Sunday, January 5, 2014


Yo yo yo it's still six a.m. here but a post must needs be born! Actually not sure if I'm using that construction properly, I've never quite understood it except as a regional creation.

But you didn't come here for that. You came for the party and the pitches. Well, since I'm rewriting this at work, you don't get mine till later this afternoon. But post your one hundred word pitch here in the comments in the comments and prepare for judgement to be rendered!

The winner will be chosen by myself with input from two of my close friends, and receive a video of me singing their favorite song in a silly voice of their choice from my repertoire (ps pick Dudley Do-Right)

I look forward to reading all your pitches, and if you didn't catch them yesterday, check out the tweet length pitches on Twitter with the #PitchParty hashtag.


  1. Oh noes... as the GMTer with work in the morning looks like I'm going to have to go first. Eeep! Be gentle! Remember I have a wife and four kids to feed. *cough* So yeah, here is it, the 100 word pitch for my NaNo novel.

    All anyone spoke of that day was how the Deconstructor had struck again, altering his grizzly profile with his first male victim, confusing the killer himself no end. He'd never killed a man. Despite his anger at the copycat, the master commands he do nothing and he cannot argue. The only thing keeping his life of secrecy and murder in order is this - the master is infallible.

    So when he starts feeling genuine emotion for others - something the master said was impossible - questions about everything he's ever done begin and he isn't going to like the answers.

    1. Whoops, this is Celuth by the way. *waves*

    2. Me likey! (Stargate SG-1 reference) I find this anti-hero intriguing and his character arc compelling. I might actually spend money on this book.

    3. Looks really interesting. It makes me wonder who he is developing feelings for, and who the master is.

    4. When I first read this, and on subsequent rereads, I still get a little confused as to whether the copycat actually exists or the Deconstructor is just crazy. I think the intro is a little clunky, but i love the whole concept. I also wonder if you want to stress more that the master is in his own head or let the readers wonder if the master is a person or not until they open the book. It's something I feel like you aren't hiding in the book (from what I can infer from your tweets) and therefore should be just as obvious in the text.
      Great entry, and I really want to read this.

    5. Swayt! I like it, and will first say that I also REALLY WANT TO READ THIS so you'd better get ready for some emailing. ;)

      And now I have nitpickings (srsly nitty nitpickings)!

      I think the combination of "Deconstructor" and "struck" makes for a lot of "struc" sounds in your first sentence; maybe consider stricken or another verb?

      Speaking of verbs, I think the beginning would be stronger if you could rearrange or change verb tenses - maybe change the entire thing to present tense? "All anyone's talking about is the Deconstructor's latest murder: his first male victim, and one that's shattered his grizzly MO. Even the killer himself is confused - he's never killed a man - but the Master commands he do nothing....."

      Mmmokay so that paragraph also covered a few more comments: I'd swap "profile" for "MO" (profile read at first as though the murderer had somehow changed someone's grizzly face, but maybe I'm an idiot) and "speak" for "talk" (...just nitpicking). Also, I'd capitalize Master. I wrote this before reading August's comment and I think he's got a point - do we want to know that the Master is in his head and not a real person? I think it's cool either way, and I'd read it regardless. Further to August's comments, I like not knowing whether the copycat actually exists; I think that's irrelevant to the blurb, and would be kinda neat if he didn't.

      You've got a bit of a weird sentence at the end but I imagine that's because it was some ungodly hour when you wrote this; I'd like to see a more active sentence (about him instead of about the questions) and I'd delete the last sentence entirely. I want to read the book to find out whether or not he's going to like the answers. Maybe something like, "...impossible - he starts to question everything he's ever done. But can any answer stop the murders?"

      Okay, so I blabbed a lot, but it's because I LOVE your concept. You've got all the right info in the blurb as far as I know (obviously I know everything about this because I have published a million, million books), and I like that you've included the inciting event (I assume) but not a lot more. I also like that you haven't included the main character's name (assuming the MC = murderer); usually I'd demand a name, but I think in your case this works really well :)

      Thanks for sharing!

