Critique Zone (Updated!)

UPDATE:  As you guys help me out, I’m making adjustments to test out. You totally don’t have to comment on all, I’m just making myself a list, lol! Thanks a bunch, guys!

Holabonjour, peeps. Today’s post will be all about my participation in a completely awesome contest going on at my girl Shelley Watter’s blog! Here’s hoping a few entrants hop over to let me know what they  think of my twitter-sized pitch! (And thanks to Lori who’s helped me practice this week!

A little note about the contest: it’s for unagented writers with a completed manuscript. All you have to do is be a follower of Shelley’s blog or twitter and compose a 140-character pitch for your novel. The winner gets a full request from Suzie Townsend! (Yes. That IS awesome.) You don’t have to do the critiquing, but you DO have to head over to the blog and add your name to the list! Oh and write the twitter pitch!

Now for the main event! I’m trying not to get hung up on little interchangeable words so I won’t post three pretty identical alternatives (but that’s really hard for me so I hope you appreciate it!) –

(1) With the orbit of two worlds dictating cyclical time, Avrilis can run with the boy she wasn’t meant to save…but it won’t be the last time.

(*arena cheers*)

So! That took…a few minutes to write. >.> “If you’re suggesting I stayed up all night trying to [write a baby-pitch]…you’re right.” As always, The Simpsons always know just what to say.

(2) Avrilis knew saving a boy’s life meant they’d be hunted, but if change really can stop this life from replaying it just might be worth it.

(3) Preserving the time loop prohibits Avrilis from saving a boy’s life, but if making an illegal change can end the replay, it may be worth it.

(4) Maintaining the time loop bars Avrilis from saving a boy’s life but if an illegal change can end the replay and rebuild her life, she must.

Did I mention you guys are totally encouraging me to keep posting? (I amuse myself by thinking how I totally owe it to you to show you the process you’re stimulating!)

(5) Avrilis can save a young man’s life, but since changes threaten the sacred time-loop, she’ll be making them both fugitives on two planets.

I like that one. And I will. For the next seven seconds. Poll: Who feels like they’ve betrayed their novel? Anyone?


35 thoughts on “Critique Zone (Updated!)

  1. Wow you really worked alot of mystery and intrigue into 140 characters. It’s a great log line. I definitly want to know more.

    So what I got from the ptich was:

    There’s a romance or some kind of connections between Avrilis and the boy

    There’s a Sci-if/Fantasy theme

    We have a Female Heroine

    And there are two worlds invloved

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks 🙂


  2. Conflict is the hard one. Why is she not meant to save the boy? Even though it may not be entirely accurate, could you use “caught in a time loop” instead of “With the orbit of two worlds dictating cyclical time”? It might free up some space for you to play with.


    • Why is she not meant to save the boy is definitely a big deal. I’m hoping that knowing the decision is one she’ll have to run because of reveals the conflict…
      You’ve given me some work to do, Suzi! Thanks!


  3. I agree with Suzi. The first part confused me a bit. I had to reread it before I realized the problem. Rewording to something like “time loop” would help. Good work and good luck!


  4. I didn’t get that things were replaying in #1, and #2 seemed a little “stock” to me. #3 gives me a little sense of the setting and voice so I like that one best.


  5. I love this! Um, maybe change ‘run’ to ‘flee’? For a split second, I got confused with the run bit, and read it more as ‘run with this crowd’ type of run, rather than the ‘flee for your life’ sort of run. But you’ve got a lot of complex points to get across and you’ve done a great job!


  6. I actually like the word ‘preserving’ more than ‘maintaining.’ But that’s just me haha. Also, I like how it hints at MORE there with the rebuilding her life, but now I feel like there isn’t a focus. Before, the focus was just on saving the boy’s life. Now it’s the boy and preserving the time loop and rebuilding her life. I get more information, but less focus. Does that make sense? haha, feel free to ignore if it doesn’t.

    But I really think the premise is intriguing whatever you go with!


    • I COMPLETELY get what you’re saying and that’s how I started to feel. Which is why I haven’t looked at it for a few hours, lol. At the end of the day, I have a feeling I’ll go with something related to the original, but I really have enjoyed the exercise and seeing where I can go with the feedback. 🙂


  7. I’m late but here’s my penny.

    My problem with #1: Not simple enough.
    “orbit of two worlds dictating cyclical time”
    that’s too dense in my opinion.

    #2& #3
    “it just might be worth it”
    that’s too vague and cliche. Doesn’t say anything to get the agent to say” hey, that’s catchy and different… again IMO
    # 4 the word “bars” is not smooth.
    Q. did avrilis save the boy because she wanted to end the replay and rebuild her life?
    I was under the impression (solely from reading the blog (not ESP lol) so I could have misunderstood0 that it was an impulsive act based on compassion.

    Here’s my take if my assumption is correct:-

    “Avrilis’s impulsive move to save a boy destined to die makes the two of them fugitives in a world where destiny must repeat or else…”

    something simple like that may be catchier IMO


  8. I’m going with time loop too. Although #4 I did a double take on time loop bars because I wound up thinking that the bars belonged to the time loop rather than the maintaining barring her from saving the boy.

    And I agree the gamut of reactions is amazing. 🙂


  9. Looks like I’m late in the game here, but just wanted to say it looks like an intriguing premise. I have a YA WIP that has to do with time-loop stuff, and boy is it hard to summarize.


  10. very cool concept for a book. the pitch seems to be getting stronger each attempt. you are on the right track. the last version really spells out her conflict and the sacrifice she is facing.
    douglas esper


  11. Okay, well, I like all of them, really. So I’m kind of scratching my head, trying to pick my favorite one. Hmmm…. Plus with a twitter pitch you can only entice, you can’t get a full blown pitch out of it. You have to hook, which I say you’ve done. I have to say #5 is the one. Good luck! 😀


  12. I like #5 too, it’s less confusing than the first 4 and it really sounds like a cool premise.

    What about “Avrilis “saves” or “saved” a young man’s life. As changes threaten the sacred time-loop, she’ll make them both fugitives on two planets, for sure.

    Great job!


  13. Yay for number 5! It’s so cool watching the process.

    Oh yeah- I think after this I may have to buy my novel a little something pretty to make up for the abuse it has endured. The chopping block is brutal.


  14. 2 and 5 made the most sense to me, since I’m not sure what cyclical time and a time loop mean within your story without reading more. You’ve got the stakes well laid out. Great work! Sounds like a fabulous MS.


  15. 5 works, but I think it could be more active… “but tampering will unravel the sacred time-loop, and then they’ll both be fugitives…” Just a thought.

    And if by “betrayed” you mean “OMG my MS can’t live up to that”, yes. 😀

    Bonne chance!


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