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Author Topic: CHASING SMOKE Quick Draw  (Read 1606 times)
Fishinmortician
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« on: February 04, 2014, 09:30:15 AM »

Most people think the most screwed up people in the world are what the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit has defined as Sexual-Sadist Serial Killers. And, they are the worst. But, the most screwed up people may, in fact, be the cops who make a living chasing them: Holding hands with the Devil, while seeking to stand for a moment in The Glory of God. Just my opinion, but I think it bears out in my story, CHASING SMOKE.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 09:35:35 AM by Fishinmortician » Logged
MookyMcD
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2014, 01:43:06 PM »

That's not very tight for an elevator pitch. I'm not recommending the result as a finished product, but eliminating the unessential words:

Quote
Most people think the most screwed up people in the world are what the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit has defined as Sexual-Sadist Serial Killers. And, they are the worst. But, the most screwed up people may, in fact, be the cops who make a living chasing them: Holding hands with the Devil, while seeking to stand for a moment in The Glory of God. Just my opinion, but I think it bears out in my story, CHASING SMOKE.
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CourtneyBuc
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 11:28:53 AM »

Most people think the most screwed up people in the world are what the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit has defined as Sexual-Sadist Serial Killers. And, they are the worst. But, the most screwed up people may, in fact, be the cops who make a living chasing them: Holding hands with the Devil, while seeking to stand for a moment in The Glory of God. Just my opinion, but I think it bears out in my story, CHASING SMOKE.

Hi there,
I think your opening reads like the answer to a rhetorical question, which is almost as bad as using a rhetorical question. So, I'd cut it. The "...seeing to stand for a moment in 'The Glory of God' (which I'm guessing this is the name of your MS)..." phrase makes no sense out of context in this way. And, why are the FBI agents holding hands with the devil? Are they forced to act like they like the serial killer or something? Whatever, it bears a few words of explanation if you are going to include it. You can't baffle us, you must intrigue us. And, your ending of "just my opinion" may not come across like you think it does. To me, it seems almost pompous.

A pitch should be concise; one-to-two sentences at most. It needs to have the protagonist's name and quick description of him/her, the conflict, and what is at stake if your protag doesn't succeed. So in that respect, it has the same requirements as the book description you would use in your query letter. It's always in present tense, as well.

I like to try to re-write queries and blurbs, because I know when I first started out, I really wanted someone to help me in that way. But I don't think I have enough of a grasp of your book to rework your pitch. So instead, I'll make up my own, just to give you an idea.

Example: Graceful and gorgeous ice skater Nancy Kerrigan has it all, including an unknown enemy. When a hitman clubs Nancy in the knee on the eve of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, she'll have to find the courage to compete again, or lose the future she'd spent a lifetime investing in.

(I know I ended in a preposition, but a pitch is the spoken word, and I think this is more powerful than saying "in which she'd spent".)

All best to you.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 11:46:01 AM by CourtneyBuc » Logged

Continually cycling between unabashed enthusiasm and exhausted dejection.
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