MISSION X #pitchslam critique party

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Here’s two 35 word pitches for MISSION X, my YA sci-fi. They are 35 words on the nose and no I didn’t add his age! Maybe I can find room in one. Anyhow would love your input. Thanks!

The game raised and taught Xander every skill imaginable. When the championship teams him with neurotic Akemí and bans life saving reboots, Xander must risk life and limb to escape this girl of his nightmares.


Winning the championship means Xander can enter the real world, where real missions begin. Losing means he gets stuck with his bossy, female teammate Akemí indefinitely. His deadly competition better watch out, because game on.

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14 thoughts on “MISSION X #pitchslam critique party

  1. Taking your comments into consideration, how does this sound:

    Winning the championship means eighteen-year-old Xander can enter the real world, where real missions begin. Losing means he’s stuck in a game that’s beginning to turn on him in deadly ways. Game on.

    I feel this pitch is too vague but wanted to address weak stakes. I feel like this has less voice. Arg

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  2. I like the beginning of your rewrite, but the end does seem a little vague. What about:

    Losing means he’s stuck in a game that could kill him. Or worse- trap him forever with the girl of his nightmares.

    I’m not sure that it fits your story. But something along those lines? 🙂

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  3. The question I still have is, is this real life or just a game? Does Xander exist separately or is his whole existence the game?

    If his whole actual existence is the game, then losing is more of a stake. If it’s just his figurative existence but he can actually go on with his life, then it’s weak.

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    1. ooooh. yes his existence is in the game. He doesn’t mosey on to real life. He doesn’t even know what real life is and begins to questing the aspect of his freedom, or lack thereof. Plus the game begins to turn on him in deadly ways. But how to put this in a pitch???

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      1. I would take out the negative descriptors of your female character and use those as negative descriptors of the world.

        e.g. Losing means he’s stuck in this level with his teammate Akemí forever.

        I care more that he can never ever advance than that she’s a negative female stereotype (which she’s probably not, but that’s what your words are saying. You don’t even need to really name his teammate and use that as a different kind of negative descriptor.

        e.g. Losing means he’s stuck in this level with his horrible teammate forever.

        Hopefully you’ll read this and go, “No, no, no, she’s completely wrong, what I should say is…” and thus I will have done my job!

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      2. lol no I was starting to come to that I need to leave Akemi out of it. At least her name. I need it to state he grew up in the game so that my concept is at least a little clearer. Ok yet another try lol

        The game raised Xander, teaching him every skill imaginable. Winning the championship means entering the real world, working real missions. Losing means getting stuck in a deadly game with a teammate that threatens his sanity.

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