Monday, September 10, 2012

Pitch Polish #104


TRANSCEND
WOMEN'S LIT
110,000 WORDS

Query: 

Nora Clark's  presumed smooth transition to heaven is a turbulent hell. All Nora wants is to check in on her husband and sons, but the rules of heaven won’t allow it until she has completely transitioned, something she just can’t seem to do. Nora believes unfinished work with people at her foundation for organ transplant families is keeping her between lives, something she thinks she can fix despite being dead. But when Nora discovers she can interact with strangers still on earth and that these organ recipients could be the connection to her husband and sons, Nora is willing to abandon her work and break the rules of heaven if it means she can be close to her family. Nora's good intentions could end up costing her more than she ever dreamed.

First 150 Words:

The day before I died, Charlie and I danced to B.B. King. I watched the smiles appear on the faces of our family and friends when the song started, many who had been at our wedding 25 years ago. For me and Charlie, it was always that song. 
My sons walked in the room, toasting us with fists full of window markers, empty cans with string hanging off and smiles.  My mom was behind them armed with her patented “don’t-try-it-again” look.  Despite the obvious size difference, once her hand was on their shoulders, their antics ceased.
“Looks like our car was the latest victim of their pranks.” I sighed.  “Do you think they will ever outgrow that phase?” 
Charlie just shook his head. “They’ll figure it out someday. At least they are on the same team again. But remember, this night is supposed to be about us.”  


8 comments:

Pikes Peak Writers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon Lawrence said...

Sorry! That comment up there was me, but I posted from the wrong account. Here it is from the proper account:

Sounds like it can be very sweet, and quite interesting.

I felt like the word "Nora" was used a little too much in the query portion. Maybe spread it out with "she" a bit more.

Two spots start with "something she..." Perhaps change one of those sentences slightly so it isn't repeated like that (I do that with "though" a lot).

Maybe add a comma after "But when Nora discovers she can interact with strangers still on earth,..."

Great last line!

Sweet opening to your 150 words. Sets a positive tone for her life on earth, introduces a fun and loving family.

"For Charlie and I, it was always that song" might be better, grammatically.

myupsndowns said...

I love this premise... very original idea!

The second paragraph on your first 150 words could be tightened up a little. I had to read it a few times to get it... or maybe it's just been a long day for me to try to read right now! Haha.

I also think perhaps you repeat Nora's name too much in the query. Some of those could just be replaced with simply "she".

Overall, I really like it and would love to read more of it.

Good luck!

Jessica Peterson said...

I agree with shannon, I felt like Nora was popping up a lot as well. I like your hook but maybe you could find a different word than presumed, I find when I rea it out loud it's almost a tongue twister. I like the rest of it, you tell us what the story is about. Just one last thing, I personally like your last line but I've been told a lot to steer clear of cliches, just something to think about. Good job though, and good luck :)

amycavenaugh said...

I agree that I am intrigued by the premise and that Nora is probably used too much. I enjoyed reading the first 150 words and would like to read more. Good job! Best of luck :)

Seth Z. Herman said...

Hey,
I like the premise here, and the writing is technically sound. I think there's a slight lack of tension in the query - a little too much background info for my taste (not sure we need the information about the organ donation unfinished work). Maybe get straight to the "interacting with strangers still on earth" part - that's the most attention grabbing, in my humble opinion.

But overall, good work, and interesting writing.

Good luck with it!

Seth
#64

amandakbyrne said...

I don't have much to add. I think you should keep the bit about her foundation, because it's essential to the plot-she sees it as a way to get close to her family again, but it ultimately causes problems. I do think that sentence could be shorter, and it feels awkwardly worded. Maybe work in the part about her foundation before this sentence, and then say unfinished business might be what's keeping her transition in limbo? Sorry I can't be more specific-if I think of something more useful I'll leave another comment :)

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