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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Agent, Critique, Fiction, Novel, Writing

Rotten Loglines

Last week, I submitted a logline for critique by strangers. First off, the stranger part is always scary to me, but I relaxed when I saw no one trashed it. The consensus was “not enough detail.” Oddly, I had the opposite problem drafting a query letter.

I realized when you are too familiar with a book, it’s easy to think you’re telling more in a one-line synopsis than you are. It’s similar to the way you fill-in missing information when seeing a movie adaptation after you’ve read the book. So, I agree. It needs more detail.

That brings up the question of logline length. It’s usually described as a one-sentence pitch, but very few of those submitted in these rounds have been one-liners. Some suggest no more than 25 words total, but the contest I hope to enter allows up to 100 words. Confusing.

At least three of those who critiqued my entry questioned why I describe my novel as Women’s Fiction since it’s obvious the main character is male. *Sigh* But an equal number complimented me on my novel’s title. *Yay*

I’m revising the logline even though the odds of getting accepted for The Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction are slim. In my division, only the first 40 entries will be considered, with only 15 of those accepted for the auction. If I don’t make it, at least I’ll have an elevator pitch ready. Though the last time I rode in an elevator was three months ago, and if an agent was in the vicinity s/he was invisible.

Hmmm, maybe I’ll just get in the habit of spouting my logline whenever I step into an elevator, just in case. And hey, agents have to shop, so maybe when I’m in the mall I could …

Your turn: Tell me about your logline. How long is it? Did you have any trouble writing it? Did you write it before or after you wrote your novel?

 

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