What’s playing on the iPod right now? THE HEINRICH MANEUVER by Interpol
Time for looking at Character elements in your pitch paragraph. So far none of my blog readers have offered back cover copy for me to analyze. I’m kind of surprised. I’d be happy to look at some copy for different genres and break it down for the reading audience.
That way I would tackle some genres not touched on even remotely so don’t hesitate to do that today.
But back to my presentation. I used Leslie Langtry’s GUNS WILL KEEP US TOGETHER as an example of a character-built pitch paragraph.
“Irreverent, witty and fun…a wild, adventurous ride!”
—New York Times Bestselling Author Katie MacAlister
on ’Scuse Me While I Kill this Guy
Dakota Bombay prided himself on his blond Bond image—bad-guy killer by day, lady-killer by night. Then his life gets both shaken and stirred by an irate grandmother demanding a marketing plan for the family assassination business, a precocious six-year-old son Dak never knew he had, and a mysterious redhead who’s erased his decades-old preference for blondes.
Suddenly the perennial playboy is knee deep in pie charts and thinking he may have found the perfect mom for his boy. She’s smart, funny, and directs a funeral home no less—what could be better? Now if he can just take out a team of rival assassins without getting killed himself, they can all live trigger-happily ever after.
Step One: Spot the plot catalyst
In this cover copy, it’s the grandmother and the unexpected arrival of a six-year-old son that’s going to push this story forward.
This cover copy is all about character. First we find out what Dakota is like—the blond Bond bad boy. That’s the image he’s always had. This establishes the character.
The second paragraph is a hint of what he’s going to have to become—a corporate business head and then a father which isn’t in keeping with the bad boy image. Not to mention there is a reference to the love interest (that will also be a departure for this character).
The last sentence wraps up in another plot element but for the most part, this pitch is all about character.
Now throw me some other examples and let’s take a look at them!