Pitch-slapping: It’s awkward, but you can do it to yourself

DebE —  April 27, 2012 — 11 Comments

So, I played with my “pitch” a little today, and I was curious what people think. Half of it is still what the helpful Canaries worked out for me – for which I am most grateful – and while I like it, I’m still a little iffy on whether it is how the final pitch should read.

Anyway … if you’ve got an opinion, I’d love to read it:

Llew can heal herself, but it’s at the expense of whatever she’s touching and it’s proportional. When she dies, she comes back, but she is surrounded by death.

Leaping from the frying pan, she finds herself in the fire: travelling with a man carrying the one weapon in all the world that can kill her for good – a beautifully crafted knife.

The last of his warrior race, Jonas is surrounded by the ghosts of his loved ones. At his side, the knife that took their lives. His oath to keep it from claiming more souls is a heavy burden, made more so by his half-brother, the devious magician Braph, who is hunting for a new source of blood to fuel his power.

And Llew’s unexpected and unwanted presence may finally bring his resolve to breaking point.

Oh, yeah. I do realize I’ve used a cliché. At the moment, I’m happy with that, but I am pondering other options, too.

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DebE

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Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a nematophagus fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction. Mum of one human & four fur-babies.

11 responses to Pitch-slapping: It’s awkward, but you can do it to yourself

  1. 

    I like this new blurb a lot!–it brings out the main conflict of the story and the overall character motivation for Llew. Suddenly I see a whole lot more connections and some great potential for angst (me, I have a weakness for some angsty goodness in books 😀 )

    Here’s a possible mini-tweak: “Llew has a gift. Her body heals itself from any injury—but at a cost to anyone near her. When she dies, she comes back, but she is surrounded by death.

    She can see no way to stop her curse from hurting others…until she finds herself travelling with a man carrying the one weapon that might kill her for good.

    The last of his warrior race, Jonas is surrounded by the ghosts of his loved ones. At his side, the knife that took their lives. His oath to keep it from claiming more souls is a heavy burden, made more so by his half-brother, the devious magician Braph, who is hunting for a new source of blood to fuel his power.

    And Llew’s unexpected and unwanted presence may finally bring his resolve to breaking point.”

    I’m still not sure how I feel about “resolve” in this context. His resolve not to stab anyone? Sounds a little odd.

    • 

      Yay. I’m glad I got the angst across – I, too, have a love of angst (outside of real life, anyway!). Doubly pleased you like angst – I know where to send a review copy when the time comes!

      Yes, I think I still need to work on the section about Jonas. His resolve isn’t really to keep the knife from taking more souls, in general (he’s a soldier, after all), it is to keep the knife from taking souls that he cares about. And, so, if I were to say that he’s trying not to care about people because he feels like he’s just cursing them to death, then that last line makes perfect sense …

      • 

        Hell yeah I’d read that!

        The new pitch will also likely lead to a tweaking of Braph’s guest appearance. Hmmm….

        “Llew has a gift. Her body heals itself from any injury—but at a cost to anyone nearby. When she dies, she comes back surrounded by death.

        She can see no way to stop her power from hurting others…until she finds herself travelling with a man carrying the one weapon that might kill her for good.

        The last of his warrior race, Jonas is surrounded by the ghosts of his loved ones and pursued by his power-hungry half-brother, the devious magician Braph. A beautiful, cursed knife at his side, Jonas has learned the hard way that caring for others means their death.

        But Llew’s unexpected and unwanted presence may finally bring his resolve to a breaking point.”

        Still not quite meshing but I sense we might be getting closer!

        Yes, yes, I know: “Get your canary claws away from mah blurb, feathery fiend!” 😀

        • 

          Not at all. Concise and powerful blurb-writing is a skill quite different from novel-writing.
          Although, I do find the exercise useful now and then. Day-to-day scene writing is all good, but it pays to sit back and think about the overall picture on a regular basis, I think – which is why I do this sort of thing, particularly on days when my writing time has been compromised by other activities (darn paid work).
          Ooh, I like your “Hell yeah”. Must get this thing written.

          • 

            So true. Stepping back time to time is invaluable in the writing process (losing your way in the forest because of the trees, etc). At least a couple writers came away from previous pitch slapped articles on their blurbs saying, “Hmm, I might just have to take a hard look at the overall story.”

            Structural critique is the hardest for writers, often, because it can be the most overwhelming.The fix often involves large scale renovations and revisions.

          • 

            PS. LOVE THE PURPLE/PINK GRYPHON DESIGN

            • 

              (o: Thanks. Keep watching, I plan to finish my shirtless drawing of Jonas to show how the tattoo fits on him …

  2. 

    Go right to that second paragraph. You don’t even need to set up the knife. Interesting stuff. 😉

    • 

      Thanks for the comment. Blurb (or back-copy … or whatever you want to call it) writing is hard! So I love opinions. And, you’re a very likely right.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Still Alive | Deb E - May 8, 2012

    […] the purposes of potential “back-copy blurb” are each their own paragraph …), as assisted by The […]

  2. Today’s Procrastination | Deb E - June 11, 2012

    […] for the blurb – it uses bits of the back cover copy I played with a few months ago, but is added to, to approximate what an agent might look for: Llew has a gift. Her body heals […]

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