>> Friday, May 14, 2010
Nathan Bransford, agent, novelist, blogger, has an interesting exercise on his blog yesterday. He noted that queries (and other venues) would require one condense one's beloved novel into tiny tiny packages as pitches. He also noted it was difficult. (And it is, terribly difficult).
I tried it with my first novel yesterday. It's hard to tell how the results panned out. Jeff didn't like them, but I'm not sure he's recovered from the notion that I have kittens as central characters (though they are). Actually, almost as a trademark, I have at least one cat and one dragon (or dragon-like beastie) in every novel. But that's neither here nor there.
I need to try it again with the second novel, which I haven't started trying to market yet. Since I'd had a query on Curse of the Jenri, I had used that as a jumping off point and tried to whittle it down. Today, I'm going to try what Bransford original suggested. Start with (a) the sentence and then expand to (b) one and then (c) two paragraphs.
Novel: Beast Within
(a) When their ship of youthful refugees maroons on a strange and dangerous new planet, Xander and his shapeshifting clan, the Bete, will need to protect the rest of the humans from the planet's dangers, without being discovered by those humans who would treat the Bete as monsters.
(b) When their ship of youthful refugees maroons on a strange and dangerous new planet, Xander has to take charge of his shapeshifting clan, the Bete, and protect the healer they found among the humans on board. Somehow, Xander and his family will have to use all of their knowledge and supernatural skills to protect everyone from the man-eating plants and animals that about without revealing their true natures to the humans who would kill the Bete for being "demons."
(c) When their ship of youthful refugees maroons on a strange and dangerous new planet, Xander has to take charge of his shapeshifting clan, the Bete, to protect the healer, K'Ti, from the humans as well as his own clan. After Xander convinced the captain to let them be the first to set up camp outside, the healer quickly becomes key to survival and Xander defies his clan to let her live when she discovers their secret shapeshifting abilities.
Among humans, shapeshifting is equated with evil and their lives would readily be forfeit if certain fanatical factions discovered their ability. To defend themselves from the vicious predators of the new planet, the Bete are going to need every skill, shred of knowledge and capability they possess. How can they use them, however, without revealing their secret?
You know, I think that worked better. I'll try again tomorrow. Again, feel free to leave your opinions or suggestions.