Monday, September 10, 2012

Pitch Polish #1


Nicks Very First Day of Baseball
Children’s Picture Book
258 words

Query:

Remember your very first day of baseball? Remember the thrill of putting on your uniform for the very first time? If you do, then you’re in the minority.
Bottom line, baseball’s in trouble. Today’s kids don’t know it and love it like we did, like our parents did. And our kids are paying the price. It’s a different world, and today’s kids have lost touch with the game. Kids don’t play outside much, and the sandlot’s turned into a parking lot. Now they’re playing computer games and watching TV. Baseball’s getting lost. I want to bring the American pastime back into kids’ lives and I know how.
As a coach, I see kids showing up at their first practice not knowing what home plate is. They don’t even know which direction to run! There’s such a need for baseball … the things they learn will help them in every part of their lives. Things like teamwork, discipline, things like strategy and thinking before they act. I am going to help get kids out of the house and get them moving – more green, less screen!
Then there’s the opportunity for parents and kids to share this together. Parents who don’t know much about baseball will learn about it as they read to their kids. Parents who already love baseball will have a chance to tell their own stories. It’s the kind of bonding that families remember forever. And it all starts with a bedtime story!
The Woodstock All Stars will appeal to fans of the Lucy Cousins’ Maisy Mouse series for three to five year olds. The book is based on the real life experiences of Coach Kevin Christofora who volunteers as a little league coach in Woodstock, N.Y.

First 150:

Today, Mom signed me up for baseball. I can't wait until Friday!
Dad took me to get a new glove. It fit perfectly.
Everywhere I went, I dreamed of baseball.
I had baseball all over my brain.
I practiced everyday while my parents were busy around the house.
Today, I threw goldfish crackers to my dog Yogi. He's a good catcher.
When it was bedtime, Mom tucked me in. Boy, I can't wait until tomorrow!
(Interactive baseball caricature ask question, How many baseballs can you count?)
Finally it was Friday, and I went to baseball. All of my friends were there.
Coach lined us up and said, "Be patient, everyone will get a turn." "Now, let's see how tall you are."
I got my very own shirt and hat. It was my size and had a number just like the big kids!
The coach lined us up to run around the bases. We had to say the name of the base as we ran over it.

32 comments:

Cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica L. Foster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JenfromtheBlock said...

What a great idea for a picture book. It's sad, but true. I agree with all of the above comments. Your query could be simplified. Have you considered not starting out with the questions? I've heard it's risky, and the sentence that punches me the most is "Baseball's in trouble." You could start there. The book copy is spot on!

Jayme said...

You've got a lot of great stuff in your query, but I feel like it's getting lost. I'd suggest simplifying it. This isn't perfect, but I'd suggest something like this:

Remember the thrill of putting on your baseball uniform for the very first time? If so, you’re in the minority.

Bottom line, today’s kids don’t know and love baseball like we did. The sandlot’s turned into a parking lot, and our kids are playing video games and watching TV. Baseball’s getting lost. I want to bring the American pastime back into kids’ lives – more green, less screen!

As a coach, I see kids showing up at their first practice not knowing what home plate is. They don’t even know which direction to run! But baseball is more than rules. It’s teamwork, discipline, strategy, and an opportunity for parents and kids to share the love of the sport together – and it all starts with a bedtime story!

The Woodstock All Stars will appeal to fans of the Lucy Cousins’ Maisy Mouse series for three to five year olds. The book is based on the real life experiences of Coach Kevin Christofora who volunteers as a little league coach in Woodstock, N.Y.

Hope that helps! :)

Shiela Calderón Blankemeier said...

I'm not familiar with queries for PB, so please take my comments with a grain of salt. I love your first 150 words - nice voice, imagery, and a sweetness to it I love. But your query reads more like an essay than a pitch. This may be ok for PB (again, I have no idea), but for fiction it's a big no-no. Give us the meat - what does your MC want? What's standing in their way? What happens if they fail? Maybe none of this pertains to PB queries :) Your writing is sound and I agreed with everything you said. Hope this helps!

Adriana Ryan said...

According to Query Shark, the query should be about hooking the reader. Why should they want to read your story (hint: the answer has to do with what's in the plot)? You shouldn't be trying to address higher order goals, like getting kids outside, etc. The query is the place to talk about what happens IN the story, and that's it. As I see it, we don't get to learn about the plot at all. I don't even know who the protagonist is, let alone what the conflict is that he/she faces.

