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One Sentence Pitch



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Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:41 am
lakegirls says...



Hey all!

So I am posting this for two reasons:

One: to get help on writing the best one sentence pitch in existence, and

Two: to let you know about this awesome contest!

Amy Tipton, a seriously amazing literary agent, is holding a contest where she will select 4 full manuscripts to critique and if she REALLY likes it she could decide to work with you. How amazing is this? So for anyone who has a novel written and doesn't what their next step should be you should really consider entering this contest!

The one sentence pitch is due on December 31st, 2015 and all the other information is in the picture I have attached.

Here is my one sentence pitch: Three best friends struggle with their darkest demons while trying to remain loyal to one another, and more importantly, to themselves.

Please critique this as best as you possibly can. I know it's only one sentence but it has to be perfect. Also, if you just want to comment that you like then that helps too! I'm just looking for as many opinions as I can get.
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:19 am
Kale says...



My first impression is that your pitch is very cliche. There's several reasons: the phrases you use ("darkest demons" is particularly glaring) are so common as to be trite, and on top of that, they don't actually tell us anything about the book. There's nothing in the pitch to distinguish your story as a unique story because the phrasing is so vague, it can be applied to countless stories.

It looks like you tried to tackle too much at once in your pitch, what with covering two struggles and a theme, and it makes for a pretty unfocused pitch.


Without knowing more about your actual story, I can't give you any suggestions, but I think, if you focus on answering these two questions, you'll have a stronger pitch:

What is the core conflict of your story?

Why should I, a random reader, care?
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:03 am
Pretzelstick says...



I do agree with Kyll, because I think that this one sentence pitch is very cliche, and I as a reader probably wouldn't care because it seems like it's too generic for me. You are right, this one sentence has to be a hook, that is well-written and really gets to the depth of your story. It should catch the editors attention, or catch her eye to make it way more interesting.

Did you ever notice these one sentence pitches in New York Times Bestseller Books? Those are some perfect examples that I am sure you can check out and get inspiration from, because that's what I usually do when I'm stuck, find something similiar to what I need and find examples and study them intensely.

Again, I can't help or give any suggestions because I don't know enough information about your plot, or character, or general genre/theme of your novel to tell you.
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:12 am
lakegirls says...



Thanks guys that's really helpful! Would you be able to help if I gave you a brief description of my novel? I have something longer written that I picture as "the back of the book" description. Here it is:

Three best friends in their last year of high school struggle with eating disorders, drinking problems and relationship issues while trying to remain loyal to one another.

That may also sound cliche because it is a lot like the one sentence pitch I had written but I think this one has a bit more meat on its bones.

There is another backstory in my novel that I'm not sure if I should include in the one sentence pitch. One of three main girls helps their best friend (is not named until the end) commit suicide. It's first introduced in the beginning then after every 5 chapters there is more about this until the two people are revealed at the end.

My novel is also called The Good Life so I don't know if that could be worked into the one sentence somehow...

Feel free to PM me if you would like any more info and thanks again for your help! :)
Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:09 am
Rosendorn says...



The weakness that shows up for me is "remain loyal".

It's vague and doesn't hint at how, for them, remaining loyal is apparently enabling them to bring out the apparent worst in each other in that subplot's case.

Even then, "remain loyal" is too vague a term. Does it mean trying to keep everything the same, helping the others through their illnesses as best they know how, or giving each other space to heal and hoping the friendship is still there later?

Right now, I still don't see any actual conflict. I don't see a single driving thing that makes me go "oh, I want to see how that gets resolved." You're relying on us assuming a certain level of tension, of assuming there'll be something behind the struggles, but you don't give us any first step to imagine that tension.

Find the crux, find the central problem of the novel, and put that in the sentence pitch. Until then, you're just giving us vague, pretty words that don't actually tell us anything.
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Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:49 pm
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CaptainJack says...



Three best friends struggle with their darkest demons while trying to remain loyal to one another, and more importantly, to themselves.


Three best friends in their last year of high school struggle with eating disorders, drinking problems and relationship issues while trying to remain loyal to one another.


If this story had been about actual demons consuming the souls of high school girls, I would have been looking forward to the plot content. But when you reveal their inner demons as being "eating disorders, drinking problems and relationship issues", I go back to feeling absolutely nothing for these characters. Maybe a little bit of something for the eating disorders because that's bad but then everything about this work seems cheap.

The other posters all described the work as cliche. I chose to use the word "cheap" because I don't see much of a way to make the idea work out for you. There are plenty of stories with a cliche basis that can turn out to some form of good with the amount of effort put into development. I just don't see that happening with the two pitches you've given me.

I see the need for some clarification of inner demons but I think it would be better to work it in. The two pitches given are about the same story but give two different sets of imagery. You want it dark and gritty in some ways, (only lightly given off in pitch 1) rather than the trivial perspective provided by pitch 2.

And then you also wanted to work your title in, which I personally think is possible and would probably help you out a bit.

Try again.
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