In slightly under two weeks I will be attending the Colorado Gold Writing Conference, during which I’ll find out if my submission, Second Sun, won first place in the speculative fiction category of the Colorado Gold Writing Conference.
Definitely nice to be a finalist and all, but I did have an “Oh, crap” moment when I realized being a finalist means it’s probably a good idea to have a pitch sentence in mind. That way when people ask me what the book is about, I don’t babble endlessly: So there are these coexisting universes–not alternative, mind–and the sun of one of the universes–where the inhabitants are humanoid but not human–is dying, and that race wants to, um, transfer themselves over to the other world. And oh yeah, the atmosphere of dying-sun world, which the humans in the other world call the secondworld, has levels of CO2 that’s too high for humans to breathe, and likewise the secondworlders can’t breathe the humans’ atmosphere. Except there are these “crossers,” and they CAN breathe the secondworld atmosphere and also sense the holes leading to the secondworld when no one else can. An analogy for it is echolocation– But, um, I never explain the holes to you, did I?
And yes, something like the above would happen if I’m not prepared.
Still, I’m not a huge fan of pitch sentences. I imagine the concept subconsciously brings up memories of the six horrible weeks I spent as a Cutco salesperson, where our “pitch” was that we “Wanted to get your opinion on a product.” (Never. Again.)
Also, and the qualifiers people tend to put on pitch statements (one sentence! character-adjective! character goal! antagonist-adjective! antagonist! consequences!) often lead to a tortuous, poorly understood statement that would have been much improved if someone had said, “Look, one sentence is great goal, and adjectives are wonderful parts of speech, but feel free to use end punctuation and cut down on words if it helps comprehension.”* And yes, I’m aware that my run-on example of Me Trying to Explain My Book has a lot of those faults. So I understand the usefulness of a pitch sentence, in theory.
All that preamble, just to get to my pitch:
Universe-crosser Audra Merritt must save her niece and nephew from the risky experimentation of a megalomaniac geneticist–but Audra’s success might mean the destruction of her world.
I don’t think it’s terrible. Very much beats the rambling I might otherwise launch into. And plus, megalomaniac! One of the most fun words.
*Much like that last sentence would have been improved. Heh.