Sunday, January 15, 2012

Can You Hit a Perfect Pitch?

Coming up on the blog ...

Title:  My Protector: The Calling

Genre: YA post-apocalytpic

Word Count: 70,000 words

Pitch:  When Eri develops the calling—an internal link to the man-eating beasts plaguing the planet—she must learn to control it or gain skills to fight before ending up in the belly of a beast.

150 words:
Going to the river alone is forbidden.  Knowing this clear-cut rule of our people wasn’t enough to stop me from stepping off the gravel path and walking deep into the vacant field.  I no longer controlled my body.

Adrenaline thrummed inside me as I drifted closer.  White-hot anger burned in my belly, if it was even anger churning there.  I had never felt anger creep through my veins before.  Whatever this was, it pulled me toward the unknown.

I didn’t belong out there.  I knew better.  I should’ve run in the opposite direction, back to our village.  But I couldn’t turn away.  With each step into the darkness, the foreign emotion intensified, guiding me forward.  I surrendered to the aggression.  I had no choice. 

The warning bell struck, ringing through my insides.  My people had fled for safety into the closest shelter possible when it sounded the first time.

Not me.

Contest Description:

On January 15th post a two sentence pitch (no more than 35 words) along with the first 150 words (if it falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of that sentence) of your finished Young Adult or Middle Grade manuscript to your blogs.

To participate, sign up on the linky at  Brenda Drake Writes...Under the influence of coffee

Good luck!


  1. Great work, Hope:) My only suggestion would be to tell us why no one can go alone to the river - I get there's some kind of monster there, but I want to know why she feels danger before she shows us her reaction to it, just so I can feel it, too.

  2. I really loved your pitch! But I agree with Anne--if I hadn't read the pitch first, I would've been confused about why she was reacting the way she did. I'm not sure I want to wait to find out what's causing the danger.

  3. Sounds interesting. I'd pick it up! As far as the pitch itself goes, the way I read it, I would probably capitalize the Calling. It seems like a major thing that people would refer to with a "proper" name, know what I mean?

  4. I love the way this ended. I am very intrigued. Good luck in the contest.

  5. Hi Hope!
    I really loved the intensity of emotion in this! Great set up for trouble to come! Good job!

  6. Going through withdrawals again, Hope. I think you need to send me more chapters of this awesome story :)

  7. I definitely would keep reading to find out what the danger was. I agree with another comment that the pitch helped me understand a lot better.

  8. I realllly like this!!! I think the pitch itself could be stronger. I would *delete* "the calling" and the emdashes... and I would *add* necessary after skills. Hope that helps.

    1. I agree with these suggestions. I would definitely want to keep reading!

  9. Nice opening, Hope :) I think the pitch works well too, though I'd consider doing a little tinkering to the pitch to make it stronger. Something like:

    When Eri develops an internal link to the man-eating beasts plaguing the planet, she must learn how to control the Calling, fight the beasts, or she'll end up dead.

    Good luck!

  10. that sounds really interesting. I love it when a story opens up with an intense scene :) I wish my ms was complete so I could enter, but I'm just half way through. Good luck! I love writing contests. Fun, Fun.

  11. I really like this concept and voice. I think the pitch could be stronger. I don't know what it would change to, though. It doesn't sound urgent enough to me. I like that you're starting out with this event. Cheers!

  12. I love your intro. I know I read it in another contest but it still gets me excited every time. Great tension and it leaves me wanting more. The voice is also fantastic.

  13. Hi,

    I'm wondering if "calling" should be made Proper, as it seems to be a recurring event for people. At least to me. She develops "the calling," not "a calling." So, there's that. While most writers think a pitch has to be one sentence, I tend to disagree. I would expand this a bit more. If she harnesses the Calling, what happens? If she doesn't, she is eaten. Poor girl. That's a good way to end. I'm just curious what she's fighting for.

    Also, if you're looking for another blogfest, stop by my blog on February 13th. I'd love to have you.


    In My Write Mind

  14. Great pitch and logline!! Good luck!! :)

  15. Hi!

    Making the rounds and stopping by. I wanted to give you some feedback (hope that is okay!)

    I actually really liked the ending of the 150 words, it definitely has me intrigued to read more. But there were two sentences that kind of stood out to me:

    White-hot anger burned in my belly, if it was even anger churning there. I had never felt anger creep through my veins before.

    "Anger" is said three times here, but your MC says they've never felt the feeling before. Maybe if you changed it up. I would replace "it" to "that" in the first sentence to make it clearer that our MC is talking about the previously mentioned anger. It took me out, just for a second. I know how much I want mine to read perfectly :) So you can take it or leave it depending!

    Best of luck!

  16. WOW, I've read the beginning before but now that you add the pitch I totally want to know what happens even more!

  17. I love the pitch and the opening. I would definitively keep reading. The only thing that threw me off was that she wasn't in control of her body yet seemed very aware of it. I would explain why/how she isn't in control, although I am sure you do at some point just not the first 150 words.

  18. The word "village" struck a cord with me. Until then I didn't have a good feeling of the setting--now I do and that sounds very cool!

  19. Thanks everyone for your comments, insights, and support! Good luck to those of you entering the contest :)