    6. Melanie and Melindrea - Thanks! :D

      August - Yeah, I wasn't too happy with the intro either - it was very different before I had to go to town on it with the shears. Though from what you and Madison said, I need to fix the clarity on this A LOT. The copycat killer is real and it was never intended for there to be any mystery about that. The mystery is supposed to be with the master. Whether or not he is real is supposed to be up in the air - is the MC being manipulated by some malevolent force or is he just crazy? I guess I was too focused on cutting words I managed to completely neglect that whole aspect.

      Madison - the majority of the time spent writing this pitch was me trying to replace "struck". My sickly, exhausted brain said no but it was annoying me no end. I see what you mean about the last sentence, though in my defence it is far less cheesy than the first one that was there xD Definitely needs work. Glad that the MC's name not being mentioned isn't an issue - I've seen people complain about that in pitches before but there is a reason for it not being mentioned here, so that's good that it doesn't feel too much like a hole.

      Thank you everyone for the comments! When I return to health, this shall be rewritten and it shall be GLORIOUS! (I hope)

    7. I've loved this concept from the start and I'm glad you tackled it! Put me on that beta list! My only complaints about the pitch are those that others have shared. The language is a little awkward and the difference between the serial killer and the copycat is a bit unclear. I would echo that Master should be capitalized, as it's being used as a name, same as Deconstructor. I think pitches are usually in the present tense. Otherwise... awesome! Can't wait to read it.

  2. Reposting Melindrea's here:

    Journalist student Vendela meets the rich alpha male Andrej at the burlesque strip club she dances at. Their games of love and lust lead her towards memories of her past, materialized in the murder she investigates, a stalker calling her his and suspicions that Andrej is hiding something important. Can she still stand as a supernatural menace reaching through centuries shatters everything she thought she knew? How does one pick up the shards of ones broken mind? Can she do it in time to not be consumed by a darkness from times bygone?

    1. Melindrea--You don't have to tell me Andrej is an alpha male and I feel like Vendela's journalism studies are mentioned in the wrong spot. But it is a pretty good tease for the plot.

    2. Actually, I do need to mention that he is an alpha male ... Because it's quite literal =)

    3. The concept is interesting but I'm not a huge fan of the heavy use of rhetorical questions for such a short pitch. That's probably just a personal thing though, as you still get across lots of hooks and plot teases. Very nice!


    4. You definitely took the advice we gave. This sounds saucy and adventurous! I'm waffling on the alpha male thing; it's a verbal pun but I can't decide if readers will feel tricked or pleasantly surprised when they "see what you did there." This probably isn't something you want to chance. But then again, werewolves are growing pretty popular and it's a pun people might get.

      My only major criticism is with the three final rhetorical questions. While @_vajk's post has two, I think the second is unnecessary. One rhetorical question is good enough, especially with a good lead-in. When you have three of these mothers in a row you are slamming on the brakes from a reading perspective. You're more sophisticated than a 50's cliffhanger voiceover; show it!

      Still, strong contender and Vendela sounds like a fairly well-rounded character.

    5. Ahoy!

      I took my own notes and then read the others' comments; I don't mind "alpha male" because I think it gives an automatic idea about his personality regardless of wordplay, but maybe you could remove "rich" (to reduce modifiers)? If you NEED to imply that he's rich, you could add a verb afterwards; "...alpha male Andrej, who regularly rains cash on the burlesque..." - or maybe, "...alpha male Andrej, a regular at the ritzy burlesque..." (though I have no idea if that's the case... although if it's not ritzy, what's the rich dude doing there?).

      I love that you've used "dance" instead of "work", but I'd like to see the final "at" removed (free nitpickings for everyone!): "at the burlesque strip club where she dances."

      I'd swap "lead" for something else; "lead" makes me feel like we are going forward but we're going into her memories - backwards. Resurface? That said, you can also remove "of her past," since memories are usually that. It'll give you some more words to play with :)

      The following sentence is a bit unclear to me, but if I'm understanding correctly...

      Their game of love and lust causes some old memories to resurface, and she can't shake the feeling that Andrej is somehow connected to a murder [a murder or a murder spree?] she's been reporting on [see next paragraph]. When she starts to get calls from a stalker calling her "his" [quotations - or maybe italics - for clarity], the feeling only becomes more insistent - and she's certain Andrej is hiding something important.