That being said, I liked the 150 words. I think you could hook the agent in the query if you focused on the plot. Hope that helps a bit. :)

Christine Sarmel said...

First of all, I have never even attempt a PB and I'm a baseball dunce. So please take my comments with a boulder of salt...

-I'd be careful about starting with the question. For example, the answer in my head was, "No. I've never played baseball" - and that could be where someone stops reading.

-Essentially in the pitch portion I'd love to know who is the main character and what happens to him/her. Nerves about the new game? Runs the wrong way? You've done a great job of talking in general about reasons for a baseball PB. Now tell us exactly what happens in your baseball book.

Donald Capone said...

I love baseball, so I wish you success with this book. I think the pitch is a little long, and should be more concise. Also, be more specific. And don't use the word "thing" so much. Maybe say "lessons." Here a quick rewrite I did so you can get what I mean:

~

Baseball’s in trouble. Today’s kids don’t know it and love it like we did, like our parents did; kids have lost touch with the game. And they’re paying the price, missing lessons such as like teamwork, discipline, and thinking before they act. Lessons that will help them in every part of their life.

It’s a different world now. Kids don’t play outside much, and the sandlot’s turned into a parking lot. Now it's computer games and TV. I want to bring the American pastime back into kids’ lives and I know how. I am going to help get kids out of the house and get them moving – more green, less screen!

As a coach, I see kids showing up at their first practice not knowing what home plate is. They don’t even know which direction to run! There’s a need for baseball … and the opportunity for parents and kids to share this together. Parents who don’t know much about baseball will learn about it as they read to their kids. Parents who already love baseball will have a chance to tell their own stories. It’s the kind of bonding that families remember forever. And it all starts with a bedtime story!

The Woodstock All Stars will appeal to fans of the Lucy Cousins’ Maisy Mouse series for three to five year olds. The book is based on the real life experiences of Coach Kevin Christofora who volunteers as a little league coach in Woodstock, N.Y.

Cat said...

Sorry, my comment form before was meant for a different entry.

I like the idea of putting baseball back into the minds of American kids but never, ever start a query with rhetorical questions. The agent will answer them with No and send your story right back. Also, the query is far too long for a picture book query, and you focus entirely on the things grown-ups would see beneficial but what about your target reader? Why would (s)he enjoy the book?

Usually, you only put in the basic information about the book (since the manuscript is less than 1000 words, many agents only glance at a PB query) and your writing credentials. It's the sample that counts.

Sorry that I can't give you much feedback on that. I'm neither versed in PB nor in baseball, but I guess your story is accurate. Good luck with it.

kevin Christofora said...

I am humbled with all of your help and suggestions. THANK YOU!

If this is acceptable to keep the polish going.....

I am torn about just speaking to Nick's experiences without trying to justify why this book is needed so bad. This is not shorter but a restructure step from some comments made. what do you all think? Is it needed or lose it completely?

QUERY:
Baseball’s in trouble. Remember the thrill of putting on your baseball uniform for the very first time?
If so, you’re in the minority.

The Woodstock All Stars will go a long way in correcting today’s gap in enthusiasm and education over baseball. As the lead character Nick begins his first season of baseball, the young readers following his adventures will learn alongside him.

Young readers will learn terms, plays and directions through the “Shout it Out” section. This interactive section at the end of the book asks fill-in-the blank questions such as, “If you swing at the ball and miss, it’s called a _____?” and “Three strikes and you’re ___?”

The Woodstock All Stars is both fun and educational, spurring young readers to catch baseball fever at a time when America’s pastime is suffering from flagging interest. The current reality is that baseball lore has skipped a generation, and many parents bring their children to the little league field, knowing next to nothing about the game and expecting the coach to teach them. In previous generations, children were taught at a young age how to catch and hit balls and run around the bases from games with friends.

The book will strike a nostalgic chord among men of a certain age and will help interest fathers, uncles and grandfathers in reading to the little boys in their life. Aimed at rejuvenating interest in American baseball, The Woodstock All Stars will hit a home run with young children and parents alike.

