Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
Elevator pitches - a novel-editing survey
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:59am

You know what I'm rubbish at? Editing. For some reason, while I can churn out a novel-length story (on five occasions, in under 30 days), I have a nightmare of a time trying to sit down and edit it into something worth having - or, for instance, worth publishing (that long-time dream of any writer).

Part of the reason is that, well, publishing a novel sounds hard. If I plunge myself into editing (which often = completely rewriting), only for no-one to ever read it... what's the point?

So we come to this thread, a neat weaponisation of elevator pitches in the war against apathy. Below are titles, first lines, and five-second summaries of each of my four candidate novels (they're all NaNos, so they all exist as ~50K-word stories). What I'm hoping you will do is read through them, click on the link to the survey, and select which of the four you'd be most likely to read if it was published. :) (It's literally just the one question - no name or anything. Takes about ten seconds.)

And then what I'm hoping you'll do is write up your own title-firstline-elevatorpitch post, scrape together a Google Form, and post it so that I (and everyone else) can say what we think of your ideas. And maybe that'll inspire you, too, to get down to some heavy editing, and eventually seeing your name on the cover of a paperback down at the local bookshop. :)

The Next Great Wizard

The world is a mirror Ė you only get out what you put in, it's prone to deceiving the unwary eye, and sometimes you can walk straight through it. Or is that just me?

Portal fantasy. A young man falls into a fantasy world behind the mirrors, where he is hailed as the Next Great Wizard of prophecy. Or possibly as the new Dark Lord. Only time will tell.

The Kraken-Knights of Wintertide

The sky-farms lay blue under the sun, waiting for the harvest.

Fantasy. Magical war with flying giant squid, medieval warlord Santa, and lots of puns.

The Words of the Voice

Out of nothing, the Voice spoke Itself.

Science-based creation myth written in pseudo-scriptural style, with commentary by one member of an extremely fractious fictional academic community.

Gravity's Embrace

She sauntered towards me, wearing nothing but a smile and three thousand tonnes of warship.

Soft sci-fi. The pilot of an experimental spaceship is kidnapped, and then he and his abductor are both kidnapped again - but no-one seems to know precisely what experiments his ship was running. Least of all himself.

The Survey - Which one do you like the look of?


