destruction on the witch world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This feels a little bit generic. What is knowing? Is she a witch? Are witches good or bad? Not sure what to root for here.

      My suggestion:

      Evelyn can save or destroy the witch world.[personal stakes go here]

      Delete
    2. I have to echo the above -- can 'the gift of knowing' be made more specific somehow? Since I don't know what it means, I can't really make a suggestion.

      Delete
    3. Thank you both, I see what you are saying, Maybe my new revision will help?

      Evelyn can either save or destroy the witch world. Choosing which to do is going to be the hard part. (YA/P) #BaitPitch

      Delete
    4. I do like the second one better. I'm wondering though if you could tinker with that second sentence so it expresses some of the voice of the novel?

      Delete
    5. I like the first part of the revision save or destroy. What does she risk losing? We should assume the choice is hard, so try to tell us why instead :)

      also these twitter pitches are really hard.

      Delete
    6. I like your second one better. But try more specific stakes. Something like -
      Evelyn can save or destroy the witch world. Either one could___ / Or: One involves ___ while the other could___.

      Delete
    7. hmmm. Third time is a charm :)

      Evelyn can save or destroy the witch world. Either one will hurt someone she loves. #BaitPitch (YA/P)

      Delete
    8. I know it's hard to get a lot across in 140 characters, but I think its essential to show something that makes your pitch different. Saving/destroying world, hurting loved ones are pretty standard fare. I like that it's a witch world, and that you lay out stakes, but try to make it more specific to your story.

      Delete
    9. This version works better for me. I wonder -- with the small number of characters available -- is it possible to include whether Evelyn is a part of the witch world?

      Delete
    10. I think I am getting closer!

      "Evelyn can either save or destroy the witch world - it all depends on what she does with her gift, magic, and heart #BaitPitch (YA/P)"

      Delete
    11. Hi Amber, I think I know what's missing here. Why does Evelyn have to save or destroy the witch world? Something is forcing that choice and that is the source of your conflict.

      Delete
    12. I believe I know where you are coming from. Maybe this will explain the root of the decision:

      "Dark magic in mind, Evelyn can save or destroy the witch world - it all depends on what she does with her gift, magic, and heart #BaitPitch"

      Delete
  3. Molly must choose between her best friend and her father. One has magic, one hunts those with magic. Choose one, lose the other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh. I like this.

      What's the genre?

      Delete
    2. I agree, this is very effective. Everything you need is there.

      Delete
    3. Thanks! Its a Middle Grade Fantasy.

      Delete
    4. I like this. Best of luck!

      Delete
    5. Very catchy - I like it. Any way you could work in a bit more what that magic is?

      Delete
    6. I have nothing to add -- I just wish mine was as smooth as yours! :D

      Delete
    7. Sounds perfect to me. Good luck!

      Delete
  4. Name: Susan

    Genre: Ya Paranormal Romance

    Title: IT HAPPENED ON THUNDER ROAD

    #Baitpitch Girl in luv w/2 bros is distraught when one is killed & possesses the other, leaving her to nix the spirit or risk losing both.

    August 28, 2014 at 4:52 AM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love it. But loses something with distraught. Plus you can sub "one" with "1" and get more characters. Maybe "girl in luv w/ 2 bros. When 1 is killed he possesses the other, leaving her to nix the spirit or risk losing both.

      Delete
    2. You managed to get a lot in 140 characters :) I love it. Good job!

      Delete
    3. I agree, I'm not sure distraught is the right word. But I'm not sure what is: conflicted?

      Delete
    4. I also agree with the above. I think if you find a meatier word than 'distraught' it will give the pitch the oomph it needs. Amazing how much you got in there.

      Delete
    5. I like this and it's compelling. I'm just a little confused by 'nix the spirit or risk losing both.' Maybe it's just me because I don't read a lot in this genre. What does 'nix the spirit' mean?

      Delete
    6. So this made me laugh! Great job! Nix the spirit could be a bit confusing but I inferred you were talking about killing it off, right?

      Delete
    7. Good job on fitting so much in and making it clear - except for the stakes. Not sure why she has to nix the spirit or how she'd lose both.

      Delete
    8. Great! Could you replace is distraught with crushed.

      Delete
  5. Name: Tanya

    Genre: NA Contemp

    Title: Koda

    #Baitpitch Seeking refuge from her attacker at a ranch, Katie meets snarky veteran John. Can she can trust him to keep her safe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm new to twitter pitches, so take this with a grain of salt. This pitch seems strong. I know who the main character is and what her problem is. If I was going to tweek something, I'd look at "to keep her safe." It makes her seem like a victim, and I'd like a strong mc to make me want to read more. I'd also think about using those characters to give your mc some voice - get a bit of her take on her predicament in. Not knowing your mc, I'd try something like: "She'll trust him...for now."

      I hope that helps!
      Rebecca

      Delete
    2. I echo Rebecca's comments. Might want to show why she'd need someone else to keep her safe. Show her voice. Hard to do, I know, in 140 characters. I struggle with the same thing :)

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure if you are trying to imply that John might be the attacker. If that's the case, I think you can make this stronger. If it's not, then why wouldn't she be able to trust John. I think you have a lot of unnecessary words. If you shorten the intro and clarify the conflict at the end, I think this will be stronger.

