This week, Susanna Leonard Hill’s Week 6 challenge is to come up with a pitch for a picture book. I offered sweets in my first pitch.
A writer needs to include three key elements for a successful pitch—character, conflict, and stakes.
Susanna’s definition is a:
“[Character] who [a unique, special, or defining characteristic of said character] wants/needs [goal] more than anything but can’t get it because of [obstacle(s)].
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write an awesome pitch (or 2 or 3) for a picture book. The fun part? It doesn’t have to be for a book you’ve written. Or even intend to write.
It can be a pitch for something you think up right here right now this very second! Or a pitch for a work-in-progress! Or a pitch for a bit of an idea you’ve been ruminating on since breakfast! Or a pitch for someone else’s published book – you take the story and boil it down into a pitch! Or take the idea from someone else’s published book, or a nursery rhyme, or a fairy tale, and change a detail of the plot, setting, character, POV etc. and make it into a new pitch idea! Anything goes!”
The challenge got me thinking about bullies.
Here are four scenarios:
Your boss threatens your job when you refuse to work weekends
Your ex-spouse threatens to keep your children from you
The new kid in class threatens to beat you up
The big, bad wolf threatens little red riding hood
Yes, bullies exist even in fiction. And no matter our age, we’ve all encountered a bully or two.
So here’s my first pitch on a fairy tale.
Timid, red riding hood needs to swallow her fear when the big, bad wolf breaks into her cottage, snatching her last batch of oatmeal cookies.
Here’s a second pitch from my middle grade novel.
Working Title: “Georgia Rose McLean and the Poisonous Paper Plane”
A new boy in class jams bubblegum into eight-year-old, impulsive, Georgie’s ponytail. When her hair-brained scheme for revenge backfires, she thinks she can never go home.
My pitch needs work. A pitch should be no more than 25 words. An ideal pitch is 12 to 17 words.
For more information on what makes up a good pitch, check out Janice Hardy’s blog post
To find out what some of the top fears and concerns parents may have about sending their children off to their first day of school, check out Positive Parental Participation’s blog post.
Have you dealt with a bully? How did you handle the bully? Would you have handled it differently?
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