Thursday, September 9, 2010

8 Pitch #32: Lindsey

Title: requiem
Genre: YA Contemporary

When his seemingly perfect older brother chases a handful of Tylenol with a bottle of vodka, Ben must decide what’s more important: stepping out from beneath his brother’s shadow or learning how to cast his own.


  1. I like the premise (heartbreaking/inspiring stories get to me, and this sounds like one). The only thing I'd worry about is that Ben's actions are very vague. Can you insert a detail or two about how he might cast his own shadow? Otherwise, I really don't get a good idea of what the plot will involve from this logline. Best of luck!

  2. Sounds like you have a great character-driven story here. I'm wondering if you should maybe clarify the older brother's situation. Did he attempt or commit suicide? I guess I'm wonderng what's at stake regarding Ben's choice? Is there something more concrete you could add to this aside from Ben's internal struggle? Does it affect his home life, school life, friendships, etc.? Good luck!

  3. I like the hard-hitting, unapologetic sense to this. My major concern is if the story is truly about Ben, then you should focus more on him. If the POV of the story shofts from one brother to the other, then this would be great.

  4. I agree with the comments about vagueness. I don't get a sense of what the book will be about, only the inciting event which doesn't involve the (assumed) main character. I'd love to see what Ben's actual conflict looks like.

  5. A bit vague, as the people before me have pointed out. I really like the last line though, "or learning how to cast his own." Maybe say something about him and not just his brother. Focus more on Ben.

  6. For me, these things seem the same to me: "stepping out from beneath his brother’s shadow or learning how to cast his own"
    My first reaction is that when he learns how to stop out from beneath his brother's shadow he will learn how to finally cast his own. This reads much more like an "and" statement than an "or" statement, so I'm not seeing how this is a choice.

  7. Ok, you use, "chases a handful of Tylenol with a bottle of vodka," which transmits voice, but it is ten words, as opposed to the two you could pare it down to by saying "When his seemingly perfect older brother commits suicide..." instead. Especially in an elevator pitch, you should concentrate on getting to the point. That's more important than voice. Voice is definitely important but without story, it's not much. I'm sure you have a story. I just need to be shown it.

    I think that you're speaking too figuratively. Stepping out from beneath his brother's shadow, cast his own shadow, etc. That's all well and good, but maybe it should go in the paragraphs instead. I need more specifics, plot-wise. How will he do this? Why should I read it, as opposed to any other coming-of-age story? Cause that's all I'm getting about this plot. His brother commits suicide, he's the younger brother, he finds his own path. But that could be many stories. What makes yours distinctive? Concentrate on that.

  8. I read your synopsis, and I like this kind of story.

    I personally think voice in a logline can really distinguish it from others. And I love your voice. But the vague things that bother me here are technical from a nurse's pov.

    I get no indication the brother died in either pitch. Tylenol and vodka are fixable under the right circumstances, but still sound better than "commits suicide."

    Love the shadow bit too. Maybe fill in the vague with a short scoop about discovering his brother's secrets and how it affected or will effect his life.


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