A want ad that's impossible to apply for as a pitch challenges willing suspension of disbelief. This one also I feel is formated more like a roommate wanted flyer than a newspaper classified.
I think a job description narrative like a human resources department might keep in the ordinary course of business would be more apropos. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site has suitable models for emulation purposes. That Department of Labor Web site's Occupational Outlook Handbook has examples of job duties that also inform HR employment guidelines.
A narrative form rather than a listing is smoother to read and pulls readers in and forward. Listings allow a wandering or leaving eye at the end of every line.
Also, use implication for the more grisly details, maybe all the details. Use implication in general so that readers may infer, even the want ad readers within the narrative's setting who, technically, the want ad is for, what's what context and texture, and so on, as well as real-world pitch readers.
For example, for "Excellence in killing preferred," use something to the effect Expertise for wet work conditions preferred. Ironic innuendo, in other words, that could have an innocent interpretation and a sinister interpretation.
quote: Listings allow a wandering or leaving eye at the end of every line.
I see what you're saying. Though I guess my thoughts on it were the classic scenario: getting on an elevator with a publisher on the ground floor, having until he/she gets off at the 23rd floor to sell the novel, pulling out my iPad, opening iWorks, and showing him a job listing.
His/her first thought - Job listing? Piques interest. Second thought: Gwan...gwan what? Lose a little interest. Third thought: South Korea. Foreign novel? Anything to do with axis of evil North Korea? Gain a little interest. Fourth thought: Whoa, three million? Is that a lot? Fifth thought: Only 3 vacation days? What's a chuseok?
Quick scan of bullet points: what, where, when.
Seventh thought: A cop, so attention to details makes sense. Government employee, so ability to follow orders makes sense. Eight thoughts: 17 years "living" experience??? Ninth thought: An action novel probably with characters engaging in combat - killing preferred. Tenth thought: But you have to be a good typist? Fantastical wrapped up in the mundane.
I do like the idea of playing with wording of the qualifications, but then I also think that the pitch should be hits to the face, not something that needs to be mulled over to understand. For instance, though the original wording, "Don't Contact Us, We'll Contact You", makes sense in the world of the novel, Jericho had a point in that it's confusing. I could explain it, but that defeats the purpose.
For the pitch, I wanted something that could be read in twenty to thirty seconds, that would stand out, and that didn't require mental gymnastics to comprehend. And of course, that didn't remind people of something else right off the bat, which dropped all references to the dead. I never saw "R.I.P.D.," but who knows, the publisher I approach might be one of the two people who did see that awful movie.
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The BLS profiles morphed with craigslist classifieds, maybe one or two implied euphemisms, and I think you'd accomplish your intents and meanings. I guess a grammar issue I have with "Excellence in killing preferred" parallels twofold with its directness. One, that pesky multiple parts of speech word dilemma for "in," preposition use in this case that makes use of the word in in all cases cause for clarity evaluation, but also used as an adverb, adjective, and noun. Two, that "in" makes a vague meaning of the sentence either being a killer or being killed. Perhaps another preposition, more precise is called for, say at or for.
"Wet work" is to me a strong signal that includes implied meaning related to clandestine activities, that I think suits the overall novel.
The number of discrete thoughts an average person can hold in thought at one time is seven at maximum, if the thoughts are both familiar and composed as thrilling. Seven is a magical number in that regard. So a list pitch might ought best be seven relatable items.
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So, I think maybe cutting out everything else for this two line pitch:
HIRING: Natural Police
What We Do: Members of the natural police train for and perform a variety of convert actions in order to maintain Party discipline. Perfection isn’t an ‘If’, but a ‘How’.
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Strong but not as clear I think as might be desired. If I didn't know what Natural Police means, I'd infer the title/who's or what's hiring means an individual member rather than the organization.