The Woodstock All Stars will appeal to fans of the Lucy Cousins’ Maisy Mouse series for three to five year olds. The book is based on the real life experiences of Certified Double Goal Coach Kevin Christofora who volunteers as a little league coach in Woodstock, N.Y.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Personally, I would construct the query to be about the MS first, then why the book is needed in today's market.

amycavenaugh said...

First of all, I LOVE the idea of using a book to get kids excited about baseball again. I would be overjoyed if kids got off the couch, away from their video games and actually PLAYED OUTSIDE. What a concept!

I agree w/ the other commenters that you probably shouldn't start with questions. The agent could say no and stop reading there. Start with what your book is about, maybe with the second paragraph in your rewriter. Best of luck! :)

cocoanqueso said...

I've been looking for an intro-to-baseball book for my son and can't find one that is quite right. I hope it might be your book!

Like the other comments, I'd start with the plot. A fill-in-the-blank form I like to use is:
This is a story about ________
who more than anything wants ______
but can't because___________, _________, and __________
until finally____________

So based on the first 150 and what I know about your story, it might be something like:
This is a story about Nick who more than anything wants to play baseball but can't because he first needs a uniform, a hat, and some terminology until finally his mom signs him up for a team.

Then you could revise it to add voice and details to:
(Adjective that descirbes) Nick always wears his baseball glove. He dreams about baseball. He even practices by throwing goldfish crackers to his dog Yogi. But when Nick's mom signs him up to play on a real team, all that Nick learns gives him a new love of the game (or something less cheesy that summarizes the change in Nick by the end).

In the second paragraph, I'd put the business-y stuff about the book:
The Woodstock All Stars is a 258-word picture book that will appeal to fans of the Lucy Cousins’ Maisy Mouse series for three to five year olds. The book brings the American pastime back into kids' lives, and with it teamwork, discipline and strategy.
Parents who don’t know much about baseball will learn about it as they read to their kids. Parents who already love baseball will have a chance to tell their own stories. It is an opportunity for parents and kids to share the love of the sport together – and it all starts with a bedtime story!

And then a shrot bio including that you're a coach.
So what I just suggested is only 3 paragraphs. From what I've read, PB queries are generally simple like the books they represent.

I hope this helps and keep up the good work!

Traci VanWagoner said...

You've already received some great suggestions. I just want to add that you don't need to try so hard to sell the concept of getting kids interested in baseball and playing outside. And all those questions are definitely a red flag. And your query is doing a lot of telling. Show us why your bedtime baseball book will make all that happen. What is unique about your story? What does your MC want and how does he go about getting it?

Kevin Christofora said...

Wow my head is spinning, this is great!

Rewrite #2

QUERY:

Nick’s mom signed him up for baseball and he was so excited. During Nick’s free time he played catch with his dog Yogi. Everywhere he went he was dreaming about baseball. Billy Ball, the baseball with a face, randomly appears in the corner of the page giving hints or asking questions as each page becomes a discovery of warmth and passion for the sport. When you are too excited to go to sleep, Billy Ball asks “how many baseballs can you find?” Some are easy and some are hard; don’t miss the one under the bed. As the week progresses, Nick becomes a bit nervous about going to his first day of baseball because he doesn’t know what’s going to happen or know anyone there. But when Nick finally shows up to practice and sees all his friends from school there, the nerves are gone. Coach Kevin has all the kids running the bases in the right direction and saying the name of the base as they stepped on them. First, second, third and Home. Home Plate!

Nick's First Day of baseball is a 258-word picture book that will appeal to fans of the Lucy Cousins’ Maisy Mouse series for three to five year olds. The book brings the American pastime back into kids' lives, and with it teamwork, discipline and strategy. Most parents today know very little about baseball. So, unlike previous generations, they don't have a lot to pass on to their children, and most kids today know more about Angry Birds than they do about baseball. It is an opportunity for parents and kids to share the love of a sport together – and it all starts with a bedtime story!

The book is based on the real life experiences of NY State Certified Double Goal Coach, Kevin Christofora, who volunteers as a little league coach in Woodstock, N.Y.

marcyblesy.com said...

I love the idea. We do "get" the thrill of the game at our house still, with two boys who love baseball. I think as young boys they would like a book about getting ready for baseball. I think you have received positive advice about making the query sound less like an essay and display the voice of the story instead. This is a minor qualm, but as the wife of a veterinarian who preaches, "no table food for the dog," the goldfish crackers for the dog raised a red flag for me. Sorry to be so picky. That just is engrained in my head. :-)

Jane Ann McLachlan said...

