#PitchMadness Twitter Pitch Workshop Post

Once upon a time, I wrote a post about perfecting your pitch for #TheWritersVoice pitch party. With a brand-new pitch party coming up for #PitchMadness this Thursday, the 13th, I thought it might be beneficial to give everyone a new space in which to workshop their pitches.

First of all, if you’re totally at a loss, go back and read the previous post I linked to – not because my advice is quite so awesome, but more because there are links to some great posts on the topic that are much more intelligent than mine.

If you think you’re ready to give it a whirl, post your pitch in the comments to solicit thoughts/critique from others. Reminder: Best etiquette is to give, not just take. If you want to get feedback on your pitch, it would be super-awesome if you would then also help out others with theirs.

Have at it, lovely peoples!

277 thoughts on “#PitchMadness Twitter Pitch Workshop Post

  1. For Lilly, life unfolds according to God’s Plan. But after befriending Parker, his insight into free will entices Lilly to rediscover who’s really in control of her life, and the risk of falling in love with him.

    1. Jennifer,

      I’ve been thinking on this one. It’s sooo hard to make suggestions off of so little. I feel like I need higher stakes. Feel free to throw some sentences around on here and I’ll say which jump out at me. 🙂 my main question is–what does she have to lose?

      1. Thank you, Amber.

        Writing this query in the first place has caused me so much trouble, so it makes sense that it’s lacking here too. So, as far as stakes, “although fascinating, Parker is abusing drugs in an attempt to escape a deadbeat mother and a Christian extremist father.” If Lilly can’t help Parker, she will lose him. Then, she realizes, you have to help yourself, and the strength to help yourself “can’t help but inspire others to live with purpose.”

        The main idea is that we, as people, have the power to chose our pathway — so make it a good one. 🙂

    2. I am guessing you are over the 140 character limit. I’m trying to think of how you can streamline it a bit. I’m not sure if this is correct to your book, I am taking a guess based on the pitch but maybe something like:

      God’s plan for Lily’s life doesn’t include falling in love with Parker, but giving in to free will might throw her off track.

      It’s not great, but might stir some thoughts to help you cut the character count to under 140. 🙂 Hope it helps a little.

        1. Hmm, maybe something like–

          Lilly tries to save Parker from his drug addictions. But when her faith unravels, she’ll be the one who needs saving…. Eeek–so bad! I don’t know 😦 this one’s hard.

        1. I love watching this rewrite in action. Is there a stronger word than “befriending” since in the first version, it states she falls in love with him. (“Falling for…?”) Intriguing story.

        2. When befriending drug abuser Parker, Lilly questions if free will shapes our lives, or if life unfolds according to fate. (?)

          I’ve been practicing on twitter using the hashtag. It’s helped in a different way.

    3. I think you have an interesting idea here, but it’s a bit long. Also, I don’t think I’m enticed enough to keep reading. The stakes don’t come across, for me personally, as very high. Now, that might just be me =). I’d see if you can up the stakes a bit and perhaps give us a bit more to go on. Why does God come into it for this character? And why does Parker seem important?

      1. Since the version you read was too long, I tried condensing it. What do you think of this version:

        Befriending drug abuser Parker causes Lilly to question if life unfolds according to fate, or if free will shapes our lives

        1. I think that’s better! Since you have room to fiddle with words, I think I’d add a little bit. Perhaps: “After befriending drug abuser…” or “After befriending a drug abuser, Lily begins to question…” something like that.

    1. Hi Meredith,

      I like this, but would rearrange.

      When Hooper finds a map and a jar of purple dust, he will have to ___ if he’s to save Peter Pan. (But I feel like I am a pitch idiot–so take my advice with a JAR of salt 🙂

      1. Thanks everyone! I’m not even sure if I can enter the pitch contest, since it’s a memoir.

        @Becca… Are there genre limitations on twitter? I know I couldn’t enter nonfic in the blog contest.

  2. Here’s an example of a twitter pitch. It’s my MG, which in on submission.

    MG – Two kids use a magical globe to transport around the world to find a missing father with evil men in an airship on their tails. #PitMad

    It’s just enough of a taste of the story.

