Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Pitch for the Win #21 - Fantasy

TITLE: Temple Beyond the Sea
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

Iphi was flown here by Artemis long ago, to serve as a priestess in the temple. She can barely tolerate the thought of human sacrifice, but only enemies of the land will be slain.
Her brother Orestes has avenged a murder in their household, but is driven out by the Furies--momstrous flying creatures.
Sister and brother have never met, but when Orestes is washed up on the shore of the temple, what will happen?


  1. Okay, hold your breath... pitches are present tense. Avoid 'ly' adverbs in writing your novel or business communications like pitch and queries. Ask yourself why a reader wants your work and show me that. Make me care in a pitch. I know, they are a pain to write and difficult! Hang in there!

  2. I think there's a lot going on in this pitch, which makes it harder to connect to the emotional stakes. It's difficult enough trying to introduce one character, their conflict, and the stakes in 75 words, but you're trying to do it with two here. The result muddies the waters a bit. Maybe try sticking with one POV character—probably Iphi—for the pitch? You can still introduce Orests, just through Iphi's perspective.

    Something like: "As a child, Iphi was kidnapped by Artemis and flow to her temple to serve as priestess, but she can't tolerate the thought of carrying out the necessary human sacrifices. Years later, her brother Orestes washes ashore. Now... [fill in the blanks]." Show me the ending stakes here. A rhetorical question "what will happen" doesn't mean much. I need an idea of what will happen in order to have a clear idea of what the story is about!

    I disagree with Meg's comment about avoiding 'ly' adverbs in writing. Sometimes 'ly' adverbs are exactly what you need, but they should be used sparingly so they don't become a crutch for description. Here, "barely" reduces your stakes. If instead you just said, "She can't tolerate the thought of human sacrifice" the sentence packs more of a punch.

    Fantastic ideas here! Just suggest simplifying and hitting those stakes harder! Good luck :)

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