If you want to show that baseball is better than many people think, you should have the kid start out not really knowing what he's getting into. His Dad - or Mom- says it's so great, but not many of his friends are doing it. Then, slowly over the story, have him learn about the sport and fall in love with it. That seems like it would accomplish your goal better. However, I think all the complaining about no one playing or liking baseball anymore in your query is the kiss of death. If that's true, why publish a book about it? Publishers aren't out to fulfill your higher goals, they're out to make money. Instead talk about the book and the kid. "Tommy wasn't sure he wanted to play baseball until the summer his Mom/Dad signed him up. He was shy/lonely/not a very fast runner...etc." Maybe in the book he could find out he can catch and makes a bunch of friends.

theemptypen said...

Full disclaimer: I know next to nothing about picture books and I am not a baseball fan.

It seems like you’re describing doom and gloom: a shrinking consumer pool. If parents don't care enough about baseball to teach their kid what home plate is, why would they bother to purchase the book? I think agents want to see that there is potential audience for the book, not a shrinking audience.

I live in Chicago…there are two baseball teams here and people are die-hard fans. Even the team that loses all the time always has a packed stadium. I grew up in a smaller town where basketball ruled the entire state. Today there is a minor league baseball team there. I’m only blabbing about myself because, from where I stand, I don’t see the baseball apocalypse…which should be good for your book. There are people who care about baseball and would want to share it with their kids.

This query is all about why your book is needed, but says nothing about the story itself. You liken ‘The Woodstock All Stars’ to ‘Maisy Mouse,’ so I assume that your books is about animals who play baseball (obviously wrong). I don’t know who the characters are or what the crisis is. Trust that your story and characters are what will interest agents and readers.

Elaine Smith said...

I love this.Number 1 and it reminds me of my holiday. I went to my first ever baseball match this summer(AAA - see how knowledgeable I am already ;)If I lived in the US I'd be there for every match.
I've been reading through the different versions as you learn how to write a query that would sell your book to an agent.:D
The pitch needs to paint your main character and what happens to them: the specifics of what goes right and wrong for them.It should sell baseball to the young reader as you write this as an expression of baseball/joy.

Jambo said...

Hi There, I agree with some of the other postings. I want to fall in love with the main character and his story. His story should reveal how great the game is and the benefits it can have to children. I don't know how to pitch picture books so this is just an opinion, but from your query, we can see you are passionate, but I think that comes later in negotiations with publishers and how to pitch it to consumers. Best of luck.

Kevin Christofora said...

I want to write about the main character, but I feel like I am repeating parts of the first 150 words. I tried to use other parts of the story that fell past the first 150 to help show more of the book.

Is this wrong to duplicate the intro and first 150 ?

cocoanqueso said...

Kevin,
I think rewrite #2 made good progress. I'd cut the Billy Ball part from the first paragraph, edit it down to one sentence, and put it somewhere in the second paragraph. I think this because it seems to be more of a marketing point than a major part of the plot.

I just read on one of Deana's links that the word count for a query should be 250. This sounds like a good goal to work toward(for myself also).

And I think you're fine using details from the first 150 in your query. In most cases, the query is what will be read first. The uniqe quality of those details is what is going to get someone to read your story.

Keep it up!
P.S. I'm a pre-this-year Pirates fan. We do exist.

Kevin Christofora said...

Hopefully Final....How does this sound. You all have helped so much. Thank you....

QUERY rev 3

When my son Nick was 5 years old, he was the oddball among his friends. It was my fault. I did the same thing to him that my father did to me. I taught Nick all about baseball.

I wondered what made Nick, the all American kid, so different from his friends. And then I saw the problem — the world has changed since I was allowed to go off to the playground alone, and today’s parents don’t have time to get outside and play ball with their kids. Nick could help return the thrill, the joy, and the team experience of baseball to American youth. It all starts with a bedtime story.

Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball is aimed at 3 to 5 year olds. Parents who don’t know much about baseball can stay ahead of the curve as they read to their kids. Parents who already love the game will have the chance to spin their own baseball stories. It’s the kind of bonding that families will remember forever.