    1. I might add “unobservant” before drunk driver, just to clarify that it was a drunk driver who hit him. At first, I wasn’t sure what the green light was referring to (silly of me, but true) and then wasn’t sure who hit who in the accident. Unobservant drunk driver, to me, tells me that the drunk driver hit Jimmy – leaving no room for “Did Jimmy somehow hit the drunk driver and is being sued somehow? TWIST?!”

      1. I hadn’t thought of that! When I popped it into the Twitter box to check, with the hashtag, I still have 40 characters left to fiddle with =), so I can play with it for sure.

  3. Pitchiquette question: Is it important to say MG or YA or whatever at the start of the pitch so the agents will know if it’s in their category? If not, here’s the latest version of mine.

    #PitMad Kidnap! I get my tough ex-pal to take me into the hills to rescue my dream girl. Mistake. He’s in on the plot and plans to kill me.

    So far I like Amber’s because of the tension it generates.

    1. I agree – I really like Amber’s too.

      Instead of “I,” maybe state the MC’s name. John (or whatever it is) recruits his tough ex-pal… I might even rephrase with “Mikstake; he’s in on the plot to kill me.”

      Good luck!

    1. Yes. Revised slightly based on your comment.

      #PitMad Freed from prison to fight terrorists, Naomi must ally herself with a boy torn between his loyalties to her and his street gang.

      1. Hi Jennifer,
        Thanks for your feedback. Yes, exactly: one wants to use him to set herself free from her immortality, the other wants to use him to save the earth from widespread destruction. Am trying to figure out how to get that into the remaining 9 words. (!)

  4. Hi – sorry if I sound dumb but I’m new to twitter and I just came across this site. I kinda get what its all about but could somebody explain what I need to do to have a go? and any rules?

    1. Hello, Netta. If you have a completed fiction novel you would like to pitch to agents participating in Pitch Madness, you can write a pitch of 150 characters (hashtag #Pitmad included) and pitch it Sept13th on Twitter. Do you know how to follow hashtags?

          1. Oh thank you so much for that. I’ll check it out – now I’ll need a bit of help with my pitch haha.

            Amanda was abused as a child by a pedophile ring. Her abusers begin turning up murdered and the finger points to her. Then she’s diagnosed with a Multiple personality disorder. She now doubts herself.

            Amanda’s childhood abusers are murdered and the finger points to her. After a diagnosis from her shrink she begins to doubt herself.#pitmad

          2. Netta–I don’t see a reply spot for your comment. But i think “Amanda’s childhood abusers are murdered and the finger points to her.” Is really good AND short. Why can’t i see shortness in my own?? 😦

    2. Karen, it is usually easier to critique other’s work instead of your own since you’re not as connected with the work. And I like your version!

      I also tried this:

      Amanda’s childhood abusers are murdered and the blame’s on her. With multiple personality disorder, she can’t remember if it’s true #pidmad

    1. I think this is too vague. What new occupants? And “key to her return” confused me. Is she moving out or just gone for the weekend? And since you start with “grandma” I thought the story was about her. Throw another one out there. What are the stakes?

      1. Thanks!
        Abegale discovers the medicine book grandma left before disappearing in the Andes, and maybe a way to bring her back, if Abegale can enlist the help of an “old friend” of grandma’s she doesn’t trust.

        (Aghh–so tough and too long for #pitmad Workshop me!)

        1. You just need enough to set the stakes. How about–

          Abegale discovers the medicine book grandma left behind before disappearing in the Andes. It may be a way to bring her back, but she’ll need the help of a shady friend. (How many is that?) You can always stope at “it may be a way to bring her back.”

          1. Here’s my original tagline–How in the world can i cut this short?

            Abegale’s turning thirteen, and life has become as foreboding as the number itself, filled with may-not-be-human landladies, a missing grandmother who could be right under her nose, and a horrifying discovery at an abandoned cottage.

          2. Oooo I love the new version. Here’s what I came up with just to shorten it.

            Abegale’s thirteenth year is filled with may-not-be-human landladies and a missing grandmother who could be right under her nose.

            Still leaves room for hashtag and seems just perfect for MG!! Good luck!

          3. THANK YOU so much Amber! I have this tagline up on another contest, wasn’t sure which angle to take–you certainly helped me select this one. Many thanks. Now, I can focus. I’m going to tweet the heck out of this pitch workshop. LOVE you guys!

