Saturday, May 4, 2013

FIRST CHAPTER CONTEST and GIVEAWAY! TODAY AND TOMORROW!

CONFERENCES GALORE!
Post your 25-30 word pitches right here, and I'll pick my top ten to crit more for you!

With conferences just on the horizon, thought you might like a chance to bounce ideas off this noggin. So today and tomorrow, send me your email addy with a short pitch, and I'll connect with ten of you whose pitches hooked me to have a look at first chapters or first 5 pages, (no fantasy, sorry. I just don't get it and wouldn't be helping you) to help get you ready to pitch at conference. I'll also do a quick critique of your elevator pitch. Anything to help you get your foot in that editor's/agent's door this summer or fall.

So? Any takers? I'll also pick three folks to receive free books. One by my client, Rose Zediker, Wedding on the Rocks, and two of my books that released this spring.

SO IT'S A TWOFER!
GOTTA LOVE A TWOFER!

BE SURE THAT FIRST PAGE WOWS ME! CAUSE IF IT DOESN'T WOW ME IT PROBABLY WOW THAT 15 MINUTE APPT!

Come on, don't be shy. Shoot me your email addy and if you're one of the ten, then make sure I get your best! Don't send 5 pages of description and backstory, won't cut it! Get me to story and get me there quick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

BTW, stop by Sharon Srock's site for a chance to win two of the books as well.

http://womenofvalleyview.blogspot.com/p/28-sep-terris-library-christmas-at.html

172 comments:

  1. I'm a published author, with an agent, but I am taking part in the upcoming Happily Editor After appointments with LIH. I would love feedback, if I may?

    ReplyDelete
  2. You bet, Darlene, shoot me a pitch to hook me and we'll see.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do I just post the elevator pitch here on your blog or do I e-mail it to you?

    ReplyDelete
  4. My question too
    Mine is the 100-word blurb LIH wants

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just post a short 25-30 word pitch on here and I'll pick the ten that hook me the most to critique. How's that sound?

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karla, carve it down to the essentials. Then you'll have it.

      Delete
  7. When Anna Johnson picks up a hitchhiker on her way to a job she hates, she meant to assert her independence, not find true love. Seth Collier knows not all who wander are lost.

    nancykimball at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy, I know you can give me more "meat" of what happens. Is she afraid to pick up the hitchhiker? I did once as a teen and was petrified after I stopped. What significance was there for her picking up a hitchhiker??? Gimme a bit more. Not more words, but more content. Why on earth did she stop?

      Delete
  8. This is my single-sentence pitch: When a mail order bride marries the wrong brother, can the jilted groom trust her sister?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YOU SAID SO VERY MUCH IN JUST 16 WORDS. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE THE STORY'S GOING WITH JUST THIS MUCH. WELL DONE!!!

      Delete
    2. The trick is to just get rid of details that won't mean anything at this point. Sometimes names aren't even necessary. You did this well. Everything is there but not bogged down in detail. This particular pitch would tell a romance reader right away just what the story's about and the twist and intrigue involved. This is very well done, Darlene.

      Delete
    3. Ooh. Even a fantasy nut like me would give this book a look. :)

      Delete
  9. Okay, this is tough. Summarizing a novel in 30 words. I'm afraid I could only get it down to 43 words, so I'll understand if I'm disqualified.

    Amanda is pregnant and flees her abusive husband and masquerades as a widow. She intends to live a quiet life but finds herself falling in love with Michael. By the end, Amanda’s husband dies and she and Michael are free to be together.
    Email: veronicaleighbooks[at]gmail[dot] com

    Thanks for this opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OKAY, A PITCH IS A STRONG HOOK. I DON'T EVEN NEED TO KNOW ALL OF THIS. HOW ABOUT CUTTING IT TO IT'S MAIN ESSENTIALS. WHAT CAN YOU WRITE THAT WILL MAKE A READER WANT TO GO ON? YOU DON'T NEED ALL OF IT, JUST ENOUGH TO TEASE THEM. GIVE IT ANOTHER TRY AND POST!

      Delete
  10. THIS JUST MAY TURN INTO A MINI-WORKSHOP!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm good with that! Thanks for this, Linda! This was exactly what I needed today. :)

      Delete
  11. Oops. I didn't follow directions. Here's the 25-word one:

    When Melnungeon girl, Flora Jean, is won in a card game by a steamboat sex trafficker, she is destined for the auction block in New Orleans. Can she escape the scorn of society and the lust of men?

