Pitch Slammed!

For those who don’t know about Pitch Slam, check it out here or search #PitchSlam on Twitter to get a taste of the fun. For those who know all about Pitch Slam (and those who don’t have the time or inclination to look it up)… proceed. As always, comments are welcomed!

Query:

Set in a world in which strength and cunning are prized over all and kindness is seen as weakness, GRIT OF BERTH AND STONE is the story of one girl’s discovery of truth, goodness, and beauty and her struggle to let go of all she has known to embrace a new way of life, even as she holds onto her innate strength.

At sixteen, Grit has no doubt of becoming a famed warrior until she breaks the first rule of Theshan society: Never approach a stranger without a ready weapon. Overpowered by a frail, old woman and exiled for her foolishness, Grit leaves her village in shame, heedless of her sparring partner’s vow to avenge her enemies.

As she distances herself from her past, her resolution to trust only her dagger proves futile against a string of strangers: a rebel leader who knows her name; an elegant girl who overlooks her coarseness; a mangy dog who won’t leave her alone. As a blind pearl diver reveals unseen truths to Grit, she begins to understand that alliances run much deeper than self-preservation. When she discovers an awful secret about her former sparring partner, Grit returns to Thresh to correct a vow gone seriously awry and rally her people to stand against a rising enemy set on destroying the last vestiges of her country’s ancient beauty.

Pitch Slam Pitch: 

One reckless act of forbidden kindness banished her. One ally took his vow of vengeance to gruesome extreme. As their village chooses between life and death, one fight will redeem and destroy them both.

Pitch Slam Feedback: (Here’s where it gets ugly…)

This comes off disorienting due to us not knowing WHO your MC is. Also, it comes off like an announcement for a movie which is something you have to be careful not to do. Starting your pitch in the middle of action leaves us with questions that need answers. And while you want to have your readers ask questions, you don’t want them asking so many that they give up because they’re lostt. What makes the act of kindness forbidden? Who is this ally and are they important to the plot? If so, is their vow of vengeance against her or the person/thing she showed kindness to? Also life and death isn’t even a choice and comes off as cliche. Why would they choose death? The answers to these questions and focusing on the main conflict in your plot will really help this pitch shine.

Revised Pitch: (Here’s where I remember how much I prefer penning 81,000 words to penning 35).

Grit shrugged when Coil vowed to repay those who orchestrated her exile, but when she sees the effects of his promise, she must return home or live with the blood of innocents on her hands.

 

Friday Fictioneers – In Which Basil Laments An Overactive Imagination

I’ll admit, when I first saw today’s prompt, I almost bowed out of participating without a second glance. But a second glance – or maybe a third or fourth – placed this photo squarely above the heads of Basil Thistlethorn and the ever patient Agnes Plop. I hope you enjoy the story!

Studio Lights from Kent

Photo: copyright-Kent Bonham

 

In Which Basil Laments an Overactive Imagination

“Look, Basil.” Agnes tugged his sleeve. “Batman.”

“You must be daft.”

Her hand on his arm anchored him to the spot.

“You’re right.” She squinted at the stage lights. “The more I look, the more sinister he appears. Definitely too dark for Batman. Do you suppose he intends to harm an innocent student?”

“Now you’re just being stupid.” Basil shrugged his arm from her hand and marched on. Agnes and her overactive imagination…

“Wait for me, Basil.”

Turning, Basil glanced up. If he’d had any of that foolish imagination stuff in which Agnes so delighted, he would have sworn the light was lower than it had been a moment before.

 

 

***************************

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Read or Join here:

Friday Fictioneers – Out of Order

Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo Copyright -Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Out of Order (100 words)

Everyone takes the stairs. Long after the “Out of Order” sign tore from the metal grating, they still avoid the rickety elevator. The wreath and the cheap Styrofoam angel, spray painted gold, remind the tenants of the kid who never got off.

It’s been decades since my brother disappeared, and I’ve told no one my secret. Been watching that stupid elevator the whole time, though. He isn’t coming back.

Metal screeches against metal as I open the elevator door. Stupid of me not to have done this sooner. There are better worlds than this. I hope my invitation hasn’t expired.

***************************

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Read or Join here:

Friday Fictioneers – So Tolls the Ancient Song

Copyright - David Stewart

Photo Copyright – David Stewart

So Tolls the Ancient Song

Frowning, Angelique looked beyond the antique bell to the fields outside the overly sanitized office.

“You ought to have played more.”

“Who has time for sloth?” The man glanced from his computer screen to the papers at his side. “Reports to be written, documents to be filed…”

Angelique ran her fingers along the weathered pull rope.

“Don’t bother,” he said. “No one’s rung it in years. Probably rusted stuck.”

Angelique shook her head. “Oh, no. It will still toll the ancient song.”

She squeezed her eyes shut and pulled. Beneath the clang of the bell, she heard a gasp as the man slumped over his keyboard.

***************************

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Read or Join here:

Friday Fictioneers – Family Reunion

Before sharing this week’s story, I must give a nod to Rick Riordan, whose work my children and I have enjoyed immensely. If you haven’t read any of his books, well… you should.

Copyright -Claire Fuller

Photo Copyright -Claire Fuller

Family Reunion

“I can’t go in.”

I clench my fists, cursing the warmth that even now tingles in my fingertips.

“It’s okay.”

He means to be reassuring, but I can’t forget all I’ve done or that I have no power over my own hands. I shake my head and glance at the sign above the workshop. He smiles, and the warmth in my fingertips spreads up my arms and into my chest. Prying open my fist, he takes my hand and leads me in.

“Fireballs stop when your hands are busy,” he says. “That’s how it is with all of Hephaestus’s children.”

***************************

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Read or Join here:

Friday Fictioneers – No Tears Tonight

Just as a reunion with an old friend stirs one’s emotions, so writing a scene with a familiar character holds a special comfort, a quiet joy, a soft yearning to spend even more time together. It isn’t much, today’s story, but it was a moment with my Angelique. I hope those of you who call her friend enjoy the reunion as well.

Copyright - Erin Leary

Photo Copyright – Erin Leary

No Tears Tonight

“What’s a sweet thing like you doing way out here all by yourself?”

Angelique stretched a rubber band between her thumb and forefinger. She shrugged.

“Listening to the swamp cry.”

As he set the duffel bag at his feet, she swung her legs over the railing to face him. The stench of onions and convenience store cologne drowned the sulfur of the swamp.

He smiled. “You’ll cry tonight.”

She let lose the rubber band. It bounced off his chest, back into her hands.

“No, I won’t.”

She left him slumped over the duffel bag, her black sneakers silent as they struck the boardwalk’s planks.

***************************

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Read or Join here:

Friday Fictioneers – Empty Places

Copyright-Dawn Q. Landau

Photo: Copyright-Dawn Q. Landau

Empty Places (100 words)

Waves have washed away all I held dear. I scour the landscape for some scrap of him, something to prove he truly lived. There is nothing. He is gone, not even a hair of his head left for me to cherish.

The wind, wet with salt, blows my hair from my face as I look over the sea we once swam together. She, with her rolling gray waves, is as desolate as I. Without him,we no longer laugh as friends.

Only one structure remains, a shack as battered as my soul. Perhaps within her walls I can entomb this grief.

***************************

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Read or Join here: