If you would like us all to look at your own pitch and help, do go here to see the guidelines. And to see how other pitches were tackled, click the label "Pitch Pitch" on the list to the bottom right of my blog.
For more specific help with crafting the pitch paragraph and a fuller synopsis, there's a useful method in Write a Great Synopsis.
The first intrepid writer is Elizabeth Dunn. She describes her novel as a humourous children's novel for 12+. (In fact, 12+ is teenage, or YA, so that's all she needs to say, though she could say, for example, "a YA novel aiming at younger teenagers.")
ANTHONY WISH HITS PAY DIRT by Elizabeth Dunn - 12+When Anthony Wish’s father is hit with a lawsuit, his family’s finances enter previously unchartered disastrousness. Anthony’s yearnings for a Ducksbridge scholarship and a respectable adult life in the professions are clearly destined to squelch in bogland Wrigley Field forever. Disillusioned, Anthony visits his grandmother’s grave and soon after discovers a knack for writing horoscopes that come true. He finds himself at the helm of a cash cow but with the villagers frothing for more and fearful for his good name Anthony makes two final predictions, this time for personal use. Which is not cool with the cosmos because Anthony finds himself, in Venice, in unrequited love and up to his aquaphobic neck in trouble. When his mother runs riot with a rock star and his father disappears Anthony understands Grandma had a message from the grave about true riches. But love and money can go together even in his jinxed family and he’s determined to prove it.My comments:
- "unchartered disastrousness" - actually, you mean "uncharted"! But otherwise, that's a nice phrase to indicate a light and slightly comic tone to the book.
- "visits his grandmother’s grave and soon after discovers a knack for writing horoscopes" - visiting the grave isn't given any sense of importance - either make it so or leave it out. And I'd want more than "discovers a knack" because it doesn't seem likely to congruous on its own.
- "helm of a cash cow" - a) I don't think you can be at the helm of a cow and b) it's far from clear how this is a cash cow anyway - you need to be clearer
- Not really sure that unrequited love feels apt for this story.
- I don't like the title - Just ANTHONY WISH could be better?
- I love the tone of the pitch but the content feels like a mishmash of many different things and I'm not sure what the core is - and particularly the emotional core, the thing that will make us desperate to read. So, it feels as though you may have managed a complex plot cleverly but failed to describe your story in concrete, focused terms. Does that make sense?
Readers, do, please, comment below. Please be respectful and absolutely constructive. It's pointless to say you don't like something without saying why. Do indicate whether you have any professional or other experience of this type of book, so that Elizabeth knows where you are coming from.