    Okay, it's a few words over. I need all the help you can give me, readers and Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can carve a tad without changing content:
      Melungeon girl Flora Jean, won in a card game between a sex trafficker and her father, is destined for auction. Can she escape society's scorn and the lust of men?
      30 ON THE NOSE!

      Delete
  12. An innocent woman convicted of murder meets a reformed ex-con who’s out on parole. Either they work together to expose the truth, or die trying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got it and spot on. The first line had me and the second had me by my ear pulling me around. Very well done. I'm a suspense NUT! (well, I'm a nut, period, but suspense really gets to me) So this really got my attention!

      Delete
    2. I love this one! I'm looking forward to reading it AND seeing the movie! :)

      Delete
  13. Tricked into marrying the wrong man, a single mother has a choice to make. Stay with the man who tricked her, or become a pawn in another's selfish schemes?

    amanda38401 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not bad. Suggestions, anyone? Amanda, I think you've got the basics down well. And enough of a hook to draw the person in. I just feel like there's something missing, and I can't tell what. Hmm, let me mull this one over a bit.

      Delete
    2. Would this one be better ~

      Tricked into marrying a man she doesn't love, a widowed mother has a choice to make. Can she trust God to do what's best for her, even when a terrible mistake has been made?

      Delete
    3. You know what? I do like that one better. I think it captures a bit more of her angst. Yup!

      Delete
    4. Noted! Thank you for the guidance ~ I appreciate it!

      Delete
    5. Can I ask a question? I know staying away from too many unneeded details is good. In this case what if the "terrible mistake" is revealed. Would that add to the hook or give away too much of the story?

      Here's what I mean: (and no, I have not read this story)

      Tricked into marrying a man she doesn't love, a widowed mother has a choice to make. Can she trust God to do what's best for her, even if it means giving up true love, or dealing with an adulterous heart, or whatever the kicker is.

      Delete
    6. Yeah, not sure why, but it felt like there was just a little something extra there. Anyone else??? Thoughts?

      Delete
    7. I DO like that. It certainly gives a bit more punch to the hook! Especially the adulterous heart. Really pulls us into her heartache and struggle. Good point, Sarah!

      Delete
    8. Oooh Sarah, you sparked it!
      What about...
      Tricked into marrying a man she doesn't love, a widowed mother has a choice to make. Can she trust God to do what's best for her, even if it means giving up the one her heart desires?

      The only thing. It's over the 25-30 word limit. That's what gets me.

      Delete
    9. I really like Sarah's, but here's how you can shorten your version to 29 words:
      Tricked into marrying a man she doesn’t love, a widowed mother must choose to trust God to do what’s best, even if it means giving up her heart’s desire.

      Delete
    10. Aha! Thank you! You both made that look easy...and I'm over here scratching my head. ;)

      Delete
    11. No, you've got it. I think just a tad of rearranging strengthened it a bit.

      Delete
  14. Okay, this one is the disqualified fantasy genre ... don't hate me.

    The hunted Feravolk are counting on a seventeen-year-old, dagger-wielding, storm-detecting orphan to save their race. Maybe they should have thought of that before they killed her family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I told Sarah to include this. Anyone who reads fantasy who can help? I'll be honest, Sarah, you gave enough info that even as fantasy, I can tell you did a good hook! This, from my humble pov, is spot on! Great hook. Right amount of info. Well done. Anyone else with any feedback?

      Delete
    2. Well, thank you! I appreciate your humble pov. :)

      Delete
    3. Sarah, I don't read fantasy, but I do have a question. Are the Feravolk the ones who killed her family or was it some other race like the ones who are hunting the Feravolk?

      Delete
    4. Amanda, if the pitch is confusing on that point I will surely take another look. I hope it says that the Feravolk killed her family. If you're asking if in the book the Feravolk actually killed her family I suppose I can say no ... but she thinks they did. ;)

      Delete
    5. Sarah,your pitch is great! I don't think you need to change anything. I'd love to read it, and that's what you try to do with a pitch, right?

      Peggy Bennitt

      Delete
    6. Yeah, it read okay for me, too.

      Delete
  15. The Hatman and Macroy feud sparks when Samantha and Hank bump into each other. Upscale Chicago clashes with Montana rancher. Will a Romeo and Juliet hope heal their families?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assume the names are misspelled on purpose?

