Contest, Critique, Feedback, Writing

I’m running my own danged contest!

This contest is now closed. The winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Surprise, surprise, I’m not asking you to promote my book again. You don’t even have to read another of my Q & A sessions. Today, I’m offering each of you something—a chance to win a free critique. However, if you’ll all give a little something to each other, then everyone will win.

I’ve never done anything like this on my blog, so let’s hope it works well. If you want to participate, all you have to do is post your “logline” in the comments section. The term originated for movie scripts. Here’s one for a movie you’ll probably recognize:

A boxer with a loser mentality is offered a chance by the world champ to fight for the title but, with the help of his lover, must learn to see himself as a winner before he can step into the ring.

My definition of logline is a brilliant summary of your book or short story in approximately 50 words. Not easy, I know. Another term for this is an elevator pitch meaning what you might say to catch the interest of an agent or editor if you found yourself in an elevator with one. It’s what you want to have on the tip of your tongue when someone asks, “What’s your book, or story, about?”

I invite you to astound us all with your pitch in the comments section. If you’d like, leave comments on each other’s entries. Does the pitch interest you? If not, can you offer any suggestions for improvement?

The prize for one lucky contestant is a critique of either the first chapter of your novel or one short story of 7,500 words or less.

Ready, set, pitch!

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44 thoughts on “I’m running my own danged contest!”

  1. A detective must apprehend a killer from beyond the grave. Efforts to solve the ritual murders in a small, southern town are met with resistance by locals. Haunted by his past, the detective discovers he may have something in common with a killer hell bent to unleash its own justice.

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      1. Lack of crime scene evidence and a town’s cult beliefs fuel allegations of a supernatural ritual killer. Detective Vic Reid is skeptical and believes it is a flesh and blood killer. With the locals impeding his investigation, he receives aid from an unlikely source.

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        1. This second draft is much more interesting.

          Although, I think the last line could be improved. I had already envisioned Reid working with the locals when I reached “impeding”. My suggestion: “While the locals impede his investigation, he receives aid from an unlikely source.”

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  2. In 1965, a twelve-year-old Nancy Drew aficionado watches the perfect Los Angeles summer unravel when her knight in shining armor, a doting older brother, starts the long spiral into schizophrenia.

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    1. Amanda, this is an interesting premise. One thing, to me the word “watches” lends a passive tone. Could you counter that by some description of Nancy Drew, Jr.’s reaction. Is she grieving? Is she angry? Obviously, this is a life-changing episode for the whole family. How does she deal with that?

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      1. It’s more of a, “Why is he doing this, let me figure out what is going on here?” with young Ms. Nancy. I would love to share what her conclusions become but it would ruin the story. 🙂

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        1. Okay, I was clueless … and now I’m confused (nothing new there). Of course! She’s watching for clues. I thought you gave us the conclusion. If this is a “mystery” told through the eyes of a 12-year-old, do you want the reader to know from the start that her brother is schizophrenic?

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          1. 🙂 It’s through the eyes of a 11 year old girl, who doesn’t quite understand his illness, and so shedoes what she does best, investigates it like a crime. To her it’s a mystery. It is written from the perspective of the little girl.

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  3. Clone bounty hunter, Agent Seven Thorne, goes rogue to clear her name of Treason against High Command in post-apocalyptic America.

    This is still a work in progress and I’m having to rewrite chapter one (again) after the ending came to me all-of-a-piece.

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      1. Her name is Seven and she is a clone;

        Agent Seven Thorne is a registered clone who must hunt down runaway clones and return them to the Hive Compound. Accused of Treason against High Command and betrayed by a trusted team member, she must clear her name the only way she knows how–by capturing the Traitor before High Command sentences her to Termination.

        Still sounds a bit clunky. Looks like I’ve got a bit more work to do on the pitch.
        Thanks for your comment and I appreciate any and all suggestions.
        BTW, I’m going for Dystopian Cyberpunk. Not sure I got all that in there.

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  4. “One woman, in a world she never expected will fight with steel to destroy the evil that has consumed the land. Side by side by the men who became her family she will find a place to belong; with one, she will find enough love to save the world she was destined by prophesy to save, the one she will now call home.”

    Book: fiction … due to agent real quick and I am at a loss where to start edits. Love the idea of your contest!! 🙂

    ~Jax

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    1. Jax, is this fantasy? Sci-fi? Dystopian?

      Clarity is key. Phrases like “fight with steel” are a little vague. That could mean swords, guns, phasers … And if these men have already become her family, doesn’t she already belong? Also, you say here that love will save the world, is that what you meant?

      I think you were tripped up twice by the word “by”. “Side by side with the men” would be smoother. And with “destined by prophecy”, which is not really accurate. She is destined to be the savior, or she’s been prophesied as the savior, but it was not prophesy that destined her. Again, make sure your words convey exactly what you mean them to.

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  5. Hi, Linda. This might look familiar to you.

    “The sole survivor of an alien breeding experiment in rural Pennsylvania learns about love and friendship from two teenagers who trespass into his life; however, he must leave them behind to return to his ancestral planet or else endanger all of humanity.”

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    1. Ann, of course, now I’m curious how he would endanger humanity by staying. Very nice, you have the protagonist, his goal, a complication in reaching it, and the consequences if he doesn’t.

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