Sunday, January 30, 2011

One Sentence Pitch

I saw some advice on line earlier this week from an agent who said your query letter should be a pitch not a plot summary.  In my spare moments during this busy week, I've been rewriting (dozens of time) my one sentence pitch.  I'm going to bravely throw it out there for critiques.  I'm pretty sure no one who visits my blog has read this book, First Dragon, so this single sentence will give you the feel for the book or not. 

Men born with dragon-blood ignite a war that could end civilization and the only hope of the free people of Morbunda rests with a young man who must accept his role as a true dragon and a young woman who learns she can call the wind.

I've been on crutches for three weeks and through four snow storms.  I'm tough.  I can take it.  What do you think of my pitch?  What do you think about one-sentence pitches in general?  Now that I remembered to include it!!!


  1. Was the "Crutches...snow storms..." sentence the pitch?

  2. I think I missed the pitch as well...

  3. I don't see it unless its the crutches sentence. Those one sentence pitches can be a real bugger to make ... fortunately my editor came up with one for me.

  4. HHMM. I'm not sure about a one sentence pitch. The one you provided didn't work for me. It tells me nothing about who or where. The only hook I can see is why was this person/being on crutches. The writing course I just finished teaches us about "The Sentence". It's a -30 or less- sentence that sums up your book. It needs your protag, antag (in some form) and a hook. Here are two "Sentences" describing my current wips:

    1. While being hunted for her crimes, a princess turned pirate must save her dying planet from the confederation sworn to protect it.

    2. A brilliant archeologist must partner with an unlikely ally after she is forced to awaken a war among the heavens.

    Hope this helps.

  5. I can only say I did take a lot of advil while on crutches. I forgot to put in the pitch sentence. The crutch thing was real. LOL
    I hope you'll come back and comment on the pitch but please no comments on my brain blip.

  6. OH MY! I promise I'm not laughing. Too much. Hope you feel better soon. I like the idea of the sentence but I wonder could you condense it a little. By the time I finished reading I forgot what the first part was. Could you leave out the "end..civilization" and "people of Morbunda"? Maybe tighten the "young man...woman..calls the wind".

  7. I like your suggestions, LA. I thought it sounded a little 'run-on' but wasn't sure what to cut and retain meaning.

  8. I agree with the suggested cuts. And I like me some em dashes. They break up a sentence--and make it easier to read.

    How about this:

    "Men born with dragon-blood ignite a war that could end civilization--and the only hope rests with a young man who must accept his role as a true dragon and a young woman who can call the wind."

    I cut the people of Moribundia because I thought they might be included in "civilization."

    Sounds like a fun read.

  9. Oh, you guys are good. I'm rewriting it with all these great suggestions. Shorter but better.