      Delete
    2. I think the only word I'd leave out would be the word hope. Maybe if you switched that last to:
      Will their Romeo and Juliet innocence heal their families? Or something like that. Not sure why that word hope doesn't seem to fit. Might be just me.

      Delete
    3. Great idea, Linda. I'll change the word.

      And yes, Darlene, the names were modified because it doesn't follow the historical story. It is a spin off.

      Delete
  16. Thanks so much, Linda. Here's mine:

    An inner-city teacher on a mission to save a student falls for a successful entrepreneur who'll do anything to stay out of the poverty stricken 'hood he grew up in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the only thing I might switch would be the word anything. Altho, my suggestion is just as generic.
      I'd say ...who'll do whatever it takes to stay out of the poverty he grew up in. Got rid of stricken 'hood. Because poverty says it enough, I think. You've definitely defined the conflict well. Good one!

      Delete
    2. I like that. Thanks so much for your input!

      Delete
    3. You bet. You really let us know what the tension will be, and that's awesome in a pitch. Well done. Anybody else with any thoughts?

      Delete
    4. Forgot to leave my email. lydiasusancrawford [at] gmail [dot] com.

      Delete
  17. How does this grab you for a WWII historical:

    The short-short: What escape exists for a German aristocrat with American Jewish blood?

    The elevator pitch:
    American Jewish blood courses through a German aristocrat. A traitor to both armies, he must confess to his nation and his bride, or she and their child will bear another man’s name.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the short-short, but I find the elevator pitch confusing.

      Delete
    2. I see what Darlene means about the confusion. When he's first called American and then German it is confusing now that I reread it. How about:
      Jewish and American blood also course through a German aristocrat. A traitor to both armies, he must confess to his nation and his bride, or she will bear another man's name. (just be sure we know which nation he is actually from otherwise when you say his nation, is it American or German?)Not even sure you need to say and child. You just want to set up the conflict and that alone produces enough.

      Delete
    3. And for the short short:
      What escape exists for a German aristocrat with American AND Jewish blood?
      I think adding and adds to it a bit...

      Delete
  18. Hi Linda!

    The following is my elevator pitch for my novel, Another Pretty Face. Thanks for offering this opportunity to our members.


    ELEVATOR PITCH for Another Pretty Face
    by Peggy Bennitt


    An embittered journalist meets a hunky bodybuilder who isn’t what he seems, challenging her to face her biases, lost faith, and attraction to…Another Pretty Face.


    Peggy Bennitt
    bennitt49@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a call in to someone, but I think the word hunky might be passe for the most part. Just got the text back, hunky out, hottie still in. So maybe you could change to:
      An embittered journalist meets a hottie of a bodybuilder who isn’t what he seems, challenging her to face her biases, lost faith, and attraction to…Another Pretty Face.
      Or:
      An embittered journalist meets a bodybuilder who isn’t only the hottie that he seems, challenging her to face her biases, lost faith, and attraction to…Another Pretty Face.
      But as for the pitch, I think it's very strong and covers what needs to be said to hook the reader. Anyone else with any ideas?

      Delete
    2. Is eye-candy still used?

      An embittered journalist meets a bodybuilder who's not only eye-candy, but a sweet treat to her heart. Can she face her biases, lost faith, and attraction to...Another Pretty Face?

      Peggy Bennitt

      Delete
    3. I don't think so, but the play on words is cute.

      Delete
  19. Thanks for your help, Darlene and Linda. The changes are great improvements. Just a word makes a big difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, that's why this started turning into a pitch workshop, it got better! So glad it helped...

      Delete
  20. Hi Linda,

    "God takes atheist editor, Helen Bancroft, up on her dare that her autobiography requires just a light edit to be heaven-worthy. Will she survive her own Red Pen Redemption?"

    That's my hook for my Christmas novella, Red Pen Redemption.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd lose the quotation marks; they just aren't needed. The only real change I'd look it would be the just a light edit, since I'm an anti-just person (even they I keep finding them in my own work-grrrr) How about:
      God takes atheist editor Helen BAncroft up on her dare that her autobio requires a mere edit to be heaven-worthy. Will she survive her own "Red Pen"? That's where I'd use the quot marks OR italics and end at pen. Makes for a cute play on words. Nicely done and I think it tells the short story it's supposed to.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Linda. I was only using the quotes for the purpose of the comments section on the blog - just to differentiate my hook from the rest of my note, but I love your suggestions, especially ending at Pen.