      Katie runs/hides from her [unknown/unseen] attacker and meets John. [Add hook]

      Best of luck.

      Delete
    4. Thank you guys. How is this:

      Katie runs from her attacker & meets veteran John who offers her protection, but his snarky mouth has her running for the hills #baitpitch

      Delete
    5. I get what you're saying, but feel the pitch could be misread as Katie's attack took place at the ranch--rather than her running there for sanctuary. Nice job folding in setting along with main characters.

      Delete
    6. You could cut out both "her"s and gain a few more characters. I've heard agents say you've got to show how your book is different. What makes this different? I'm not a great twitter pitcher either, so take or leave what I say! "-)

      Delete
    7. How about -
      Fleeing from her attacker, Katie's forced to accept veteran John's protection. But his ego might be too much to handle.
      If there is a class of wills between the two, show it. It'll make for romantic tension and It'll tell us Katie has spunk and is not a victim.

      Delete
    8. Makes it sound more like a single scene than a book. I'm not sure what 'veteran' means in this case - former soldier? And it's hard to read the tone - attacker and protection sound serious, snarky and running for hills sounds light. I'd focus on Katie a little more and not worry about telling us John is snarky - it doesn't feel that important.

      Delete
    9. REVISED:
      Katie hides from world after being attacked. John struggles adjusting 2 life after the army. Together they learn to start over #baitpitch

      I think this hits the story.

      Delete
    10. I do enjoy this revised pitch. I think I just have a problem because I don't know what kind of attack she is hiding from? Physical, mental, what happened to make her want to start over. I realize you only have 140 characters, but maybe just one or two words should help!

      Good luck :)

      Delete
    11. probably should use assaulted. It was a physical attack

      Delete
    12. REVISED:

      Katie hides from world after being assaulted. John struggles adjusting 2 life after the army. Together they learn to start over #baitpitch

      Delete
  6. NAME: Rebecca

    CATEGORY/GENRE: MG/Sci Fi

    TITLE: MASH-UP

    PITCH: Sunglasses turn everyone at school into video game avatars. Battles spread. Jared gets his game on. But people start to vanish.#baitpitch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like it. Maybe change the 'Battles spread'? How about -
      Sunglasses turn schoolmates into video game avatars, causing intense battles. Jared jumps into the melee. Then people start to vanish
      Nice plot. My 13 yo would love it.

      Delete
    2. Hi Rebecca,

      Sounds like a lot fun. Is this posted at WriteOnCon? Feel like a recently critted a query for this, only it was a girl's POV, but I've written so many crits over the last week I'm losing track of it all. I'm not sure the sunglasses are important (though Google might like it). Also, we need to know what Jared's fighting for or who he's fighting against. It loses some of your elements, but I was thinking something like:

      School turns into a real-life video game war-zone and Jared's friends are vanishing, He has to find out why b4 everyone's gone. #baitpitch

      You could cut "-life" to free up few more characters and add #MG.

      Delete
    3. Ha, ha! I think you did crit mash-up towards the end of in writeoncon. The story is dual pov, so that while the first query had a Jared paragraph, then a Max and then a both paragraph, my last iteration was in Max's POV. Thanks for remembering.

      Thanks for the suggestion! This looks promising. Only I'd need to change it to Max. Jared likes the game. Max wants to shut it down. It's all good though, going to Max from Jared saves me two letters. :)

      Thanks for your help!
      Rebecca

      Delete
    4. I really like davidoarr's take--Can you write mine?? :-)

      Delete
  7. Name: Suja Sukumar

    Genre: YA/Contemporary

    Title: IMPERFECT LIVES

    #Baitpitch To find her sister’s killer, 17 yo Mira must defy her strict Indian parents & trust her deceased friend’s brother YA/C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this pitch is strong. It gives me a good sense of who the mc is and the conflict. I wonder about the "deceased friend's brother." As I said above, I'm new to twitter pitches, but I feel like two big issues is too much for 140 characters. It makes me think, so the sister's dead AND the friend's dead? And of course, there aren't enough characters to elaborate. I wonder if you would be better served to focus on one murder and use the extra characters to get in more of Mira's voice. Is fighting through her grief? Or seeing red? Or how does she feel about working with this guy (apart from the fact that he's her friend's brother).

      I hope that helps!
      Rebecca

      Delete
    2. I also think having both the dead sister and a dead friend in the pitch may dilute its strength. Great job getting in the goal and the mc's culture. What risk does she run by defying her parents? Perhaps close with the risk rather than the deceased friend's brother?

      Delete
    3. Try to start with '17 yo Mira..." Then, 'deceased friend's brother' gets confusing. Kind of like when someone says, "My mom's cousin's friend's brother..." lol. :) I think you can cut this perhaps and add a bit more detail about the main conflict. I like the diversity in this and the tension that is sure to come from defying her parents culture/religion. Good luck!

      Delete
    4. HS Girl must defy strict Indian parents & trust her dead friend's (mean/shady) bro to hunt down (down could be cut) her sister's killer.

