Monday, November 5, 2012

Pitch Like a Star BlogHop and Contest

Hey dolls and guys. I joined a little blog hop hosted by Heather of at Between the Sheets. I'm to post a  line pitch for inspection and critique.  So, here goes. Tell me what you think, if you want to...



Pitch # 1

Switched

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Cadence Bradford dreams of attending the Winter Ball and Candence Bradley wants nothing more than to get away, so their unlikely meeting presents them with the perfect opportunity to switch places.

Little does Cadence know she just signed up to attend the winter premiere of The Bachelor for Prince Riley, but soon finds she is a prisoner locked in a creepy castle with nothing to admire but a glowing snow globe.

Closer inspection reveals no snowflakes swishing around, but something far more sinister and far less romantic than any bachelor party she's ever attended.


21 comments:

  1. I love it! Can't wait to read more...

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  2. I like the high concept premise of the switch, but I'm unclear on two points:

    Are both women major characters in the story, or is it a story about one woman who has an opportunity to switch and what happens to her?

    What is the genre? I think the pitch should make this super clear.

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    1. Thanks Tara.

      Yes, both girls are in the story. One girl escapes and the other girl takes her place. But the first girl comes to rescue the 2nd girl.

      as for genre, I had a lot of fantasy elements, but have edited and added some paranormal to it.

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    2. It's good to know that the first girl comes to help the one who's trapped. I'm afraid in the initial pitch it seemed to me like the first girl knew what was going to happen and that was why she made the switch.

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    3. Well, you're right. She does know what is going to happen. The plot twist is why she returns...

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  3. It sounds great, but I think you need to lose a few words, to make it tighter! I really do love it! I'm not sure how, but I know YOU can do it ;D I want to read it NOW, lol

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    1. Thanks Ella! Okay, I'll get to editing some...

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  4. Hey there! Thanks for participating. This premise is interesting, but you only scratch the surface in that pitch of what the story is about. For your first sentence, I had to reread it three times to get a handle on the names. I've tweaked it a bit and set up a formula for the third sentence. I'd love to see your revised version! Good luck with this. :)

    Cadence meets her doppelganger and they agree to switch places--but she doesn't expect to find herself locked in an eerie castle with nothing but a snow globe. Closer inspection of the globe reveals no snowflakes swishing around, but something far more sinister, a XXX (be specific). When XXX happens and XXX (raising the stakes), Cadence and her twin Candence must XXX or else XXX.

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    1. Thank you for your advice! I really appreciate it!

      Cadence and Candence aren't doppelgangers. Similar names is what allows them to switch places.

      And it is very important to include the Bachelor Premiere because that IS the setting of the story.

      And I can't tell what is in the snow globe. That's the biggest plot twist of the story. (of course, I'd tell an agent, but not the public)

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  5. The similar names actually threw me off - I figured that you'd misspelled one. Unusual names are great but these are awkward and catch your attention, so you actually notice their spelling more than a standard name that your eye would skip over, which would make mixing them up much more believable. How about going with a homonym name - Kristy and Christine? Or two Elizabeths, one that goes by Liz and the other by Beth? Something to that effect.

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    1. Thanks Keely, for your thoughts. In my story, they do go by pet names, so the reader DOES NOT get confused. As I said in the previous comments, it's the similar name that helps them switch places effortlessly.

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  6. Sounds like an interesting story. I'm having trouble placing the timeframe though. The ball reference made me think historic, until I got to The Bachelor part. In some cases I'd say it doesn't matter, except in yours I think the two might attract different readers, so you may lose some if they aren't sure which direction you're headed.

    Also the "get away" phrase in the first sentence could be stronger. She could be looking for a weekend away or an escape from her life.

    For your final sentence, how many bachelor parties HAS she attended? I haven't been to one, but "romantic" isn't the first adjective that would come to my mind to describe those events! :) If you are referring to parties like on the TV show, maybe consider tweaking to make that clear. (Personally, I don't think it's romantic to compete for a guys attention, but that's just me!)

    Good luck! I'm definitely intrigued.

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    1. My daughter just attended a summer Ball with her husband, so no, it's not historical.

      :Get Away" from the ball obligation is what is meant by "get away."

      And I guess you'd have to read the story to get the romance part, which it thoroughly set up in the beginning chapters. While I don't know what you would consider romantic, I do believe the first chapters would leave any romantic heart swooning after reading.

