Pitch Help Please

January 23rd is the day. Yep. That’s the first day you can submit manuscripts for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I entered last year and didn’t make it past the first round, but that’s not going to stop me from entering again this year.

However, I thought a little feedback from you might be helpful. Here’s what I need to have prepared in order to submit:

(1) the complete version of your manuscript (“Manuscript“); check (almost finished with the seek and destroy mission for the word “felt”)
(2) up to the first 5,000 words, but not less than 3,000 words, of your Manuscript, excluding any table of contents, foreword, and acknowledgments (“Excerpt“); check
(3) a pitch of your Manuscript consisting of up to 300 words (“Pitch“); and
(4) the personal information required on the entry form.

I’ve been working on my Pitch. Do you mind reading it and offering up your thoughts. Be tough because this is the only thing the judges look at to move you to round two.

  1. Does it pique your interest? 
  2. Should I drop the first paragraph and/or the last paragraph?
  3. Do I need to give more or less information?

I can use up to 300 words and this is currently only 237 so there is wiggle room.

The planet Sendek has a rich magical heritage. Unfortunately, the people forgot it when they embraced scientific thought. After thousands of years, they no longer believe in dragons, mages, or the two-legged hybrid they created. These Draguman are returning from exile stronger than ever with only one thought on their minds. Wipe out the humans on Sendek and claim it for their own.

Talia Shannon has kept her dreams of invasion a secret, but she knows they will soon come true. Caught between her job at the Space Exploration Foundation and her magical nature, she struggles to warn her people without revealing her source of information. This task leaves no time for personal relationships, but Landry Sutton isn’t looking for a friend.

As nephew to the King, Landry protects his family from a radical group determined to depose the monarchy. He thinks Talia works for them until a touch sizzles between them, and they discover they can communicate telepathically. It turns out Landry has magical secrets of his own.

As a direct descendant of the mage who created the Draguman, Talia is the key to their destruction—if she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins.

The arrival of the invading force makes one thing desperately clear—science cannot save them, and magic is now their only hope.

SENDEK: THE MAGIC WAKES is the stand alone first novel in the science fantasy SENDEK SAGA.

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About charitybradford

Science fiction and fantasy writer and blogger. My first novel is now available--The Magic Wakes (WiDo Publishing, 2013)

Posted on January 13, 2012, in Amazon Breakthrough Novel, Contests, Critiques, Help, Personal Journaling, Pitch, World of Sendek. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I know nothing about pitches, since I've never written one, but I'm intrigued by the story and inticed to read it. I hope that's a good sign.

  2. Matthew at the QQQE would know more about pitches than I. This one might need just a little tightening.

  3. I'm no expert on pitches.That being said, I think you're trying to do too much. Your pitch starts off with world-building. So are you trying to sell your world? Then it moves on to Talia which is who the story is about, right? So why not lead with Talia and unveil your world-building through Talia's eyes?This line… "As a direct descendant of the mage who created the Draguman, Talia is the key to their destruction—if she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins," should be the one you start this pitch with in my opinion. It's powerful and tells us right away what's going on.

  4. I was thinking the same as Michael. I think the pitch needs to focus on the character of the story–fascinating though the world-building is. Especially the first sentence or 2 should be really hooky, to make "them" read further. Start there, with a sentence that has intriguing info but not one that crams EVERY detail in. 🙂 Good luck!!!

  5. I've probably got the wrong idea in my head but I've always been told a pitch was meant to be rather short.But sense you've got 300 words, I'd say that you've got the right idea, but I also agree that the world building at the beginning my seem more info-dump-like. Perhaps beginning with something that directly starts with Talia like the line Michael pointed out. It focuses immediately on the main character and the conflict in which she's been trapped or sucked into.

  6. My stab:The planet Sendek has a rich magical heritage long since forgotten in favor of scientific thought. One Sendekian (or whatever the word is, lol) Talia Shannon is torn between the two. She dreams of an upcoming invasion and knows it will soon come true. Caught between her job at the Space Exploration Foundation and her magical nature, she struggles to warn her people without revealing her source of information. As nephew to the King, Landry Sutton protects his family from a radical group determined to depose the monarchy. He thinks Talia works for them until a touch sizzles between them, and they discover they can communicate telepathically. Landry has magical secrets of his own.Talia is the key to their destruction—if she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins as science cannot save them, and magic is now their only hope.I know I cut a lot of details so this might not be of any help at all. I just so used to tighter pitches. 300 words is a lot for a pitch! Anyhow, my interest is definitely piqued!

  7. I like Michael's suggestion. I suggest you simply implement parts of the first paragraph into the rest of your pitch instead of putting it all at once.

  8. i'm sending you am email… excited for you! i thought about trying this too…

  9. Check out agentqueryconnect.com. They helped me a lot with my pitch. I agree with Michael and Carol about picking one aspect. That said, I followed your plot and kept track of characters and world names which is no easy task when pitching sci fi, so KUDOS! General advice: stick to what happens in first 30 pages (plot-wise), tell only the unique things about your book (your twist on generic elements), and keep the names to 2 or 3 at the most, leave out that it's the first in a series (book deals dictate that).Good luck!

  10. Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm heading to the chopping/editing board again and will post an updated version on Monday. Is anyone else giving this a try this month?

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Should have read ALL the comments 😛 I'll come back when you have the revision posted ^_^

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