Pitch-ilicious Blog Hop Contest

by D. D. Falvo on April 18, 2012 | @ddfalvo

Welcome Fellow Blog Hoppers!

I have two pitches for my entry. One for my series, StarDust, and one for the first book, Lumen. I’m having trouble deciding between two blurbs for the series, and your vote much appreciated. I’m so looking forward to reading your pitches and any comments you have for me. Thank you to Heather Webb for creating a fun contest! For more details or just some great reading, check out Heather’s blog, Between The Sheets 🙂

Revised: 04-21-12

STARDUST SAGA:

The dark reaper, Zed, is in a quandary. The fulfillment of his centuries-long pursuit, destroying life, will leave him out of a job—for the one thing the Master of Death cannot do is create more lives to play with. He can bend mind and flesh, alter perceptions, and even subvert the elements, but he cannot bring anything new into the Universe. What’s a Daemon to do? His eye is on Élan, a star born Lumen. All Lumens protect life, but Élan alone radiates with the Lifespark that Zed desperately wants. Now, in a final bid for domination, Zed brings the eternal battle between Lumens and Demons to Earth, where humans must choose a side and each supernatural challenger must bind themselves to the planet in some form. It’s a winner-take-all fight—high stakes for the contending Lumens, for if Zed triumphs, Earth and all that it holds will become his, and the only thing he wants more than human annihilation is the power gained by devouring a living star.

LUMEN:

All that stands between dark reaper, Zed, and his conquest of life on Earth are two small children– celestial beings reborn in human form, who are yet too young for their destiny. The little girl that Copper and Dan Keller harbor is no ordinary child, a serious infraction in a country like Edo where the wrong birthright is a capitol offense—and now her hair is glowing. Rhys Anders, a mercenary framed for murder, is saddled with a toddling boy he would love foist on someone else, but after the wolf packs surround and bow their obeisance to the boy, Rhys realizes the child is the true target of the danger following him and may yet need his help.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz S Hall April 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Can I say I adore the Lumen pitch??? I was hooked for the first few words… that said though, I wasn’t quite sure how Rhys Anders and the vengeful Draoidh tied into the Keller’s story – so perhaps show how that all ties together?

Also, of the two Stardust pitches, I like the second one more. It’s pithy and especially like the first sentence, it hooks. I would add more specifics, like explain “risk all that they are.”

Hope that helps!

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D. D. Falvo April 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Thanks so much, Liz! I agree with your comment on the Lumen pitch– the story is about two children in separate family structures and I couldn’t cover both plot lines in three sentences. lol. So I threw out what I hoped was intriguing. I am curious what Heather has to say about that– do you sacrifice one half of the story to do justice to a part, or do you throw out a little on both, hoping for a bite and a request for more?

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Bree April 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm

For me, the first series pitch works best.

In the Lumen pitch, I find the second and third parts work. The second is smaller-keeping things under wraps-seems that would be an implied necessity from the info in the first line. The second is like a pivitol event (it seem more could be revealed there). I’m also having trouble linking the three points together.

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D. D. Falvo April 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Good points, Bree. I see it now, and that will give the room I need to provide the link. Thank you so much.

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Heather Webb April 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Hi D.D.,
My rule of thumb is to find the three most important points in your novel and write a sentence about each, tying them all together. You seem to be getting bogged down in too much info, or glossing over it altogether. I made a couple of suggestions below.

Stardust Saga:
I definitely like the first pitch better than the second. The second doesn’t tell us much in terms of specifics–it’s more of a collection of themes that could be applied to many books. It’s best to avoid phrases like “epic battle”, “fraught with danger”, “risk all they are” for that very reason.

As for the first pitch, you start off on the right foot with the first sentence, though I would maybe throw in “Zed, the dark reaper”. I would delete the second sentence altogether–not because it isn’t good info, but b/c you don’t have the time for description in an elevator pitch. (It could go in a query, though.)
Break down the third sentence into two. As it is written, it comes off a bit like info-dump. Or better yet, tweak this line from your first pitch: “they must unlock the secrets of their past before he finds them first”. I think this is the real essence of your story. Make this sentence a bit more specific and use it as your third line. Does that make sense?

