Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Perfect Pitch...

The Perfect Pitch...are we talking about musical ability? If so, the ability causes the gifted one extreme anguish when he or she encounters a slightly off-pitch note.

How about Pitchers in the game of baseball?

I'm laughing to myself, because anyone who understands me, knows that am NOT into sports...I don't play or watch them.   In school,  I was the proverbial 'last one to be picked on a team'  because I had two left feet, and was extremely timid. Competition is NOT in my nature, and I hate to let people down.

Or could we possibly be talking about a Writer's Pitch?

Since I have found no clear definition on the Internet, I will give you the "Vickipedia" version:

"to toss out quickly, in one or two tight sentences with a "hook", the plot of a book or article, which piques the editor's interest, causing the work to be considered for publication."

I have found that there are similarities between the writer's and baseball PITCH.  

I asked my husband, a Sox Fan, (his Mom is a Cub's Fan) about the pitcher's position and responsibility.  Here is what I gleaned:

Premier Pitchers are difficult to find: (perfect writer's pitches are not the norm)

Pitchers and catchers work closely together: (so should author/agent or author/editor)

Good pitching always trumps good hitting: (a good story may not be considered if the pitch is not "catchy".)

Then, there are types of pitches:

Fast ball...straight down the middle ( pitch your story straight...don't get off on a tangent.)

Curve balls...puts spin on the ball to deceive the hitter (the first sentence "hooks" the reader into wanting more)

Sliders...slight curve balls (unexpected twist to the story)

Screwballs...opposite way that's expected (doesn't clearly explain gist of the story)

Knuckle spin; unpredictable (wording is unclear and/or uninteresting)

Sinker balls...drops to ground...tough to hit. (pitch not ready for prime time)

So, why the photo and reference to Baseball?

Susanna Hill, author of many charming picture books, such as "Can't Sleep Without Sheep" and "Not Yet, Rose"  is hosting the Writer's Pitch Challenge on her blog.  Her latest book, "Punxsutawney Phyllis", the tale of a delightful groundhog, is traveling the globe right now.  Keep track of her here.

Since I can't do better than Susanna herself in describing the "Pitch Challenge," here it is in her words:

"Would You Read It" is a weekly feature, posted on Wednesdays.  It is a chance for writers to try out pitches for their Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade, or Young Adult Works-In-Progress.

Not sure if your pitch is ready for that chance meeting with a famous editor?  Or maybe just not sure if you've solidified the point of your book yet?  Wondering if a new idea piques people's interest before you put months into writing it?

Submit your pitch!"

So I did...for a picture book I had written in February for the 12x12 in 2012 Challenge, which I entitled, "Waiting for an Idea." The goal is to write one manuscript (first draft) each month for 12 months.  Julie Hedlund has done a fabulous job of organizing it.  See her blogpost here.

My pitch is up today on Susanna's blog, so, click here to rate it.  I'd love to have you comment on the pitch...does it hold your interest? Are you persuaded to hear more?  Or, is it a "maybe I would read it"?  Even if the answer is "NO...I would not be interested," I would like to know why!

Here it is in full:

Working Title:  Waiting For An Idea
Age/Genre:  PB (ages 6-11)
The Pitch:  Jerry is waiting for an idea to come.  He walks his dog, swings in his backyard, and even goes inside for milk and cookies. hoping to coax one into his head.  But, alas, it's not until he opens Aunt Polly's gift that an idea... well... an avalanche of ideas, spill forth!

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

Susanna goes on to say:

"Writers and readers, teachers, librarians and parents are here to help by giving you some objective feedback from people who know children's books!

Once a month, readers will vote on which pitch was best for that month. The winning pitch will be sent to editor Erin Molta for review and comments!"

So...Be a part of the action, and leave your comment on her blog here, or mine below, if it is easier.

You be the judge...well...the umpire, in this case.  Thanks for being a good sport.  Now, PLAY BALL!


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    1. Thanks so much for stopping, and for your kind comment. I'm glad I was "under the radar" so you could find me!

  2. I stopped by and commented. I like the pitch (I can relate to the this story). The pitches always create a nice discussion. I find the feedback helpful, too.

    1. I agree, first, I felt a bit threatened, but then, I anticipated them, realizing it was helping me to be a better writer overall! Glad you liked the pitch...we all need fresh ideas.

  3. Hi Jarm: I enjoyed your post as well. The Pitch has been the thorn in my side. After about a year, I finally felt comfortable with this one. After graduation, twins, and their friends travel to Maui where they find two-hundred year old myths alive and thriving.

    I thought you did great with yours. I'm stopping by to let you know you have been awarded the Kreativ Blogging Award. Please stop by and pick it up. Thanks.

    1. Thanks, Kathy..yours sounds just right! It is an art, and a science, isn't it? Thanks so much for the Kreative Blogging Award...I'll check out the details...I'm honored!

  4. A brilliant post here, good analogies.

    1. Thanks for your positive input, Anthony...I appreciate it!

  5. I agree with Anthony. And I like the pitch. Would be reading to find out what those ideas were. Thanks for visiting and commenting on "da dessert poem."

    1. Lord willing, when it is ready for prime time, it will be published. Now, it's only a dream. Thanks for your input, Pat!

  6. That pitch sounds interesting, but I wonder why getting an idea matters to Jerry. I guess that like with baseball, you need to practice a lot before you can become perfect. ;)

    I've given you the Kreativ Blogger award. Read more here:

    1. Thanks for the award, Chris! Yes, others have wondered why it was important as well. I need to rethink that, although I mentioned it in the body of the story. I appreciate your input...

  7. Excellent post, Jarm. You made a home run with this one (LOL--could't resist!)So many good suggestions for writers. I will pass the word along! Blessings on your weekend!

    1. Thank you so much, Pam, for your encouraging words...I had fun with this post!


I would love to have you comment...thanks!

Journey into the Promised Land

Journey into the Promised Land
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