      1. Hate to do this. But I’m back on workshop- There is only one landlady-so my #pitch is incorrect. Here’s the newest:

        Almost thirteen Abegale confronts a may-not-be-human landlady and discovers her missing grandmother could be right under her nose.#pitmad

        I don’t really like the “almost thirteen” but i want to get across she’s having a BD real soon and number 13 works into the MS. Should i even put the age into the #pitmad tweet. I could just type MG?? THANKS YOU Gals!!!

        1. I’m sticking to Amber’s suggestion with a slight tweek:

          “Abegale’s thirteenth year introduces a creepy may-not-be-human landlady and a missing grandmother who could be right under her nose.#pitmad ” (0 characters left)
          Thank you everyone who helped. And Best Luck on twitter tomorrow!

        1. Amber, good points. BFF doesn’t know she is adopted, so she really isn’t telling on her. Would you tell your best friend she was adopted if she didn’t know?

          Let me think some more …. THANK YOU!!!

        1. This one! To say “famous adoption story” makes me thinks the story is famous–not the people. So saying “adoption story involving famous___” works better IMO 🙂 best of luck!

          1. Amber, I love your humble opinion. You are sweet! Thank you.

            Teen wants to pull the plug on adoption secrecy involving a famous designer, but a corrupt attorney threatens her with juvie. #pitmad

        1. @Robbin

          I love the new version, my only question is– why does it matter so much to her to tell about the adoption. Which is why I think you should mention the adoption involves her friend. This way we understand her friend might be the daughter of someone famous, but she can’t tell.

          Maybe try–

          Taylor knows a secret involving her BFFs adoption and a famous designer, but a currupt attorney threatens her with juvie if she spills. (How many characters is that? I think it might be too many. Ack)

          Oh and, def. mention Taylor’s name–I so thought her name was Teen or I would have mentioned that 🙂 haha

          1. Oh, I got it!!

            Taylor knows a secret about her BFF’s adoption. But a corrupt attorney threatens her with juvie if she spills about the famous mother#Pitmad

  5. THANK you for doing this. I need serious help. This is what I have:

    PNR #PItMad Tracking down a rogue Were, Mona discovers the lies of omission her boss committed about her job. A big-deal-lifetime-omission.

    1. Try number two. 🙂 (don’t worry I have very thick skin) Think this is too flat though.
      PNR #pitmad Tracking down a rogue Were, Mona accidentally discovers the lifetime-commitment part of Warding Folk her boss kept secret.

      1. #pitmad Tracking down a rogue Were, Mona discovers the lifetime-commitment (stronger word that “part” maybe “corruption” or something) of Warding Folk her boss keeps secret.

        Should I know what a Were is, or Warding Folk?

        1. 🙂 Argh, I need to stay away from my terminology, I know that. The thing is the bad guy is related to her boss, from family he’s kept secret from her. And, everyone, but her – she grew up outside the community – knows part of the job of Warder is guarding someone (in this case her boss is guarding/jail keeper for his family). She’s not been told and when she finds out the two things it’s a big deal.

          This is all last third of the book though, and I’m thinking I should be focusing on the first third, the evil doer who is capturing those with shifter blood and forcing them to shift or die trying.

          Thanks so much I’m just too close to this. Let me tweak this again and see if it makes more sense.

          1. Oh! How does this sound? (do I need the PNR? If I don’t it’s exactly 140!)

            PNR #pitmad Mona wants to help shifters stay hidden, but she didn’t know she’d be jailor for life. Is her freedom worth more than others safety?

          2. The version below here is the best yet. And I would definitely focus on the beginning of the story, the inciting incident that starts the ball rolling. And I don’t think you need the PNR. I didn’t put a genre in my pitch. 😀

            This one is good! 🙂

            #pitmad Mona wants to help shifters stay hidden, but she didn’t know she’d be jailor for life. Is her freedom worth more than others safety?

  6. I’m confused. Is it: Tracking down a rogue Were, Mona discovers the lies her boss committed about her job (think we need something specific here). A big-deal-lifetime-omission. (and definitely need to know what this was.) Good luck. It’s difficult I know.

  7. I would like to post my revision here for new commenters. Please let me know what you think! 🙂

    #pitmad After falling for a drug abuser, Lilly questions if life unfolds according to fate, or if free will shapes our lives.

