Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pitch and First Paragragh

Cleaning up my pitch and first paragraph for CRIMSON (YA) aka REMAINDERS. I've recently decided to start the story during chapter two, so I just threw this first paragraph together and will be working on it throughout the weekend. All help welcome! Thanks!

Old Pitch:

A naive teenage girl becomes hostage by the evil-fighting Remainders who saved her and must figure out what they’re hiding, what they plan to do, and why she fits in.

New Pitch:

A naive teenage girl must figure out why the evil-fighting Remainders saved then kidnapped her, and why she fits in so well some of them want her dead.

First Paragraph:

The alley reeked of cheap alcohol and rotting fish, but it served as a stellar short cut. I checked my cell. Not even midnight. Perfect.

I rounded the dumpster at the back of the building, and stopped short. A guy with straggly hair towered over another that looked just as grimy. It only took the glimmer of the moon shining off his red-stained knuckles to make me turn in retreat. A holler echoed of the buildings to my sides. Was he calling to me? Didn’t matter. I quickened my pace. It matched my breathing. I heard footsteps behind me, but my nerves had wound too tight to turn. A hand grabbed my shoulder, black dirt formed lines under the fingernails. Crap. I never should have snuck out.

8 comments:

  1. Pitch:

    A naive teenage girl becomes hostage by the evil-fighting Remainders who saved her and must figure out what they’re hiding, what they plan to do, and why she fits in.

    My suggestion to clean this up a bit, though I like it:
    A naive teenage girl must figure out what the evil-fighting Remainders who saved and kidnapped her are hiding, what they plan to do, and why she fits in.

    First Paragraph:

    The alley reeked of cheap alcohol and rotting fish. I checked my cell. Not even midnight. Perfect.

    I rounded the dumpster near the back of the building, and stopped short. A guy with straggly hair towered over another that looked just a filthy. It only took the glimmer of the moon off the red on his knuckles to turn in retreat. I quickened my pace. It matched my breathing. I heard footsteps behind me, but my nerves were wound too tight to turn. A hand grabbed my shoulder, black dirt formed lines under the fingernails. Crap. I never should have snuck out.

    My suggestions:

    When the dirty hand grabbed my shoulder, I knew I never should have snuck out. Though I turned to retreat the minute I saw the filthy guys locked in battle, I wasn’t fast enough. The odor of alcohol and rotting fish assaulted my nose as my feet tried to carry me away from the dangerous alley. A holler echoed off the buildings around me. Was someone calling to me? Didn’t matter. It was too late.

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  2. I think that Kimmy's dead-on with the pitch, but I don't think all that much revision is needed on the first paragraph. I would just add the following: "It only took the glimmer of the moon off the red on his knuckles to (make me) turn in retreat." Gripping start! Great voice.

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  3. Made some changes. But I'm worried my pitch is not specific enough. Thoughts?

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  4. The pitch is great, and the first para shows just how naive she is. Walking into a dark alley at night... who'd do that? Someone naive of course. So you followed the promise of your pitch with the right action. Very well done.

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  5. Hi all- my reason for changing that first paragraph was to make the first sentence about sneaking out. That very much caught my attention and would make me want to read more. Just my opinion!

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  6. Hey Melinda - Your pitch has me wanting more, which is good. The only thing, is there a way to explain the Remainders without using their name? When I see Remainders I wonder who they are? Vampires? A bunch of adults? Ghosts? A bunch of run-away kids? Some homeless people? Is there a way to give us more to make them more appealing?

    Example:
    A naive teenage girl is held hostage by evil-fighting ghosts and now must figure out what they’re hiding, what they plan to do, and why she fits in.

    Oh, and I like the opening para!!! Good luck!!!

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  7. But saying snuck out at the opening slows the immediacy of the action. I vote for keeping it how it is. These are my suggestions for change:
    1. Lose the comma after building and before and stopped short.
    2.Change to "towered over another just as grimy."
    3.Omit "It only took" and go right to "The glimmer of the moon shining...made me..."
    4.Change "of" to "off the building."
    5. Omit "It matched my breathing" (slows the pace, ironically).
    6.Omit "formed lines."

    Just my two cents. Love the action!

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  8. Haha, isn't funny how you can read your own work and miss things like a stupid comma and a missing f?

    Thanks everyone!

    ReplyDelete

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