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Author Topic: Pitch: Another Day  (Read 4522 times)
krisowens
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« on: May 04, 2017, 08:15:29 PM »

Exiled from her coven, her marriage destroyed, and her nursing job just beginning; twenty-something Maggie Barnard must rely on herself if she is to save her children from the evil machinations of her cruel sister. All while being drawn into the corrupting presence of Matthew Dobson, a sociopath with eyes for her.
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"That's terrible." "No, that is the toppest of qualities!"
yqwertz
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 01:53:49 AM »

Not sure what the "coven" is you mention in the first sentence. The word "coven" is most often used to mean a group of 13 witches, but I don't think that is what you mean here. The word "coven" can also be used to mean any group of people with similar interest. If you are not talking about witches then you need to say what binds the coven together.

Saying "twenty-something" implies you don't know Maggie's exact age, but you do, so just say it. Unless the way her marriage ended is important to the story, you can just say she is a "single mother", but if it is important then you should say how the marriage ended.

...save her children from the evil machinations of her cruel sister...

Instead of the phrase "evil machinations", tell us the main evil thing the sister is doing. And tell us what happens if Maggie can't stop her sister.

All while being drawn into the corrupting presence of Matthew Dobson, a sociopath with eyes for her.

How is Matthew corrupting Maggie? What does he want from her? What does she want from him? Why is she attracted to a sociopath?

At the moment it is not clear what is at stake in your story. What will happen if Maggie fails to stop her sister or falls in love wit Matthew? Which of the two problems is the main conflict? Is there a relation between the two conflicts?

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samcantcook
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2017, 09:32:51 AM »

Exiled from her 1. coven, her 2. marriage destroyed, and her nursing job just beginning;3. twenty-something Maggie Barnard must 4. rely on herself if she is to save her children from the 5. evil machinations of her cruel sister. All while 6. being drawn into the corrupting presence of Matthew Dobson, a sociopath with eyes for her.

I also think this pitch is suffering from being vague.

1. coven: yqwertz already defined the issue with this one. We don't know what coven is the context of this pitch, and we automatically think witch even though it's not clear if that's what you're going for.
2. marriage destroyed: I think this could benefit from added specificity.
3. twenty-something: Also agree with yqwertz that this should be the precise age.
4. rely on herself: Financially? Emotionally? It's sort of a vague statement that doesn't create stakes or paint a picture.
5. evil machinations of her cruel sister: Sounds good, but what are they? What is her sister doing that spurs our protagonist into action.
6. being drawn into the corrupting presence: Corrupting presence? It's a bit of a weak choice of words for a sociopath. Almost like he's just a bad influence. It doesn't set up stakes. Reconsider a different phrase to show the danger. What is the protagonist going to lose by associating herself with this guy?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 09:44:38 AM by samcantcook » Logged
Waterfall
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2017, 09:43:03 AM »

Maggie's certainly got an interesting life!  eek But there are some specific words you use that make me want to see behind them. (and I see that samcantcook got there just before I did, with the same issues...)

Exiled: for what? Fairly, or unjustly?

coven: as yqwertz said, I don't know if that's literal or figurative. If it's literal, then her magic should come into play some other way in this pitch as well. She's not helpless. And everybody relies on themselves: the question is what kinds of inner resources she has to draw upon.

destroyed: by what or whom?

cruel: why is her sister cruel? I don't think people are born that way, something makes them act cruelly. Is her sister cruel to everybody, or just her? If it's just her, then it's a relationship dynamic. If it's to everybody, then it's a personality disorder or a reaction to her own traumas.

save her children: from death? from being taken away? from being corrupted into being more like her sister?

drawn into: how? Is he her new boss in the nursing department? Where'd he come from? Why can't she just ignore him?

corrupting: he wants to make her into a sociopath too? he wants to bring her into his criminal enterprise?

I don't need a long discourse on any of these in the pitch, but they're the things that leave me outside the story. They're overinflated words that don't actually help us see anything.

What does Maggie want? We can see a bunch of things she doesn't want. What drives her? Probably the same things that drove her to be part of the coven in the first place. Probably the same things that led her to nursing. She's a person with some kinds of desires for her life; I'd like to see her strengths and not just her traumas.
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jcwrites
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2017, 09:54:09 AM »

You self-pubbed this novel on CreaateSpace in 2014.

Unless you can show sales of at least several thousand copies (that's sales, not give-aways), you'll have a tough time finding an agent willing to tackle a re-do.
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krisowens
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2017, 01:53:03 PM »

You self-pubbed this novel on CreaateSpace in 2014.

Unless you can show sales of at least several thousand copies (that's sales, not give-aways), you'll have a tough time finding an agent willing to tackle a re-do.

So give up and move on to another story, then?
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"That's terrible." "No, that is the toppest of qualities!"
jcwrites
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2017, 02:06:18 PM »

That would be my advice.

Good luck whatever you do.
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samcantcook
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2017, 02:55:12 PM »

You self-pubbed this novel on CreaateSpace in 2014.

Unless you can show sales of at least several thousand copies (that's sales, not give-aways), you'll have a tough time finding an agent willing to tackle a re-do.

So give up and move on to another story, then?


I don't think I would call it "giving up." Agents just aren't generally inclined to acquire books that have already been published, namely several years ago, because the idea is that they are acquiring the rights to sell your book to publishers to be, well...published.
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