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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » New MS Pitch for The Keystone

   
Author Topic: New MS Pitch for The Keystone
MattLeo
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I'm planning on entering *The Keystone* into Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA), and as part of that I'm reworking my agent query to be a contest pitch.

For that purpose I'm replacing the query opening soliciting representation with an elevator pitch -- not the one I used in last months pitch contest ("An irascible space captain always manages to give her gregarious ex-husband the slip, but this time he's coming for her with something she desperately needs: a job.") with a new elevator pitch. I also replace the final paragraph with another, genre-identifying pitch. I've also streamlined the body of the pitch to reduce word count and jargon.

--- new MS pitch V1 ---
A short-tempered space captain must take her charismatic ex-husband and his insufferable fiancée on an expedition that will change the course of galactic history, in a comic novel that’s pulp-scifi-meets-The-Philadelphia-Story.

Ten years of hardship and toil in deep space have transformed Kate MacClaine from a painfully shy young frontierswoman into a gruff, abrasive loner. When she returns from her tour in the space exploration service, Kate finds her charming, aristocratic ex-husband waiting for her. Archie's never gotten over her, so Kate's got to get moving before he turns his legendary powers of persuasion on her.

Before she can slip away, her ship is caught up in an epic bureaucratic disaster, and Kate needs Archie's silver tongue to extract it. But to her surprise it's not Kate he's after this time; it's her incomparable spacefaring skills. He needs her to lead an expedition that will tip the balance of power in the galaxy, and - oh yes - his unspeakable new fiancée is coming along. Kate may be the finest space explorer of her generation, but it's starting to feel lonely at the top.

THE KEYSTONE follows the adventures of a cast of appealing oddballs in the anachronistic future imagined by Golden Age sci-fi authors.
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Long Writer B8
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I think your pitch line grabs. The followup doesn't feel quite as sharp.

If Archie hasn't gotten over her, why is he only interested in her spacefaring skills & bringing a fiancee -- seems a contradiction unless it is only her perception.

Is it important that he is aristocratic for the pitch?

I'm not sure what a "bureaucratic disaster" is, but it sounds like a glitch with a bureaucratic fix.

I don't think you need "incomparable" to modify spacefaring skills. You repeat later that she is the "finest space explorer of her generation." I would opt for leaner prose.

Overall, this sounds like an interesting story.

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