Fortunately, Juliet Pickering ran a session at York where she encouraged us to try. Now I have to admit that during this session, I was struggling with a migraine that made my head feel like it was filled with cotton wool and needles. Juliet must've thought I was mad, sitting in a corner with my sunglasses on...either way, it didn't make writing a pitch very easy.
Then we tried it on our own WIP. Boy, did I struggle. In two sentences, I needed to give a clear indication of the genre as well as what happens to the main protagonist. It needed to be hooky, as it'll probably follow the book right through the publishing process. Oh - and I had to try to include the unique selling point too. So...
'When Rurik arrives on Ring Isle as a servant, one of the five rings of power has been hidden to protect it. Rurik's accidental adventure to find it leads him to the ring - and a destiny he never dreamed of.'
Guess what? *sigh* Rings - Juliet picked up on that straightaway.
Now you'll know from an earlier blog that this is a problem with Rurik. They aren't rings for your finger, but because I mention 'rings' quite frequently there's been an assumption that Rurik will be a Tolkien derivative. (It's not - but first impressions count).
So what IS the USP for Rurik if it isn't rings? Mandy, a fellow cloudie sitting in the session, has read Rurik. She suggested an alternative...so I came up with this:
'By the time Rurik realises that the auras he can see are ancient powers of protection, he is already on a quest to save them. When he finds the object in which some of the power is trapped, he also discovers a destiny he never dreamed of.'
Cracked it? Not entirely sure...but it doesn't mention rings. Now to rewrite the synopsis - with the same 'no-rings' treatment.