I’m Kevin Christofora, and Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball is based on my own life experiences as a dad, and as a NY State certified Double Goal Little League coach in Woodstock, NY. My teams have already met three Legends of the game — Yogi Berra, Tommy John, and Rollie Fingers — men who not only share my vision to preserve the legacy of baseball, but who have gone the extra mile to help get these girls and boys out of the house and onto the ball field. All I need now is an agent who wants to join our team.

Jayme said...

WOW! This query has come a long way. I love how you start off with the personal connection to your son, but I’d cut the second paragraph or at least trim it down. Maybe something like:

Now, Nick and I hope to return the thrill, the joy, and the team experience of baseball to American youth with our bedtime story, NICK’S VERY FIRST DAY OF BASEBALL, which is aimed at 3 to 5 year olds. Parents unfamiliar with the sport can discover the joy of baseball along with their kids. Parents who already love the game can use the book as an opportunity to share their own baseball memories. It’s the kind of bonding that families will remember forever.

If this feels too short, I’d add more details about the story itself rather than trying to sell it in the abstract. I’d especially caution against saying “today’s parents don’t have time to get outside and play ball with their kids.” This might make some people feel like you are calling them bad parents.

I love your last line about needing an agent who wants to join your team. Very cute! :)

amycavenaugh said...

I love the rewrites! :) Thanks for letting me know you've edited it. I think it sounds so much better & you make more of a personal connection. I agree w/ Jayme's comments, that the second paragraph could be trimmed. Also the line about "parents don't have time" these days may be taken as accusatory. Perhaps if you said something along the lines of they work too hard or often don't have enough time because of work & other responsibilities. You don't want to risk offending your readers.

Great job and good luck! :)

Donald Capone said...

Hi Kevin,

This query has come a long way. I like Jayme's idea about adding "Nick and I hope to return the thrill" and not just "Nick" as you had it. I also like the name-dropping at the end because these players might be able to give blurbs for the book.

My only problem is the first paragraph. It puts baseball in a bad light. You son is an oddball because you taught him baseball? They why would any parent want to teach their kid baseball!? Don't start out with a negative.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I think you should focus on the story's plot first, and then why there is a need for the story in the PB market. For PBs, you only need 1-3 lines about the plot, and then a short paragraph why this story is necessary and that's it. Just like PBs, PB queries are short.

Elaine Smith said...

Your query is a long way from sounding like fiction.

I hope you find these thoughts useful.I don't know a lot about baseball. But, it's Nick's experience you have to sell to little readers and their agents ;)

This is what people are talking about when they say focus on the character - what is the problem is - how they might overcome it.


Near the edge of town, there is a diamond protected by a high link fence, five year old *********** thinks this dusty diamond is the most wonderful place he knows. Nick is excited about going to play baseball. The other kids in school don’t get why Nick is so excited about a long bat, a thick glove and a small ball. Nick finds there is magic in baseball: strikes and scores and running, Nick and his team learn that individual skills make one strong team.
When the other team make it hard for Nick to hit the ball the way he wants he knows something he has learned from Coach will help to win the day: it’s all about confidence, working together and ******
Nicks Very First Day of Baseball: The Woodstock All Stars, will appeal to fans of the ********* (find some soccer/football/lacrosse related sports story) series for three to five year olds. The book is based on the real life experiences of Coach Kevin Christofora who volunteers as a little league coach in Woodstock, N.Y.

If your book doesn't read like this perhaps you could have another look at published picture books looking at other sports and concentrate on showing - through one child's perspective - why all children could easily learn to love baseball. I hope you find these thoughts useful.

cocoanqueso said...

Kevin,
You have aome good stuff to work with in each of your drafts. I think a revision that includes some of each might be what works best. You'll probably have to cut a little more of this (it is 331 words), but given what you have so far here is a suggested query:

Nick’s mom signs him up for baseball and he is so excited. During Nick’s free time he plays catch with his dog Yogi. Everywhere he goes he is dreaming about baseball. As the week progresses, Nick becomes a bit nervous about going to his first day of baseball because he doesn’t know what’s going to happen or know anyone there. But when Nick finally shows up to practice and sees all his friends from school there, the nerves are gone. Coach Kevin has all the kids running the bases in the right direction and saying the name of the base as they stepped on them. First, second, third and Home. Home Plate!

Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball is aimed at 3 to 5 year olds. The book brings the American pastime back into kids' lives, and with it teamwork, discipline and strategy. Parents who don’t know much about baseball can stay ahead of the curve, with the help of the baseball graphic Billy Ball, as they read to their kids. Parents who already love the game will have the chance to spin their own baseball stories. It’s the kind of bonding that families will remember forever.

When my son Nick was 5 years old, he was the oddball among his friends. It was my fault. I did the same thing to him that my father did to me. I taught Nick all about baseball. Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball is based on my own life experiences as a dad, and as a NY State certified Double Goal Little League coach in Woodstock, NY. My teams have already met three Legends of the game — Yogi Berra, Tommy John, and Rollie Fingers — men who not only share my vision to preserve the legacy of baseball, but who have gone the extra mile to help get these girls and boys out of the house and onto the ball field. All I need now is an agent who wants to join our team.

Jane Ann McLachlan said...

Sorry I didn't see this until right now, so my comment is perhaps too late to be helpful. You have really improved this pitch. I liked the previous edition, where you explained the book, with the baseball popping up on each page. This last one, the beginning confuses me. "When my son Nick was 5 years old, he was the oddball among his friends. It was my fault. I did the same thing to him that my father did to me. I taught Nick all about baseball." to me, this sounds like you are saying my son is an oddball because I taught him about baseball and it's my fault he doesn't have any friends. Not a good incentive for anyone to teach their sons about baseball. The rest is good, though.
Good for you for doing these revisions - I never thought of doing that. Now I'd be much more likely to buy this book, especially after the description in your earlier revision. Id try to combine the two - first the explanation about the book, then the bit about your son - without the part that he's become a misfit because of baseball. I think this has a good shot at being published! Good Luck.

Kevin Christofora said...

If there is anyone out there willing, I acknowledge that this PB is lost in the sea of YA, but your all quite talented and I value your opinions. Any construction would be welcomed.

Query Revision#5 (thanks GUTGAA)

QUERY – Picture Book

Nick’s mom signed him up for baseball and he was so excited. During Nick’s free time he played catch with his dog Yogi. Everywhere he went he was dreaming about baseball. Billy Ball, the baseball with a face, randomly appears in the corner of the page giving hints or asking questions as each page becomes a discovery for the sport. As the week progresses, Nick becomes a bit nervous about going to his first day of baseball because he doesn’t know what’s going to happen or know who is there. But when Nick finally shows up to practice and sees all his friends from school there, the nerves disappear. Coach Kevin soon has all the kids running the bases in the right direction and saying the name of the base as they stepped on them. First, second, third and Home. Home Plate!

Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball is aimed at 3 to 5 year olds. Parents who don’t know much about baseball can stay ahead of the curve as they read to their kids. Parents who already love the game will have the chance to share their own baseball stories. It’s the kind of bonding that families will remember forever. It all starts with a bedtime story!

When my son Nick was 5 years old, he was the oddball among his friends. It was my fault. I did the same thing to him that my father did to me. I taught Nick all about baseball.

I wondered what made Nick, the all American kid, so different from his friends. And then I saw the problem — the world has changed since I was allowed to go off to the playground alone, and some of today’s parents often don't have enough time to get outside and play ball with their kids. Nick and I could help return the thrill, the joy, and the team experience of baseball to American youth. It all starts with a bedtime story.

I’m Kevin Christofora, and Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball is based on my own life experiences as a dad, and as a NY State certified Double Goal Little League coach in Woodstock, NY. As President of Woodstock Little League, I have introduced three Legends of the game to the soils of Rick Volz Memorial Field — Yogi Berra, Tommy John, and Rollie Fingers — men who not only share my vision to preserve the legacy of baseball, but who have gone the extra mile to help get these girls and boys out of the house and onto the ball field. All I need now is an agent who wants to join our team.

Sohaib Ahmed said...

I'm not familiar with queries for PB, so please take my comments with a grain of salt. I love your first 150 words - nice voice, imagery, and a sweetness to it I love. But your query reads more like an essay than a pitch. This may be ok for PB (again, I have no idea), but for fiction it's a big no-no. Give us the meat - what does your MC want? What's standing in their way? What happens if they fail? Maybe none of this pertains to PB queries :) Your writing is sound and I agreed with everything you said. Hope this helps! meet and greet parking gatwick