      "Investigates" makes me feel like she's a cop/detective; she's a journalist. Maybe swap? Also, now that I look back at this, maybe consider "journalism" student rather than "journalist"? Unless she's not studying journalism but is just a student and journalist...

      I'd switch "supernatural menace reaching through centuries" for "centuries-old supernatural menace"; a little shorter and makes the sentence clearer, I think. If the menace is actually reaching through time, then, "supernatural menace reaches through centuries to shatter everything..."

      I agree about removing at least one of the questions - maybe the "broken mind" one? If that's the important one, then I think you need to clarify that what's happening in her head is actually pretty important; I think you've tried to hint at that by using the "materialized" verb when referring to the murders (like maybe she's seen this before/had a premonition/something), but then I think that element of the story needs to be much more pronounced.

      Overall, I'm in agreement with August - it sounds wickedly saucy, and I love a lot of the specific verbs you've used :D I also appreciate that you've got "supernatural" in the blurb - that helps a lot with determining genre.

      Nicely done!

    6. MY GOODNESS THE INTERNET JUST ATE MY COMMENT. Which is unfortunate because I spent a long time on it. Okay, you get the distilled version.

      I found the pitch confusing and, although it has lots of interesting elements, they didn't seem to hang together very smoothly and I came out of it feeling somewhat interrogated after all the questions. The second sentence felt especially busy. Try to get at the heart of the story and leave everything else out. (For example, it didn't seem relevant that she's a journalism student. And I read 'alpha male' and just assumed he was bossy- 'werewolf' didn't even occur to me until I was reading other people's comments.) You have some very succinct verbs (stand, consumed) but an excess of descriptors. Try cutting those back and free up a little more space for what really matters.

      But these are some really popular genres you're dealing in and, once your query sings, I think this could be a quick sale. Good luck!

      (PS- Is she actually crazy and this is all in her head? The 'broken mind' bit made me wonder...)

  3. And mine!

    As if being the only markless person in the Spire wasn’t bad enough, Lena is about to find out she’s adopted, and from a demon machine at that. Kern is a man who has mastered his destiny, but he will discover that hubris is not just for the unenlightened when his lust for Ancient technology nearly brings about the world’s end (again). An accident begins a war, drawing in Ashterath, the God-Emperor’s chosen child. But Ashterath’s quest for vengeance will lead her to question the actions taken in the God-Emperor’s name.

    The world may not survive the meeting.

    1. Is it supposed to be a fairly funny, maybe a bit Pratchett-esque? Because if so, you've succeeded. I'm getting the vibe of a quite fast-paced story with quite a bit of humour.

    2. August- I'm not really sure how these elements flow together in your story and that's either a really good thing or a really bad thing. I think this synopsis just needs more. Perhaps this is a book for which the smallest synopsis is 500 words. Can't wait to read it!

    3. I think the teasers for each of the characters are great but to me the last sentence feels slightly out of place and doesn't tie them together as it should.

      Perhaps something like "And when these three meet, the world might not survive it." Or something.

      That small nitpick aside, love it.


    4. I actually wanted to write that exact sentence, but I ran out of words. I couldn't edit it hard enough XD

    5. Oh, it's YOU again.

      I love how well this reflects the tone of your story - at least as much as I've read. Since I was horribly absent at the last PitchParty I didn't read your pitch, but I feel like this one is probably better ;) Nitpickings follow!

      I'd like "...about to find out THAT she's adopted..." but that probably has a lot to do with the word count limitation, or I'm just stylistically bonkers. Also, I'd love an m-dash, but that is because I love m-dashes. "...adopted - and from a demon..."

      I'd like to shorten the second sentence or rearrange... but you really CAN'T. Because I love that "(again)" and you absolutely cannot move it.

      Ashterath section has no comments (possibly because I fear she will leap from the internet and murder me).

      In the last sentence, I'd swap "the" for "their". Otherwise, I love it and wouldn't change it. It's punchy and it doesn't fap around (pardon).

