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Psychic Circle ~ Souls Entwined

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pitch Polish Blog Hop

Gearing Up to Get An Agent (GUTGAA) Blog Hop Pitch Critque


Deana Barnhart has come up with an ingenious way to help out out aspiring novelists. She has created the Gearing Up To Get An Agent blog hop. This blog hop was created to give writers a chance to have their pitch critiqued by their peers. Please feel free to give helpful critique to help polish up this Pitch to attract a literary agent.
 
Here's my pitch:


Name: Debbie Cocchio
Title: The Psychic Circle, Souls Entwined
Genre: YA Paranormal
Word Count: 56,043

Rachel hears spirits and delivers messages from the dead, Billy taps into minds. Along with a psychic, a shaman, and a healer they form “The Psychic Circle” to explore their unique paranormal world.
Billy teaches Rachel about things she never knew existed when he takes a risk, linking his mind to hers, taking her places she’s never been before, teaching her trust and compassion through their explorations, and awakening a newfound desire within.

When black-magic-obsessed Melody joins, things go very wrong. Their souls are manipulated against their wills and they retaliate.
Souls Entwined takes a different twist than the usual paranormal – no vampires or werewolves. Instead, it searches the world of supernatural teens struggling with the “normal” world, while navigating their own. It’s based on true, mind-blowing experiences in a real ‘psychic circle’ with an added twinge of romance.

First 150 words:
I glance down at my arms, hairs standing at attention, causing me to shiver as the
icy coldness rakes its fingers up and down my spine, gripping my soul. Cool sweat beads form across my upper lip.
 
It’s definitely not the first time a spirit has walked through me. Typically unexpected, it usually catches me off guard.

You’d think I’d get used to it by now.

Geez! I hate it when this happens!

My heart thumps louder.

Trembling, I lean over and prop myself up against the planked wall, my cheek presses against the coolness of the wood. A ball of electricity surges through me, tugging at the fibre of my being and knocking the air from my lungs. Ringing reverberates in my ears while I close my eyes and gasp for oxygen like a drowning victim in an icy lake. I shudder.

I think I just wet myself.       

6 comments:

  1. Hi Debbie,
    I didn't make it here on the initial GUTGAA blog hop but I'm here now! I've written a YA Paranormal too, it's called Unquiet Souls, haha (though it isn't the ms I'm using for PitchPolish).
    Here are my thoughts on your query-
    Simplify - this may or may not be what you are saying in your first sentence but maybe
    "Rachel delivers messages from the dead and her friend Billy taps into the minds of the living." (Because for her to deliver messages she has to hear them first right?)
    Here's another question - what does a psychic do that Rachel and Billy don't have covered?
    "When Billy links his mind to Rachel's he takes her places she's never seen before, teaches her about trust, and awakens her desire." (Because the sentence as is is very long-winded).

    "When Melody joins the Psychic Circle, her obession with black magic endangers everyone." (or something like that to avoid that overly hyphenated set of words)

    Their souls are manipulated against their wills and they retaliate. (This sentence is really vague - I don't know who is manipulating souls, how souls can be manipulated, what the result of the manipulation is, or who "they" are that retaliate, or how they retaliate. Let me tell you from personal experience, agents HATE vague).

    Souls Entwined takes a different twist than the usual paranormal – no vampires or werewolves. (There are plenty of YA paranormal books out there without vampires/werewolves, I would omit this)
    Instead(omit and replace with ENTWINED SOULS), it (omit) follows supernatural(ly powerful) teens struggling with the “normal” world, while navigating their own (because as is you've used "world" twice which is almost never a good thing). It’s based on true, mind-blowing (I would omit mind-blowing it's a bit 70s hippy sounding and I think "true" is stronger without it) experiences in a real ‘psychic circle’ with an added twinge (twinge means sharp pain, pinch, tweak I don't think this is the word you want-maybe "twist" or "dash" or "helping") of romance.


    First 150 words:
    I glance down at my arms, hairs standing at attention, causing me to shiver (well this reads as though the hairs are making her shiver) as the
    icy coldness rakes its fingers up and down my spine, gripping my soul (I'm not sure how coldness on one's spine translates to having one's soul gripped - and I'm not sure what that means, soul gripping). Cool sweat beads form across my upper lip.


