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Pitch Workshop – B’s critique #6

Friday, 10 February 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
It’s day three of our pitch workshop. For ten days, Shelley Watters, Cassandra Marshall, and I are critiquing two pitches each per day. Click on my partners-in-crime pics on the sidebar to go to their sites and read their critiques.

And next up …
Name: Mara Rae
Title: Forever Friday B’s note: I love this title
Genre: YA Paranormal
Word Count: 85,500


When Friday discovers she isn’t just an immortal, but also the only one capable of killing another, she must leave everyone she loves or risk becoming a deadly weapon in the world’s oldest blood feud.

B’s note: Love the pitch! Love the name. Love that she’s an immortal and can kill other immortals. Love that she can be used as a deadly weapon. Perfect!


Nothing lasts forever.  
B’s note: This is too cliche for my tastes – You can use this phrase but I would mix it up and make it your own. Especially since it’s your first line and your hook. Something like…
‘Not even immortals last forever.’
I’m sure you can come up with something better that fits your story.

That’s what my mom would have (you could use a contraction here – would’ve) said if she’d been there. She was always full of those little bits of grown-up wisdom, the kind that sound so good in theory but don’t really make you feel any better. Disappointment, heartache, anger; they all fade eventually. Even diamonds don’t really last forever. If she’d been there, my mom would have (would’ve) told me that the razor-sharp pain of grief would some day wither to a dull ache, and finally, to nothing at all. But she couldn’t, because she was gone.

Un milagro, they called me. A miracle. I heard the nurses whisper it to each other as they passed my hospital room. I saw it on the news for three days before my story was overshadowed by celebrity gossip and political scandals. And it was the first thing the Chilean doctor said to me when my scan results came back normal. 
B’s notes: Great excerpt! I’d just work on that first line. Was she in an accident with her mother and her mother died and she didn’t? How did she survive? You really got me wanting to turn the page and read on. 
I hope this helps!

Remember this is subjective and others’ may feel differently. So I’ll now pass it on to the readers to critique. Please leave your comments, and remember the rules of critiquing … be nice, which I’m sure you all will be, but I have to say it … you know.

Filed: Misc, Workshops

  • This is going to be a drop-dead gorgeous read! I agree with your comment about the opening line. However, this was only after I read your suggested change. I rather liked not using the contraction – the full verb seemed to give more emphasis. Never mind, all picky in the larger picture.

  • Brenda Drake says:

    Kittie, thank you for your comment. I agree that ‘would have’ does work well there for an emphasis, but there are two ‘would have’s in the small space of the excerpt. Maybe Mara can just change the second one?

  • Stephsco says:

    Nice set up and strong writing. It sounds like you’ve put a lot of work into already. I’m so impressed by the great feedback, it’s very helpful even as a reader to see what needs to be focused on.

  • Mara Rae says:

    Thank you guys so much for the feedback! I’m so glad the pitch is working because I really struggled with that puppy. And I do see where you’re coming from with the first line. On its own, it is obviously a cliche. Which is kind of the point (contrasting with the title, and the fact that she will later find out she’s an immortal). But that’s a lot of explanation for a first line! I’ll work on it.
    Thanks everyone!

  • MarcyKate says:

    This is great! Really, I think all you need to do is make that first line less cliche and more your own and you’re good! I’d definitely keep reading!

  • TL Sumner says:

    Again – great premise. The first line worked for me since it was explained in the next sentence that it was one of those things her mom would say. Could you start with something like: Mom was always full of those little bits of grown-up wisdom, the kind that sound so good in theory but don’t really make you feel any better. Nothing lasts forever she’d remind me…

    Or something like that — just so the opening isn’t “cliche” but the intent won’t be lost.

    Hope that helps. I’d definitely read more. I’m already hooked.

  • Anonymous says:

    I would also be interested in learning about the accident up front, but it just made me want to read more to learn about it! I cannot wait to hear more about Friday. – Alexis

  • This is so enticing, I want to read more 🙂

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