      Thanks for your thoughts!! I appreciate it!

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  7. working on this, let me get back to you.

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    1. Not doing the blog hop, but I've worked with a couple of people on their pitches with good results so I'm giving this a shot.

      FIRST: Is this book from BOTH of the women's perspectives or only ONE? If it is just one, I'd drop the entire thing about the names in the pitch. Goodness knows, the last thing you want is to have a confusing first sentence which an agent or editor won't read past.

      SECOND: The sentence which starts: Little does she ... is run-on and grammatically incorrect. Read it out loud, that 'but' joins together two sentences you need separated.

      THIRD: I need more about the character's stake in everything. Why does she want to go to the ball? What is the goal she thinks will be accomplished? What are the results, and the new goal?

      I'm with other posters, the whole 'bachelor party she's ever attended' is off. a) you say she's dreamt of attending a ball so there's no reason to think she's done this before, b) the phrase 'bachelor party' has the connotations of a drunken bacchanal prior to weddings featuring grooms and groomsmen, which doesn't tie into the 'romantic description c) if it is the latter - drunken party - it's a 'guy' thing, I'm unclear why she'd have attended any in the past.

      I think paring this down to showing us her life *before* the catalyst (attending the 'ball') and her goals at that time, showing us the catalyst as well as how it's different than her expectations, and then wrapping it up with her new situation and either a) what will happen if she doesn't change the situation and/or b) her new goal is a good starting place for you to work on this pitch.


      Example:

      When Cadence Bradford realizes she has a way to attend an elite, black-tie event she grabs the opportunity, even though it means she'll be going as someone else. (put something about her 'before' life here, example, totally random since I don't know your story): Having never even gone to prom realizes this is her one chance to live her dream of being a princess for a night before going back to work at the quickie-mart or Moving around every two years due to her parents work meant few friends, so a chance to live out a scene like one in the fairytales she adores is worth the deception. She knows she could be persecuted or even jailed for her deception, but the risk is very low and the chance to enjoy a once in a life time event pushes aside her worries.

      When Cadence arrives, she realizes the event is the premiere of a dating show where she's one of many women vying for the attention of a young prince. And it's not just for one night, her previous life is put on hold as she finds herself a prisoner in a decrepit castle, all for television ratings. Life at the quickie-mart/life in her books (whatever her old situation was) might have been dull, but it was far better than life locked in a room with only a snow globe for amusement.

      Very soon she realizes that the snow globe is far more than it seems and her life and the lives of others are in danger. The television show is nothing but a hoax to lure her and the women to the castle. However, the only way to expose the danger is to reveal she isn't who she says she is. Cadence must find someone who can help her escape, and take the consequences of her deception, in order to save their lives. Turns out living in a fairy-tale castle, with a real-live prince, is far deadlier than she'd realized.

      This is wordy and need work, since I'm just trying to give you examples of a structure for a pitch which might work for you. And it's likely entirely off from your story, since I have not clue what it's about, but hopefully you'll see the difference in how showing her 'before', the catalyst and her new stake and goal helps give your pitch rising tension and engages the reader. Here the stake isn't strong enough, but it's just to an example.

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    2. Thanks Ellie. I understand what you mean.

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    3. Oops. My little girl thought I should hit publish before I wanted too.

      Anyway, thanks. I have never-not-yet been able to get a good pitch together. Or Query for that matter.

      But I'll keep trying. It's hard for others to help out when they haven't read the story but you did an EXCELLENT job explaining things. thanks !

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    4. I totally suck at my own queries, it's frustrating! I can see the structure and what needs to be done for other people's but not mine. :-(

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    5. I did want to comment about the run on sentence. It is completely grammatically correct to join two independent clauses with a comma and conjunction, so I must say, my sentence is NOT grammatically incorrect. Granted, in my original pitch, I did make that sentence two separate sentences. For the sake of a limited 3 sentence pitch, I infused them with a conjunction and a comma:) This is structurally correct:)

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    6. Also, the 3 sentence limit does not allow to add as much information as you are suggesting. You can only include so much in 3 sentences and I felt like there was too much already (as indicated by the "run on" but structurally right sentence:)

      So, now I need to figure out how to include all your suggestions in a 3 sentence pitch. Yea, I have lots of work to do...

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