Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Three One-Paragraph Pitches

Last Friday I remembered how much I hated the little blurb on WHITE ECHOES' page. I'd put a warning promising a better one once the synopsis was complete, and I decided it was time to live up to it. Besides, these are like (super) early practices for query letters, aren't they?

I decided to put a spin on it, however, and do one pitch for each of my POV character. It's amazing how hard Henry's paragraph was, compared to the two other characters. And Henry is the MC... I wish he was the one I found easy.

This is what I have at the moment. It needs tweaking, but reflects the project better than what was there before. 

Henry Schmitt lives on little more than dried noodles and dreams of flying his father's hot air balloon once more. He is forced to abandon the salty comfort of his routine meal when rebel leader Seraphin Holt crashes into his life. Henry discovers his father, gone missing a decade ago, was friends with a member of Seraphin's squad.

Solving the mystery behind his father's disappearance unravels the scheme behind the plague that killed thousands of citizens. In order to honour the collective memory of those who died, Henry must follow in his father's footsteps, expose the conspiracy and bring the culprits to justice.

 This is an exercise I recommend. Stripping a story to its barest bones is a great way to keep sight of what truly matters, and what is subplots and complementary. Yes, I'm irritated that two major characters are missing from these two paragraphs, but they had to go (well, okay, I still want to find a way to work Vermen, the third POV, in the final "query pitch" but I'll see about it later).

I discovered something else interesting doing this: when I was doing Seraphin's and Vermen's, I had to reach further back into the timeline for the incidents that dragged them into the story. This is one more proof that while the two are important characters, this novel is Henry's story. He is the one driving it.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, sounds interesting! The Seraphin's squad sounds like one of those secret society things, I always really like those, they can be so intriguing!

    Sounds really good!