Monday, July 23, 2012

Pitch Critiques 1 & 2

First off I'd like to thank everyone for their submissions. We're by no means experts on the subject but after seeing a good amount of these with our contests, helping fellow writers with their queries and pitches, and writing our own, we feel we can give some helpful advice.

Thank you Kelsey for allowing us to critique this! :)

Genre: Adult Literary Fiction

Title: The Looking-Glass House

Pitch: THE LOOKING-GLASS HOUSE takes place over a nine month period in 1964 in Cline, Texas.  The main character, a young woman training for the sisterhood in a Catholic home for unwed mothers, gets caught in a web of corruption while investigating the local disappearances of young black men.  The danger is heightened by her teaming up with the sheriff’s son, a young man whose infatuation with her turns to rage when he discovers her secret: a love affair with one of the pregnant teenage girls.

I chose this one for a reason. It sounds a bit more like the detailed synopsis. A pitch needs to be sharp and punchy. Depending upon the genre of your novel, say chic lit, it can be funny and punchy. If it's a horror then creepy and punchy.

Although I will say that last line definitely holds an edge of punch. But who is this main character? Give me some characteristic about this woman that would lead me to believe she'd have an affair with one of the pregnant teenage girls? Here are my questions. How important is it that she's investigating? How does she get involved in this? It sounds like she's training to be a nun, not many tend to be sleuths so what sets this woman a part?

Also the first sentence can be completely omitted. It takes up a precious sentence that could be used to give a reader insight into who this character truly is. So my main tidbit is show us WHO this woman is. Also, her name would be quite nice :)

Thank you again Kelsey & I hope this proves helpful.

Our next critique is for Noel Hoffman. Thank you for submitting your pitch! :)

When it came time for the Serendipity Neighborhood Association to address the old, decrepit sign that hung at the entrance to their woods, it really wasn't surprising that they couldn't get anyone to take it down.  Because the south always carries their superstitions deep and the residents of New Serendipity were no exception.  So, after many days of fierce deliberation, and in light of all the strange occurrences that had happened in their town over the years, the highly conservative, mostly Republican, uptight, stodgy members of the new Serendipity Neighborhood Association elected to keep the sign up…just in case. 

This feels literary in nature, which granted isn't a bad thing, but it shows me the one thing that deters me from picking up most literary fiction. I don't see the plot. Is the book truly about the removal of a sign? Do we follow any specific main characters? (I will admit that this is a definitely a unique approach, but sounds more like a piece of flash fiction in and of itself). 

These are only questions you can answer. What is the main conflict of your novel? Is it really the removal of the sign? Who will the reader be following or are there multiple main characters?

I will add that the last line "...the highly conservative, mostly Republican, uptight, stodgy members..." <--I think you can cut about two of those words etc used to describe these ppl. We get the idea.
Just as I mentioned in the above crit, give us a taste of who we as readers will be following.

I hope this helps and thank you again to those who submitted.

We will be critiquing more every day this week!



  1. Great stuff girls. Thank you.

  2. Thanks so much for the lesson in your critiques. Appreciate the tips.