      Delete
    5. Shouldn't the MC be the one who's being active though? It could sound like the dead friend's bro is the hero. What does the MC do other than trust? Again, newbie here:-)

      Delete
    6. Good job on laying out the key plot in an interesting way. The 'deceased friend's brother' is too much and doesn't actually tell us anything about him. And we don't need to know about him - tell us what SHE does.

      Delete
    7. I agree with the others on the brother. I think a good hook you have in here is the diversity of her Indian parents. Utilize that. How does she defy them? If the male character is important then tell us why/ tie him in that way not by being the brother of her deceased friend.

      Delete
    8. Unfortunately, the story is dual POV and what brings the two together are their respective siblings' deaths. But Mira has more conflict due to the added family drama, which is why I decided to use her for the pitch.

      How about this -

      #Baitpitch To find her sister's killer, 17yo Mira must defy her strict Indian parents & help her dead friend's brother link the two deaths.

      Delete
  8. Mary

    NA contemporary

    PASSENGER

    When Kate survives the crash that takes her brother's life, can she forgive herself & the boy whose secret shatters her world? NA contemp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder why she needs to forgive herself. Was she driving? Was she not attentive enough? I also wonder about the secret.

      I know, how do you get all that in 140 characters. I think you can delete the "When" and make the first clause a sentence. There's probably also a standard abbreviation for contemp. Also, you need to add in room for a hashtag like #baitpitch.

      I hope that helps!

      Rebecca

      Delete
    2. I like it. Why does she feel guilty? Who is the guy? What's up with him? I'd read a query at least.

      Delete
    3. This is a tough one, because I really like the pitch up front, but as noted by Rebecca and Sarah, the question I have at the end is not the one you pose, but rather it's about the vagueness of the pitch. I think this pitch is focused on two of your MC's conflicts and it's hard enough to adequately explain one in 140 chars. If the secret and the boy aren't related to the car accident, then you should probably pick the primary conflict and go with that. If they are, you need to find a way to connect them.

      Hope that's helpful. Best of luck.

      Delete
    4. REVISION

      Kate blames herself for crash that killed her brother. James' secret forces her to face her guilt. NA #pitchwars

      I have some extra characters to use up.

      Delete
    5. I think this is stronger. Since you're mentioning her brother and James, it raises the question of whether James is the brother, or someone else. If you have a few characters to work with, can you describe James so it is clear that he's not the dead brother.
      example:
      Kate blames herself for crash that killed her brother. A new love's secret forces her to face her guilt. NA #pitchwars

      Rebecca

      Delete
    6. I think it's also stronger. I like that you no longer use the word "boy" since that takes the pitch into MG or early YA territory.

      Delete
    7. The word Secret is still tripping me up. Does it matter why she confronts her guilt? (Just guessing here)

      1) It's not related to her brother's death, in which case, it's part of the plot, but not the pitch.
      2) It is what connects James to her brothers death. (maybe James was somehow responsible/involved in her brothers death.) If that's the case, the important thing still isn't the secret, it's her overcoming her guilt/blame.

      I am assuming the stakes are "love" here and the consequence is "lost love" and a sad lonely life.

      Can you say something like:

      Kate's brother died in car crash. If she can't lay her blame to rest, she’ll be consumed by guilt and lose her chance for love.

      A new love opens an old wound--Kate's brother’s death. Kate must let the past go or lose her shot at happiness.

      Best of luck.

      Delete
    8. My problem is I'm not sure who James is - her brother or a LI? I don't think twitter pitches is the best place to tease with 'secrets'. I'd share what it is, since that's what's likely to make your story stand out.

      Delete
    9. Man, this is hard stuff!
      If I were to write this pitch from James' POV, it would be: College and dating after prison. There's no handbook for that.
      So that's his secret (however, he did NOT kill her brother). Basically, his secret hits too close to home for Kate. All she wants to do is shove things under a rug and not face her feelings and his truth opens old wounds.
      So David, your last suggestion is the closest to what is going on.

      Delete
    10. Hmmm. Here's another take on it.

      A new love opens an old wound--Kate's brother’s death. She’ll be imprisoned by [her] guilt unless she lays the past to rest.

      A gentle kiss resurrects unresolved guilt. Kate can’t love James until she makes peace with the car crash that killed her brother.

      Delete
    11. A tough pitch. You have some excellent suggestions above, including Rebecca's, which I think might work best IMO. That way you don't have to name James, but the connection to Kate is clear. Also, this way you imply that the secret could tear them apart. Just my 2c :)

      Delete
  9. Can I ask a general question here?

    We need a few different versions of our pitch, right, so we're not repetitive over the hours the contests run. Can you use a second pitch from the POV of a second POV character, or emphasizing another aspect of the conflict? Or is that confusing?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

    Rebecca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've done that. So I'd say go for it, but only if all pitches are equally strong. There are soooo many pitches going on that agents are probably only going on to see your pitch one or two times, so you want them to see the strongest hooks you've got. That's my opinion for what its worth.

      Delete
    2. Thanks again, David. I might try that!

