It's been a while since I made a #pitchShredding post, in part because I've been working on finishing the first draft of my second book. Well, it's finished now, at 105,169 words. This means that until I start editing, I'll have more time to spend on blogging.
Formatting is important in a successful pitch. This pitch came to me as a bit of a mess, with no spacing between paragraphs. In its original form, it looked like a big block of text and was hard to read. For your sake, I've added spacing between the paragraphs, but a note to the author: Be sure to space out your paragraphs when sending a query. Anything you can do to make it more readable and more enjoyable for the agent/editor will improve your chances of scoring with them.
The outrage generated over "designer babies" never occurred in this alternate reality. Soon, every aspect of genetics could be altered and made to fit certain codes. If a parent wanted a beautiful, intelligent child with a love for horses and hatred of the color yellow, it could be arranged. These arrangements soon became the norm, and eventually the decision to have an unaltered child was taken out of parents' hands. The governments in every country across the globe mandated arrangements for all. Few can fight these genetic proclivities. Those who can struggle to remain themselves, and battle to change the laws through quiet rebellion.
Fidelia has one goal in life: to make her own decisions. To pick her own favorite color, favorite animal, and her own husband. Her parents and lifetime boyfriend aren't the only ones standing between her and this dream; the United States government, and even the entire world, wishes to prevent her from becoming an individual. Her own DNA makes it difficult to fight the global mandate of arranging children while still in the womb.
When she sheds her cumbersome name for Fae and runs away from home, she sets into motion a series of events destined to change the very fabric of her world. She joins the rebellion, and they have a daunting objective: convince the future president of the United States to repeal the arrangement laws. The mission itself tests their ingenuity, and with a traitor or two amongst their numbers, it seems as if they are destined to fail.
In a world where every woman is chipped to alert the government to her pregnancy and men who rebel are given irreversible vasectomies, Fae and her new friends fight to hang onto their individuality and the hope for children free from arrangements.
"The outrage generated over 'designer babies' never occurred in this alternate reality." - This felt like a good opening line to me, even though it didn't include a character to connect with. It included vital information required to understand the story, the setting, and the conflict. The problem is, I find there is actually too much info in the first paragraph of this pitch. Too much world building, without anything to really connect with.
Genetics do not determine free will. We all have it, and even if a primal force inside of us says to do one thing, free will allows us to ignore that primal force. I'm having trouble with the premise of this one, simply because you're talking about a nation that was founded on the principles of freedom, and this story puts us in a place where freedom is basically nonexistent.
That aside, there is a bunch of uncertain language here that I think could be made stronger by removing the uncertainty. "with a traitor or two..." Is it one or two? "it seems as if..." Seems?
We don't have a really clear idea of what or who is trying to stop them. Is there a particular branch of the government? Traitors? Some other outside force? Clear this up, and I think you'll have a good pitch here.
Does this pitch raise any questions for you?
Do you think the stakes are clear enough? What would you do to improve them?
Are you connecting with the main character in this pitch?
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