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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.