    1. My first question – is Lilly a good girl? She is a former user? Why is she questioning fate? Need bigger picture. Sounds like good girl falls for bad boy. Fate or doomed? Not sure I’m getting the free-will part. Yes, her choices shape her future/life. What point are you trying to make? She was meant to fall in love with a drug abuser? Need more info 🙂

      1. Lilly is a good, Christian girl who believes life is dictated by God’s Will. Parker is a realist and drug abuser who makes her believe more in free will than in fate. The point is that humans make their own life, whereas before, she would have believed she was meant to fall in love with him.

        1. Lilly, hang in there with me – don’t get mad at all my questions. If Lilly believes in God – then she does believe in free will, right? God gives us free will. So are you saying Parker deepens her relationship with God? I’m confused. Parker is living his life in sin, right? Without God, humans live their lives free to do whatever they want. How is Parking changing Lilly’s relationship with God? I’m not sure I’m following. What is making Lilly change? What is Lilly’s goal? Trying to help!

          1. No worries. 🙂

            Lilly believes that God preordains everything that is to happen. So, there might be free will, but she amounts it to “God intended this to happen.” Parker convinces her that God DOES NOT have a plan for anyone, and thus Lilly realizes that her choices are her own. From there, she takes on the responsibility of creating a good life through her own will, and tries to get Parker to do the same (since he’s abusing drugs).

            This might not be “true” to a believer, but this is the plot of my novel.

          2. #pitmad After falling for a drug abuser, 16 y/o Lilly realizes that free will shapes our lives, and seeks to help Parker live with purpose.

            Three kids trade a corndog (FLAVOR) for a spaceship, blast off into space (OPENING CONFLICT), accidentally break the universe (OBSTACLE), and have to find their way back home (QUEST)

            Might look something like this:

            #pitmad Lilly’s sure of God’s plan until she falls for a drug abuser. Her view of free will changed, she strives to create a purposeful life

      1. Jennifer,

        I had no idea your logline was YA. I think for logline purposes you can say: 16-yr. old Lilly.

        Try to plug this formula into your logline. What is Lilly’s CONFLICT? What is her OBSTACLE? What is her GOAL/QUEST?

        When x happens, (main character) must do y in order to z.

        Three kids trade a corndog (FLAVOR) for a spaceship, blast off into space (OPENING CONFLICT), accidentally break the universe (OBSTACLE), and have to find their way back home (QUEST)

      1. I like it, but you may want to clarify how much of an obstacle paradigm shift this is for her. (you’ll need to double check the character count.)

        #pitmad Lilly’s sure of God’s Plan until falling for a drug abuser. Now believing in free will, she wonders her purpose in life.

      2. Jennifer,

        Sorry – late night meeting.

        Lilly abandon’s her faith to follow her heart, a choice she must live with forever. Until she dies.

        Glad others are helping. This is deep with lots of different view points. Only you know what your story is about. I’m still confused about the ending. What about eternity? What does Lilly believe? You are making progress 🙂

        1. No worries. The newest version is:

          #PitMad Lilly’s sure of God’s Plan until falling for a drug abuser. Now she strives to create a purposeful life in order to inspire his.

          Eternity is uncertain. The only certain thing (perhaps) is that we have the power to heal or to destroy, and we must choose how we leave our mark on this world.

  8. Thalia knows the real target of a serial killer, but revealing his mission will expose her true identity as the world’s last dragon. #pitmad

    Man, that’s hard, but that’s exactly 140 characters.

      1. Hmm. how about this:

        Thalia knows the real target of a serial killer, but stopping him will reveal her true identity: the world’s last dragon. AdultUF #pitmad

        1. Maybe add a bit more tension and consolidate what you have so you can add more of the stakes?
          Stopping a serial killer would reveal Thalia’s identity as the world’s last dragon. …………..add stake here, I think.

  9. Thank you for the opportunity to sort these out! Here’s mine:

    16yo Yessica threw herself into the Grand Canyon. Bianca was supposed to jump too. Now she’s afraid someone might find out. #PitMad

    1. So Bianca is the main character? I assume she feels guilty because her friend is now dead? Sorry if this sounds silly, but it is such a hard thing to judge an entire novel from 140 characters!