      Delete
    3. How's this? Do you think it needs "without Jesus" or is that understood from the original?

      God takes an atheist editor up on her dare that her autobiography requires a mere edit to be heaven-worthy without Jesus. Will she survive her own "Red Pen"?

      Delete
    4. Yeah, I think you're right. You probably don't need the without Jesus, but it's good either way. This reads well and def tells the reader where this is headed. Good one!

      Delete
  21. Hi Linda,

    Here's my elevator pitch for my supernatural suspense novel, Sunrise:

    Teenager Parker Austin survived a mass tragedy, but can he survive a fight for his soul? With the help of his guardian angel, he's about to find out.

    Scott J. Abel
    scottjabel@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a tiny twist will give it a tad more punch. I don't know what he's about to find out, but I'd hint at a bit more, that last line leaves me a big weak. The first is much better.
      Teen Parker Austin survived a mass tragedy leaving him in a fight for his soul, but with the help of his guardian angel, he's ?? equipped for the fight...ready for the fight...pushing forward in the fight...he's channeling his inner energy...something like that???

      Delete
    2. Teen Parker Austin's idylic life shatters when he finds himself hunted and his soul in jeopardy. Can his alluring but renegade guardian angel help or seal his fate?

      Delete
    3. Yeah, this is a bit stronger. I did love mass tragedy however. In this societal atmosphere of mass tragedies, that really grabs a person's attention. So maybe a combo of both of these two.

      Delete
  22. Okay, I'm accepting this challenge :) Thanks for offering this contest.

    Here's my pitch for my contemporary mainstream novel that I want to pitch this summer:

    Sadie knows her boyfriend will kill her abusive mother, but what she doesn’t see coming is her dad getting trapped underground or God reaching to her and her family.

    Elaine Stock
    estock(at)fairpoint(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I'd love a bit more about the father issue IF you're going to touch it at all. Something more commanding and less on God reaching her family. That is often understood for an inspirational so we don't HAVE to play that up as much. How about something like:
      Sadie knows her boyfriend will kill her abusive mother, but when her father gets trapped underground, only God can reach this family.
      And it's even shorter! See how you can twist it around, make it flow quicker and to the point and actually say more? What's everybody else think?

      Delete
    2. Linda, wow, I really like this. Thanks so much. Guess you qualify to win your own contest--LOL. You're really good at this. Sincerely, much appreciation to you.

      Delete
  23. Okay, lets see... Amanda discovers something about herself that will change her life forever. She embarks on a journey, and learns that the God she thought had forgotten her, is still working in her life and that not all hope is lost.
    Thanks for letting me have another go!
    veronicaleighbooks[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, I think maybe just relying on the God aspect (and trust me, I do too) but, it's important to tell us a bit about the story. You did that better above, try a combo of the two.

      Delete
    2. Amanda discovers that she is pregnant and unable to allow her child to be raised in an abusive home, she journeys west and masquerades as a widow. When she begins to fall in love with the local blacksmith, she must choose between following her heart and doing what is right. The journey leads her to a hope that she never knew existed.

      Delete
  24. Rosanna's plan to create a secluded refuge for young ladies fleeing forced arranged marriages runs into a snag. She encounters a handsome neighbor, solves a mystery and restores a fortune.

    Susan Karsten
    ACFW Member
    jksfamily5@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is full of good stuff and conflict, but don't be redundant when you can avoid it. Ex, forced, arranged,
      if it's forced, then it's obviously arranged and so you don't need to say it.
      Rosanna's plan to create a secluded refuge for young ladies fleeing forced (or arranged) marriages runs into a snag when she encounters a handsome neighbor, a mystery, and a fortune restored.

      Delete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Faith-filled Melissa's goal to marry only another believer clashes with her wealthy father's scheme to enter the aristocracy. Two suitors vie for her hand - which one will prove faithful?

    Susan Karsten
    ACFW Member
    jksfamily5@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If she's only willing to marry another believer, the first part isn't necessary. We know by the other comment that she's probably faith-filled. So start with
      Melissa's goal to marry another believer clashes with her wealthy father's scheme to enter the aristocracy. Two different suitors view for her hand.

      You've set up plenty of conflict. I'd just tighten it a bit. Nicely done.