      Rebecca

      Delete
  10. NAME: Sarah / appifanie

    CATEGORY/GENRE: YA Contemporary

    TITLE: LEANING TOWARD OPTIMISM

    PITCH: #BaitPitch YA CR Hiding from her cheating ex on a small island, chubby 18yo Ivy meets temptation in the form of sexy newcomer, Ren.

    (I have 8 characters left after that)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm. Interesting.

      My main question is whether she went to the small island to hide from her ex. Or if she and ex are both on small island and it's hard to hide. My next question (prioritized because...I know...140 characters!) would be: why does she need to hide?

      I hope that helps!
      Rebecca

      Delete
    2. Couple things. It sound more NA to me, with words like temptation and sexy.
      Next, what is the conflict? Is the ex coming after her, or is she just licking her wounds after a break up? And what is Ren tempting her with?

      Delete
    3. Maybe it's just me but I'd put the #baitpitch and YA CR at the beginning because I started reading your pitch at 'CR' thinking they were the initials of the mc. Do you need to say 'chubby'? Otherwise, it sounds really good! Good luck!

      Delete
    4. Rebecca - She went to the island to hide. She'd planned on attending college with him in the fall but he dumped her the day before high school graduation.

      Mary, yeah, it's sort of at a YA/NA cut-off, but the themes felt more YA to me and there's no sex, so I went with YA.

      Shari, yeah I can probably leave off the CR, it's sort of obvious in the pitch itself. And chubby is just so people know she stands out. I wanted to differentiate her a little, make people care.

      Delete
    5. Okay, so what does she want? And what stands in her way? Does she swear off boys, but Ren makes her rethink that?
      And maybe this is just me, but since this is a light romance, I'd steer clear of words that suggest otherwise.
      I understand the YA/NA conundrum. Mine sort of straddles both too.

      Delete
    6. I was wondering also if the word "chubby" really needs to be in there. If you want us to care about her, maybe switch it to "vulnerable"? I believe she would be vulnerable hiding on a small island after her ex boyfriend cheated on her.

      P.s, college-age is really on the brink of NA, so if you do want it to be YA, focus on the real problem, and not her wanting a new sexy boyfriend, I just think there is a stronger conflict here than what you are actually telling! :)

      Delete
    7. How about - Dumped on the eve of her graduation, 18yo Ivy swears off boys and hides out in remote island--until sexy Ren's arrival.

      Delete
  11. Name: Sonja

    Category: YA Contemporary

    Title: S'MORES

    Pitch: #baitpitch When Gayle's father dies she's forced upon the mother who left her. Understanding is impossible, but can she at least forgive?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like this! It made me raise my eyebrows a couple times! (That's a good thing! lol) The only thing that maybe you can reword is "understanding is impossible" because it's pretty vague and doesn't tell us anything about the conflict. We don't know if she can't understand the situation or why her dad died or if someone was responsible for his death or maybe it's not understanding her mother or herself? Otherwise, I'm drawn in and want to know more! Good luck!

      Delete
    2. If she can't forgive...(insert)

      Delete
  12. Sounds like an emotional roller coaster. I think you've stated a goal, but not a conflict/consequence. We need to know what happens if she can't forgive her mother.

    Gayle's father dies and she's forced on the mother who left her. If Gayle can't forgive her, [Insert Consequence]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree with the comments above. You need the consequence of her choices. You definitely have the set up here. Great job :)

      Delete
  13. Name: Shari Schwarz

    Category: MG adventure

    Title: The Ledge

    I'm trying this out from a totally different angle than I have before and am keeping it short to see what people want/need to know most.

    Pitch: A mother's lie sets teenage brothers, Jack and Bryce, on a harrowing mountain adventure. #baitandpitch #MG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This sounds interesting, but I think you could use some specifics. What about cutting "brothers" from the line and saying "...sets teens Jack and Bryce" to save some space? And is this a fantasy story, where they encounter creatures in the mountains, or more of a coming-of-age and finding yourself story? If you said "A mother's lie sets teens Jack and Bryce off to battle their family's enemy in the mountains", or whatever have you, that would be help with the specifics. Good luck :)

      Delete
    2. I like the lie part. I'm curious about the stakes. They go off on an adventure. But what for? To prove she lied? Or to find the truth?

      Delete
    3. This is a concise start. :) Since you have room to wiggle, I'd tighten up the first part and give me the stakes. How old are these brothers? Not necessary for the pitch, I don't think, but it came to mind.

      "Their mother's lie sets Jack and Bryce on a harrowing mountain adventure WHICH—STAKES!"

      Delete
    4. I'm intrigued and can't help wondering why the lie would send the teens on a risky adventure. I can sense conflict! Adding the stakes would definitively draw us in.

      Delete
  14. Name: Shari Schwarz

    Category: PB Contemporary

    Title: Skateboard Kate

    Pitch:

    All Kate wants is to skateboard, even if Alyson says she can't b/c she doesn't have real legs. Kate rolls her way to her dream. #baitpitch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOVE THIS! Not sure we need Alyson mentioned here. Who is she? Mother? best friend? Knowing the relationship might be better than knowing the name. It does LACK the standard "stakes" at the end, but that might be okay in this case since. It seems obvious to me. Interested in what others have to say on this. I am a sucker for person triumph story...I tear up just thinking about it.

