Thursday, March 29, 2018


TITLE: A Limb of the Sweet Tree
GENRE: Adult Historical Coming of Age

In the sweltering Midwest summer heat of 1961 seventeen-year-old Cris Boland learns that lies are everywhere, but it's the truth that stings the most. As a stranger new to Burr Oak Grove, soon Cris’s present collides with the town’s past revealing puzzle pieces he never knew existed. When Cris finally becomes aware of his family’s sins, the horrid stain marking him threatens to unravel the bright future he’s always chased.


  1. I would overall love more specifics in this. What lies? What truth? How does the MC's present collide with the past, and what are the puzzle pieces he's putting together? What is his family's sin? What are his hopes for the future? I know you can't possibly fit all of that in a short pitch, but I think being more specific about the main conflict will help bring the concept of your story to life in the context of a short pitch. Who is your MC, what does he want, and what's the big thing that threatens to keep him from getting it?

  2. Individually each of the sentences are fine, if vague. When they're piled together to make a pitch though it just feels, overall...vague. I have no idea what a single concrete element of the plot actually is.

  3. I think you can delete the sentence about lies and truth (it's a little cheesy) and jump right into him being the new guy in town who is slowly uncovering a horrifying past about his family. It might be more mysterious if you don't reveal that he discovers the secret, and focus instead on how his treatment in town motivates him to search for truth. Since we don't know what bright future he's aiming for, I wouldn't include that in this pitch.

  4. I find this much too passive and removed. You're telling us about Cris's internal struggles but we need to know his external goal and how those struggles will create conflict in his life.

    Good luck!

  5. I sgree that this needs more specifics. I also think you're trying to cover too much; pick one sentence and follow it up with more specifics. If you choose the first, (my favorite), suggest editing as follows: In the sweltering Midwest summer of 1961, lies are everywhere, but for seventeen-year-old Cris Boland it's the truth that stings the most.