      Delete
  27. For social climber Eliyana Reed, First Colony placement means everything--until she falls in love with a prisoner sentenced to the Seventh.

    Sara Ella
    saraellawrites@gmail.com
    http://saraella.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, this sounds like fantasy, if it is, well done! Because I totally get the pitch. Very well written and you outline exactly what the conflict is going to be and very succinctly. Nicely done!

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Linda! It's not a fantasy...dystopian YA, but with a Christian theme: grace. I know you don't do fantasy. Does this qualify for the two-fer contest?

      Delete
    3. PS- Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment on my pitch. It was my first one and your response truly boosted my confidence. I am new to the world of conferences and publishing. Is a dystopian considered part of the fantasy genre? If so, I didn't realize and apologize as I know the contest says "no fantasy".

      Delete
    4. No, the only reason I usually say no spec of any kind is because I don't really read that much of it. So I didn't mind at all. I just don't want to give "bad" advice that might not be pertinent to someone's genre that I don't read. But I could tell this one was spot on. I'll be honest, I wouldn't mind having a peek. Sounds very intriguing.

      Delete
    5. Wow, Linda, may I just say you made my day? It is still a WIP, but my prayer is to have a presentable manuscript ready by the ACFW conference in September. I would absolutely love some professional feedback on my opening chapters. When I saw your contest announced on the ACFW loop a little voice inside my head said, "It can't hurt to put yourself out there." Now I'm glad I did:)

      Delete
  28. I've never pitched before but I have to learn sometime, right?

    Here's my pitch for my current novel. Contemporary.
    Title: Through the Raging Waters

    Spring runoff hits Timber Springs while Melissa and Paul face tribulation of their own. A town in turmoil, love in jeopardy. Does God care? Will He calm the raging waters?

    Renee Blare
    rblare@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's good, but a bit too literary for me, if that makes sense. I think you could use the words better to let me know what some of the tribulation and turmoil will be. The love in jeopardy is good, but what are they going to face? What is their conflict that they have to resolve? Make sense?

      Delete
    2. Super start, by the way...

      Delete
    3. Here's a simple way to put it.

      A town on the brink of disaster. Can he come to terms with his past before the future falls apart?

      Delete
    4. Well, your other one told us more. I liked the other one, you just needed to give us more than tribulation, what does that mean? And calming the raging water, again, it's beautiful writing, but what does it mean? We need more concrete ideas of what all this means. It's beautiful in its writing, but doesn't tell us enough. So, spring runoff is great, it actually tells us something that will happen in the story, now tell us more in the rest of it. Pitches need some 'meat' some actually details about what will happen. What I meant by literary was lovely writing, but no real meat to tell us what is going to happen. (I hope this helps, I tend to ramble, grrr)

      Delete
    5. Is this any better?

      Spring runoff hits with a force and sends Paul Fitzgerald into a tailspin. Tossed into the role of rescuer, he must face his past before his whole world falls apart.

      Delete
    6. Renee, I went ahead and contacted you by email so we could toss this around.

      Delete
  29. This is really fun. Here you go...

    JOURNEY BACK HOME:
    Married over ten years, the Coopers’ share a passion for youth ministry. Tragedy strikes, an investigation begins. What will it take for either Jace or Simone to come back home?

    clSwalwell@gmail.com

    Thanks for this opportunity.

    In Him,

    Cheri :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, ma'am! Spot on. You give me info about them and exactly what happens and a hint at further conflict. Well done!

      Delete
  30. Ellie Lansing has a picture-perfect life, but her world is suddenly knocked off center when her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats, and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Will she find God's plan is worth the wait?

    Laurajacksonwrites@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty good, I'd tighten it a bit.
      Ellie Lansing has a seemingly perfect life until her drool-worthy boyfriend cheats and her always-has-it-together mother is diagnosed with cancer. Now she's waiting on God.
      Or not the last line at all. We all know we're waiting on God and that it's the hardest part in life. I'd just tighten a tad.

      Delete
    2. Thanks! I appreciate your feedback.

      Delete
  31. PIECES of a LIFE: While true-love-didn't-wait Preston revamps his life, he falls for Maggie whose heart is set on a future white-wedding-dress wedding. Together they navigate the choppy waters of renewed abstinence.


