Thursday, September 9, 2010

9 Pitch #3: Phoebe North

Title: Seas Run Dry
Genre: YA Paranormal

Seventeen-year-old merman Loril must choose between saving his dying pod and learning to live on land with Irene, the human girl he's only recently come to love, in this dark romance set at the Jersey shore.


  1. In your original synopsis I got the sense that Irene was meant to be the main protagonist of the story. If it's the other way around, as this logline suggests, then you might want to change the pitch. Otherwise, you'd need to change the logline, because in this, Loril is definitely the main protagonist.

  2. I agree with Meagan. It sounds here like Loril is the MC, and in the longer pitch, Irene. If you have dual viewpoint, you should make that clear.

    Also, the longer pitch ends with something about Loril's human family and a threat to Irene's life, which is not here at all.

    Finally, just looking at this pitch as is, the choice seems kind of selfish, especially when you say "he's only recently come to love" her.

    Good luck!

  3. I also agree with the above comments, in other pitch, Irene was the main MC but now I think it's Lori.

  4. It's a dual view-point. Honestly, I'm a bit at-a-loss as to how to condense both of their central conflicts, as well as the information that this is told in two perspectives, in a one sentence logline. Any suggestions?

  5. I'm far from an expert, but in my opinion the best loglines do four things:

    1. Introduce the primary POV character (and sometimes, but less often, characters).
    2. Introduce the primary conflict.
    3. Include an emotional element, something the reader can react to emotionally, as it's the emotional response that often triggers interest.
    4. And, the most effective loglines accomplish 1-3 in an easy to comprehend (on the first read!) bite of information.

    It's usually easier to draft an effective logline for high-concept stories, as those high concept elements, by definition, often are easy to comprehend and cause an emotional reaction.

    Regardless, the exercise of drafting a logline for your story can be helpful in thinking about the conflicts, and if nothing else, it can give you a succinct and clear answer to the question, "What's your story about?"

    So, Phoebe, looking at your logline:

    The first thing that struck me is that it’s sort of opposite of your pitch – your pitch presented Irene as the POV character, and the pitch presents Loril as the POV character. If the book is told in alternating POVs, I suggest being consistent in the POV between the pitch and logline – and choose the one most compelling emotionally, or that fits what you are pitching to the best. If one is the primary POV, focus on that one POV for the pitch and logline. If they have equal time, I’d focus on the more compelling emotional stakes/conflict. FWIW, for me, I was more drawn to the emotional stakes and conflict of the pitch, from Irene’s POV than I am to the logline from Loril’s POV. But you need to decide. : )

    Looking at the logline itself, I'd consider cutting everything after “love” to make it a tighter bite, maybe. Especially because I don’t think the Jersey shore reference helps you given the current pop culture connotations (and I’m a Jersey girl, so I get that your Jersey shore may be very different, but since the phrase doesn’t really add to the hook or emotional impact of the pitch, why risk it).

    However, with that being said, the logline is fairly succinct and the conflict and emotional stakes clear. : )

  6. If you're going to stick with Loril as the focus of the logline, I'd tighten it a bit:

    Seventeen-year-old Loril must make a choice: save his dying pod or live on land with Irene, the human girl he's come to love.

  7. My first thought when I read this was the mention of Jersey Shore - it definitely doesn't bring to mind the the dark paranormal romance you're going for! I agree with a lot of what the others above have said, and I'd like to see a little more of the stakes - why does he have to choose between his dying pod and the girl he loves? It's a great ultimatum, but it doesn't quite follow to me.

  8. The two things I'd do are figure out a way to get it across that the story is told from both points of view, and I'd change the last sentence to simply 'come to love' and end it there. I'm trying to figure out a way to get both POVs in there, but I'm at a loss right now, which is of no real help to you. If I come up with anything I'll come back and post it! Good luck!

  9. AS far a dual viewpoints perhaps stating what's at stake for both?

    Seventeen year-old merman, Loril must choose between saving his pod and Irene, the human who desires nothing more than to..."

    Get what I'm saying? Try to somehow incorporate both their wants within the piece.


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