      Delete
    2. The opening wording is a bit awkward to me. I might jump straight to the conflict. Kate's friend told her she can't skateboard because she doesn't have real legs. Kate's determined to prove her wrong. Or something like that.

      Delete
    3. I read your query on WOC and like it - my kid and I would definitely read it :)

      #BaitPitch Kate is desperate to skateboard, but (friend/sister?) Alyson says she can't on her prosthetic legs. (something like that to start?)

      Delete
    4. This is great—one thing that comes to mind is that for such a short pitch we may not need Alyson at all, just the mention that Kate wants to skate and there's some opposition because she has prosthetic legs. Instead of Alyson, maybe give a hint as to why she has prosthetics?

      Delete
    5. I agree that Alyson isn't necessary. It might actually pack more punch if the character thinks she can't since she's the one changing and growing.

      Delete
    6. I'd love this story. Agree you don't need friend's name. Not many young amputees use the word prosthetics, from my experience. Great premise.

      Delete
    7. Thanks for all your input, everyone! How about this?

      6yo Kate skateboards her way to her dreams even though she doesn't have real legs. Determination is everything. #baitpitch #PB

      Delete
    8. I like this. Nice job!
      Just a suggestion to reword.
      8yo Kate lacks real legs, but makes up for it with determination as she skateboards her way to her dreams.

      Delete
  15. Name: Alex

    Category: Contemporary Fantasy

    Title: INTO BLACKWOOD

    Pitch: Lacey can handle being a teen ruler, but not when her elemental magic ability lands on her trial with her worst rivals. #YA/F #Baitpitch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like the teen ruler idea, but not sure what the plot or stakes are here. "on trial with her worst rivals" is confusing. Is it a real trial, like in court? And if she's the ruler, how does that happen.

      How does the magic land her on trial? What if she loses? I think you need to simplify this. My advice would be, start with what she has to lose and work backwards. Happy to take another look if you want to revise.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, David! Hope the plot is more clear in this one.
      REVISION:
      17yo Lacey’s father dies, leaving her to rule his lands. And deal with a host of rivals trying to steal her new position. #YA/F #Baitpitch

      Delete
    3. Revision is better! Tells us what she has to lose. Good job.

      Delete
    4. The second one is clearer. I'm curious if there is a detail you could add to punch it up a bit, something to set it apart from other fantasies of its ilk.

      Delete
    5. Yea! Much better.

      Wait. I know this story. #WriteOnCon right? She enters a contest or a tournament or something.

      Don't really know enough to complete it, but maybe something like:

      Lacey inherits the kingdom, but not the people's hearts. She must best her rivals to do that. Win the tournament, win the people.

      Lacey inherits the kingdom, but not the people's hearts. She must best her rivals to do that. Win the tournament, or lose her throne.

      Delete
    6. Yes, it was on WriteOnCon! I don't think it's the story you're thinking of though; she doesn't enter a contest or tournament, she gets put on trial by her rivals. Thank you for your suggestions though, I'll play around with that format and see if anything works!

      Delete
    7. Alex, can you give us a detail which sets it apart? Oh, Heather already mentioned that! I agree. I got such a kick out of watching the agents/editors respond to pitches. The ones they liked the best seemed to be quite ironic or funny.

      Delete
    8. 2nd one is def improvement. Sounds like a great story.

      Delete
    9. Thank you so much, everyone! Are either one of these more superior?

      1. 17yo Lacey wants to be a strong ruler, but her elemental magic lands her on trial w/ her political rivals leading enemy lines #Baitpitch #YA/F

      2. 17yo Lacey is thrust into leadership earlier than expected, but it's a cakewalk compared to her boyfriend's secret origins #YA/F #Baitpitch

      Delete
    10. I like the first one since it seems more connected - new ruler vs political rivals. And if these rivals are seeking her position, mention that.
      Suggestion -
      When 17yo Laney inherits her father's lands and title, her elemental magic lands her on trial with rivals seeking to unseat her.

      Delete
  16. This is my second pitch from a different POV. Thanks for feedback!

    Name: David

    Cat: MG Fantasy

    Title: Nomags vs Gifted

    Pitch: Christian’s dream of attaining magic comes at a cost--his bff. He must choose: pursue his dream, or his friend. Can’t have both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the 1st one better, it's more stake-y for me. This one leaves me wondering why he can't have both, and the 1st one tells me why.

      Delete
    2. I like this idea a lot, I just want to know more about this friend! I love the first and third lines of the pitch and wouldn't change those, except for capitalizing BFF. Could you give us a little more detail on this BFF in the second sentence, and why he/she may come at a cost of attaining magic?

      Delete
    3. Thanks! Yes. Your both right. Is either of these better?

      Christian’s dream of attaining magic comes true. But his BFFs father hunts those with magic. He must choose: MAGIC or BEST FRIEND

      Christian has a chance to learn magic. But his BFF’s dad hunts those w/ magic. He must choose: leave 4 magic or stay 4 his friend

      Delete
    4. The first of these 2. Because it tells us magic is his dream rather than a passing opportunity, and this ups the stakes.

