October 1, 2012

PitchOn Entry: KISSING FROGS




If you caught my blog post last week, you know that I'm one of the host blogs for the PitchOn contest! 

Since the writing community is SO SO SO awesome, there were several blogs that volunteered to host entries. And because of this, each blog just has one or two to host! So here's my ONE. And it's a YA contemporary, which basically thrills me to pieces.

To PIECES, y'all.

I'll include  my own suggestions below her pitch, and you guys leave your own feedback in the comments! And be sure to check out this post, which will tell you the other host blogs involved, so you can go check out and critique more pitches!

ORIGINAL PITCH: (It's been through two revisions, be sure to scroll to the last revision at the bottom of the post!)

Title: KISSING FROGS

Genre: YA Contemporary

Word-count: 57,000

PitchAfter a brutal attack, seventeen-year-old Alaina is afraid of most boys. When one she has begun to trust steals a not-so-innocent kiss, she’s afraid to ever let her guard down again. Alaina has to find a way to trust herself and listen to her heart, or she may never be able to believe in anyone.



First off, I love the title.

I'm curious about the attack. I know it's hard to provide a lot of specifics in a short pitch, but I'd like to know if she was attacked by just a random guy (because based on the rest of the pitch, I'm assuming she was attacked by a boy) or a boyfriend, a male family member, etc. I think providing that detail would give me a better idea of the issues involved in the story.

I'd also tighten the wording up a bit. Instead of "has begun to trust," why not just say "When one she trusts steals a not-so-innocent kiss..." And instead of "EVER let her guard down again," why not just "afraid to let her guard down again."

And this is probably nitpicky, but- saying she'll never be able to believe in ANYONE doesn't seem to match the rest of the pitch to me. Did the attack make her afraid to trust everyone, or just boys? I think finding a way to be more specific about exactly what's at stake would be nice. She'll never be able to believe in love, in relationships, give her heart to a boy,  whatever.  Again, I think knowing what kind of attack she suffered would probably help explain the stakes too.

All in all, I think it's a great pitch. I've been in the mood for contemporary lately, and I'd pick this up if I found it on the shelf!


REVISED 10/1/12

Title: KISSING FROGS

Genre: YA Contemporary

Word Count: 60,000

Pitch: After narrowly escaping a rape attempt by a close friend, seventeen-year-old Alaina is afraid of boys. When one she thinks she might love steals a not-so-innocent kiss, she’s certain that she can’t trust her own judgment. But the friend she turns to for advice doesn’t have her best interests in mind. Alaina must learn to listen to her heart, or she may not be able to trust anyone.

I think this is much better- now I understand what kind of attack she suffered, as well as the fact that we're talking about a threat to her trust in friendships as well as love interests.

Of course NOW I want to know more about this friend. Is it a girl or a boy? Just curious if there's a love triangle here. And why would the friend be working against her?


REVISED 10/4/12


Title: KISSING FROGS

Genre: YA Contemporary

Word Count: 61,000

Pitch: After narrowly escaping a rape attempt by a close friend, seventeen-year-old Alaina is afraid of boys. When one she might love steals a not-so-innocent kiss, she’s afraid to trust her own judgment, but the jealous “best friend” she turns to for advice is more interested in controlling than helping her. Alaina must learn to listen to her heart, or she may lose herself completely.

I think this is great! I'm a little iffy on "lose herself completely," only because...it seems a little bit cliche. I'd go back to saying exactly what she'd lose. BUT that's super subjective so wait and see what other people say!

Since she'd had a previous rape attempt, I'm wondering if that means she's doubting her ability to judge things anymore (if the rape attempt was from a boy she thought liked her, a boy she got close to). So it's important for her to be able to trust herself again too, right? And for this age group, that's huge. 

Random thoughts from someone who hasn't read your book, of course. :)

12 comments:

  1. I too love the title. What I really wanted to see is a more specific example of the brutal attack. If she was sexually abused, I would say that.

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  2. Also, can you show us what is at stake for her? Why SHOULD she trust someone again?

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  3. I love the title. My only concern is that the title is somewhat lighthearted whereas the subject matter seems pretty intense. A girl was attacked, I'm guessing sexually as she doesn't trust boys. The title seems a little at odds with it. Maybe that was your point, but it does stick out the most. This could just be a personal preference thing, but I wanted to point it out.

    The pitch does need some of the wording tightened up as Kelly and Megan stated.

    That all being said, I think it is a good start to a great pitch. Just some tweaking in the language and it will really grab attention.

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  4. Sounds like a very heart wrenching story with a relatable protagonist, it has my interest.

    Like others have mentioned, it does feel a bit vague, maybe you could include a little more detail so the pitch emphasizes the unique aspects of your character and story.

    Similar to Andrew, the title left me a little confused after reading the pitch. I was expecting something playful, but this sounds darker and more serious.

    I would suggest adding a dark twist to the already interesting title. Maybe "Broken dreams of Kissing Frogs" (a stab in the dark there).

    Best of luck!

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  5. I love the title, it sounds like a beautiful fairytale. After reading the first line I was curious about this brutal attack and what exactly happened. One suggestion is to sneak that detail in so that it ties the whole pitch on why she can't trust guys or why she's afraid of them. Because you can see everyone is coming up with their own conclusion, you don't want that. But I love it though. My personal view on the title, kissing frogs implies she's kissing more than one as though she hasn't found the perfect frog to turn into a prince. but anyway good luck, this story sounds interesting

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  6. I think the revision is a very good one, my only comment being that 'she thinks she might love' is adding a lot of caveats and vagueness into the sentence. 'one she thinks she loves' or 'one she might love' is enough of a hint of vagueness and not being certain she loves I think. Agree with title comments - I LOVE IT - but it fits more with a lighthearted contemp in my opinion or at least that is what I'd expect to pick up. Wishing you the very best of luck with it!

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  7. I'm so excited to hear everyone saying that they expect a lighthearted contemporary novel... because even though it deals with some serious issues, that's exactly what I've written. I've had the hardest time trying to get my pitch to show the lightheartedness of the story without neglecting the meat of the novel. I'm guessing, from these comments, that I'm getting there?

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  8. Yes, much better Veronica. The second sentence of the revised is still a little awkward to read, but it has good info. Maybe reword it a little so it moves easier. Makes sense? I had to read it a couple times before I got it.

    First sentence is perfect. That's a sharp hook.

    You have an interesting story here. Now that you've explained the title, I understand it better.

    Good luck!

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  9. I love the title, it works like mini pitch all by itself. I much prefer the second version of the pitch. It's more concise, and showcases your writing style nicely (at least I assume it does). The only concern I have is the second sentence. Each time I read it, it feels a bit bulk and awkward, but sadly, my brain can't come up with a suggestion to lighten it at this point.
    Best of luck!

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  10. Much better. Two things: the sentence "When one she thinks she might love" is super wordy. Can you tighten it? Also, I'm still unsure of what is at stake if she doesn't trust someone. Why SHOULD she begin to trust again?

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  11. This sounds like a great story. I love the premise! I think your revised version is so much better! You have something good going with this pitch. Good luck!

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  12. Thank you all so much for your input on this! I'm going to assume, if no one else has any feedback on the last revision, that this is getting there :) - Megan, thank you so much for your continued feedback! I've revised again just a bit to make it even stronger, based on your latest thoughts... and I'm excited for the PitchOn contest!! Yay!! You guys are the best!! <3

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