      If Bianca is the MC, I wouldn’t mention Yessica first. Maybe:

      16yo Bianca was supposed to follow her best friend off the edge of the Grand Canyon. Now she’s afraid someone might find out. #PitMad

      You still have some letters left over…

        1. If that’s the case, in the twit pitch I’d think about naming the one who is the main character in your first chapter. So if you do get a request the name is already in the agent’s mind. 🙂 Just an idea to help narrow down the choice.

        1. Okay, in the first pitch, yes, I assumed whoever threw themselves over the cliff died. But when asked about the main character you said:

          They’re both main characters, since it is a dual perspective book.

          Which made me think one survived. Right now it’s VERY confusing with your both saying one died and both are main characters.

          Which makes me wonder…Is this jumping at the start of the novel? At the end? From the pitch, I’d expect it’s an event at the start of the book OR immediately before the start. If it’s NOT then you need to rethink this pitch, IMO and focus on events leading up to it, rather than the jump. Do you have a longer query/blurb you can share to help us understand what is going on?

  10. Here’s my latest draft with the hashtag and genre. (If a memoir repping agent happens to stop by)

    YA memoir- Amber’s mission is to make sure she’s the last victim in a string of rapes. If the system can’t ensure this, a gun will. #PitMad

      1. How about

        15yo Amber will stop at nothing to make sure she’s the last victim in a string of rapes. If the system can’t ensure that, a gun will.#PitMad

        It just seems so weird to pitch without genre.

          1. Brenda tweeted that it depends on which agents play… But how does it work? Do the agents tweet what genres they rep? I need to find an old twitter pitch and research 🙂

    1. I think this needs something… hopefully someone else will chime in but how about:

      #pitmad Lilly’s sure God’s planned everything; until she falls for a drug addict. But in embracing free will, her purpose in life is unclear

      ack,think that’s a move backwards.

        1. Ahhhh, I understand more now.

          What about:

          Lilly’s sure of God’s Plan until falling for a drug abuser. Now she strives to create a purposeful life, and [something] his.

          That way it shoes her actions are meant to influence not just her own life, but his as well?

    2. #PitMad Lilly’s sure of God’s Plan until falling for a drug abuser. Determined to make her own path, she finds a new purpose in helping him.

      Still think you need more tension/indicate how hard it was for her to change her world view. There’s not enough tension, I don’t think. JMO

        1. I know!!!! Here’s a possible start, but I cant for the life of me think of a strong ending.

          #pitmad Lilly falls for a drug abuser only to have her belief in God’s role in the world shattered.

    1. Thanks, missed I had jailer wrong! Here’s it tweaked (again!):

      #pitmad Mona wants to help shifters stay hidden, but being jailer for life wasn’t part of the plan. Is her freedom worth more than their safety?

          1. She’s jailer not jailed. Think I need to change the word (being) and the question. Hmmm, just a sec.

            #pitmad Mona is committed to keeping mortals safe by hiding shifters & magic. But the role of jailer-for-life wasn’t in the job description.

  11. #1 Taylor knows a secret about her BFF’s adoption. But a corrupt attorney threatens her with juvie if she spills the famous mother. #pitmad

    #2 Taylor discovers adoption papers proving her BFF’s famous identity. But a corrupt attorney threatens her with juvie if she talks. #pitmad

    Which one do you like better? THANK YOU!!!

  12. (Think i added this to wrong spot -so here goes again) Hate to do this. But I’m back on workshop- There is only one landlady-so my #pitch is incorrect. Here’s the newest:

    Almost thirteen Abegale confronts a may-not-be-human landlady and discovers her missing grandmother could be right under her nose.#pitmad

    I don’t really like the “almost thirteen” but i want to get across she’s having a BD real soon and number 13 works into the MS. Should i even put the age into the #pitmad tweet. I could just type MG?? THANKS YOU Gals!!!

    1. Karen,

      I wouldn’t add almost thirteen – it doesn’t add anything to your logline (no pun intended).

      Why would a kid confront a landlady? Kids usually don’t confront adults. The may-not-be-human landlady is wasting a lot of characters, and I’m not sure gives me enough information. May not be? Let’s get to the point.

      Is Abegale without a family? Is she living in this cottage alone? Her goal is to find her grandmother, right? What is getting in her way – the mysterious landlady? What happens if she finds her grandmother? What happens if she doesn’t find her?

