Pitch Headaches (Again)

Posted: September 16, 2013 in Writing
Tags: , , , ,

Magpie B

A few weeks ago I posted the latest version of my pitch.

“…I’m unravelling.  I’ve been doing it for quite a while now and steadily I can feel myself starting to vanish.”

Escaping the heat, dust and flies of Roxby Downs, sixteen-year-old Bekah moves to Adelaide, bringing with her a secret.  When she meets the level-headed Maton and mischievously-errant Wadey, she is captivated, drawn into their protective circle and the world of soccer.  Can she resist their charms, and, will she survive when tragedy strikes?

Magpie Game is a tale of growth, exploring the devastation of loss, betrayal and the liberation of forgiveness. 

 I’m still not happy and I’m still working at it.  At any rate, here is the latest version.  It is an entirely different approach.

Bekah hates being the new girl.  She hates the feeling of unravelling; of disappearing into the red dust while she swats at blowflies and swelters in forty-degree heat.  Yet, even more she hates choking on the secrets of her past.

Disappearing might be an option; except for Maton Hammond, tall and broad shouldered, he seems determined to gather every fragment, slowly piecing them together until she finally makes sense again.  Then there is Wadey, always eating, always whining.  But he knows how to makes her eyes dance, even if her stomach is twisting into tiny knots at the sound of his voice.

Can she trust either of them?

Finally, there is the magpie.  The magpie that hangs dead on the fence; and the one who warbles his lilting tune, because only he knows how the game will end and who will ultimately lose.

 I’d love to hear what you think.  Which one do you prefer?  The door is open for brutal honesty….or feel free to let me know if you can feel your credit card burning in the palm of your hand as it screams “I must have it.  I must know how it ends!”  Alternately complete the poll, selecting which version you prefer.

  1. rhchatlien says:

    I like the first one better. The second one is all description and no sense of plot. But I feel like the first one isn’t quite there. “She has a secret.” “When tragedy strikes.” These seem like catch phrases that are tossed around in a lot of pitches, and they don’t intrigue me that much. Can you me more specific without tipping your hand too much? For instance, is it a family secret she has to protect? A secret about something bad she did? A secret about something bad done to her?

    Just a thought. (FYI, I clicked over here from AW’s blog thread.)

    • twelden says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it. I wonder if I might somehow be able to take elements from both and create another version. I’ll keep at it (that was my intention anyhow). Thanks again for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

  2. Ruth Cooke says:

    The problem with the first pitch is that it seems to be aimed at adults, not your readers. The last sentence especially seems to be something that a critic or a teacher would write, and tells us nothing specific about the novel.

    Other than that, I agree with rhchatlien’s comments. Keep at it!

    • twelden says:

      I agree with you about the first pitch, that has always been the problem I have had with it. My poll results (though early) suggest that B has greater appeal with a younger audience (I advertised the poll specifically to the target age of the book). Either way the above comments and the poll combined have given me ideas as to where to go from here. Thanks.

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