Thursday, August 26, 2010

14 Pitch Entry #36: Larissa

Title: LURE


Genre: YA

Fifteen-year-old Mitch would rather pound a nail through his thumb than read, so when everyone in his small South Dakota town starts obsessing over a book, he hopes the craze will pass quickly. But Lure is no ordinary book—soon teachers are stopping class to read, and Mitch's mom forgets to make dinner as she turns the pages.

Before long, it seems only Mitch and his best friend Jen have avoided getting sucked in—and the situation has become more dire. The streets are empty. People aren't eating or drinking. When Mitch's dad is injured, he continues to read through the pain, and the hospital is full of nurses and doctors absorbed in Lure, their jobs forgotten. Even as Mitch and Jen realize the town is reading itself to death, Jen succumbs to the book's pull, leaving Mitch alone. He must find Lure's secret ... or lose everyone he loves.

14 comments:

  1. First let me say that my thirteen-year old son is with Mitch on reading. Your first line expresses his sentiment exactly. I'm sure reluctant readers everywhere thank you for pointing out the hazard of reading. I love this, Larissa. Your pitch certainly makes me want to read the book.

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  2. I read every word of this query (look ma, no skimming!) and I love the premise. I'd love to know more of the stakes, which you start to reveal when we find the hospital isn't functioning properly - but is there a bigger, more tangible and concise threat?

    Is there any reason this book is so special?

    Can't wait to hear more about this!

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  3. I LOVE this premise- it's unique and eerie and really makes me want to know what the book is all about.

    The only thing I'd point out, is that you spend a decent amount of the query telling us what all the townspeople are doing--teachers, students, his mom, his dad, people not eating or drinking, streets are empty...I understood that people were getting seriously sucked in by the end of the first paragraph. I'd like to see your protagonist taken more action in the query--what is HE doing?

    Super concept, and very interesting query--ironically, I was totally sucked in by it and couldn't stop reading (tee-hee). Maybe just a couple more sentences about Mitch's specific actions.

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  4. I like this - thought I dunno, it sounds almost more MG than YA? Can't place why.

    I didn't paste it b/c there weren't any typos or things I'd want to point out in-pitch... I would like to know more of the action - HOW does Mitch plan to break the spell?

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  5. Larissa, this is one of the pitches that stayed with me. I imagined Lure as Twilight. ;) Don’t take that as Twilight bashing. I was one of the millions who lost themselves in Forks and fell in love with the Cullens.

    I'd love to know what the secret is - did the author of Lure sell their soul to the devil?

    I can't see that this needs any major changes, perhaps more details about Mitch?

    Great job!

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  6. Fifteen-year-old Mitch would rather pound a nail through his thumb than read, so when everyone in his small South Dakota town starts obsessing over a book, he hopes the craze will pass quickly. AWESOME. I’m all yours for however long you need me. Seriously. This is a great hook line. But Lure (totally nit-picky, but Iwonder if you could small cap the title, or put it in italics just to make it stand out at the book’s name.) is no ordinary book—soon teachers are stopping class to read, and Mitch's mom forgets to make dinner as she turns the pages. (Again, picky. I have to be – this is fab! I might change this a bit to “…Mitch’s mom forgets to make dinner BECAUSE she’s turning pages.” Or some such. It’s the because that needs to be there, IMO) 



    Before long, it seems (it seems? Or it is? Be bold in your query.)only Mitch and his best friend Jen have avoided getting sucked in—and the situation has become more dire. The streets are empty. People aren't eating or drinking. When Mitch's dad is injured, he continues to read through the pain, and the hospital is full of nurses and doctors absorbed in Lure, (Same title stuff as before.) their jobs forgotten. Even as Mitch and Jen realize the town is reading itself to death, Jen succumbs to the book's pull, leaving Mitch alone. (I’m not sure I like how you have both their names twice in the sentence. I think you could tighten it to something like: “Mitch realizes that the town is reading itself to death just as Jen succumbs to the book’s pull, leaving him alone.”) He must find Lure's secret ... or lose everyone he loves. (Ahhhh! I have to read this book right this second. And that’s what you want in a query. Well done, you!)

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  7. This is a fantastic query! I want to read this book. I might spend a little less time explaining how people are getting drawn and put in another indication of what he's going to do about it.

    Totally agree with Elana about italicizing "Lure"

    I'm showing my nerdy side here, but there was a Star Trek TNG episode where everyone starts playing this video game and they get totally sucked in to it and Wesley Crusher and a girl are the only ones resisting and then the girl gets sucked in too. So this sounds a lot like that. You should check it out if you get the chance

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  8. Thanks so much for your comments, everyone!

    Elana, I'd like to know your thoughts on adding more about what Mitch does in this query. It would be kind of hard to do, and I wonder if it's necessary, given that the query as is seems to be doing it's job.

    Oh, and I will have to do something else with the book's title. It was underlined, but that obviously didn't make it through the formatting...*sigh*

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  9. This sounds fascinating, and might be a high concept book, meaning the type that sells mega numbers of copies. One problem, though, with your query: You hint that there is much more that is diabolical about the book the townspeople are reading, but you only ever describe it like most popular books. For a query, I’d give more information on the true nature of "Lure". Otherwise, I think this is a great query!

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  10. Oooops, not sure I was clear in my earlier comment about "high concept". I meant your actual book, not the book in the story, might be high concept. I really like the premise!

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  11. Larissa, I don't think you need more about what Mitch is doing. The point of the query (in my ever-so-humble-opinion) is to give the agent a sense of the book in a compelling, must-read-this-now kind of way.

    And you did that. When they request and read the full, they'll find out what he's doing. :)

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  12. I loved reading this, and the story is fantabulous.

    My only concern is making the reader want to read through all that over again in the book. Don't get me wrong, the storyline is awesome, but by the end I felt like I'd read the first few chapters and then what? As a child I was a reluctant reader, and reading all this only in longer form for three chapters would've made me mad enough to put it down.

    What I'm saying is you need to find a way to keep the mystery so the child discovers all this along with Mitch in the book without spelling it out in the pitch.

    I get what Elana said, about the agent, but I also know agents don't spend their days contemplating catchy pitches to pitch your book to publishers, they use yours. I think you need to beef up this line "He must find Lure's secret ... or lose everyone he loves." (which it sounds like he already did)

    You can probably fit all you have to say in one compelling short and sweet paragraph.I wish my story was so simple:)

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  13. Wow! This sounds fantastic! Couldn't think of anything to improve it!

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  14. Sounds great!

    I do wonder if Lure is an unusually long book, or no one makes any progress in it, or something horrible happens when they finish? Because normally if someone gets wrapped up in a book to the exclusion of all else, they finish reading fairly quickly. (I assume you have this covered, the query just made me wonder.)

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