#sonofapitch

I’ve decided to go ahead and throw my hat in the ring for this year’s son of a pitch.  I’m looking forward to seeing how we do.


Title:  Prosperity


Age/Genre:  Young Adult / Supernatural – Noir


Word Count:  75,000


Query: 

 

 

Hello Agent

 

               I look forward to participating in this year’s Son of a Pitch contest with the opportunity to get great feedback and hopefully begin a collaboration in getting my novel Prosperity closer to publication.  This young adult novel, coming in at around 75,000 words, has great characters you quickly become invested in, plenty of action, and an ending you hopefully won’t see coming.

 

              Nora is a supernatural private investigator who is trying her best to fill her father’s shoes.  She finds herself in the town of Prosperity answering a mysterious letter to help out one of the students in town.  Nora stumbles upon a series of attacks by a supernatural creature called The Burning Man who can burn his victims with just a touch and she is quickly takes up the case.  An attack by the Burning Man at the local high school brings Nora to Kyle who has just moved into town with his father, and who just happens to be the student she has been summoned to help.  Kyle is being haunted by the ghost of his dead mother and along with his new friend Joanie and very new girlfriend Alex, they work together to stop the Burning Man and uncover the truth about Kyle’s ghost.  The world of the supernatural is strong in Prosperity and unique talents from Nora, Kyle, Alex, and Joanie have to be brought into the light in order for everyone to survive.

 

                I am excited about the idea of working with an agent to make Prosperity the best it can be and start a career as a writer.

 

First 250 words:


I like diners.  For whatever reason there was just something cozy and comfortable about a diner.  No matter where you went throughout the country and no matter if it was a chain or a small mom-and-pop kind of place, there was always a familiar feel to them.  It’s like there was this unspoken rule that all diners had to follow the same look and aesthetic.  Booths lined the walls of the place all around the kitchen/bar where a pair of cooks would slave behind.  You could bet that in the corner on the way to the bathroom you would pass a jukebox that had only music in it going up to the past twenty years.  The feel of the tables at each booth smelled like bleach and you could see the smears on the table that a hap hazard wash rag went over the surface just good enough to call the thing clean.  Then there was the food.  You never really have to see the menu; you can always order the same thing regardless of where you were.  The BLT sandwich and fries was always my go-to meal; it passed for both breakfast and lunch.  It was comforting really; something constant that I could count on in my otherwise crazy and chaotic life.

I traveled a lot.  I mean, really a lot.  I probably haven’t had a permanent address since I was about fifteen.  After my folks split up I traveled with my dad after he took full custody of me from my mom. 

 

Advertisements

5 Comments Add yours

  1. This story sounds interesting and your first 250 are nice. I can hear the voice of your protagonist. Your query might need more of a hook. You do a good job of explaining your story in a succinct, clear way, but the ending could be a little more gripping. Something to make that agent scramble to read your pages because they have to know what happens next. They say the format should be something like, conflict, stakes, hook.
    Conflict: Nora was happy until this conflict happened.
    Stakes: Now she has to fix it or else.
    Hook: But little does she know….

    Good luck – you’ve got a good idea here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for taking a look. I’ll revisit the query

      Like

  2. NMSimmons says:

    (FYI: I don’t like to delete original content but I wasn’t able to post my original feedback using a strikethrough feature, so I apologize for modifying what you wrote but I hope you’re able to see my intentions– only trying to help– I’m better at showing vs. telling and am horrible at criticism. I hope you do find at least a shred of what I have to say helpful though.)

    Query:

    Nora is a supernatural private investigator who is trying her best to fill her father’s shoes (we don’t really know anything about her father and the query is about Nora, I would use this opportunity to give us more of a hint as to who she is and what she wants eg … who is trying her best to redeem her family name after the ectoplasm incident at City Hall.)

    When she finds herself in the town of Prosperity answering a mysterious letter from a (high school?) student, Nora stumbles upon a series of attacks. A supernatural creature called The Burning Man is rumored to be the cause of the fiery attacks, and she is quick to take up the case.

    An attack (maybe tell us a little about the attack, is it horrific, a surprise, are lives lost, do our heroes barely escape?) by the Burning Man at the local high school brings Nora to Kyle (does she save him, do they slide down the fire escape together, what driving force allows them to meet here?) who happens to be the student that summoned her with the letter—

    I decided to cut the rest out because HERE is where you leave the agent wanting more. Build the suspense, put down the external and internal stakes for Nora. I wouldn’t go into Kyle too much here and wouldn’t mention the other friends as well, keep the query Nora focused. You can definitely mention that everyone’s life is in Nora / Nora’s and Kyle’s hands but what happens to Nora if she fails, what does she have to personally lose if The Burning Man succeeds?

    First 250 words:

    Your first 250 words are nice, nostalgic and written very fluidly. Except for the very first sentence, I don’t really like it because it is so vastly different from the rest of your prose. And actually, if you remove it, you can rewrite the following with an entirely different voice that I find more engaging. You might disagree, it is your story, afterall, but hear me out:

    For whatever reason there is just something cozy and comfortable about a diner. No matter where you go and no matter if it is a chain or a small mom-and-pop kind of place, there is always a familiar feel to them. It’s like there is this unspoken rule that all diners have to follow the same look and aesthetic. Booths line the walls of the place all around the kitchen/bar, where a pair of cooks slave. You can bet that in the corner on the way to the bathroom you will pass a jukebox that has only music in it going up to the past twenty years. Each booth smells like bleach and you can see the smears on the table that a haphazard washrag left on the surface, just good enough to call the thing clean. Then there is the food. You never really have to see the menu; you can always order the same thing regardless of where you are. The BLT sandwich and fries are always my go-to meal; it passes for both breakfast and lunch. It is comforting really, something constant that I can count on in my otherwise crazy and chaotic life.
    I travel a lot. I mean, really a lot. I probably haven’t had a permanent address since I was about fifteen. After my folks split up, I traveled with my dad after he took full custody of me from my mom.

    Anyway, I like your idea a lot and think it will make a great story. Just polish up your query, give it a hook. Remember, I’m just an aspiring writer, so take my advice with a grain of salt because I’m still trying to figure out my way through all this too.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for your comments. You’ve got a lot of good suggestions. That’s why we do this round, we want the feedback. My main concern was the query. There is definitely an art to it so any help is very welcome

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi. I think your query has lots of energy and is intriguing in itself. I would, however leave this out. “has great characters you quickly become invested in, plenty of action, and an ending you hopefully won’t see coming.” From my experience and learning, we aren’t supposed to tell the reader what is good about the story, but let them decide. just show those great characters and action. Check for typos in your pages. Good luck!!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s