Monday, 2 March 2015

#Pitmad

Is taking place on the 11th of March!!

Gear up your 140 character pitch here and help out others as we all do that find-an-agent thing we do.

Good luck everyone!


41 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your help! I'm dreadful at twitter pitches but so far I have 3:

    SPAM, feminine products, first love, or family? What does Karen need most to survive the end of the world? #Pitmad #YA

    K doesn't believe the world is ending. Her dad does. Can she protect him from being locked up without damaging their relationship? #Pitmad #YA

    Karen needs a break from the Doomsday world &Jake is the perfect distraction. Little does she know he's a reporter in disguise #Pitmad #YA

    Thank you so much for helping everyone! I seriously can't tell you how much it means!

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    1. Firstly, I love that all pitches target a different aspect of the novel. That's really great as agents are all looking for different things. Do you have enough characters to add in 'F' for Fantasy or 'SF' for SciFi or 'D' for Dystopian etc? Just helps agents know what they're looking for.

      First one, great voice but no stakes or what she needs to overcome.
      Second one, clear stakes. Can the question be reworded to a statement?
      Third one, great LI angle, but why is he being a reporter important?

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    2. Thank you so much! I"m taking the suggestions back to the drawing board with me :)

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  2. I like the first pitch the most. Has voice and humor. I suggest you reword it because at first I thought you were putting a SPAM warning.

    Feminine products, first love, SPAM, or family? What does Karen need most to survive the end of the world? #Pitmad #YA

    The third pitch is a bit confusing. What is the Doomsday world? Why is a reporter interested in Karen? What disguise is he wearing, a fake moustache?

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    1. Also, pitch 3 lacks stakes. something like: But Jake, the perfect distraction, is a reporter who wants to slander her dad.

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    2. Thank you so much for your insight! I'm reworking things now :)

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  3. I'd love eyes on a few pitches also to get a feel for this.

    Lani loves the wind. It laughs. Fuels her magic. Yet it spreads lies for a mad god. Lani must quiet the wind and lose her magic. #PitMad #YA

    Cerge lost everything to a rampaging god. He waits to die, but finds love instead. To stop the god, he must risk his new love. #PitMad #YA

    Cerge was bred to rouse the gods. He does, and learns he has steam magic. Can these ancient towers work again? He'll die trying. #PitMad #YA

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    1. What genre is it, i would presume a branch of fantasy?

      Can you cut down punctuation to save characters? It also makes the pitch a bit disjointed (imho).

      I think 1 could work well along the lines of : Lani's magic flows from wind’s laughter but spreads lies of a mad god. To stop the lies, she must quiet the wind, lose the magic #PitMad #YA

      I think 2 is the best if you can turn it into one sentence.

      in 3, what are the ancient towers? Why will he die trying, what happens if he doesn't get them working?

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    2. I like the stakes. Is this dual POV? How about -
      The wind fuels Lani's magic, but spreads lies for a mad god. If she quiets the wind, she loses her magic.

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  4. First pitch - great voice here! We know why she wants to quiet the wind and why she will lose her magic because of it, but currently reads like she must lose her magic. Can you reword to make this a _ or _ choice?

    Second pitch - good stakes

    Third pitch - A bit disjointed. I think I get what you are trying to say but it needs to be clearer. Have no clue what the towers are or why he wants them working. This one has a lot more specifics though which is what you want.

    Try to get enough characters for genre too, so the agents know what it is you're pitching.

    Also is your MS duel POV? If not, stick with the MC and pitch around them.

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    1. It is dual POV. Thanks for the crits!

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    2. Also, what are the genre tags? Another blog post I saw said #SFF, which is five characters I can't afford unless the payoff is worth it.

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    3. Just #YAF for Young Adult Fantasy

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    4. What genre is yours? It usually only adds one or two characters and the payoff could be the difference between getting a request or not. If an agent is on the fence about a pitch and doesn't know if it's a genre they represent they may just pass to prevent possibly wasting both their, and your, time.

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    5. It is fantasy. Technically it is magical realism, but with steampunk elements.

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    6. Then all you need is #YAF or #YAMR depending on which you're pitching it as :)

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  5. Have really struggled to capture my novel in these short pitches despite great feedback on writing and story. Any help is gratefully received!

    11yo Dragongirl Alex must rescue her best friend and the lost dragon souls of magical world Overearth from evil dragon Lord #MGF #PitMad

    FLIGHT OF DRAGONS vs RIFTWAR, to save her life 11yo Alex must travel to magical realm and learn magic, flight and breathe fire #MGF #PitMad

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    1. I know, twitter pitches are SO hard!

      First pitch - not sure why an 11 year-old MUST do these things. What will happen if she doesn't? Why can't a responsible adult take over?
      Second pitch - good to have comps. We learn why here but still need more specifics. 11yo Alex must learn to breath fire to save her life from… etc.

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    2. Thanks Heather, I revised both in a reply to Rob's comments below. hopefully they are improved... although the why not a responsible adult question is good. She takes it upon herself is a better way of putting it ;)

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  6. #1) Why must Alex rescue her friend? Why must she rescue the lost dragon souls? Who lost them? Or are they lost souls? (if so, better left undisturbed.)

    #2) Why must Alex learn magic? Why must she flight and breathe fire?

    The main issue I see with your queries is: why.

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    1. thanks for the feedback, the why's are quite long, and its distilling that info into 140 characters that I struggle :)

      Maybe 1 needs to be split into two separate pitches. are these better or worse?

