Pitch Slam Support Post (Pitch and Query)

Hello! Here I’m going to post my pitch slam as part of the Pitch Slam Support Group blog hop. I’d appreciate the feedback, especially of the query.

WTCB

New Adult Fantasy at 80,000 words

Pitch (the version I subbed to the ‘auditions’ round): Twenty-year-old Aidelle smashes a timepiece as her fiancé leaves her, sealing herself in a timeless reality. When she finds out he was blackmailed, she must cross volatile ‘timestreams’ to win back the man she loves.

 

Feedback (the gist of): The phrase “to win back the man she loves” is very general and a bit cliché. We’re lacking an understanding of why she smashes the timepiece (what made her angry?), and what he was blackmailed into doing. There’s only so much you can fit into a 35 word pitch, but there’s a definite disconnect between the action and the consequence here.

 

A newer pitch, reflecting on this: Twenty-year-old Aidelle smashes a timepiece as her fiancé leaves her, sealing herself in a timeless reality. When she finds out his departure was from blackmail, she must cross volatile ‘timestreams’ to rewrite their future-changing argument.

 

The all-important query:

Twenty-year-old Aidelle had everything she’d desired: new home, new brothers-in-law, and an old passion for Phillip. Then she broke time.

Just as they’ve unpacked in their new house, Phillip reconsiders their engagement contract. As he slams the door on their relationship, Aidelle does what any love-scorned woman would do: she chucks the mantelpiece clock at him. Now, thanks to that broken timepiece, Aidelle’s sealed in a frozen version of their house in-between realities. She can’t search for the man she still loves, but maybe patching up the clock will patch up the past. Right? But time, with all its bumps and eddies, doesn’t play fair.

When Aidelle catches a glimpse of Phillip through a temporal fissure – another reality growing in her sitting room, of all things – she realises he’s tearing apart every reality to find her. As the fissure closes, Aidelle is more alone than ever. If she doesn’t find a way to rewind time – and, in the process, win back the man she adores – every fissure in time will seal, erasing from existence their future, present and past.

WTCB is an NA Fantasy Romance complete at 80,000 words about love, family and temporal paradoxes. The novel explores a Neovictorian universe and will appeal to fans of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series.

 

A Clock Stopped

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14 thoughts on “Pitch Slam Support Post (Pitch and Query)

  1. Hi! I absolutely adore the idea of this story! It sounds like something I would definitely pick up. 🙂

    I like your revised pitch, but I’m still left feeling slightly lost and I can’t get a really clear picture of what exactly Aidelle is up against.

    I really love this sentence from your query: ” If she doesn’t find a way to rewind time – and, in the process, win back the man she adores – every fissure in time will seal, erasing from existence their future, present and past.” Is there a way to work that idea into the pitch? That gives us a much clearer picture of what’s at stake here.

    Here’s what I could come up with as an example–hopefully it helps!

    After smashing a timepiece, twenty-year-old Aidelle finds herself sealed off from time. If she doesn’t find a way home—and win back the man she loves—she’ll be erased from their future, present, and past.

    • I’m glad you like that sentence in the query – I’ve had people tell me to cut it! I’m way too florid in my writing for my own good 😛

      Nice idea. Yeah, it looks like the being erased is the true stakes here.

      Thanks again for the comment!

  2. I think the consequences/stakes are still missing. I’ve got an alternative version:

    Aidelle smashes a clock when Phillip leaves her, sealing herself in a timeless reality. When she finds out Phillip was blackmailed, Aidelle must cross volatile ‘timestreams’ to rewrite their fight or be erased forever.

    • Thanks for the advice and suggestion. 🙂 Do you think the meaning is clear when saying ‘be erased forever’? I’m worried that it would be perceived as being too vague, and we go around in a circle… *sigh*

  3. When Aidelle’s fiancé leaves her, she chucks a mantelpiece clock at his head, sealing herself in a frozen reality. If she can’t rewind time, fissures will seal, erasing her future, present, and past.

    This is 33 words.

  4. I think the revised pitch is much improved. The only part that makes me confused is the “When she finds out his departure was from blackmail”. I wonder if just saying he was forced to leave might be more clear?

  5. Hey there!

    Just stopping by– Sharon opened up the bloghop to Like a Virgin finalists, so just wanted to leave a critique. Would love some feedback on mine as well!

    On the pitch: I think the revised is better, but I’m still unsure why she smashes the timepiece, or what about it is special enough to lock her in a timeless reality. Is there an adjective we can throw in there to make it stand out? I agree with Cheryl’s comment above– maybe “When she finds out he was blackmailed into leaving”?

    Query: From reading the pitch, isn’t the first paragraph (while really interesting) inaccurate? She has the argument with her SO, he leaves her, and then she breaks the time piece, right? The query’s first paragraph reads to me as if she has everything but then she breaks time (as if her breaking time is what causes her to lose everything, when in fact it’s the argument)

    Engagement contract??? (just…found it interesting! haha)

    At the end, I wanted to change it to: “erasing their future, present and past from existence.” Just clearer phrasing IMO!

    Otherwise, really strong query and pitch! Hope this was helpful and good luck in the contest!

    • Thanks for the comment. I’ve already submitted, but your comments will definitely be useful for other contests, etc. 🙂 I’ll get around to yours soon.

      Um… *thinks* The argument and the breaking time exist almost concurrently in the prose – at least, the argument climaxes at the smashing of the clock. I think that neither can exist without the other. On the other hand, if she hadn’t thrown the clock, time wouldn’t have broken; if they hadn’t started arguing, the clock wouldn’t have presented itself as the perfect missile; if Phillip hadn’t told her he was leaving, they wouldn’t have got in an argument… (I could use infinite regression endlessly…)

      Yeah, ‘engagement contract’ because it’s pretty much an arranged marriage by their mothers. Think Victorian marriages where both parties are initially against the idea but learn to love each other as time goes by.

      Cool, thanks.

    • No problem. I’m in the UK, so I try to send my stuff in the middle of the submission rounds because of the time-difference, and I’ve been away for most of today – Ie. I had to send it last night.

      Yeah, having another opinion is always valuable.

      And you with LV. 🙂

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