A couple of quick questions to help you navigate through your pitch. Zed wants to destroy mankind? I’d make that a central theme. Also, what does devouring the essence of a star mean and how will Zed try to do this? Is he the dark reaper, and is he the protag or antag? Because he seems to be the bad guy, it is unclear.

Lumen:

I like the first two sentences, but in the third, you introduce two new characters. What do these characters have to do with Copper & Dan, or Mirah? Also, what is a Draoidh and why is it in hot pursuit? Maybe you should ditch the second sentence once again, and explore ways to break down the third, which seems to be the real drama.

You’re off to a great start. Looking forward to the next version!

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D. D. Falvo April 19, 2012 at 12:34 am

Thank you so much, Heather! You’ve given me a lot to think about and I’m going to work on all those points. 🙂

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JL Oiler April 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I Really like the second. You managed t capture my attention, andof the story without actually mentioning an individual character. Very Clever! The first (like my own lol) seems a bit wordy.

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D. D. Falvo April 19, 2012 at 12:40 am

I know! It’s so dang hard to condense all the cool stuff into three teeny sentences. 🙂 Thanks for your input. I’m going to work on boiling those facts down further.

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Nancy Moloney April 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Okay – I love the Lumen pitch – it really grabs my interest and the wording is just right – not too much or too little. You get to the points quickly enough to generate interest.
Stardust Saga – I love the second pitch because it grabs you but it is a little more general. I’m not an avid reader of this genre so putting the characters out there right away really piqued my interest and made me want to read more.
Both look like fun and great reads!

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D. D. Falvo April 19, 2012 at 12:44 am

Thank you so much, Nancy. I would love to return the favor of a critique but I can’t figure out how to leave a comment on your website. Can you give me a hint? If not I’ll send an email.

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Nancy Moloney April 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm

D.D. I don’t have a comment section set up due to some technical gremlins. I am using Heather’s COMMENT section for my pitches. Thanks much!

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Janet B Taylor April 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I agree with Liz, the Lumen pitch is really intriguing and unique. I love the part about the little girl’s hair glowing.. wow!
Also- maybe you could mention how Rhys Anders fits into the first part. How those two paths cross.

For Stardust- I for SURE like the second. I was pulled in immediately by the first and last sentences on that one. What I’d like to see in the middle, is WHO are the celestial beings? Are Elan and Mikhel?

If they fail, prepare for hell on Earth.

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D. D. Falvo April 19, 2012 at 12:59 am

You make a very good point. I’m going to rethink how to write this with a clearer purpose. Yes, Élan and Mikhel are the celestials. Thank you so much for your help.

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Celia April 19, 2012 at 3:45 am

Not much that I can add to the above comments, besides to say that for Stardust, I like the second pitch better. I would change this sentence to make it clear that you are talking about Mikhel and Elan:
“To protect our world, these two celestial beings …”

The Lumen pitch has a great hook. The last sentence about Rhys seems a bit ‘added on’ and doesn’t establish a connection between the first two. I’d add something to that effect.

Great job and I’d like to read both novels 🙂

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D. D. Falvo April 21, 2012 at 2:50 am

Thank you, Celia for the great advice! I made the change– such a little thing that helps so much. I revised Lumen to reflect all the feedback. I was having too much trouble trying to fit two parallel plot lines into three sentences. :/ This is so hard. lol.

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Nicole L. Bates April 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm

For the Stardust pitch I prefer the second. It makes a more personal connection whereas the first pitch seems a bit more philosophical. That being said, adding more about why the celestial beings are taking human form into the second pitch might make it more clear to someone who hadn’t read both. I love the blurb for Lumen and all three are intriguing and make me want to read more! Well done, those are tough to write!

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D. D. Falvo April 21, 2012 at 3:00 am

Thanks, Nicole! I hate writing these and appreciate all the help I’ve received during the blog hop. Your insight gives me an idea for how I can, perhaps, blend both Stardust pitches into a single three sentences. 🙂

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