I'm so pleased to be a host for Pitch On! It's an opportunity for writers across the internet to post an editor. The hosts are critiquing individual pitches on their blogs, and in a couple weeks they'll all go up on Down Under Wonderings or YATopia to be perused by Marisa Pintado of Hardie Grant Edgmont!
Time for my brave writer to get her Pitch On!*
Name: Alexandra Hayman
Title: MAD AS A HATTER
Genre: YA Supernatural Thriller
Word Count: 51,000
Pitch: For fourteen-year-old Emil Aleric, the series of ‘Wonderland Murders’ ravaging London mean only one thing: his former abductor, the Hatter, is back. Seven years ago, the man took Emil to a place called Wonderland, murdered Emil’s sister, and barely missed Emil himself. Emil knows he won’t be able to hide forever—until his best friend is taken by the madman, and Emil’s not sure he wants to.
I've seen this MS running around the contest circuit, and this writer running around Twitter, and am seriously impressed with both. So excited you landed on my little old blog, dear writer!
So, this is a compelling pitch. There are just a few things that were unclear or I felt could be cut.
(Re: pitches - In my experience, clarity and economy of words can't be underestimated.)
I'd love to know what differentiates the Wonderland Murders from any other crime. Give me a sense of the horror.
I think you can cut "a place called Wonderland" in the second sentence, and just tell us that he abducted Emil. That means you can take "his former abductor" out of that first sentence, too! :D
How did the Hatter "barely miss" Emil? Did Emil escape? If he did, that tells us something cool about Emil in a few words - he has tenacity and wit. See if you can replace that "barely missed" with more specific words that also tell us something about story or character.
I understand what your last sentence is trying to say, but I think we might be able to streamline it with some artful rewording. What about, "Emil knows it's only a matter of time until the Hatter catches him, too - until he decides that he's going to be the one to catch the Hatter?" Just a suggestion. :D
I'd love to see a little extra bit of voice in here - just a little phrase or a word here or there would do. What's something that Emil says when he's mad or frustrated? That might be a great way to squeeze a little voice in there. :D
*Please feel free to comment and critique for Alexandra and her lovely pitch as well! When you're done, the other hosts and I would love it if you'd run around to their blogs and critique over there, as well! Thanks, sweet readers!