      The only other change I'd make would be to separate the sentences into their own paragraphs (for each character). I wasn't sure at first, but I separated it on my screen and I think it reads better.

      In general, as I mentioned, I'm loving the tone of this and I feel like it reflects your writing/story. Normally, I'd demand to actually know more about the story... but I think this does a very good job of setting up without actually talking saying what happens :) Lena's in for a surprise, Kern's on an adventure and Ashterath is going to kick my ass.

      There is much excellence in this pitch.

    6. I always hate to disagree with the inestimable Mads, but I felt like the tone was lighter than the one in the book and made it seem less serious than it actually is. (But maybe I'm just a bore and make every funny thing serious. If so, please ignore.)

      Otherwise, loved it. It's quick, interesting, and makes me want to know more. Maybe change the last sentence to "The world may not survive their meeting" or something like that to tie the characters more firmly together with what's at risk.

      So when to I get the next one? *whines*

  4. Here's mine. I'll come back to crit when my brain isn't oozing through my ears.

    Reina, a girl searching for her missing parents, starts in a place most wouldn't expect: a magical realm. Transported by accident, she stumbles up against a vicious demon of destruction who may have the clue she needs. Reina teams up with a flamboyant fairy and embarks on a journey to find out if, in order to save her family, she must destroy the demon... or save him.

    1. Tia-- I like this idea, and I know how hard it is to boil those facts down to so few words. This story feels much more complex than than the pitch.

    2. Oooo, this sounds awesome. Especially that last line, really got me intrigued there. I'm not sure how I would improve this for a 100 word limit. Great pitch.


    3. This is a tight one. You've got a lot of information coming across, everything but the tone of the book. I know flamboyant gives a bit of humor, but this pitch doesn't match the "disney movie in novel form" from your tweet pitch. I wonder if maybe you can get the same information across but give us more of the book's mood? I'm getting "mostly dark hints of humour intense painful journey" which isn't bad, but it's different from the feel of your tweet. Great pitch and I'm beginning to wonder what sort of vocal acrobatics I'm going to have to pull.

    4. Danger! Brain ooze is bad for you D:

      Loving this pitch; I really like how very concise it is.

      That said, (because there must be nitpicking for everyone!), I think I'd like to make the second sentence longer. I want more conflict, maybe. I understand that the demon is probably busy destroying things and really doesn't care about Reina/her problems, but the sentence isn't telling me that. Why can't Reina get the clue? Even vicious demons are open to negotiation - maybe Reina can help the demon destroy things? Again, understood that demons are (pretty much necessarily) evil, but I want to know what's actually stopping her. Is the demon too busy? Does it have something to do with Reina's parents' disappearance? "...she stumbles up against a vicious demon who may have the clue she needs - but to get it, Reina will have to help him destroy a world she's only just discovered." Again, nitpicking. Probably not necessary, and it might just be the fact that I want MORE.

      Love the last sentence, and I think the entire thing has the tone you're trying to convey (same as your Twitter pitch). I think the verbs you've used (eg "stumbles", "teams up") help with that, a lot.

      Great work! :)

    5. I really liked this pitch! It's super concise and clear, and hints at a lot more going on under the surface. I actually have no complaints here. Stellar work. Lemme know when you're ready for beta readers!

  5. Rensselaer Descending, Book Two: Arturo's Will

    It isn't happily-ever-after for Princess Aaralyn and Prince Bradaen. Before they finish their first dance word comes that Bradaen's archenemy has invaded Navia. He must leave to defend his new homeland at once.

    In the ensuing chaos an even darker enemy stirs, hiring an assassin to kill King Arturo of Rensselaer and his entire family. The crown passes to Aaralyn, who must out the traitor to prevent him from becoming her regent. But now she must find Arturo's will and disable her enemy's sorcerers without revealing the magical blood that flows through her and her husband's veins.

    1. It looks interesting, if a bit confusing. Where are they that Bradaen needs to leave, and why is he not with his new wife? And if she's married, why are there risks of her getting a regent?

      It looks interesting, just a touch confusing.

    2. Melindrea- Hey most of the wonderful people here here critiqued the first book's synopsis which in a nutshell is the heiress of the Duchy of Navia chooses a husband from among many rivals, but each choice has a consequence. These are the consequences. It's a pretty complicated epic fantasy series.

