The Pitch, take 2

I got comments on my pitch back today.  I’m shocked I got them back so quickly!  The news is OK, but not great.  Her comments are in red.

 

Adrianna has always been different.  She’s friends with the wind and can heal wounds and illnesses with little more than a thought. Now, on her seventeenth birthday, she’s ready to be tested for entry into the Golden Ones, the last of the true magicians.

Though she’s prepared for this day since she first called the wind all those years ago (I’m not clear on what it means to call the wind. Can she control it? Make storms happen? Or is some other magic involved?), she can’t help but wonder if joining the Golden Ones is the right choice for her.  As one of them she’ll heal the ills of her people, call wind and rain in times of need, and she’ll work to keep her people hidden high in the mountains, safe from the mad King who has been trying to exterminate them for the past twenty years (why is he trying to exterminate them? What is different or special about Adrianna’s people?)She may even need to fight the soldiers who have come closer to finding them recently.

The lure of staying safely in her village is strong, but the Golden Ones can offer her one thing no one else can: a place where she truly belongs.  Is Adrianna ready to leave her sheltered life for one more dangerous and wonderful than she could ever imagine? (The problem here is that this last sentence makes it sound like the book is about Adrianna trying to make a decision–not a very exciting premise–rather than the adventures she’ll get into as a result of that decision (or along the way).

This is a strong start for your pitch, but there are some areas to work on. The reality is that we see a lot of queries about young people with unusual powers or things that make them “different,” and the decisions they face as a result. You’ll need to vamp up the action (what actually happens to Adrianna?) in order to really set your story apart from the crowd.
Good luck with this project!

It’s a little frustrating to read that because I thought my version was strong, but she’s right.  It still doesn’t stand out.  So I’ve written another one, this one includes a quote from my book.

 

She could see the river over the edge of the cliff, and as another arrow lodged itself deeply in a tree beside her, she knew she had no choice.  Adrianna didn’t slow as she rushed the precipice. Ten steps from the edge, she thought, five steps.  Two steps.  Jump!

Adrianna had never expected to jump off a cliff or to run for her life, but she’d never expected to be chased by soldiers, either.  Since joining the Golden Ones, the last true magic users in Taneris, it seemed her life had become an endless string of things she had never expected to do.

Now here she was, separated from her mentors and lost in the wilds of the Bricantan Mountains with only Donovan, another new Golden One, for company.  They could give up and die, or they could find their way home with common sense, good luck, and magic.  Always magic.  Because if two magicians with the combined control of Life, Fire, Air, Earth and Water couldn’t make their way home, who could?  And how hard could it really be?

 

Even though I wrote this one in 5 minutes instead of 5 days, I think it has the elements the other one lacks.  It has movement, action, a decision, and the question that has plagued thousands of people for a million different reasons:  how hard could it be?

It’s the very question I asked myself before starting pitches.  😀

I’d love feedback on this and my other pitches.  Thanks!

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4 Responses to The Pitch, take 2

  1. I thought the first one was good, but the commenter’s points were valid. Obviously, I’m not a jaded agent or editor, so I’m easier to please, but I see a lot more potential with the second version. It’s more *active* and has an exciting feel to it, along with some sense of the MC’s voice.

    Maybe some combination of both? 😉 Good luck!

  2. Jon says:

    Way better. Now, that’s a hook.

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