    It’s definitely not the first time a spirit has walked through me. Typically unexpected, it usually catches me off guard. (I would omit definitely, and change the second sentence to "As usual, it catches me off guard.")


    You’d think I’d get (be)used to it by now.

    Geez! I hate it when this happens! (This has a very light humourous tone which is unexpected since I thought I was supposed to be sensing not just cold, but also fear)

    My heart thumps louder.


    Trembling, I lean over and prop myself up against the planked wall, my cheek presses against the coolness of the wood. A ball of electricity surges through me, (I would omit this part, it's vague - tugging at the fibre of my being) and knocking the air from my lungs. Ringing reverberates in my ears while I close my eyes and gasp for oxygen like a drowning victim in an icy lake. I shudder.


    I think I just wet myself. (Again humorous, but kind of incongruous-I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be smiling or sitting on the edge of my seat)
    Anyway, those are just my subjective opinions. I love paranormal stuff and the idea of a teen psychic circle is an awesome premise. Good luck! And if you have a minute come visit
    http://rhiannwynnnolet.blogspot.com/
    And when PitchPolish starts come tear apart my pitch. I mean it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, great ideas Rhiann. Thanks for all your input. I love it when others can see what I can't. A second set of eyes helps me tremendously.
      I am grateful and will take a look at yours too.

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  2. HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS. TAKE THEM WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. I APPLY THE SAME CRITERIA HERE AS I DO WITH MY WRITING GROUP AND WE JOKE ABOUT HOW MUCH SHREDDING GOES ON AT OUR MEETINGS. WITH THAT SAID, HERE GOES.

    Rachel hears spirits and delivers messages from the dead, Billy taps into minds. Along with a psychic, a shaman, and a healer they form “The Psychic Circle” to explore their unique paranormal world.
    Billy teaches Rachel about things she never knew existed when he takes a risk, linking his mind to hers, taking her places she’s never been before, teaching her trust and compassion through their explorations, and awakening a newfound desire within.

    When black-magic-obsessed Melody joins, things go very wrong. Their souls are manipulated against their wills and they retaliate.
    Souls Entwined takes a different twist than the usual paranormal – no vampires or werewolves. Instead, it searches the world of supernatural teens struggling with the “normal” world, while navigating their own. It’s based on true, mind-blowing experiences in a real ‘psychic circle’ with an added twinge of romance.(IF THIS IS THE MESSAGE YOU WANT THE AGENT TO SEE, THEN YOU NEED TO SHOW THEM HOW THE TEENS STRUGGLE WITH THE NORMAL WORLD AND THE CONFLICTS AND CHALLENGES FACING THEM AS THEY NAVIGATE THEIR WORLD WITH THEIR POWERS. ALL BOOKS ARE ABOUT 3 THINGS: GOALS, CONFLICT, AND MOTIVATION. THAT’S WHAT WE SHOULD BE TRYING TO CONVEY IN A QUERY: WHAT THE MC WANTS, WHY S/HE WANTS IT AND WHAT’S STANDING IN HER WAY OF GETTING IT. THE ONLY THING I GET FROM YOUR QUERY IS THAT “THEIR” SOULS ARE BEING MANIPULATED AGAINST THEIR WILL. I THINK YOU HAVE A GREAT IDEA HERE, BUT IT’S NOT GETTING CONVEYED IN A WAY THAT SAYS, MUST READ.)

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  3. Thank you for your helpful critique. I will definitely use it in revamping my pitch. This is exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate your help.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not very well versed with queries, or the subject matter you are writing about in this manuscript. But I did enjoy reading the first 150 words.

    The query should include the MC, the conflict he/she is facing and the choice he/she needs to make. If you can throw in a little setting and description in a unique, unobtrusive way, then you have nailed the art of the query letter. this in one of my gals this month and so far, I haven't nailed it yet.

    Anyway, hello through GUTGAA. I'm late making my rounds, but they say it's better late than never!
    Talynn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Talynn,
      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and help out. I appreciate the advice. I need to make my rounds too, probably on the weekend. Good luck to you!

      Delete