Secret Garden copyright by rpeg
Lucky number 101
The lovely Jessica Faust of Bookends agency had a Perfecting Your Pitch session where she critiqued a whole lot of pitches. I was number 101 and didn't think she would get to me but she did! And I was surprised to get what I considered a great critique of my pitch.
Private George Waterson saves the life of his enemy Captain Shiro Kawamoto on the Bataan Peninsula. Two years later, his act of compassion is returned when he finds himself a POW in a prison camp run by the same Captain. For Kawamoto, no amount of assistance he can provide will repay the debt he owes the young American, until he is asked to fulfill a promise that will satisfy his debt, but at the price of his family honor. Sixty years later, Kawamoto’s prison journal is discovered by his granddaughter, Naomi, who learns of her true heritage. It leads her to George, still fighting the demons of the past, and shocked with the arrival of a granddaughter he never knew he had. She is a reminder of the one betrayal he could never forgive himself. But in Naomi and the revelations of the journal, George is able to find redemption.
Jessica - Interesting. Very interesting. . . . I have to say that I think based on all of my previous advice I really shouldn’t like this. Instead I should be telling you that you don’t have enough details, that it’s too general and too much backstory. I do like it though. Would I request it? I might, but probably not. For one, it’s not my type of book, but that’s something different. Okay, here’s what I think. I think you have a strong pitch here. You clearly give us an idea of what George’s demons might be and you intrigue us with your writing. I think that while you could tighten it a little, you ultimately have a winner.
Thanks to everyone who came by to tell me about the post and offered encouraging words. I was pretty happy for two reasons. First, I've been having some second thoughts about whether or not to continue working on the story. See there were some structural issues that I couldn't figure out how to fix and I was wondering if I should just throw in the towel. I just didn't know if I had the energy or the desire to rework it all over again. This critique helped me decide that yes I did have a good story and yes it is worth working on. So thanks Jessica, you made me realize I was giving up too early.
And secondly, it just feels damn good when a professional agent I really respect, like Jessica Faust, tells you you wrote something well. I know it's just a pitch and it's not like she read a chapter or something, but I have to admit that I am pretty happy anyway.