what is it ?
Nope. No worries.
what is it ?
Oh, come on. That would be telling! How much fun is that?
What would the pitch for Astro City look like, considering there is no central character? How would you sell it to a publisher?
if i were pitching Astro City?
"Astro City is a collection of intertwining and ever deepening stories about heroes and the people they not only affect, but influence as they try to protect them."
Or am I missing the point about 'pitches' and the opening lines?
And Steven, are you sure the Gangrene example on Digital Webbing actually meets the criteria that both you and Lee seem to be prescribing. It reads to me like a play by play of events as opposed to the broader story arcs, character movements...
The opening line doesn't even deliver 'the end' as Lee seems to be promoting in his article about pitches. Isn't it more of a cliffhangar or teaser as you would give to your readers as opposed to an editor? Overall, the Gangrene pitch while interesting doesn't actually tell the editor anything concrete about where the story is going beyond the first issue. I'm sure I'm missing the point somehow... call me a bad student for not listening... but the Gangrene pitch does not seem to be an ideal example of the sort of pitch Lee and even yourself are encouraging.An undead Private Eye must race to rescue a kidnapped child, before his body decomposes once and for all.
Two weeks ago, private investigator Dan Green clawed his way free from a shallow grave. With his body and neck covered by deep stab wounds, Dan was amazed to still be alive.
A few hours later, he discovered he wasn’t. A mysterious man-made virus had brought Dan back from beyond the grave, trapping his fully working intellect inside the rotting body of a murdered corpse.
After initially terrifying his old friend – retired police coroner, Mike Fulton – the two men work together to solve the case Dan was working on when he was killed: The kidnapping of a six year old girl.
As Dan does some digging, his living dead status begins to prove useful. He does not tire. He can feel no pain. Short of a direct hit to the brain, in fact, nothing seems to be able to stop him.
When a run in with the kidnappers and their hungry dog leaves Dan as a limbless torso, Mike stitches him back together, using body parts robbed from the local graveyard. The virus spreads to the new limbs, and Dan is back on his – or at least, someone’s – feet in no time.
With renewed determination, Dan sets off to track the kidnappers down once again. He finds them performing at a motorcycle stunt show, and when he confronts them he is dragged into a three-on-one battle in the centre of the outdoor arena.
After a bloody tussle, Dan gets the truth from one of the bikers. The girl was kidnapped to order, and has already been passed on to the person who paid for her abduction.
Although his injured body is growing steadily weaker, Dan follows the trail until he finds the mastermind behind the kidnapping – a US Government Agent working on a top secret military weapons programme.
Realising he is in over his head, Dan grabs the girl and flees, but not before discovering how important she is for his own survival.
Before they can escape, the agent unleashes his latest work in progress – the kidnappers’ grotesquely mutated dog, which became infected by Dan’s virus after gnawing on his flesh.
Dan must face the savage monstrosity and defeat it, or else lose the girl he has fought so hard to find, and in doing so kiss goodbye to his own slim chance at life.
Don't mistake a pitch for something that HAS to use the LNP (Lee Nordling Paradigm). While it's something that's good to try to master, not every story is going to fit it. Why try to fit a square peg into a round hole?
This does go somewhat into plot development, but it gives an overall character arc and spells out the importance of some characters as well as giving some action while being less than a page long. It lets you know where it's going, and shows you something of the path while getting there.
This is something to capture the interest of the editor, while also showing that you have the chops to write the story. If you write a pitch for a black comedy, then your pitch should match the tone of the proposed book. It should have elements of black humor. If it's a rollicking action piece, then it should have action in it.
I've seen WAY too many pitches that don't make any sense, or try to use the LNP without full understanding, or get too bogged down in the details without saying what the story is about. Thankfully, because of Lee, everyone seems to have gotten pitch-crazy (please, no jokes about a "fever pitch"), and are writing pitches left and right. For the most part, they're dull affairs that are a chore to get through. The writer is in love with their own voice, and you can see it happening.
The Gangrene pitch works. It will get the attention of the editor, who will then ask to see more, which is the entire purpose of the pitch in the first place. Perfect? Nope. But it's a great example of a pitch that is head and shoulders above most, especially for being a second draft.
That's why I linked to it.
10-4! Thanks for the clarification, Steve.