“She stood five-foot-eleven and had to be all of 350 pounds. Her beady eyes, dull and black, looked out from a mass of tangled, dirty blonde hair, her twisted and puffy face full of acne and pockmarks. “GLENNA! run for your lives!” we’d scream in our best blood-curdling cries whenever we saw her. Everyone knew she had cooties of the worst kind, and we would probably die if she ever touched us. But I loved her.”
First, this is not really a pitch. It’s a paragraph from the book. This is more of a hook that you might include in a query letter, but it doesn’t tell me enough to qualify as a pitch. A pitch needs to answer the questions: who, what, when, where, and why—with a hint at least on the how.
The last line catches my interest, but the rest of this pitch doesn’t do much to get me to ask for more.
You told me in your e-mail that this was a YA novel, but that info was not part of the pitch itself. It should be–or there should be enough clear hints that I get it without question. The reference to cooties leads me to believe it’s elementary or middle school. But Glenna’s height leads me to believe she’s older than that. Is she a fellow student? Or is she an older woman pushing a grocery cart down the street? Why does he (or whoever) love her? Is she perhaps his mother or grandmother?
Clearly, this is not written from Glenna’s perspective, but she’s the only character that’s introduced. Need to know more about who your narrator is. Also need to know what the conflict is going to be and some clue as to its resolution.
I also do not have a clue as to the genre of this book—is it a teen coming-of-age story? A child coming to grips with mental illness in his/her family? Is Glenna a psycho killer who is going to wreak havoc on the playground or a student with a shotgun? Is this going to be one of those make-over romances where the narrator brings out the beauty inside Glenna and then falls in love with her? I can’t tell. I need to know because I don’t want to waste my time and yours asking for partials in a genre that I’m not interested in.
You may have a very good, very compelling story here, but I can’t tell it from the pitch. I would have to pass.