Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pitch #2 and revision

Deep in the Yucatán jungle, during the sixteenth century, a Mayan High Priest, guided by visions from the gods, passes a prophecy to a Spanish conquistador. Four-hundred years later, Soledad Mendoza inherits the prophecy following her father’s murder. Protected by a mysterious angel, Soledad must decipher the prophecy before diabolical forces can achieve their nefarious goal –The white house.

Okay folks! Pitcher #2 isn't sure whether she likes revision #1 or #2 better. Should the pitch mention the White House?

Revision #1

Deep in the Yucatán, in 1562, a Mayan High Priest is instructed by the gods to entrust a sacred prophecy to Spanish Conquistador, Domingo Mendoza. With the assistance of an angel, the Mendoza family protects the prophecy for the next four- hundred- fifty years.

In 2012, Soledad Mendoza inherits the prophecy following her father’s murder. In a race against time, the angel must help Soledad to uncover her destiny, before a war between the forces of good and evil can consume the world.


Revision #2

Deep in the Yucatán, in 1562, a Mayan High Priest is instructed by the gods to entrust a sacred prophecy to Spanish Conquistador, Domingo Mendoza. With the assistance of an angel, the Mendoza family protects the prophecy for the next four- hundred- fifty years.

In 2012, Soledad Mendoza inherits the prophecy following her father’s murder. In a race against time, the angel must help Soledad decipher the prophecy, before diabolical forces achieve their goal to take over the White House, then the world


11 comments:

Brenda said...

I really like this and it makes me want to read it. Just a couple of things...be specific with the date in the first sentence. Instead of during the 16th century I'd give the specific year. So, in the next sentence when you say 400 years later, the reader won't have to do the math (i.e., was the 16th century the 1600s or 1500s) Also, I assume the mysterious angel is the Mayan High Priest? And do you mean The White House (as in the place where the president lives)? If so, first letters all caps, but might want to include a verb...destroying The White House, killing the President, etc? Overall, though, quite like it.

Jayne said...

I take it that you mean The White House - home of USA president as opposed to a white-painted house? I'd say that all angels are by definition 'mysterious' so I'd drop that word. Also surely diabolical forces by their very nature would always be after a nefarious goal? Also, and this could be just me, your average reader, but 'conquistador' isn't a word I am familiar with, I'd have to guess/go look it up, and this might make me put the book down, especially as you already have some unfamiliar things there - 'Yucatán' jungle and 'Mayan' high priests - but both of these I like as they are the setting.

Four-hundred years later would be the 20th century... and an angel protector doesn't seem odd to Soledad. I would then wonder whether this is a fantasy type novel (i.e. everyone is familiar with angel protectors in the 20th century etc) which clashes with the beginning which sounds more real/historical, or whether it is real/historical, which then clashes a bit with the angel. I guess I would be looking for clarification on that if I was reading further as an agent or publisher trying to place your book. I hope that helps a little!

Clara English said...

I'm interested in the location and the mystery, and I would like to read this.

However, there are too many commas and clauses in the first sentence – could you break these up a bit? For example:
"Deep in the Yucatán jungle, during the sixteenth century, a Mayan High Priest is guided by visions from the gods to pass a prophecy to a Spanish conquistador."

'The White House' as a goal seems odd to me – what do they want to do with it? Just get there? Blow it up? Tell them the prophecy?

Tess said...

oooo...this sounds fun. I personally think it's a good pitch.

Michelle said...

I like this pitch, and I'm intrigued by the story. You could tighten up the first sentence a bit. I agree about being more specific regarding the goal of the white house. If it's the one in Washington, DC, capitalize to let us know.

Sarah said...

This premise is intriguing. I'm a sucker for the Mayan/ conquistador thing. I did have a few thoughts, though. (And I'm being picky.)

Why would a conquistador be given a prophecy? I'd imagine a curse perhaps, because prophecy sounds noble. I don't think of conquistadors as noble.

The White House seems very specific and small compared to the epic scale of your story. I wanted to know why the White House?

As I said, I'm being picky- and I'm rather loopy from contest stuff, so take the above with a grain of salt.

Ian said...

I'm afraid I agree with some of the other comments, the first sentence needs a little work. Just to tighten it up and get all specific with the date. The rest of the query looks good to me, it follows nice and clearly, each sentence building the story with detail, until we get the evil goal at the end. I like that. (White House capitalised though, but that is minor).
When I read about the mysterious angel I took it as a guardian angel, rather than an actual wings n' feathers kind (maybe if this is the case, add 'guardian', but if not, it's cool).

I was also really curious about the prophecy and how it relates to the White House when I read the query, which is good as I want to know more.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Well everyone, my revision is written above. I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

Jayne said...

I take it the sentence Pitcher #6 isn't sure whether she likes revision #1 or #2 better. Should the pitch mention the White House? actually means the author here - pitcher 2? As I am pitcher six and I feel a little confused. :)

But that aside, I do like revision one. I like the way you have placed the beginning with a date. I would say 'protects the prophecy for the next four-hundred and fifty years', and then I wouldn't start the next bit with another date (2012), as already we know 450 years have gone past. I think the end sentence carries more weight in revision one, and opens it up to being more at stake than just the White House. It all depends whether the White House is a specific focus of your story, I guess! If it is then it should mention it. If it isn't then I wouldn't.

Sarah said...

Jayne, that's my fault! I had a moment and typed #6 instead of #2. I'll fix it right away. I agree with you about the White House. If the story takes the reader to the White House- if that's part of the plot- then go with revision #2. Adding the "and then the world" was a good move.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Thanks to everyone who commented on my pitch. Your feedback was very helpful. FWIW, seizing control of the White House is the first step toward taking over the world. With this said, I think it should stay.