      Delete
    5. I agree with other comments, the first one feels stronger to me. Is this a dual-POV MG?

      Delete
    6. Thanks All!

      Yes, it is dual-POV MG.

      Delete
    7. Piling on...I like number 1 as well. Although I think I like your earlier one best. There's something about the "stuck in the middle" that makes the stakes feel really high to me. This one is worth using as well, but Christian has something to gain either way so I don't feel the stakes quite as much.

      Rebecca

      Delete
    8. I vote 1 also. I wonder if you could reword the second sentence--Take out "but" and use hunts magicians? or something along those lines. Then you've got some more wiggle room to throw in some voice. Christian's learning magic, but his BFF's dad's a conjurer/diviner/ trapper/hunter/killer...

      Delete
    9. I'm liking the 1st pitch better as well. The stakes feel higher in that one.

      Delete
  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  18. NAME: Heather

    CATEGORY/GENRE: YA/Contemporary

    TITLE: Renascence

    PITCH: #BaitPitch (YA/C) Poetry + Murder: Priscilla must find the connection, and Chrissy’s motive, or watch her best friend die for her crime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember seeing this on the WriteOnCon forums! Love the stakes here. Great pitch.

      Delete
    2. On first read (which is probably all you need), this is great. When I read it again, I had a few questions.

      Who is Chrissy? Do we have to name her?

      Whose crime? The "her" is a little ambiguous at the end. Who committed the crime, Priscilla or Chrissy?

      Delete
    3. I'm wondering if this is a YA/Mystery and not a contemporary. Of course, only you know your novel, but the murder element and the crime-solving element lead me to that conclusion. This is a great pitch! But I'm a little confused about the last "her". Does it refer to Chrissy or Priscilla? Also, is "Poetry + Murder" your title? Those things aside, I'd request this.

      "Poetry + Murder: Priscilla must find the connection and motive to her best friend's crime or watch her die for it."

      Delete
    4. I just noticed the ambiguity myself. It's Chrissy's crime. She's a school shooter and one of the 2 MCs in this book.

      I'm gonna have to think on how to make this clearer.

      Delete
    5. Annemarie, I almost called it YA Mystery, but I'm not sure the label fits perfectly. There is no mystery about who did it. Chrissy's guilt is clear from the get go. I'm still not sure if it fits or not.

      Delete
    6. Good point. And I have seen books that have heavy mystery elements labeled as just Contemporary. Also, why is Chrissy going to die for the crime? Juveniles cannot be given the death penalty (even if the state had one to begin with). Is someone after Chrissy? In that case, perhaps this is a thriller? Again, you're the only person who knows your novel. ;) (And I still really like this pitch. For me, having questions means it's sparked my interest. I hope that's the same for agents and editors.)

      Delete
    7. Would it help if you mentioned it was a school shooting? I know 140 characters. It's a BEAR

      Delete
    8. Annemarie, she is 18. And we have the death penalty here. I worked out her crime and sentencing, etc, with our local investigator of violent crimes. Not sure how to say that in a twitter pitch. Hmmm...

      Shelly, yes! I want to. I have written a few pitches that mention it, but I don't like any of them. Sometimes I think I should just type FEMALE SCHOOL SHOOTER and let that be my whole pitch. :P

      Delete
  19. Name: Tara

    Category/Genre: YA/SF

    Title: Dream Eaters

    Pitch: #BaitPitch YA/SF Helena's family created the drug Catalyst, ended WW3 & saved the world. But the truth about C could destroy everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm. Did the drug end ww3? How about dropping the name of the drug then being more specific about what 'the truth' is. Also, is saving the world referencing ww3, bc if so, I think you could drop that too.
      ...created a drug that ended ww3, but the side effects....
      And is she trying to expose the truth or hide it?

      Delete
    2. This tells me a lot about Helena's family, not her. What are her stakes and conflicts? What's her role in this post-C world? I agree with Mary that you can drop the drug name. Laser focus on Helena's journey. Your world-building sounds awesome, but I want to know about your MC. She's who I'm going to spend a novel with.

      Delete
    3. REVISION

      Thanks guys! Let me know if either of these ring a bit more true.

      1. #BaitPitch YASF For 17 yro Helena's world, dreams are a man made luxury. But she can & needs to know why, before they find her.

      2. #BaitPitch YA SF In a world where dreams come from a pill, Helena is different & dangerous. W/the gov & city hunting her, who can she trust?

      Delete
    4. How about combining them? In Helena's world, dreams are drug induced. Then, how is Helena different and dangerous?

      Delete
    5. I agree with Shelly about combining them. I like "In Helena's world," better than "For Helena's world."

      Delete
    6. SF? Seems like more of a dystopian to me, but either way, you've piqued my interest. Read others' comments, but I guess I'm a minimalist. I don't like revealing too much. Leave something to mystery.

      Delete
    7. I'm going to echo the above -- why is Helena dangerous --does she not need the drug to dream? Hard to get everything in w/ only 140 characters, but I think it would hone the stakes.

