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I am participating in PitchSlam a different kind of writing contest.  In this one, you submit your 35 word pitch, receive feedback, then your first 250, receive feedback, revise and submit and entire thing in the final round.  I’m posting this here so that I can help others with their pitches and they can help me with mine =)

Full Query:

Jacoby Mortensen married a guy who should be dead.

Being a primary caregiver is always tough, but when you’re also married to someone who should be dead, it can truly become unbearable. Jacoby Mortensen knows this first hand but lately, it’s been more of a challenge than ever.

Jacoby sometimes imagined how he’d meet his future spouse. But half-dead in a seedy back alley in Council Bluffs, Iowa, never once crossed his mind.  Getting attached to a seventeen-year-old John Doe went against every rule of paramedics. But the longer Jacoby sat at Jimmy’s bed side, the more attached he grew and they were married a year later.  No matter how many times Jimmy ran away, back to the drugs and the streets, Jacoby was at home, waiting for him. He took his vows seriously and, if that meant combing the streets trying to bring his husband home, so be it.  But when Jimmy goes off his meds again, Jacoby doesn’t think he’s strong enough to make the marriage work anymore.  Once he’s released from the psych ward, Jimmy promises to stay on his meds, but Jacoby doesn’t believe him.

Jimmy refuses to take care of himself and Jacoby is going slowly insane.  Jacoby sees it as his duty to keep his husband clean and sober.  Then, Jimmy goes behind Jacoby’s back and takes a job out in California. Jacoby doesn’t want to leave Iowa and start over.  But with Jimmy and his ex getting dangerously close to each other, Jacoby has to decide how much Jimmy means to him—and to what lengths he’ll go to keep the marriage together.

RESCUE ME is contemporary LGBT romance complete at 85,000 words.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

PitchSlam Pitch:

Jacoby knew when he married Jimmy life was going to be rough–Jimmy was a drug addict and alcoholic.  Then Jimmy goes off his psych meds…and Jacoby just might have to kill him.  

PitchSlam Feedback:

After reading your entry, we’ve found you could strengthen your pitch by addressing the following issues:

We feel you’re missing an opportunity to show the strength of their story. There seems to be grit, perhaps angst, and a lot of tension that you’re hinting at, but these things aren’t coming through clearly.

Suggestion: start with the basic format for a strong pitch & personalize it from there. When [x] happens, [MC] must [y] or else [z]. Fill in the blanks with the core elements which make your story unique. Show why a reader should care about this struggle between Jacoby & Jimmy. Choose STRONG verbs.

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7 Comments

  1. I agree with the feedback. Your full query seems to be a little all over the place as well, just telling things, and not really showing a ton of it. I can see the story there, but I can’t really feel it. How about this:

    When Jacoby’s addict husband Jimmy goes off his depression medication it slowly drives Jacoby insane. Jacoby must save his vulnerable husband from himself or risk losing his first love to the bottle, and the street.

  2. 34 words, and maybe not that great, but maybe it’ll trigger something for you… Good luck!

    When Jacoby’s alcoholic, drug addict husband goes off his psych meds, Jacoby must decide how much Jimmy means to him and to what lengths he’ll go to save their marriage and his own sanity.

  3. Pitch: I was trying to think of how to show more of the conflict since the feedback specifically mentioned that. I like Missy LaRae’s suggestion a lot, but gave it a go myself.

    Jacoby married addict Jimmy for better or worse. Turns out struggling to keep Jimmy off the streets and sober was the “better.” When Jimmy goes off his medication, Jacoby learns the real meaning of commitment.

    As for the query – I think you get across the whole story, but I feel like it could be tightened up. Maybe there don’t need to be so many details about the plot. Also, the construction “phrase, but phrase” crops up a lot. I tend to over-use that myself so I literally do a universal find on it in my documents to see if I can come up with a way to re-phrase and tighten it up. I used it in the first sentence of this paragraph… Sigh. It’s an easy one to rely on.

    The feedback advice to use strong language is always well-heeded.

  4. I do like M.A.’s option.

    Here’s another one if you want grit:

    Jimmy should have overdosed, but Jacoby rescues him. This starts a rollercoaster romance that includes drugs and a psych wards. When Jimmy’s bad-seed ex comes back, Jacoby not sure if he can rescue Jimmy again.

    • So many good options! I’ve been playing with it and here’s what I came up with last night. I’m going to take all the suggestions here and play with those as well =)

      Jacoby married Jimmy knowing life with an addict was going to be tough. With Jimmy off his psych meds, Jacoby has to decide how to save their marriage or lose Jimmy to his ex.

      • I like that one a lot better than the first!

      • Does it seem to solve what the feedback mentioned? It’s so hard to get all the emotion into this pitch =)


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Pitch Slam Support Group Blog Hop | on 05 Mar 2015 at 11:18 pm

    […] Pitch Slam entry  […]

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