    3. The first sentence is good because it makes it clear immediately that it's a sequel, something I'm famous for missing in book shops.

      I get a bit confused in paragraph two as well though. Is "of Rensselaer" a house or an area? If the latter I'm guessing it is a part of Navia (or Navia is a part of it)?

      A little confusing but still quite interesting. It sounds like a book with a lot going on, with lots of subplots and intrigue, which I love.


    4. Ah the infamous sequel pitch. Much tougher than the original. Remember, you don't need to pitch to old readers. Your last book should have convinced them to pick up the second no matter what it has on the cover. Pitches are for people who just got the link. While it's obviously advisable to read the first in a series, especially with epic fantasy, you still want to make your book available for someone to pick up.

      The two comments above mine mention this being confusing; it's not that your grammar is lacking, or the sentences are weak, but that you're using too many names. I would bet that if you replaced "King Artuo" with "Aralyn's father" or just "The King" and replaced "of Rensselaer" with "a rival house/nation" you would get across the same promise of action with less worldbuilding overload. Which maybe is advice I should have taken for my own pitch. Hrm.

      You've also got a lot of different lines of action in this, which promises a deep and complex plot, but you need to go fractal on this shit. Condense all those different plots; they're all about pulling Aralyn and Bradaen apart and destroying the things they love. You've laid out a platter of food that looks too big for my stomach; distill this feast into a cocktail, something I can sip before I get drunk on your worldbuilding and plots.

    5. Hi Melanie,

      Love the first sentence - lets me know this is a sequel AND I like the tone. Samesies for the second sentence; I'd swap "leave" for "depart", but otherwise I'm liking it.

      Nitpickings begin in the next paragraph (because that's what everyone gets for Christmas - nitpickings): I think the first sentence could be shorter/clearer. "...darker enemy stirs, and a [optional: hired] assassin kills King Arturo." - might as well say it, since we know in the next sentence that the crown is moving.

      Next sentence I think could be more stressful for the reader: The crown passes to Aaralyn, along with a slew of unexpected responsibilities: not only must she find Arturo's will and disable her enemy's sorcerers, she must also discover the traitor who betrayed her father (?), or risk being betrayed in turn - all this while keeping a secret about herself and her new husband that could tear the kingdom apart (*).

      *Obviously, I haven't read your first novel, but I think it's more important to tell me the consequence of the secret getting out rather than what the secret actually is. The massive sentence I've written above is pretty lengthy (and filled with hilarious punctuation - August will laugh at me), but I think it "piles on" Aaralyn's problems a bit more. To shorten, you could remove one of her "tasks" and just save it for the book - we don't need to know EVERYTHING she's got to do here, just the inciting conflict(s)/event(s).

      Finally, you may consider removing Bradaen's name from the pitch; of course, I have no idea how important his role in the story is, but since you've got a lot of names (Aaralyn, Bradaen, Navia, Rensselaer, Arturo), it might be worth removing his, since he doesn't play a big part in the blurb. It doesn't make an enormous difference, I just like to cut down on the amount of proper names if they're not necessary: "...Princess Aaralyn and her prince... ...word comes that the prince's archenemy..." ...also just noted that August made pretty much the same comment about place-names >__>

      In general, I love the tone and the story sounds like a great read. Again, I love the first sentence and the specifics of "before they finish their first dance..." I also like that you hint at a "darker enemy" but we're not sure what it is; normally I'd ask for specifics, but I think you make this work :)

      Nice pitch!

    6. I'm curious how the whole family gets killed and the crown passes to her. Is she is niece or something? I feel like I'm missing a relation. Furthermore, I don't understand why she, heir in her own right and a married woman, would ever have a regent assigned to her rule. Unless it has to do with some kind of ascendency rule, like women can't reign without a regent or something. That bit confused me a little.

      Other than that, though, I liked it. It's clearly for a sequel (so extra credit for taking on a more difficult assignment), it's obvious who the main characters are and what their problems are. There are a lot of names here, but since I read the previous pitch, I recognize them. (Warning, though: this might be daunting to newcomers.) Good work!