      Delete
  20. Name: Shannon
    Genre: adult fiction
    Title: as if
    Pitch: #baitpitch 33yo Scott has a drug problem. And a girl problem. Nothing seems to snap him out of his own reality until faced with a dose of tragedy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that you have conflicts here (drugs—internal—and ladies—external). I think you can rework the last sentence, as it's vague and doesn't tell me any specifics. Can you give us the stakes in that sentence if he doesn't fix his drug/lady problem?

      Delete
    2. Ok how about
      #baitpitch 33yo Scott has a drug problem. & a girl problem. when the two collide & he loses his love, he is forced to reinvent his purpose in life

      Delete
    3. What happens if he doesn't reinvent his purpose? What is at stake?

      I love the drug problem and a girl problem bit. It piqued my interest.

      Delete
    4. I really like the drug problem and girl problem thing too. But the second sentence is still too vague. Is "reinvent his purpose" a euphemism for quitting drugs and getting a job? There must be some action he takes, and being specific about would sell the book better, at least to me. :-)

      Delete
    5. Thanks. He has drama with his mom and finds out he has a brother , which stops him from diving back into drugs. So much info for 140 characters!

      Delete
  21. Name: Shelly
    Genre: MG Contemporary Mystery
    Title: Just Fred
    Pitch: #baitpitch Palindrome-obsessed dad, tormenting bros: all named Bob. How's a Fred to fit in? Especially when no one is who they seem to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this, it's quirky, up until the question. After that, it feels really vague to me. Who's "no one"? His brothers? Fred's stakes are to fit in, so what gets in his way of this? Just his name? This is a mystery, but the pitch isn't showing me that. Does the mystery element have to do with Fred fitting in? Can you indicate the mystery and be quirky without mention of his family? (Man, I have a lot of questions. Sorry. I hope they're helpful to brainstorm.)

      Delete
    2. Hi Shelly,

      What's the mystery? If you are going to sub MG Mystery, I think you need to pitch that aspect of your book. Start there and work backwards.

      Delete
    3. Annemariewrites--All good ones! I'm really struggling with this pitch. Here's the story in a nutshell. All the males are named Bob, but Fred. His dad's a burned CIA agent on the run from the gov and an enemy. Fred figures out what's going on and saves the day by being himself--and also saving his father's enemy. Which he thinks will alienate his father.

      Delete
    4. David, sorry had a lag. Watching the scrivener coach webinar:-) So the above is addressed to you also!

      Delete
    5. Shelly, your comment sums up the book really well. You just have to trim THAT to 140 characters. :-)

      Delete
    6. I wish I had a brilliant suggestion on how to pack everything in a 140 character pitch, but I have to say I laughed out loud at '...tormenting bros: all named Bob. How's a Fred to fit in?' I can't help but think agents will be intrigued by your voice.

      Delete
    7. I love "how's a Fred to fit in." and what's before it. The last sentence doesn't add much.

      Delete
    8. One the hallmarks of middle grade is the "searching for identity" and "learning to accept yourself" themes. I'm assuming you've got that in spades. So I tried to demonstrate that in these:


      Fred could try to be like his brothers Bob and Bob and Bob. But if doesn’t learn to be Fred, he’ll never uncover who framed his Dad.

      Being Fred is hard when you have 3 bro’s named Bob. But no Bob could uncover who framed Dad, that takes someone special, like Fred

      Delete
  22. NAME: Anne

    CATEGORY/GENRE: YA/Urban Fantasy

    TITLE: THE SERPENT'S COVENANT

    PITCH: When her brother’s kidnapped, Cori must battle tiny cannibals & a giant winged serpent to save him from the Winter Chief. #BaitPitch YA UF

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tiny cannibals sounds intriguing! I LOVE weirdness!

      Delete
    2. Hmmm. I like it. But tiny cannibals don't sound that threatening. Is there another enemy that will sound more threatening? What's so bad about the Winter Chief?

      Rebecca

      Delete
    3. It sounds good but have you told the full stakes? Tiny cannibals and giant serpent make interesting visual!

      Delete
    4. Ooh, I really like the sound of this! I agree that tiny cannibals don't sound that threatening though, so could you just remove "tiny" from the query and leave everything else the same?

      Delete
  23. NAME Don
    CATEGORY/GENRE: YA/Action/Adventure
    PITCH: #baitpitch Amber thinks a worldwide program to eliminate all drug addictions sounds good in theory until she confronts the side effects.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds good. I'd love to know more about the stakes of the side effects. Deadly? I think you could drop "in theory."

      Delete
    2. I like that you set the tone! I think it can be tightened up so you can give specifics. Ramp up the tension to show your "action/adventure" in the pitch.

      "When Amber joins a worldwide study to eliminate drug addiction, she's not prepared for SPECIFIC SIDE EFFECTS & STAKES."

      Delete
    3. Agree with the others. I like the idea, but need to know more about the side effects, so you clarify the stakes.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for all the input! This is a WIP. NOT easy to clarify the stakes in a 140 character pitch BTW. Thought about using the word "deadly" because it fits the plot, but I tried to out-think the critiquers. LOL

      #baitpitch- Re-write- Amber thinks the worldwide gov't program to eliminate drug addiction sounds good until she confronts the deadly side effects.Nobody lives past forty. Unless...

