And party we did! Ariane's book is a children's recipe book presented through an adventure story. I will not give any story elements away. You'll have to visit Ariane at her website to gain more information into her marvelous tale of adventure, bravery, biting nails, and definitely laughter! It was a fun story told with humor and tension and a "satisfying" ending. In order to celebrate, we each made one of the recipes from Ariane's book and had a feast that could "satiate" a queen. (Words in quotes are hints about the book...) Again, our congratulations to you Ariane! All your hard work paid off!
And that brings me to the question... To critique or not critique... Well, you might not have known this, but while critiquing one another is of course our ultimate goal, it should not be our ONLY goal. Sometimes we need to come together and decompress. Share about workshops, tools that help us, or about one another's lives. And that's what today was all about for us MG/YA novelists. Sure we are tough on one another and encourage each other to always put our best page forward, but we all need to honor and celebrate one another from time to time as well. And what better way to do this, then around food! Mange! Mange!
But also, it gave us an opportunity to share our take on the NJ SCBWI workshop some of us attended on Sunday. AND... it gave us an opportunity to share elevator pitches. Now some of you might wonder what an elevator pitch is. Well, imagine you are at lunch... and you just so happen to be eating at a table with a children's editor... from say.... Sterling. Yes. And just for arguments sake, let's say her name is Anne... OK so someone asks "Anne," so Anne, what kind of books are your currently shopping? And Anne replies, Oh well, I am currently shopping for books that are appealing to boys in a humorous way (or insert a quick description of a book you are currently working on, or have already completed) And the annoying person sitting to your left elbows you and says, Oh (insert your name) here, is working on just such a book. Right (insert your name)? And just like that, you need to quickly, in a sentence or two, talk about your story.
Think of an elevator pitch as a come hither. It is intended to make people want to know more. You don't want to tell EVERYTHING in one long sentence. You want to seduce them. You want to intrigue them. You want to hook them. YOU WANT THEM TO WANT MORE.... So, today in the MG/YA group, we took a fun spin on the elevator pitch that we all dread giving. Instead of delivering our own pitch, we wrote, or delivered off the cuff, a pitch describing someone ELSE's book, not our own. This was so exciting and insightful (at least I thought so!) It really showed us how the others have perceived your book. What are you writing that has come off clearly? What hasn't? Did they see something in your novel YOU didn't? It was a lot of fun.
I recommend you all give this a try in your groups too. And perhaps come with an elevator pitch for another member in your group, or for your favorite book, or favorite movie, and then see if the others in the group can guess whose it is.
Anyone want to take a stab at it here? You don't have to pitch your idea. And actually please don't. Let's pitch a book or movie we all might know, and see if we can guess it. Here's my attempt. I am going to rename the main character MC though, because the name will really give it away...
Orphaned MC must live with his horrible Aunt, Uncle, and piggish cousin, when he discovers, he is not ordinary as they have repeatedly told him. Instead he is quite extraordinary. MC has magical powers he cannot understand. And what's more, there is a whole magical world most of us don't even know exists. AND in this magical world... MC is famous!
So let's have at it. I think it is pretty obvious. Leave your comment. Tell me who you think it is and give it a stab. Remember though, even my example is teetering on the too long side. So keep it short - it is NOT a SYNOPSIS. It is a seduction. Let's see if we can guess your example...
Cheers and happy writing!!!
Sheri ks, ks