    7. I have heard all of your ideas and I believe if I had substituted "duchy" for Navia and "uncle" for "of Rensselaer" this would have cleared things up.

      Aaralyn is underage her husband is a foreigner in both lands (and technically still underage himself, but that's off point.)

      I think all of you have pointed out that while as the author I may be the undisputed expert on my book, I am perhaps not the best judge of how to sell it. Thanks for the help!

    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I did it! Barely! Only took the entire day! Way harder than the Twitter pitch >__>

    ** ** **

    Adrien doesn’t just want to prove himself; he wants to be a hero. He wants songs sung about him, books titled after him and girls to adore him – but that isn’t often the destiny of one-armed magicians; nor are they welcome in the King’s Army. The only person who shows interest in Adrien’s dreams is a nasty old nobleman who dispenses more orders than answers: first, Adrien must acquire a sword. The only available weapon belongs to a pederast alchemist who has designs of his own for the boy – but what’s a hero without a sword?

    What’s a hero, anyway?

    ** ** **

    Cheers to all the participants!! Excited for all the comments and advice! Pitches be cray-cray.

    1. I'd replace the word "nasty", it feels a bit unclear. Is he bossy? Mean? Filthy and bossy and/or mean? How dark is this? The first read-through suggested fairly cheerful and upbeat, but a pederast alchemist with a straight hero makes it take a lot darker turn.

      Why does the alchemist have the only weapon, and what is it that the nobleman is offering that makes Adrien go along with things?

    2. As with Tiakall's pitch, I can't think of anything constructive to say about this pitch! Sorry :<

      Adrien sounds wonderful (and like a whole lot of trouble) and he certainly sounds like he's got his work cut out for him. The use of rhetorical questions here is short and snappy, fitting well into a pitch which gives a nice picture of our MC and his conflicts.


      P.S. Alchemist sounds super creepy. D:

    3. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Okay first I love it second there are some nitpick details that are drawing me out; but I'm not sure if you revised things and made them more differenter. Is Adrien a magician to start with, or is that something he becomes? If the latter, that's something else to hint at. But maybe that is the hint, I dunno, I'm just a bear, I bite the heads off fish. I know you were being space conservative with the orders sentence by using that colon, but it doesn't feel right. You've got a nice flow with the first few sentences and that colon break (ha?) just kills the lyricism I had going in my head.

      All that said, your pitch confers the mood and tone very clearly, (to me) promising a snarky trip through fantasy. One thing (cheating cos I know a bit about him) you could add is maybe a bit about how low Adrien is on the societal totem pole. He's not welcome in the King's Army, but how unwelcome is he in the rest of society? We can infer from medieval analogue that as a cripple he's unwelcome, but at the same time I don't think that should always be an automatic assumption.

      Great post and a definite fav because making me laugh is automatic points. Not enough funny books out there. Pratchett can't live forever!

      or can he?

    4. Madison- I believe this whole pitch would be stronger if you led with "What's a hero anyway?" Perhaps from that POV condensing the words down to 100 would be easier. I see the pitch then describing Adrien (almost named my son that so I'm a softie on that name) ambitions and all and his challenges.

      I hate (or maybe I'm just a closeted contrarion) to disagree with the flow, but I found nasty to be such a delightful adjective for the nobleman...implying both questionable morals and a difficult personality.

    5. Auugh I cannot comment on comments! The rage. Here goes nothin':

      Melindrea first: Fair point; "nasty" has a lot of different connotations that I hadn't considered. The entire novel is written in close third-person and I use a lot of words in the narrative that Adrien would use - which is where "nasty" came from. The story has some dark elements, but Adrien is a little bit naïve/oblivious. I'll consider a swap for something clearer. As to your questions: I think the first is better answered in the story itself - it's not important. Basically, he's from a small town. The nobleman is offering Adrien a chance to "be a hero" (in his mind, anyway), and also has information about a secret that Adrien wants to know. I don't think this is important to the pitch, but let me know your thoughts :)

      Celuth: I endeavour to make him as creepy as possible.