    Beth Steury
    Young Adult Contemporary Realistic Christian Fiction
    mbsteury@embarqmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that first sentence is a bit confusing. I had to keep reading it to realize what you were saying. I think...
      Are you implying he was a player? If so, I'd just say that.While player Preston revamps his priorities, he falls for Maggie whose heart is set on a white wedding dress wedding. I'd switch the last line too. And maybe since it's YA, player won't work either. Not sure what the kids' word for player is. But I think I'd revamp this a bit. I'm not sure how to rewrite this one, either. I'm drawing a blank. But I'll "think on it" and get back with you.

      Delete
    2. How's this:

      Preston, who didn’t wait for true love, falls hard for Maggie, whose heart is set on a white wedding dress wedding. Will he blow this chance to prove he’s changed?

      Delete
    3. Sooo much better. Maybe white wedding dress at her wedding. The two words wedding close together still reads funny, not sure why, but it sure wouldn't be a deal breaker for someone to understand the pitch. This is really spells out exactly what to expect and what the conflict is going to entail. Good rewrite.

      Delete
  32. I want to play.

    Unrequited in love, a devoted sibling and caregiver declares her heart at a masked ball... to the wrong man. Can this be righted with a widowed duke running from scandal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vanessa, I'm just a tad confused about who and what...is it necessary for us to know she's a devoted sibling, because that confused it a bit for me.
      What about, unrequited in love, a caregiver declares her heart at a masked ball...to the wrong man. Can this be righted....scandal? I think you need to drop the sibling part, but you could tell us a bit more. Up to you, not a bad pitch at all, but like I said, I was a little bit confused and had to reread. You don't ever want them to stop reading for any reason.

      Delete
    2. You are exactly right. The devoted sibling part has more to do with the sub-players and conflict in the story, but it is not necessary here. Never want to stumble someone or pull them out of the story.

      Delete
    3. You've got it. Keeping them right on target is where you want them. Once you write and rewrite these, they get easier and shorter. You only want to grab the reader: hook 'em, pull 'em in, fillet 'em, and eat 'em in fried garlic butter before they know what hit 'em!

      Delete
  33. For my WIP (a thriller)...

    A spiritually scarred FBI agent pursues a serial killer who's using the Old Testament as his instruction manual.

    tom@tomthreadgill.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohhhh, you got me! This is spot on, to the point, and I have an idea right away where it might go. Love it, love it! Very succinct but with enough info.

      Delete
  34. Here's another one:

    A barrister seeking the truth to defend his best friend from charges of abduction finds it in his wife's hidden memories. Can love survive when all the scandals are exposed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EVERY word has to count in a pitch. So I'd replace
      it
      ...of abduction finds the answers in his wife's hidden memories. Even though it goes over one word, it's more clear.
      I think this one is much better. Much more clear, and defines the conflict much better. Nicely done!

      Delete
    2. It so hard to make word count. LOL. Great advice.

      Delete
    3. vanessa @christianregeny .com

      Delete
  35. Elevator pitch for: Unchained Hearts (HR)

    After discovering she’s the daughter of a slave woman. Can Selena Barnard embrace Linden’s love and forgive her father’s betrayal, while helping others find freedom on the Underground Railroad?

    shelfiky@aol.com

    Thanks, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This tells us exactly what we need to know. And you've set up the conflict well and all in a short pitch. Very well done, Michele.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Linda. You made my day!

      Delete
    3. This sounds very interesting. Well done!

      Delete
  36. A family of ten in big brown van - cluttered with stinky socks, rotting apples, and crumpled maps - hope to travel coast to coast without losing a kid or their sanity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oops! forgot my email -
      yvonblake@faithwriters.net

      Delete
    2. Oh boy. That trip's gonna take a miracle or two. Looks like it could be a fun read.

      Delete
    3. That's what I was thinking, this def looks like a fun read. And I think you really covered it all well, Yvonne. Let's carve it just a tad.
      A family of ten in (a) big brown van - cluttered with stinky socks, rotting apples, and crumpled maps - hope to travel coast to coast without losing a kid or their sanity. Nope, just like it is, just add the (a)
      perfect the way it is... love it!

      Delete
    4. Ugh... My mind is always filling in those little words when I proofread.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  37. Alrighty. Not very original, but maybe you can help. And THIS one isn't contemp. fiction. Purely romance. :)


    Nicole’s got everything she needs. Her daughter, a budding career, and a faltering faith in God. But God’s got other plans, including the one thing she doesn’t want—a man.