      I’ll check back later. You have some intrigue, but not enough conflict to make me sit up straight. Make sense. Tell me more about this mysterious landlady? Is she a ghost? I hope you don’t mind all my questions – trying to help 🙂

      1. Thanks! I will be right back. This is the one that got approval yesterday:

        “Abegale’s thirteenth year is filled with may-not-be-human landladies and a missing grandmother who could be right under her nose.”

        But i LIED! There is only ONE landlady. I basically want to say the same thing, but with one landlady, I don’t feel that the words “filled with” are appropriate.(?)
        I’m back at the drawing board–I’m so bad–suppose to work on my Query. Thanks you wonderful word wizards!

          1. Karen,

            To save characters you could start:

            MG. When x happens to Abegale, she must do y in order to z.

            What is Abegale’s CONFLICT? What is her OBSTACLE? What is her GOAL?

            Above you are telling me Abegale is 13 years old. She begins with a may-not-be-human landlady – What does that mean? Her grandmother is missing, and could be right under her nose – so where’s the conflict?

            Try to answer the questions and write everything into a longer logline, then you can condense. Hope I’m helping you and not making you crazy 🙂

  13. Okay, okay–not crazy, yet.
    “Abegale’s grandmother disappeared in the Andes three years ago, now a strange old woman tells her grandma’s been nearby all along. #pitmad ” Closer? I have two characters left. Thanks Robbin!

    1. Karen,

      Closer, but we need more…

      Abegale’s grandma’s lost in the Andes. When a strange old woman knows her whereabouts . . .

      What’s the big deal? Abegale’s grandma is lost in the Andes (3 yrs. – not sure that matters for the logline). A strange old woman knows her whereabouts. Now What? What’s going to make me want to read more? Next, you say she’s been close to home all along? Then, why do I need to read? Sorry. We need a bigger cliffhanger for the ending. Something at stake for Abegale. What happens to Abegale?

      1. OMG–This is So Hard. My brain is twisted. Thanks ladies–i should have stuck with Amber’s suggestion above, but since there is only one landlady–it’s not accurate. Maybe I’ll write in another landlady, so i don’t have to change the pitch/ haha…hm?

        1. THANKS EVERYONE HERE for all the help. Though i wound up using a pitch that occurred to me as the #pitmad feed was live–I got a request from an Agent!!! Yipee! here’s the pitch i went with:

          “Abegale finds grandmother’s medicine book, but can she use it to bring her home before she’s trapped for eternity on the solstice?#pitmad MG”

          This was GREAT, absolutely wonderful. Good luck. I enjoyed everyone’s pitches here. 😀

    1. Jennifer, I think the point we’re trying to make is: a lot of people walk away from God and live a good honest life. You need to raise the stakes. Walking away from God to follow a bad boy is not enough. Girls do that all the time.

      I like your opening:

      Lily’s sure of God’s Plan until falling for a drug abuser. Changing him is not an option, but leaving him will kill her.

      Something like that?

    2. What about: PitMad Lilly’s sure of God’s Plan until falling for a drug abuser leads her to inspire his. (? It’s yours, just cut a little )

      1. What genre is this? Maybe juggling three boys instead of caught red-handed with three boyfriends, which could also mean minajatwa/threesome. How does Dena prove she’s a good girl? What does that even mean? She cuts out carbs? Who is she needing forgiveness from? Why? Cheating on all three guys, but when she falls hard for another (is the one she loves one of the three guys? Or did she find someone new?) There’s some good stuff here, but not clear. Tell us more and then we can cut back. I like!

        1. Robbin, this is YA Romance. I want that somewhere in the pitch so it’s understood that she’s totally over her head. That she’s just a girl who didn’t know what to do with all of the attention.

          Juggling might be a better word! Will think on it and post below. 🙂

    1. You need to avoid cliches like “good girl’ (also ‘red-handed). What exact are the stakes? why is having three boyfriends bad? Who is she proving this to? Also what genre is this? Because being caught red-handed in a teen tends to mean something very different than the menage it implies if it’s adult (erotic).

      #PitMad Juggling 3 boyfriends was hard enough, but when Dena’s discovered, she must show her steadfastness or loose the one she loves . (this is too long but is that closer?)

