TITLE: Drop by Drop
GENRE: YA Sci-fi
In this Judy Jetson-meets-a-Roald-Dahl-world, wimpy perfume maker Benedicta finds the country of Pax a putrid, oppressive place. Unable to escape, she soon realizes she needs to get tough, use her smarts, and rely on new friends as they all seek to gain their freedom.
I have to admit I'm not a fan of the "x meets y" formula, and here I'm not even sure what to make of it. Flying cars and giant peaches? Robot servants and Oompa Loompas? I'd suggest cutting the lead-in phrase and focusing more on plot. What is Benedicta doing on Pax? Who is holding her captive and why? What, specifically, does she do? (Getting tough, using her smarts, and relying on friends is pretty vague.)ReplyDelete
Also, the Roald Dahl reference and the themes mentioned in the logline give this more of an MG feel than YA. You might want to include Benedicta's age to counter that.
I would ditto cutting the Jetson/Dahl, I just found it confusing, as did the use of "wimpy" and "putrid" which made the story feel very young. Also, the two sentences project very different levels of danger/stakes--we go from a bad smell to a lack of freedom.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure a teenager would have a clue who Judy Jetson is. That aside, you need to be more specific about what Benedicta wants. It sounds like it's freedom but I'm not sure what from since you say she can't escape and the only reason you give her for wanting to do so is vague as well.ReplyDelete
Also, the conflict doesn't sound very challenging. Relying on new friends and using your smarts actually sounds like it could be fun. I would try to re-word this so it sounds like it will make her goal hard to reach.
Finally, I like the perfume maker thing (even if it did make me think she was an adult) but I think it needs to be connected to the plot and conflict, otherwise, it sounds irrelevant.
You lost me at the first sentence. No idea who Roald Dahl is. I agree with Holly that the MC being a perfume maker made me think she was an adult. Not sure what the conflict is, the stakes? What are they gaining freedom from?ReplyDelete
I admit, I had to read the first line three times, my jaw was kind of hanging open wondering what this world looked like! The references seem more kids chapter book than YA, and I think because Roald Dahl wrote many books, I don't know which ones to relate this to. Then perfume maker sounds like an adult occupation rather than what a teenager might do. Hmmm.ReplyDelete
If Benedicta is in a place she did not go to willingly, can you maybe focus on why/how she is there, and where the rest of her family is? Then you can detail what/who is preventing her excape and what specifically she must do. Get tough and use her smarts are unfortunately cliche and don't provide much tangible intel. I think we need to know why she is in Pax, what put her there, what is preventing her to leave, and what's at risk if she can't get out.
I will say this: pitches are tough. Everyone has their own take on them, and you still want to show a little voice in there. Focusing on the main character, his/her journey, and what's at stake is pretty much essential to any other quippy descriptors.
I definitely want more specifics. What does she want? What must she do to get it? Who/what is stopping her?ReplyDelete
If you use an x-meets-y formula, it should paint a picture for the reader. This combo isn't doing that for me, so I don't think it's serving your interests. If you drop that line, you'll have some extra space to add detail that will engage and excite.
Is Pax actually dangerous? If there are higher stakes, you should mention them.ReplyDelete