    There's only so much I can get into 30 words. The synopsis is SO MUCH more telling. HELP! Anyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oops, I forgot. anna_karls_j@yahoo.com

      Delete
    2. Well, you got it in 30 words. Maybe streamline even more.
      Nicole’s got everything: a daughter, a budding career, a faltering faith in God. But, God’s got other plans, including the one thing she doesn’t want—a man.
      I think the 'she needs' isn't necessary. You spell it out. But you could give us just a hint about the guy.

      Delete
    3. How's this?

      Nicole’s got everything: a daughter, a budding career, a faltering faith. But, God’s got other plans, including one thing she doesn’t want—a man determined to challenge her isolated life.

      Delete
    4. Much better. This gives us enough info and hints at the conflict. We aren't sure what kind of conflict, but it gives us a solid idea that we an expect it. Much better.

      Delete
    5. Thanks, Linda. Now to come up with a catchy working title. Ugh. Nothing sounds good.

      Delete
  38. Pitch for The Mulligan--women's fiction I am horrid at these but need to learn.
    When a young artist takes her brother’s place on the golf circuit, will she save her family's dreams or find her own?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terri, give us a hint at the conflict that will come. This is a good pitch, but tell us a tad more. Is it hard for her to take his place? Is there a rivalry that will give her grief? Just a smidge more!

      Delete
  39. AND BY THE WAY, EVERYBODY. I'm with you. I hate to write these. Absolutely hate to, but thanks all, I think I've learned more here today than all of you! Thanks! Reading, reading, and reading pitches you begin to see a pattern of what works well and what needs a tweak or two.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks Linda, I will work on it!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Here it is with a little more detail or maybe I've destroyed it! It might be too wordy.

    To salvage her father’s dreams for her injured brother, a young artist takes her twin’s place on the golf circuit only to discover her dreams need their own rescue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terry, this is so much better. I like this one! Now we have enough info to give us hints of what's to come and the conflict is more clear. I think it gives a great idea of what she'll be giving up to please her father. Great!

      Delete
  42. Thanks for this opportunity. Here you go:

    When a conspiracy between an insurance company and a law firm nearly kills her grandmother, Lainey Williams is determined to expose it—even if it costs her own life.

    Thanks again.

    Jackie

    joyfuljel(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackie, this is good. It sets up the conflict, and then spells out what Lainey is going to face. Good job of giving us the problem she's going to encounter. Well done.

      Delete
  43. Oh I love contests like these! Thanks for the opportunity, Linda!

    Someone's taken over a murdered hit man's final job, placing a small-town diner-owner as the target of a cartel leader's revenge.

    marji.laine at gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  44. I think you covered everything here. Love it! Tells me all I'd want to know in a pitch. If I got picky, I'd say drop the hyphen in diner owner and the word as, then change placing to making:
    Someone's taken over a murdered hit man's final job, making a small-town diner owner the target of a cartel leader's revenge.
    That didn't do much, but be picky. I love it! You put everything into these few short words and told us so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so appreciate your input. I've been wondering about that hyphen. So glad I can take it out!

      Delete
  45. Linda, you got me re-thinking this whole angle. Would this be any better, or does it fall flat?

    When an abused teen’s hope rests on her mom’s murder, God’s mercy shows through a new friend, a grandmother’s courage, and her dad’s underground rescue.

    Elaine Stock
    estock(at)fairpoint(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elaine, I like this. You give enough info for the reader to get a bit of what will happen. Never be afraid to put it out there. If the reader of the pitch "gets what all will happen" that's okay. Editors and agents don't want to be "surprised", they want to know what all it's going to be about. Nicely done.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Linda. You have me smiling with hope :)

      Delete
  46. I have another pitch, for a different story.

    Two people arrange a marriage for all the wrong reasons and fall in love for all the right ones. They learn the hard way that if you want to make God laugh, then tell Him your plans.

    veronicaleighbooks[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wo people arrange a marriage for all the wrong reasons and fall in love for all the right ones. They learn the hard way that if you want to make God laugh, then tell Him your plans.
      What are the reasons both right and wrong. What is the hard way mean? Try to avoid vague words unless you also combine them with details:
      Two people arrange a marriage because of an unwanted pregnancy, then fall in love in spite of it. They learn through all their financial struggles if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. Since I don't know your details, I just filled some in. But see what I mean?

