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Pitch Workshop – B’s critique #8

Saturday, 11 February 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
 

We’re on the fourth day 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.

Next up is … 

Name:  TL Sumner
Title:  FORBIDDEN SECRETS
Genre:  YA
Word Count:  94,000

Pitch: 

In a world where Celtic immortals live secretly among us, a seventeen-year old strong-willed track star and an eighteen-year old chivalrous Highlander must outwit an evil immortal before he permanently settles a centuries-old blood feud.

B’s notes: Parts of the pitch intrigues me, but it’s too vague. I’m vacillating between thinking this is just fine and thinking that it isn’t. I think I would connect more if I knew the characters name. How is the evil immortal going to permanently settle the feud? Is he going to destroy the world? Or just wipe out the group he’s feuding with? I think a little more tweaking would make this perfect. Something like… (Notice I’m not using my logline formula here. See I can have an open mind…sometimes.)

‘In a world where Celtic immortals live secretly among us, Sara, a strong-willed track star, and Nathan, a chivalrous Highlander, must outwit an evil immortal before he destroys the world (or add bad thing he does here).’

Of course, use the characters’ actual names. I think the ages and the things they do or what not made the pitch clunky. My sample leaves you five words to describe that evil thing the evil guy does. 
 
Excerpt: 

I always failed at ordinary.

Ordinary wouldn’t have weird, freaky, come-true dreams or a scar that ached when something god-awful was about to happen. Ordinary wouldn’t have guilt hanging over my head like an anvil. And ordinary would’ve snuggled under the warmth of my down comforter, especially on a rain-soaked Sunday. Instead, I dashed down the hardwood stairs and into the kitchen, runner-ready with iPod in hand, prepared to shave at least ten seconds off last week’s time.

Without looking away from the Asheville Citizen Times, Mom handed me my cell phone. “Sweetheart, do us both a favor. Don’t ignore your father this morning.”

Dad’s text read:  Love the hills and they’ll love you back. Before I’d finished reading, the phone chirped again:  Be one with the mud. 

As I skimmed the article implying Dad’s contract wouldn’t be renewed, I hid the ache in my wrist because Mom didn’t need another reason to worry.  

B’s notes: I completely loved this right up to the last paragraph, which confused me. Is her mother reading the article? Or is it on the back page and she spots it? Make that clear. And why does she have an ache in wrist? Did she cut it once and it still hurts? Maybe figure out a better way to convey why her wrist aches. It could all be answered in the next paragraph, but I don’t  know. The voice here is great. The writing great. I would definitely read on.


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.

 

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Filed: Misc, Workshops

3 Comments
  • MarcyKate says:

    I agree – this was fantastic up until that last line. Just a little tweaking should make that fit in nicely though. I’d keep reading!

  • TL Sumner says:

    Thanks soooo much for the critique and the comments. You are right – the wrist pain is explained in the next paragraph. You’ve given me some great guidance on making some tweaks. Thanks again. 🙂

  • Stephsco says:

    I liked the writing a lot. I hope you get some great feedback on your pitch – it’s so challenging to sum up everything in such a short amount of space!

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