Colons used to separate title and subtitle and to either follow or imply "as follows" are a scholastic writing principle and signal a degree of formality I think blunts colons' otherwise expressive punctuation use. In prose, colons signal "as follows" for an artful serial listing, oftentimes a triplet, to introduce a summary, an explanation, a final appositive clause, or a long or formal quotation. Note the formality of colon punctuation signals formality, perhaps too formal for a want ad. Though Ernest Hemingway's famous microfiction uses a colon: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." Note: not a gerund verb, though.
The second colon is suitable for formal expression; the first I think is not indicated, not following a gerund verb. However, both their prefatory phrases I feel confuse and diminish rather than clarify and strengthen.
The job description is wordy from multiple prepositions and conjunctions.
Phrases including a preposition, especially of tend to be wordy. Of misuse, overuse, and abuse also tends to be wordy. Same with "in order to" phrases. A denotative of use that is unequivocal in meaning and strong and clear is the possessive case; for example, Possessions of theirs. That example illustrates of wordiness. Their possessions isn't wordy. Using of for attributive case constructions, though, is more so wordy. "Members of the Natural Police" and "variety of covert actions" are attributive case. This attributive case is illustrated by inverting to conventional syntax: Natural Police Members and covert action varieties, respectively. Denotative possessive case example: Children of Jacob; Jacob's Children.
Words used as words (nouns) like "'If'" and "'How'" prescriptively are italicized for emphasis, though italics are conventionally not used in classifieds. In any case, only one emphasis is called for to signal use of a word as a word (noun): italics case, initial capital case, or scare quotes; rarely, maybe bold case.
"Maintain" is a less than robust verb.
The final sentence reads like a secret motto, or is otherwise an esoteric expression that is unclear and vague. In either case, the expression feels like a quote, hence calls for quote marks.
Excised and adjusted for example, to boil down to kernel essence:
Natural Police Wanted
Natural Police candidates train for covert actions to enforce Party discipline. "Enforcement perfection isn't an If but a How."
Military and government publications are notoriously wordy, among other shortcomings. Their language, though intended to clarify and strengthen meaning, accomplishes a diametric opposite, perhaps partly intended to obfuscate so that discourse community outsiders are baffled, like for tax codes and regulations in general.
Emulating government and military language for False Document purposes might at least have another accessible rhetorical purpose, like for ironic commentary about legalese obfuscation.
Requisition one, repeat one, Natural Police candidate for undercover field wet work training: seventeen- to twenty-four-year-old, female person, Eastern ethnicity, suitably proficient in digital technologies, no close familial or social bonds, generally from an impoverished background, in ill health and terminally ill. Suitable candidate will demonstrate a proclivity for unquestionably following direction and no inclination toward second-guessing or hindsight review.
I think extrinsic has it all covered. ----------------------------------------------------- I would like to respond more, but when I read the response of others, such as the talented extrinsic, my draw drops and I shake my head. What can I add? I agree with extrinsic?
Not only that, but the small things I do notice, is usually critiqued by someone already with more writing experience. So I don't respond often. If you have a chapter you would like someone to read, and give you some feed back, I'll give it a shot.
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Your responses are equally as valuable as anyone else's. One aspect of critique response repetition may be more persuasive than others, in a general way. If several responses touch upon similar strengths or shortcomings, a writer is advised to take more notice of them than perhaps single or diverging responses when considering revisions. So any repetition, even in the form of agreement, has value.
Myself, rather than a nodding agreement, I strive to approach a noteworthy strength or shortcoming priorly touched upon by another participant's response from a different direction. Though perhaps repetitious, I feel doing so contributes to and furthers nonethless the discussion.
As to my "talents," I have many years of workshop experience in person and online and deep and wide writing study, as well as years of professional editing experience and writing teaching practice. If my responses tend to keep others from responding, for that I apologize. I didn't develop my critiquing, writing, or editing skills without participating though. So have at it to the best of your abilities. Developing critiquing skills develops writing and rewriting skills. That is the fundament of critique. By participating, your skills in either area will grow and you will reap the fruits of your labors.