  14. Got rid of the question. How is this looking?
    #pitmad Mona is committed to keeping mortals safe by hiding shifters & magic. But the role of jailer-for-life wasn’t in the job description.

    1. I’m still not getting the goal. Mona hides shifters and magic. I don’t understand the role of jailer-for-life? How does she fall into that role? How does she get out? What is the outcome? She hides these people and then get’s thrown in jail, right? So now what? The first half is fine, but we’re missing the goal. What is she hiding them from? What is the conflict? Do you see where I’m coming from?

      1. Hmm, not sure why jailer-for life keeps getting inferred as her being in jail, Robbin. A Jailer is someone who watches over people in jail.

        But even though it’s clear to me, if it’s confusing to everyone else I need to change it up. And add more conflict too… (thank you, this is very helpful!!!)

        #pitmad PNR Told that her job is to confine & guard a shifter for life, Mona faces loosing her freedom & her mate unless she can change the rules

      1. Of all the versions, I like this one the best:

        #pitmad PNR Told that her job is to confine & guard a shifter for life, Mona faces loosing her freedom & her mate unless she can change the rules.

        It’s a little bit of a tongue twister to start with “Told that her job” but all of the parts of the pitch are here!

  15. Hey guys. Some excellent pitches here!!! Just a tip: Make sure you have variations of your pitch for the contest. Twitter won’t let you tweet the same exact thing more than once. You can move #PitchMad to the beginning or end. Change a word or order, but be prepared. I learned this the hard way ;o)

    GOOD LUCK to all of you!!

      1. Dang! Thanks for the heads up, I’d totally forgotten about that, it’s been a bit since I’ve done a twitter pitch party.

        From what I’ve seen, many of the agents do go back a look at old tweets, but given the likely quantity of tweets going out under the #pitmad hashtag, you’ll want to make sure you have a current tweet up when an agent whose attention you want is there.

        For instance brenda may tweet ‘so-and-so is looking over tweets right now at #pitmad’ so, if that’s someone you think would like your work – you tweet. Or the agent them self may say ‘i’m over at #pitmad…..” One thing you *don’t* want to do is tweet yours all the time – don’t schedule it to automatically go out every twenty minutes or ten or even give into the temptation to send it _right again_ because you just saw an agent is online NOW who you were sure would love your piece! It’s a fine line between promoting yourself so you get noticed and stridently hawking your wares in an off putting manner.

        If you can set up a stream on twitter (or tweetdeck or hootsuite) and follow the hashtag, that’s the best way to see what agents are out there and keep up on what is going on.

        And yes, you’ll need to swtich things up in your tweet since you can’t tweet the same thing over and over – moving #pitmad from the start to the end gives you two options. If you have a category like MG or YA in your tweet that’s helpful since you can move that around too giving you a lot more options.

        If it’s not too late you can leave two extra spaces (i.e. make it so the entire thing, including #pitmad is 138 characters) so you can put a symbol (&, *, %,) space then your tweet to help create a ‘new’ tweet each time:

        ! #Pitmad YOUR TWEET
        * #Pitmad YOUR TWEET

        I’ll probably end up using my question one to simply change things up.

        Good luck! I’m off to find two spaces in mine to try to work with. Sigh.

          1. Good point. How about: #1—After assassin Lucy Hamilton was murdered by her lover, she welcomed Death. What she didn’t expect was to become one. #pitmad
            #2—Assassin Lucy Hamilton died young and was recruited to be Death. Now instead of taking lives, she’s taking souls. #pitmad

      1. Almost there.

        After assassin Lucy was killed by her lover, she became a reaper. But even in death, she can’t escape him. [Now what happens if she can’t escape him? What happens if she can? What happens to Lucy?] You are already telling us he became one too, since she can’t escape him. Make sense? This is really good!

      2. Can you add more tension/conflict in the second sentence?

        ?? This is too long/awkward but gives an example of tension/conflict: After assassin Lucy was killed by her lover, she became a reaper. When he becomes one too Lucy can’t escape him so she plots her revenge. #pitmad

      3. The problem is the dang character limit on twitter. But yes, she can’t escape him because he has become a reaper too. So if that’s what you’re getting from it, I got my message across. @Ellie – she doesn’t plot revenge of any sort. If anything, he tries to gain her forgiveness

        1. When x happens, (Lucy) must do y in order to z

          After assassin Lucy was killed by her lover, she became a reaper. But even in death, she can’t escape him.

