The Sleep Of Reason #pitchslam critique party

Uncategorized
Genre: Literary Fiction

Title: The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

By Margaret Riley

Pitch:
Career making Antarctic research, new species found, best day ever? Unfortunately, Dr. LeeCee Schofield is also hearing voices. Deeply researched science meets pre-apocalyptic thriller in boy meets girl meets madman 2 1/2 person love triangle.

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12 thoughts on “The Sleep Of Reason #pitchslam critique party

  1. That first sentence is really hard to understand. I think you’re saying “Dr. LeeCee Schofield discovered a new species and that’s a career making day for an Antarctic researcher.”

    And then, the last sentence, you have a lot of things meeting, which I’ve seen agents don’t like. They prefer two things that are clear comps that give them a whole view of the story.

    I REALLY hope this is helpful! I think I see the story in here, but I’m not entirely sure if what I see is right, which is the wrong thing for the readers.

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  2. I agree with Lana. This pitch has too much in it, leaving the audience with too many questions. It needs to be clear, and questions are good, but we need to be asking “So what happens? What will the MC do to face ___?” Not “So what is this story about?” The first sentence can get cleaned up to make it shorter which will add words for you and make it more punchy. “Career defining research plus new species found equals best day ever? Not when Dr. LeeCee Schofield is hearing voices.” Then instead of giving this meets this meets this, go into what she is up against and provide stakes. Dr. LeeCee must ____ or ____ will occur. I hope this helps!

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  3. Y’all are so helpful! Thanks so much for your critique, I am very new to uber-short pitching! So, not sure if you will see this question, but just in case– what about this? It’s 3 words too long, but it does leave less questions. 35 words is just. so. short. 🙂

    The aliens we’ve searched for “out there” are actually in us and resemble nothing so much as the soul. And they’re dying. Antarctic researcher learns the environmental apocalypse we fear is nothing compared to the one that’s coming.

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  4. Or something like this?
    Dr. LeeCee Schofield finds a new microscopic organism under the ice. Now she must protect the species – or lose her own. Deeply researched science meets pre-apocalyptic thriller.

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    1. I do like this one a lot better, but I think the 6 words of your last sentence would be better spent on what makes it different from, say the X-Files episode.

      Take some of the pieces about the soul from the second one and put it in here instead. Not all of it, just a hint.

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      1. Okay, I’m at 36 now. Better? Worse? 🙂

        The microorganism LeeCee Schofield discovers under the ice unfortunately talks to her. Worse, it describes the coming apocalypse. Aliens aren’t “out there,” they’re in us and resemble nothing so much as the soul. And they’re dying.

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  5. Oh my gosh, Lana, I completely agree with you. But how to get the bits inside the tiny 35 word box! Cobbling away again…. 🙂

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  6. What about this. 4 words too long, but has a bit of both?

    The microscopic organism Dr. LeeCee Schofield discovers under the ice is unfortunately talking to her. Worse, it’s describing the coming apocalypse. Aliens aren’t “out there,” they’re in us and resemble nothing so much as the soul. And they’re dying.

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    1. Bah! I replied to this at least twice last night! Stupid computer machine.

      That’s a lot closer. The wise readers of the PitchSlam can probably help you refine this even further, but it’s definitely giving a clearer view of the story.

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