      August: Goddamn it, I nearly spit out my drink at your KKBB quote. The magician thing is something that's debated throughout much of the story; do you think I need to clarify/hint at that? He definitely learns more later, so I see your point. It's mostly a space thing, and because I wanted to touch on magic even though it's far from the inciting stuffs I've included in this pitch. Next point: you don't like my colon?! How dare you?! My colon is beautiful! But 4reals, what if it were a period instead? I'm not fussy. I had a looooooong rambly sentence there before, that took the reader on a mystical adventure with semi-colons and m-dashes, but I took it out... ...although now that I actually look, it's still pretty long, isn't it? What about "...answers. First: find a sword."? That would give me a few (er, two) words to play with elsewhere... It was tough deciding what to cut! x__x Finally, I could probably shove Adrien's societal worthlessness in there somewhere... Question for you: what made you laugh?

      Needless to say, Pratchett will surely live forever ;)

      Melanie: glad you like the name; do you typically spell it with an 'a' or 'e' at the end? As to your comment: Can you tell me why it would feel stronger if I rearranged? When writing, I put the "hero" question at the end because it has a lot to do with the end (and theme?) of the story. What I've included in the pitch is pretty much only the inciting events; the full story leads up to a lot more (that I am yet no good at pitching *coughcough*). So I guess that final question is really my summary of "the rest of the novel" >__>''' I am interested to hear your thoughts! :) I'm glad to hear that you like "nasty"; I'm going to consider some other options but I think it's going to be difficult!

      Thanks for the comments, everyone! :D

    6. Madison: Because of the word count limit, I think this book revolves around the protagonist. Sell me on a one armed sword fighting magician? Yes, you bet! I don't CARE what that plot is, I care because ADRIEN is compelling. This is the selling point of this book, and use all of it, every single bit. I took too many marketing classes in college for it to go to waste. Adrien has me picking up this book off the shelf, reading the back cover and at least flipping through the pages. And probably, (if I have extra money, but you know with three kids, that's kind of rare) buying it. Sell your selling points. Adrien is your advantage in this market, and dammit just his dream is compelling.

    7. I love Adrien's naivety. He wants to be a hero, but he doesn't really know what that means or the difficulty of the path. He just wants everyone to adore him. I also like his roundedness- yes, he's a magician (or at least working on it- maybe clarify that), but he also has to be able to wield a sword. And he's willing to go through all sorts of garbage to be A HERO. Whatever that is. This is an underdog hero I can fall in love with.

      I'm not sure about "nasty old nobleman". It gives me a sense that Adrien is kind of flippant and insolent, but I feel like you could come up with more meaningful descriptors than 'nasty' and 'old'. What is it that makes him nasty? Does the oldness matter?

      My only other issue is that you use a lot of unusual punctuation here. It can get a little distracting.

      I love love love your last line. Hilarious and tells us something of Adrien's character. All in all, a book I'd definitely read.

  7. Matthew's mother means well when she takes him to a witch, seeking a spell to charm his life. The witch offers the boy one of three artifacts. But Matthew asks for all three.

    The spell severs his soul into three people, each boy taking a different talisman: a book, a crown, and a sword. Each artifact triggers a separate disaster that drives them apart and shapes their lives. But the soul cannot stay severed and the three soon meet again, each seeking the other items and the power they promise. Only one can survive to wield all three.

    1. Sorry I'm hopping in late, by the way. I'll be on the road for the next few days, but I promise I'll write comments for everyone by the end of the week. PINKIE PROMISE.


      J/k. As usual you display a natural talent that will be mine, once the witches' spell is complete. Honestly a little sad that all three are boys (a boy soul can't enter a girl body?) but that's personal preference. The characters seem like somewhat evil people, as Matthew was greedy, so I'm not sure why I should be rooting for any of them. However, while reading this I cannot deny I was swept along and filled with the rapturous love of the Highlander that is oozing from this pitch. Except probably better. Also, is this book a full fantasy or is it urban fantasy?

      Great entry despite yourself. XD

    3. J- I love this pitch! Such grace in so few words! An anti-hero or have you just dispensed my next favorite evil character? Oh the joy, the joy of reading this plot!