      11yo Dragongirl Alex must rescue her kidnapped best friend from an evil dragon Lord hellbent on revenge against her family #MGF #PitMad

      11yo Dragongirl Alex must find a way to recover dragon souls trapped by evil dragon Lord in the magical realm of Overearth #MGF #PitMad

      FLIGHT OF DRAGONS vs RIFTWAR, to save her life 11yo dragon shapeshifter Alex must learn magic, flight and breathe fire #MGF #PitMad

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    2. I love the first pitch here. It gives me the stakes and shows me why she decides to take it upon to do what she does. Best of luck :)

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  7. Hey Heather! I remember you. I kind of dropped off the blogosphere for a while (rough year) but I used to have a little blog called One Magic Bean Buyer and you were always super nice. :) Anyway, good to "see" you again. haha

    And thanks for doing this! I will be back later on tonight to help critique some of these but for now I just wanted to take a minute to get mine up. :) So here it is.

    To save his family from Purgatory, Fen journeys into the darkness of his mind, where his own demons become lethal adversaries. #Pitchpractice

    Thanks again! :)

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    1. I remember your blog! I dropped off for a while too. For some reason when I fell pregnant I just had zero desire to write. THANK GOD it is back in force :)

      Great stakes and interesting concept. 'darkness of his mind' and 'lethal adversaries' are a little vague though. Can you make these things more specific?

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  8. Oh wow!! Congrats!! And yeah, it's nice when you get that writing desire back--I've had it disappear as well, and it's awful!

    I played around with it just a little because people were thinking it referred to an inward journey. So I tried to make it less vague. What do you think of this:

    To save his family from Purgatory, Fen travels into an alternate universe within his mind, where his own demons turn lethal .#PitchPractice

    Thanks so much!! Do you need any help with one? I didn't see one from you up here.

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    1. Yep, I though it was an inner journey too haha

      I actually really like that one, are you going to do a couple of pitches you can alternate during the day?

      And I still need to draft some :D

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    2. The second pitch is much more clear.

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    3. I would just add that its not clear who the demons are lethal to. Maybe reword along lines of 'where his own demons seek his demise' or similar

      Otherwise its clear and works well

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  9. Hi, thanks for doing this. Here's my pitch:

    To prove her sister’s drug overdose was murder, Mira must defy her strict Indian parents & team up with a jock. #pitch practice

    Thanks.

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    1. This pitch is pretty spot on. You have the why, you have diversity and you have a catalyst. I'm just not sure 'defy' is the right word here. Did her parents specifically tell her to not investigate with the jock?

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    2. Yeah. They assume it's an overdose and don't want any further attention being brought on the case. I used defy because it's the shortest synonym I could think off - only 4 letters :)

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    3. reads well, you could give yourself more leeway by change 'drug overdose' to 'death' or 'suicide' as it doesn't matter how she died in the pitch, just that the verdict is being challenged.

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    4. You could also shorten it to "overdose" or - even shorter! - just "OD," which seems to be common vocabulary.

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  10. I haven't totally decided whether I'm going to take the plunge on #PitMad, but grateful for the chance to get some perspective while I practice - thanks Heather!

    So far the most promising one is this:

    A 15yo must defend her family and the girl she loves from the wrath of the poltergeist that's intent on possessing her. #YA #PitMad

    Trying to come up with variations on the theme as well...e.g.:

    A 15yo must learn what--and who--is haunting her before it can possess her completely or attack the girl she loves. #YA #PitMad [read em dashes for "--"]

    The poltergeist intent on possessing Marianne has set its sights on the girl she loves; she must save them both from its attack. #YA #PitMad

    Any thoughts would be most welcome!

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    1. Firstly, love the diversity and the fact you've managed to include it in all three pitches.

      Is it possible to include Marianne's name in the first pitch? I find it's easier to connect when we have the MC's name.

      Maybe, "Marianne must defend her family and the girl she loves from the poltergeist intent on possessing her. #YA #PitMad

      I've cut unnecessary words so you add more specificity. With this pitch, I just don't know why she needs to defend the others if the poltergeist is set on possessing her.

      Second one is much clearer, I'd just recommend using MCs name.

      The third one reads as though she must save the girl she loves and the poltergeist.

      Hope that helps!

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  12. This is a very generous offer! I have a few drafts. Comment on all or just one, whatever suits your time-constraints and interest. Thanks so much!

    (A) Retta must get to b-ball camp to win scholarship and be free of crazy family. Minor setback—killer mutants attacking her town. #PitMad YA CF

    (B) Control-freak Retta risks life-changing scholarship to save bumbling family from killer mutants. Learns to cede control instead. #PitMad #YA

    (C) Retta has it under control: Granna-not filling tubs, Dad-not in jail, scholarship-not lost, mutants-not eating people…wait—crap! #PitMad #YA

    (D) RETTA’s TO DO: 1.Win scholarship, leave Gulch 2.Find ex-con bro 3.Save family from mutants 4.Save town too 5.Scratch 1…maybe #PitMad #YA #CF

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    1. No worries at all! My thoughts -

      A - good clear stakes and personality.

      B - This one tells us a bit more about people involved but the second sentence is weak. Use extra characters to add 'basketball' and 'her' in the first sentence.

      C - I don't get the 'filling tubs' reference here.

      D - Not many specifics in this one.

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THANK YOU for commenting! It means more than you know :)