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What is my #Pitchmadness Pitch for The Precious Quest?

The format for the #pitchmadness pitch included starting with a 35 word logline. Trying to summarize my 90,000 high fantasy, novel manuscript into a two-page synopsis was challenging enough, but 35 words? I was a little unsure if I could do it well.

According to tweets posted by the slush readers, the logline also had to fulfill the following:
  1. Make grammatical sense
  2. Make sense in terms of the plot
  3. Have the same tone as the manuscript
  4. Sound intriguing enough to encourage the reader to continue
So I started. And then I revisited it over a few days. And then I put in the final logline revisions right before submission. And ended up submitting this:

Laywren’s destiny is to make war and fill the goddess’ Hall with souls. But when betrayers block the return of those souls, Laywren becomes an instrument of extinction, and children become the most precious quest.

The next step in submission was to pitch the first 250 words of the manuscript. Lucky for me, my manuscript excerpt ended right where a reader would ask, "Did she kill him or didn't she?"

Here's the pitch, format and all.


Dear reader,

 Please find my pitch below.

 NAME: Cheryl R Cowtan
TITLE: The Precious Quest
GENRE: Adult High Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 90,000

PITCH:
Laywren’s destiny is to make war and fill the goddess’ Hall with souls. But when betrayers block the return of those souls, Laywren becomes an instrument of extinction, and children become the most precious quest.


EXCERPT:
 
Nethaz, the giant warrior dropped to his knees, his weight rumbling the ground beneath my feet. I raised my bow, scanning the forest at his back and the battlefield at his side. The bodies of the dying warriors lay still in the red dust.

Nethaz’s powerful hands released his axe and shield, and the clang of his weapon’s fall echoed across the field, ringing into silence. The giant’s head dropped to his chest, and his black hair parted revealing the back of his neck. An axe wielder does not bear his neck, not on the field of battle.

“What ails you?” I called out.

He did not answer, but rocked on his knees, his long hair swinging around his face. I listened in disbelief, as a low keening moan escaped his twisted mouth. My heart hardened, for his tears stained our victory. I turned my bow his way and narrowed my eyes to protect my unblinking stare from the drying winds. As I made my decision, the blood rushed to my ears, and the sound of Nethaz’s shuddering breaths sharpened.

“What do you do, Laywren?” Dorn’s steady voice rolled across my tense back, as he walked up from behind me.

I did not turn. “Nethaz regrets fighting for the Horde,” I answered, drawing back the arrow until the bowline sung.

Sobs ripped out of the warrior’s depths like an inner-pounding, and my face burned with his shame.

“I counsel you, Laywren. Do not slaughter him for lack of understanding.”

“His weakness has chosen a side,” I replied, steadying my aim.


Thank you for taking the time to read my pitch. The Precious Quest manuscript is complete and polished, and available at your request.

 
Kind regards,
 
Cheryl R Cowtan
Author & Educator

 See my author web site http://www.cherylcowtan.com
Follow me on Twitter @NspiredMe2Write
Like imaginative fantasy quotes, quips and queries?
http://cherylcowtanwrites.tumblr.com
Need success tips for writers?
http://cherylcowtanonwriting.blogspot.ca
Want to explore some thoughtful literary essays and ideas?
http://cherylcowtan.wordpress.com


Now, I just wait until March 18th to find out if my pitch will be tagged, passed on or accepted. In the meantime, I follow the buzz on twitter at @pitchmadness. You can too.

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