Friday, April 10, 2015

A Little Pitch Slam Treat: Would Crossing Brielle make a Pitch Slam team if the tables were turned?


We mean business!

For a little over a week I along with the amazing #PitchSlam team have been critiquing over a hundred pitches and first 250's in two rounds that lead up to the final round. The glorious agent round!

Well, we've seen you stressing and worrying. And we totally get how you feel. So we started thinking about things. The the super fabulous Caitlyn McFarland came up with a fantastic idea! What if WE posted our first 250 and pitches and have YOU critique US?

That's crazy, right?

Well, no. Because we actually really liked it. In fact, we jumped at the chance of sharing and hearing if we'd make the cut if YOU were the judges.

So below, you will find both the pitch and first 250 for my MS, CROSSING BRIELLE.

Please, be gentle! (Just kidding. Be honest. I can take it!)

I felt this image fit both my MC's in the perfect way!

Name: Jamie Corrigan

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy


Word Count: 64, 000

Pitch: A bridge connects doppelgangers Cross and Brielle. If they don't find the madman who put them on a hit list for swapping worlds before his assassins find them, that connection might be what kills them.

First 250:

Cross slinked through the alley tracking her prey. Liquid-gold light illuminated the path just enough to guide her. Foot firmly placed on a dumpster that smelled like rotting tuna, she pushed up. The squeak came a second before the trashbin shifted under her. Before she could react, Cross tumbled forward and slammed to the grungy alley floor.

“Ack!” Cross bolted back to her feet, head darting from side to side. Good. No gawkers this time so no need to mention it in the report, she thought as she stared daggers at the faulty wheel that'd brought her down.

She checked her sword then tried again. This time she propelled herself up to her post on top of the rundown apartments. Sweat dripped from her brow, but Cross refused to acknowledge it. Spring wasn’t always so hot, but right then she felt like she was kneeling in a desert instead of a tar roof in Nashville.

Any day now. She surveyed the landscape. People zigzagged through the rubble-filled streets, ignorant of the killer in their midst. Daniel was somewhere among them, working his way toward her through the decay. She was sure of it. He wouldn't pass up the chance to say a twisted hello to his victim.

To the untrained eye he looked like a normal human—six feet tall and two hundred pounds of pure muscle. But Cross knew the monster lurking beneath his skin. All of her jobs were dangerous, but Daniel was the most vicious type of moth―a cinnabar.

* This page has been chosen for Pitch Wars, Pitch Madness, and featured on Nightmare on Query Street and received agent requests.

So there you have it! Feel free to leave your critique's, thoughts, or just cheers for it being Pitch Slam time again down in the comments. If you submitted for the agent round of Pitch Slam or even Nest Pitch, good luck!

You can find pitches and pages from the other Pitch Slam team below!


  1. Hi,
    I love the first line of the pitch. It grounds us right at the start. I had to read the second sentence a couple of times to get an idea. This part "that connection might be what kills them." isn't needed IMO. Because you already say that someone has them on a hit list for swapping worlds. So we can assume the connection (the bridge) could get them killed. You could use the extra space to let us know (or hint) why the guy wants them dead? Or you could use the space to give us some personality or identifying traits of the 2 girls?
    250: I loved the voice and the excerpt. Just a few nitpicks. Instead of 'firmly placed', you could go with 'Feet planted'.
    head darting from side to side' makes it seem like her head's on automaton. You could go with scanning / studying' (just my suggestions)
    'refuse to acknowledge it' is a bit telly.
    Again, the voice in the excerpt is awesome.

  2. Thanks, Jamie, for the feedback you and the other judges gave to many authors. It was very useful in my case, and in appreciation here are my comments. Never heard about doppelganger before. Internet says that it's a ghost or a double for a living person. Just to make it clear: Are Cross and Brielle are two ghosts, who are double for two living persons? Or only one of them is a ghost and the other is the real person? The pitch and stakes are clear. If someone meet Cross and Brielle .. do they look like regular human beings, or like ghosts?
    The stakes in the pitch are clear.
    I assume in the first pages that Cross looks like an ordinary human woman with the same senses, like smelling. But liquid gold light guides here, so she is special in some way. Then she propelled herself to the roof. Did she walk up the stairs or took an elevator like a human being, or did she fly? The reader who knows nothing about your pitch assume that Cross is a woman, and the word propelled come out of place. Then we know that Daniel is a vicious insect, but it's still not clear who and what is Cross. If this information doesn't com up quickly in page 2, readers like me are confused. Writing is very subjective, but my advice is to explain on the first page who is Cross. The writing itself is great. Good luck with all your novels.

  3. Pitch: I'm tripping up on if they don't find the assassin who put them on the hotlist for..... Part. A reword on that will make it less of a mouthful in my brain. I like the end, packs a nice (give me more) punch.