      Delete
    5. Rewrite much better IMO. Good specificity there. Not sure about the unless.... Great premise and timely topic.

      Delete
    6. Yes! I'd want to read this story.

      Delete
    7. I think your revision is too long. What about:
      Amber's a fan of a worldwide gov't program to eliminate drug addiction, until she confronts the deadly side effects. Nobody lives past forty.

      But then, I'm still wondering, what is SHE going to do about it?

      Delete
    8. I really like Mary's suggestion above!

      Delete
  24. Name: Neicole

    Category/Genre: Adult/Supernatural Thriller

    Title: Blood Demon

    Pitch: 1. #BaitPitch #A Enslaved by a demon, Jamie’s best chance of escape is the hunter pursuing it. Problem is, he’s sworn to kill her, too.

    2. #BaitPitch #A Jamie is being forced to kill for the demon and run its brothel. Demon Hunter Derik is either her escape or her executioner.

    Thanks, in advance, for your input.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the first one a lot. It's very clear.

      Delete
    2. I get it and like it. Almost wish you could combine elements of each. Need to know Derik is a demon hunter IMO

      Delete
    3. Would something like this work:
      Enslaved by a demon, Jamie is forced to kill for it & run a brothel. Demon Hunter Derik is either her escape or her executioner. #BaitPitch

      Delete
    4. Well, dang-diddly, Peggy, that's good! Thanks!

      Delete
    5. I actually really like pitch #1 too. Very clear!

      Delete
    6. I like that. Wonder about the word rescuer to replace escape, just a thought.

      Delete
  25. Name: Kim

    Category/Genre: YA/Thriller

    Title: Finnegan's Awake

    Pitch:

    #PitchBait (YA/Th) If Rain is wrong, her innocent dad goes to jail. If she’s right, 100,000 people at the State Fair of Texas could die.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really get a picture of what will happen with this. I like it and just wonder if you could add just a little more detail about Rain.

      Delete
    2. Clear stakes. Is there room to add what she's wrong about?

      Delete
  26. NAME: Sherry Howard

    CATEGORY/GENRE: YA Contemporary

    TITLE: Coach Hart's Fumble

    PITCH:

    #1 attempt:
    16yo Hunter needs that football scholarship;only Coach Hart can pull the right strings-and he might be dosing players.

    #2 attempt
    One 16 YO lineman. One popular grifter coach. One friend in critical condition, last seen with coach. A bro code dilemma for Hunter.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the first one better. You might be able to tighten it to give yourself more room, though. "16yo Hunter is depending on Coach Hart for the football scholarship he needs. But ..." (you might even be able to cut the "he needs" part.) You have the stakes here very clearly, but the conflict is a bit unclear. Does Hunter have evidence of dosing? Does he have to choose whether to confront the coach and risk his scholarship? Can you fit the dilemma in?

      Delete
    2. Second that! Another alternative: "16yo Hunter needs Coach Hart's help to get that football scholarship..." then you can ease in the details about the friend in critical condition and the dosing. Not too sure about the term "bro code dilemma," but maybe I'm out of touch. (It would make a cute title, though. :-)

      Delete
    3. Funny, Kimberly, I've considered changing the title to that. I have 16 yo boy and bro code rules all. My daughter thinks it's way more compelling and that my title is boring. Thanks to you both for feedback. It's the dang 140 that makes it so hard.

      Delete
  27. Slaying video game zombies — easy.
    Stopping the neighborhood soul harvester — not so much.
    Jacob vs The Jinx
    YA/H
    #pitchbait

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your format. On other pitch contests, pitches with unique formatting stood out to me. This is a bit vague. Who is the MC? What is the conflict--I'm assuming it's to stop the soul harvester. Do we need to know the video game line? If not, I'd cut it and focus on your main character and conflict or hook. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. I do like this pitch. It shows me the MC's voice. Question - what's the genre? You say YA/H. Historical? Sorry if I made a dumb mistake. Not very good with pitches.

      Delete
    3. Love the idea of switching up the format. This would immediately catch my eye. The 'Jacob vs The Jinx' line doesn't add anything for me because I don't have enough context to make sense of it. Could you use the space to give us a little more about Jacob?

      Really like where this is going though :)

      Ashley

      Delete
  28. Ashley Hearn (@AshleyHearn)

    YA Contemporary Fantasy

    THE BOOK OF ADAM

    PITCH 1: 16yo Adam's life is suddenly SMALLVILLE meets BEAUTIFUL CREATURES when his mama makes him Immortal with a philosopher's stone. #BaitPitch #YA

    PITCH 2: 16yo Adam’s family may sell hoodoo spells, but he’s got a hot gf, good grades, bball. Then he finds out he's Immortal. Uh oh. #BaitPitch #YA

    PITCH 3: Instead of hanging w/his gf, 16yo Adam’s being ripped up by monsters. Now he must find the philosopher stone to save him. Or else. #BaitPitch

    ReplyDelete