      Delete
  47. "Alienated by her Catholic-Protestant heritage, Gina Gallucci despairs of finding a place to belong, even at her hometown's canteen for World War Two servicemen in Dennison, Ohio."

    Karen Wingate - karenawingate@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Everybody, read Karen W's pitch. She could have said:
    Alienated by her childhood faith, Gina G despairs of her life, even with her hometown pursuits.

    But the details tell the story.
    What was her heritage (CAth-prot) how does she despair (belonging) what is her setting, her ability to reach out?(the WWII canteen and two servicemen. DETAILS That actually tells us what's going to happen. She isn't vague about the details...she spells them out. Nicely done, Karen!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks for your time, Linda!! Here's my pitch:

    Ella lived a simple, uneventful life in New America until everything she knew was shattered when an injured rebel leader appeared at her door in the middle of the night.

    Christen-- thekrumms@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you could give us a hint at the everything. Make each word count, everything doesn't tell us much. What is it that's shattered.

      Delete
  50. I'd like to take you up on your offer of a two-for. My email addy: carolmcclain@gmail.com. My elevator pitch is for an 80,000 word romantic comedy called Stilettos, Bassoons and the Next Door Neighbor.


    Life is settled for a whimsical bassoonist, except her boss hates her. She’d rather perform than teach. Her fiancĂ© loves another. Then Caleb moves next door. Unsettled suddenly looks good.

    Thank you,
    Carol McClain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the only thing I'd put in is an "and". You have a bunch of choppy short sentences.
      How about:
      Life is settle for a whimsical bassoonest, expet her boss hates her. She'd rather perform than teach and for fiance loves another. Then Caleb moves next door and unsettled suddenly looks good.
      Maybe a word or so over, but I think you need to put it into a couple sentences, the fewer the better.

      Delete
  51. Lizzy Jensen’s love life is as dead as the bones she unearths for a living, but could the concert pianist who’s interested in a family heirloom be Lizzy’s middle C?

    marion.ueckermann@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love it. You might lose a couple non-musical people, but I think they'll get it. You give us plenty of info and conflict. I really like it!

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Linda. I'll get my five pages off to you this evening.

      Delete
  52. Wow - these comments are great reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know,Davalynn, right? What great pitches!

      Delete
  53. OKAY, GUYS, WE'RE CLOSED TO MORE ENTRIES, BUT YOU CAN STILL LEAVE COMMENTS IF YOU'D LIKE. TOMORROW I'LL PICK TEN FOLKS AND THREE FOR FREE BOOKS. GOOD LUCK, BLESSINGS TO YOU ALL FOR SHARING. IF ANYONE EVER HAS ANY QUESTIONS, FEEL FREE TO SHOOT ME AN EMAIL AND I'D BE HAPPY TO HELP!!! THANKS AGAIN ALL FOR A GREAT LESSON IN PITCHES!

    ReplyDelete
  54. It was fun, Lori. I think there are some great pitches here. Now, to find those that connect with me personally. That will take a bit longer. Busy morning ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  55. THERE WERE SO MANY AWESOME PITCHES AND IDEA, BUT I THINK I NARROWED IT DOWN TO THESE TEN, THERE WERE A COUPLE OTHERS, BUT THEY ARE FRIENDS AND/OR CLIENTS WHO I'LL BE LOOKING AT THEIR CHAPTER ANYWAY, SO...HERE YOU GO!
    Looking at first chapter or first 5 pgs (no more, please) for:
    Colleen Scott, Scott Jabel, Elaine Stock, Sara Ella, Tom Threadgill, Vanessa, Michele Morris, Yvonne Blake, Jackie, and Marion. THERE WERE AMAZING PITCHES HERE AND WONDERFUL STORY IDEAS, BUT I ALWAYS TRUST MY GUT WHAT TO LOOK AT! SO WELL DONE, EVERYONE AND THE REWRITTEN PITCHES WERE REALLY GOOD!!!
    Also, giving away free books to:
    WEDDING ON THE ROCKS TO: Christen Krumm
    WITH EYES OF LOVE TO: Renee Blare and ALWAYS, ABBY TO: Terri Tiffany
    CONGRATS, EVERYONE. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN AND WE'LL DO THIS AGAIN. SHARPEN THOSE PITCHES AND GET THEM READY FOR CONFERENCES!

    ReplyDelete