Monday, January 21, 2008

Evil Editors and Pitch Ideas – Round 2

Don't forget Church Lady is hosting an Evil Editor extravaganza on her blog this Thursday with an appearance by the curmudgeonly guy promised as bait to draw us in. Here's what I think he looks like.

Hey, I may need him someday!

What a weekend! After 5 serene, relaxing days at home, I spent the weekend on the go nonstop. My cult really kept me busy so I’m way behind in blogland.

Thank you to everyone who commented on the pitch ideas. Now I’m even more befuddled than before. Perhaps if I give you more information about the protagonist it will clarify the stories.

Meet Annie Powell – a 50ish woman. She’s practical and down to earth with a dry sense of humor and an innate ability to solve puzzles and find solutions to problems. She’s the person everyone turns to when they need assistance or advice which makes her the perfect executive assistant to the owner of the Active Seniors Retirement Corporation (ASRC).

She’s tall and average size (at least according to the latest fashion magazines), dresses well but never pays full price for anything. Exercise is important to her, but she’s not a fanatic and her diet frequently includes chocolate and hamburgers.

Annie belongs to a social organization she lovingly refers to as her cult. The members of Peony Chapter are dear to her and, since many of them are older, she has plenty of mothers to give her unwanted advice. There are men in her chapter, but the women rule the roost.

Though she had several opportunities, Annie never married and this is a source of constant worry for her friends and family. The happier Annie is alone, the unhappier everyone else is.

The offices of ASRC are on the top floor of huge, old high school that was converted several years ago to a senior retirement community. This provides Annie lots of opportunities to interact with the residents and staff.

So, knowing more about my protagonist, do either one of the pitch ideas stand out?


Robin S. said...

Ha! Does EE know about this one?

WriterKat said...

I'm still a fan of pitch #2 "Altered".

If that is what EE looks like, I am spending my week at church. :-)

The Anti-Wife said...

EE's way too cool and important to stop by here.

I'm leaning towards 2 just because of all the wacky secondary characters. And yes, I believe EE is really a Clooney clone and God can't help you with this one cause she's sweating over that picture too.

cyn said...

i love this character sketch, AW. how about this, which novel idea would challenge you more as a writer? which would allow you to stretch your writerly wings, whether it's a diff / multi pov or use of humor or ticking time bomb, etc?

Josephine Damian said...

AW: good for you for taking the high road with EE.

I had a much better sense of the story in Pitch 1.

*Just as they were about to open their meeting,*

I don't think of church as a meeting (though some do) which is why I wasn't exactly sure of the setting.

*a dead man fell through the ceiling and landed in front of the altar.*

Dramatic, but I wanted to know who's the MC - if you pitched to an agent, you'd have to pitch as if it were a stand alone, and not figure prior familiarity with pitch 1.

*Now the ladies of Peony Chapter*

Still don't get what Peony Chapter is. And "the ladies" is too difused for a pitch, I want something like: Joan Smith and her cohorts...

*must discover who he is, how he died and why he waited until Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. to drop in on them.*

No enough conflict for me, I'm afraid. Pitch 1 gets my vote.

The Anti-Wife said...

How about a humorous ticking time bomb. It has to have humor.

That's not a high road. It's an ass-kissing back alley just in case EE ever stops by here.

Thanks for the critique. It really helps.

Church Lady said...

Evil is alluring!
Thanks for posting!!!

The Anti-Wife said...

I have it on good authority - that's exactly what he looks like. Can't wait for the fun on Thursday.

Ello said...

You gotta go with 2 and let your humor shine!

Stephen Parrish said...

In comments to the previous post Holly Kennedy said, BTW, for me, number one sounded like it could be any book already written, published, and sitting on a shelf somewhere.

I agree. Number two has potential. You need a distinct protagonist (a leader of the group) and some uncommon obstacles standing in her way.

Church Lady said...

I'm also firmly in the #2 camp. (what Stephen said)

The protag you outlined here seems dry, to me. Like you're keeping her at arms length. I like the energy in #2. I think you can develop a compelling, quirky character for this one.

Just my *2* cents.


Anonymous said...

Now that's smart thinking!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the pitches, I like the specific actions in #2 (rather than the more general statements in #1), but would like to see a little more in it.

Mary Witzl said...

I hate being indecisive and desperately want to be able to tell you that one of these strikes me as far better than the other. But I like both. I give you my word that I would tell you if I didn't think either had promise, but truly, I would not be able to choose between these if I read these descriptions on the dust jackets.

Fortunately for you, your other commenters can make up their minds!

The Anti-Wife said...

My humor has to come through no matter what I write. It's what keeps me sane.

I will try to beef up my protaganist, but I think her interactions with the people around her will bring out more of her personality.

The Anti-Wife said...

I have plenty of quirky characters surrounding my protag that may make her wetter! (oh, sometimes I crack myself up!)

Nothing wrong with a little sucking up, eh? Speaking of which, when is your next contest oh Fabulous One?

The Anti-Wife said...

The more I get to know you, the more I would swear we are sisters. Twins separated at birth only I was probably born a few years before you. Poor mom!

Merry Monteleone said...

I'm still sticking with number one, because I'm stubborn that way - though knowing the character a bit better makes number two more appealing than it was originally...

The character sketch is striking as a bit flat because it's all passive description... just an idea, but what if you rewrote it in your character's voice? Have her write or speak her own bio and see how it hits...

I'm also not quite sure what the Peony club is - the reference to alter made me wonder if they're pagans.