    4. Jill! How dare you write such a great pitch with only a moment to spare! Since everyone is getting nitpickings from me (they are fun, right?), I shall endeavour to do the same to you, but I think it's going to be hard. Here goes:

      I like the short, punchy sentence at the end of the first paragraph, but I think I'd like it better if you stuck it onto the end of the one before ("...artifacts, but Matthew..."). I think it's the same effect, and helps to balance out the offering sentence; it feels choppy to me (see? fun nitpicks!). Since you've already got "three" in the middle sentence, you could end with "asks for them all."

      I'd like a modifier before "spell" - "the resulting spell", maybe?

      I think I'd prefer "a soul" rather than "the soul" - sounds more... wisdomly and fable-ish, which is the feel I get from this piece.

      ...and having just read August's comment, I guess I didn't really notice that Matthew was a bit of a douche. I mean, selfish, yes, but I'd still root for him because his SOUL is split into three pieces. He's practically Voldemort. He can have pity-sympathy :D

      ...and that is all. I love the length and simplicity of this pitch, and you should like, email me this thang right away. C'mon. My Kindle is waiting, and is so lonely and dead inside :'c

      Great work :)

    5. As a Highlander, I approve of this pitch.

      I love the sound of the MC(s?). Give me an anti-hero over the squeaky clean type every time. I am interested in how each of the three resulting people are different to one another though. I'm guessing different aspects of his personality went with the different artefacts? Though of course, it's a 100 word pitch so we can't have everything.

      This story sounds very cool, great pitch!

    6. Thanks everyone for the comments! I love pitch parties! They're so helpful 'cause they're full of helpful people.

      August- I didn't want to get into it in an oh-so-brief pitch, but the spell basically splits the whole world into three until the boys are separated and then starts to seal back up, and the boys themselves are the last things to knit back together at the end of the book. So the main concern on the split is their soul, but it also produced three copies of the body for the souls to inhabit. So they're actually identical triplets in appearance (which complicates things sometimes).

      As for the greediness, he's a ten year old kid when he first wants all three. Children are greedy little buggers. And still wanting all three when he's older is another aspect of the spell- they all desperately want the other talismans. It's not something they can really control at that point, so I don't think it should necessarily be held against them. That said, one of them does end up being the antagonist, invading and plundering and plotting and other such knaveries, with the other two working together against him because he really is a total jerk (and is trying to murder them and steal their stuff). So they all have that potential for darkness in them, but hey- don't we all?

      I don't know what Highlander is, but I will check that out post haste, and this is a medieval-esque fantasy. A lot of it happens in cities, but I wouldn't classify it as urban. But since I'm not totally sure on the definition of urban fantasy, maybe I should check that out, too. (Ugh, so much homeworrrrrk...)

      Melanie- Thank you! I'm glad you like it! Let me know if you want to beta read and I'd be happy to send you a copy.

      Madison- I thought I already sent it to you! I'll send it again: the actually edited version this time. And- yay! nitpickin's! My favorite snack! Nom nom nom.

      I think you're right with the choppiness in the first paragraph. It's something I agonized over a little bit while time was ticking away from me. The other bits seem true and wise as well. I'll have to play with this some more. And see above for comments on Matthew's apparent douchiness.

      Celuth- I'm... really getting the feeling I should go look up Highlander. Like, right now. Am I plagiarizing something? Hm...

      The artifacts themselves colored the personalities somewhat, but for the most part, they were altered by their experiences resulting from the spell. As mentioned, each suffered a different disaster that took him away from his home and family. The boy with the book had his mother burned at the stake for witchcraft (and blamed himself) and then he was basically forced into the priesthood. The boy with the crown was adopted into a noble family and removed from his real family into a viperous aristocratic court. And the boy with the sword had his brother killed by raiders and then was kidnapped by them as a slave. So they each had a very different remaining childhood and early adulthood. (It was eight years before they met up again and realized what had happened.) That said, I did occasionally mix up their names when writing them all together, which made for some hilariously out-of-character behavior. :)

      Again, pitch party pals, thanks so much for your comments! And y'all are totally welcome for beta reads if that's your cuppa. Lemme know!