Pitch madness!

LipeiArtwork by Hazel Butler

Artwork by Hazel Butler

That’s right, folks, I’ve got pitch madness!  What, pray tell, is pitch madness?  Why, it’s a lovely competition run by the lovely Brenda Drake and it’s happening right now! 🙂  Well, kind of.  The submission window was yesterday and the task for those who chose to accept it was to submit a 35-word logline (a pitch) and the first 250 words of their completed novels.  The slush zombies are currently wading through all the submissions and choosing who will advance to the next round.

Unlike during GUTGAA when I was on the edge of my seat, I was slightly more relaxed this time around because there was no entrant cap – everyone who entered during the window got in.  But!  That hasn’t stopped me from second-guessing every bit of my submission ever since I hit send yesterday morning.

I’ve been working over my pitch and my MS quite a bit over the course of the last six months, but that hasn’t stopped me from feeling insecure about the whole big mess, especially since I have a variety of short pitches in the works now.  Do I use one of the ones I created for the #PitMad pitchfest last fall?  Do I use the one I currently have up on authonomy?  Do I use the one-sentence synopsis I spent a whole day trying to draft?

In the end, I went with my one-line synopsis, but I’m unconvinced of its quality (read: ability to sell).  Since I’m in the midst of a great revision swap with a great friend/CP who has some great ideas on how I can improve my work (like finding synonyms for the word great :)), I feel slightly more confident in my excerpt.

Now that I’ve blathered on about all this stuff for four paragraphs, would you like to see my submission?  Yes?  Okay then!

The Pitch
When Vegin’s parents are murdered, he must defeat the high priest to save his family and reunite the kingdom.

See?  This is why I freaked out last night when I saw this:

After that, I decided perhaps I should just stay away from Twitter till the 26th, when the announcement is made about who will be moving on to Round Two.  Yeah, like that’ll happen. 😀

The Excerpt

Vegin considered the man before him, a poor farmer from an outlying village.  Tears had carved grooves through the layers of dirt on his face as he begged for mercy.  The prince paused for a moment to choose his next words, glancing at his father out of the corner of his eye and wondering if his judgment would be allowed to stand.

But as Vegin opened his mouth to pass sentence on the man, Tol sighed loudly, letting his hand drop against the arm of his throne in irritation.  “I’ve heard enough – if you can’t pay your taxes, then you’ll simply have to work off your debt!  Guards, take him away!”

“Father, you’re only supposed to observe,” Vegin hissed.  “Remember?”

“But your Highness, please!  My family – without me, they’ll starve!”

Tol stared at his son, disbelief etched on his face as shock quickly replaced his anger.  “I’ll deal with you in a moment,” he said, glaring daggers at Vegin, who rose from his seat and stormed out of the room.  “As for you,” he bellowed, returning his attention to the old farmer, “you should have thought of your family before you decided not to pay your taxes.  If they die, you’ll have only yourself to blame.”

He dismissed the guards who had appeared at the man’s sides with a wave of his hand.  As Tol rose from his throne, he caught his wife’s eye and she leaped to her feet.  At least someone jumps at my command, he thought.  “Come, Enya!”

So.  Here’s hoping I can advance!  And I hope everyone else will do well, too.  I had such fun with GUTGAA that, even if I don’t move on, I’m looking forward to the community of Pitch Madness.  I do so love making new friends! 🙂

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