          What must Lucy do in order to escape him? What is her quest? We have conflict. We have obstacle. We don’t have quest.

        1. I really loved Ellie’s opening…

          Assassin Lucy becomes a Reaper after her lover killed her. But when he follows her, she must chose to forgive him or not. #pitmad

          Assassin Lucy becomes a Reaper after her lover killed her. But when he becomes one too, she must chose to forgive him or not. #pitmad

      4. It was just a guess/suggestion to add tension.

        this work for you? Assassin Lucy became a Reaper after her lover killed her. He becomes one too & asks her to forgive the unforgivable. #pitmad

    1. Robbin- I love yours too! lol I can’t choose which one to go with!

      #1 Assassin Lucy became Death after her lover killed her. But when he becomes one too, she must choose to forgive him or not. #pitmad

      #2 Assassin Lucy became Death after her lover killed her. As luck would have it, he becomes one too. Can she forgive the unforgivable? #pitmad

      1. Ellie is right to avoid questions, and I agree that a question fits so well in your logline. I like #2 – although what happened to Reaper? I like that better. Death is what happens to normal people, right?

        Maybe:

        Assassin Lucy becomes a Reaper after her lover killed her. As luck would have it, he dies too. Can she forgive the unforgivable? #pitmad

        1. Well since the book is called Death’s List, really reaper and death are interchangeable as far as names go. Reaper, Grim Reaper, Death (using a capital for ‘d’ should make it clear it’s a title and not an action) So I think I’ll go with #2 – Assassin Lucy became Death after her lover killed her. As luck would have it, he becomes one too. Can she forgive the unforgivable? #pitmad

          (If I put ‘a Reaper,’ I run out of character space)

  16. Here’s my shiny new:

    Abegale learns her missing grandmother is not dead, and she’s the only one who can bring her back, if she finds gram’s medicine book.#pitmad MG

    ?? dunno-it all starts to look the same to me. Thanks Ladies.

      1. Last try for today (i think) I’m skinning this baby, here goes

        “Abegale learns she’s the only one who can bring her dead grandmother home, if she finds and uses gram’s medicine book in time.#pitmad

        (7 charact. left)

        1. Abegale is the only one who can bring her dead grandmother home, if she finds gram’s medicine book before (BEFORE WHAT HAPPENS? Grandma’s already dead, right?)

          So close – REALLY!!!! I don’t think you need the learns… get right to the meat.

          1. I put my original and now buffed version up above in the thread where Amber was critiquing. THANKs so much gals for taking the time to help. Good Luck with all your pitches and maybe see them tomorrow on twitter for #pitmad Yay!

    1. Love the start, the twist, but I think ‘the villain’ is too unclear – the villain, there’s only one? It’s not A villain? their villain? Oh, I’d change it to ‘their’ villain. With the reincarnation already there, I think that sounds better.

    1. I’m on the east coast, so it’s more reasonable, but I’ve still got coffee by my side. Already screwed up my first post, pasted the pitch where I hadn’t corrected “loosing” to “losing” yet. Ack.

        1. Today’s probably not the day to experiment, but I use another program – Hootsuite (although I’ve heard Tweetdeck is better) – and I don’t get those retweet warnings. You do have to worry about getting your account marked as spam if you send out a lot of the same tweets, so anything you can do to switch it up is good.

  17. THANKS EVERYONE HERE for all the help. Though i wound up using a pitch that occurred to me as the #pitmad feed was live–I got a request from an Agent!!! Yipee! here’s the pitch i went with:

    “Abegale finds grandmother’s medicine book, but can she use it to bring her home before she’s trapped for eternity on the solstice?#pitmad MG”

    This was GREAT, absolutely wonderful. Good luck. I enjoyed everyone’s pitches here. XX

  18. You’re amazing. Even though I’m once again late to the party, I’ve been trolling the hashtag this morning and keep being astounded by how many typos and super easy fixes I’m seeing. Work shopping your pitch is CRUCIAL, y’all.

    Keep up the good work, Becks!

    And for anyone else who’d like a second opinion on their pitch, feel free to DM me at @Veronikaboom. Condensing words is somewhat of a specialty.

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