Sunday, January 15, 2012

This is my entry for the Perfect Pitch contest that begins on January 17. Looking forward to any feedback. I'll be popping around to some of the other contestants and giving my input. Join us for fun and feedback.



Two rules: Kill demons on sight, and stay out of their forest. Tiani shatters both on a dare and runs into one who saves her life, but letting him go means exile or worse… possession.



Two rules: Stay away from demons and kill them on sight. Tiani shatters both on a stupid dare and runs straight into the only demon around - a demon who saves her life.

First 150 words:

      The silence of the forest sent chills up Tiani’s back. Even the bugs were quiet. A faint red glow bathed the mountain ridge, the sky changing from the black of night. A few more minutes and the sun would rise. She swallowed past the lump in her throat. It’s just a stupid dare, but if I run back now everyone will call me coward. Her clammy fingers clenched around the leather bound hilt of the knife and she slipped it from its sheath tied around her leg. It’s probably nothing. Just a wolf, or bear. Nothing more dangerous than that.
     A twig snapped behind her and Tiani spun, scanning the treeline. “Ehlrin? Is that you?”
     Her heart beat in her ears, her knuckles white. Just stay calm. Oh, please just let it be Ehlrin’s stupid brothers. Please let them be playing a trick on me.
    A deep rumbling growl made her freeze in place and Tiani slowly turned.


  1. I really liked your excerpt! In the pitch, I'd switch the locations of the dash and the period. The second sentence kind of wipes away all the conflict in it, and I'm not sure if that's what you want. Like, if she runs into the only demon around, that's obviously a bad thing--but it's okay because he doesn't eat humans. So what's the problem?

    Great job and good luck!

  2. I agree with Francesca. What's the conflict? And how is it a dare if he's the only one around? Why is he the only one around? If he's the only one why should they approach him? I think the main thing is to get the conflict of the entire plot into the pitch. Otherwise, you have a good excerpt and a great concept. Cheers!

  3. Love your pitch and the first 150. You really have some great tension and hook the reader right in. I do agree about eliminating the part about humans being strictly off his loses the tension but awesome job. :)

  4. Of course your 150 words end right there, leaving me wondering what it is that's there! Agh! :)

    Um, yes. Success :)

  5. Okay, I like your excerpt, and the pitch is pretty good. My one qualm is that you give two rules, but the rule directly conflict with each other. How can you kill a demon if you're staying away from them? I mean, I get what you're saying, to stay clear unless you're confronted then kill them without hesitation. But it reads awkwardly to me. Otherwise, I'm loving it.

  6. Going off of Artemis's thought - maybe you could just change it around slightly. Two rules: Kill demons on sight, but try to stay away from them at all costs.

    And to up the conflict:
    Tiani shatters both on a stupid dare and runs straight into a demon who saves her life - now she's faced with XXXX decision.

    I'm sure she has to decide whether or not to kill the demon - and then has to figure out the whole "tribe/family" thing to deal with the demon if she decides to let it go, etc. I would play up on the one biggest thing she might have to sacrifice in order to save the demon's life.

    Good intro, good voice for the character!

    Good luck in the contest,

    1. Thanks.
      I took your suggestions and reworked a bit.

  7. I really like the changes you made, I feel like I get the tension now. But why would letting him go lead to exile? Its not like the Demon is going to go into her village and say "Hey village of demon killing people, this girl broke the code and didn't kill me." How would anyone find out?

  8. I like the part about possession in your pitch because I didn't see it coming. One thing that stuck out, though, was when you wrote "stay away from their home." I checked out the thread of comments, and I know that was something you'd changed, but maybe you're trying to say something like "don't get close to them" or "don't learn anymore about them than how they die" or something like that. What you have there didn't stand out as well for me, if that makes any sense.

    The voice in the excerpt is very distinct. Well done!

    Good luck, Rachel! :)

  9. Ooh, I like the updated pitch! Much more exciting. Your first 150 are great, too. Good luck!

  10. The updated pitch is much, much better! =)

    As for the excerpt, I thought her inner thoughts were a tiny bit stilted. Too formal and structured, imho, to justify putting them in italics and making them inner monologue, because you could simply change the tense and person, and it would fit in with the rest of the narration.

    Also, this sentence—"A faint red glow bathed the mountain ridge, the sky changing from the black of night." The transition from looking at the mountain ridge, then we're suddenly thinking about the sky, where the wording is a bit awkward…it feels a bit disjointed. Maybe 'A faint red glow bathed the mountain ridge as the sky changed from black'…, though 'changed' doesn't seem like the precise, strongest verb you could use here. OR. 'A faint glow bathed the mountain ridge as the sky changed from black to red.'? I like that one better. =)

    Other than that, I like the opening! I don't know if I'd read on, because I'm not so into demon stories, but it sounds very exciting, and I might give it a chance. Just personal preference. Great job, and good luck! =)

  11. In your pitch, I might change the line " and runs into one who saves her life" to make it a little more clear of who the "one" is. Otherwise, it sounds great. Good luck!