Thursday, July 29

Help Needed

A week from tomorrow I will be attending the Willamette Writer's Conference. Yay! So why do I have a knot in my stomach? Will that be the procrastination bug acting up again? (Ignore the 'yes' chorus you hear in the background)

I'm going to pitch Bix. I have two consults lined up and hope to get one more. They're group consults which I prefer. I like the odds that there might be one less prepared person than moi.

I've spent a few moments trying to come up with a unrefusable pitch. The trouble I'm running into is making my book appealing in just a couple of sentences.

So, here a couple I've come up with and I'd like to hear opinions, good, bad, or disasterous, I'll take all comers.

A) Paintballing giants, pixie lesbians, assassin fathers, witsec, and the unblog. Common denominator? BIX. Welcome to his world. High School shouldn't be this funny.

B) BIX, short, smart, and a first class sarcass. Getting through high school shouldn't be this funny.

C) Boy moves to new town. Boy meets Cro-mag bully. Pixie lesbian rescues Boy. Boy falls for Amazon beauty. Beauty + Bully boyfriend = trouble for Boy.

D) When 16 yo Bix is transferred to a small town as part of the witness protection program, he's determined not to let his stature (or lack thereof) hinder his social life.
His whip quick quips initially win him friends but it will be his street smarts that aid in is investigation of the quirky town of Cypher, Indiana. When everything isn't as it seems, it will come down to Bix's intregerity as to the future of the town.

Okay, that's what I have for now. Like I said, I'd love any advice, critiques, or comments. I know that some of you have never read any of this, so tell me if based on any of these, if you'd like to. And why or why not. Begging for comments, let the conversation begin....


  1. Hi Margie.

    First of all - I am NOT published, am currently working on writing my VERY OWN FIRST pitch (my conference is mid-August) - so my experience is limited. So take what I say with a grain of salt.

    Just looking at the four pitches, the tone of the last is VERY VERY different from the first three. Since I haven't read the book, I can't say if it's right or wrong- but I believe I have been told your voice should come through in the pitch. So that in itself might be a factor for you.

    The first three sound more "fast-paced" to me. The last one rings more of a synopsis than the others.

    For now, I'm going to assume that your voice is more like the first three than the last one - just cuz there's more of them like that LOL. Of those three, I like (c) the least. Especially if you're going to be saying this pitch - I think that one would be hardest on the ears, if you know what I mean?

    It's hard for me to decide my favorite between a and b - though I think b might have a slight edge, just because it seems to flow better.

    Hope this was helpful!

  2. Hi Margie. I give a workshop on loglines and three line pitches so I'm going to give feedback like I would for that.

    The first three are confusing to me and I have no idea what the story is about. I think the fourth one is the best but it can be tightened.

    *His whip quick quips* was awkward to read in my head I can't imagine saying it out loud.

    For my class I advise keeping names out of it and using an adjective and a noun to describe the character. It gives me more information about the character.

    What is the investigation? What is his goal? What's standing in his way?

  3. Margie,
    I like A the best. It sounds the most like Bix, I think.

  4. I like a and d. Choice a got my attention and left me wanting to know more. Choice d was pretty much the whole story in a nutshell.

  5. ditto what D'Ann and Shawn said ... A is definitely Bix's voice, D tells the story... but then we've read the story so we know what the Bix-speak is about.

  6. I didn't understand what A or B meant-- and I think if you're reading it out loud, the listener won't either. Rather than being like, "Wha? Can you explain?" they'd probably just pass. To me, they sounded like paranormal/fantasy stuff I'd in no way understand.

    C is better, but I'd go for D because it's a pitch, rather than a blurb (which would be longer and you could really insert the character's voice). As a pitch, you really just want to lay out the premise for the pitchee.

    At least, that's my take.

  7. I like D, but you need to dump the "whip quick quips" because you'll never get it said. I'd also like to see you incorporate the line about HS being this much fun, because the 4th blurb doesn't really let you know how funny Bix is.

  8. I like a....mainly because what liz'll never be able to say whip quick quips!
    best of luck!

  9. Thanks everyone for you input, I'll probably play around with some others over the week and hopefully come up with one that'll work. Appreciate your comments.

  10. Hi Margie. I'm late to the table as usual --- my thought before reading all the other comments was, and is, that A sets the tone even if I don't get it, and D offers a better idea of the story-line. So can you combine them somehow? Keep your "funny" voice and interesting characters while letting the storyline shine through?

    Just a thought.


  11. Absolutely D, but if you have to, then A would be a second choice, but take out the reference to pixie lesbians. Without context, it isn't a funny enough hook. I prefer D because again, without context or explanation, using the Bix 'vocab' just doesn't work. And there's your official advice straight from the RWA conference!