    • Another PPC Edition!Zingenmir, Tue Jun 26 7:00am
      Though in a different vein from Delta's. For the most part, I'm not planning new spin-offs--I'm planning to go back and develop and write for characters I already created who may have gotten a little ... more
    • Well, here's something.doctorlit, Tue Jun 19 12:08am
      Twice over the years, I've had dreams that were basically fully plotted stories. I wrote down everything I could remember immediately after waking up . . . unfortunately, I was unable to find the... more
    • And some pitches, PPC edition!Delta Juliette, Mon Jun 18 4:07pm
      Because I've got a bunch of different spin-off ideas running around, and no clue which one I want to write most. Here's my favorites! Friday the Thirteenth Grace Trouble Hopper Byron Null knew it was ... more
      • So, let's see.Huinesoron, Tue Jun 19 7:57am
        I voted for Procedural Codes . It's been a long time since we had a decent look at the DIA, and with the loss of Black and Irvine's spinoff their canon is mostly appearances where they're causing way ... more
        • Thank you for the comments!Delta Juliette, Tue Jun 19 10:10am
          I could quibble over some of your concerns with Friday , but it's also the series I have the least sense of how it should go - I like Grace as a character, but I couldn't pitch the story for the... more
          • Oh, no, I wasn't saying that.Huinesoron, Tue Jun 19 10:48am
            Morgan doesn't have a monopoly on protecting the PPC - she just feels like she should . So anyone who started doing 'her job' for her would, in fairly short order, have to deal with an official visit ... more
          • Hmm, and some second thoughts.Delta Juliette, Tue Jun 19 10:38am
            On the this-isn't-a-good-idea side: a potential problem with Time Gentry who specialize in HQ is that they're very hard to ignore: much like Emergencies themselves, a character who is involved in... more
            • I mean, time travel is dangerous.Huinesoron, Tue Jun 19 11:01am
              I've written my own view of what would happen if a time traveller with access to the PPC's abilities decided they had the right to fix things; it's not pretty. Much like superheroes (hello, Injustice ... more
    • Don't mind the "none of the above"...Delta Juliette, Mon Jun 18 9:53am
      I just wanted to see where the votes were without skewing the results, and I had to vote again to do so. (Gravity's Embrace is obviously the best, btw.)
      • You can actually just tweak the URL.Badger421, Mon Jun 18 10:15am
        At least, it works for me. Just change the bit at the end from "viewform" to "viewanalytics". ...I may or may not have discovered this through nosily poking about at all the forms.
    • Days. Need. More. Hours.Hardric, Mon Jun 18 6:57am
      I wanted to participate here much sooner. Okay, these two are ideas who have been boiling inside my brains for a while, and would like to write someday. So I'll be writing concepts rather than the... more
    • Shows up four days late with Starbucks and elavator pitchesSnowy the Sane Fangirl, Mon Jun 18 12:01am
      Talking about my WIPs while they're still WIPs is kind of anxiety-inducing for me. But it's always good to get feedback, so here goes. The Orktili Invasion (Working title) The architecture in... more
      • Although I love the Laura Davidson concept just that little bit more.
        • Thank you! I'm flattered!Snowy the Sane Fangirl, Wed Jun 20 10:22am
          I fully intend to write both sooner or later, but we'll see if it works out.
      • I love science fantasy!Iximaz , Mon Jun 18 12:55pm
        The main planet my Cycle of Worlds pitch is set on has basically space elves... except they look like four-armed lizardmen. But still, magitech is so much fun, and the idea of your first pitch kind... more
        • Me too!Snowy the Sane Fangirl, Wed Jun 20 10:18am
          That sounds pretty fun. And hey, aliens that aren't basically humans with wacky hair and/or squiggly lines on their faces! That's always a plus. I really liked Cowboys and Aliens . I honestly can't... more
      • You had me at...Huinesoron, Mon Jun 18 4:03am
        ... 'aliens invade a magical country'. ^_^ Though that first line for Laura Davidson is spectacular. hS
      • Fun!AC, Mon Jun 18 2:05am
        I voted for The Adventures of Laura Davidson , because 10/10 I would read it. It sounds adorable and funny and heart-warming. Orktili sounds pretty cool too, to be honest! I'm just more wary, since I ... more
        • Thanks!Snowy the Sane Fangirl, Wed Jun 20 10:11am
          I'm glad you like The Adventures of Laura Davidson . It's something of a recent idea, so it's not properly formed yet, so I'm glad it's coming out coherent now. As for sci-fi and fantasy, I've seen... more
      • Notices twenty seconds late that I misspelled "elevator" (nm)Snowy the Sane Fangirl, Mon Jun 18 12:01am
    • Ooh, I like this. I want to do this soon! (nm)twistedwindowpane, Sun Jun 17 6:57pm
    • So I made my 20k goal for my 2009 NaNo, but it doesn't have a title. It's the story of how the king's gadabout second son finds his calling as a military leader and saves the kingdom from invasion... more
    • *Ding* The elevator is hereMatt Cipher, Thu Jun 14 4:39pm
      Just a heads up, it's not gonna be a wide variety of genres. Or... ideas for that matter of fact. I'm a one-trick pony unfortunately, and it's a matter of picking the most interesting idea: Number... more
    • Here goes nothing...Scapegrace, Thu Jun 14 6:24am
      The Bone Man In a small back room, cool against the heat and dimming out the harsh afternoon sun, the doctor cracked his knuckles and went to perform a miracle. Urban fantasy. A young Ten-Pound Pom... more
      • Let me guess your favourite genre. ^_~Huinesoron, Thu Jun 14 7:03am
        I've voted for The Bone Man , because it's a) least horrifying, and b) interesting! I also know Kaitlyn would like it. I also find IKB interesting based on the summary - anything that's described as... more
    • Alrighty, let's try this.AC, Wed Jun 13 11:38pm
      So... I don't really do novels; I've tried, and I can't write good descriptive language for the life of me. However, I can draw, so my goal is to get a graphic novel published eventually! I'm only... more
      • I like this!Snowy the Sane Fangirl, Sun Jun 17 11:23pm
        It sounds like you've got a good, solid foundation for a world here. I'm biased, as well, because I really enjoy episodic almost sitcommy stories that are still fantasy or sci-fi. I hope you go... more
        • I'm honored!AC, Mon Jun 18 2:02am
          Thank you for telling me that! Motivation is often hard to come by, so it's really nice to hear something like that said in no uncertain terms. As a side note, can you recommend any other... more
      • Re: Alrighty, let's try this.Clersyn, Sat Jun 16 11:46am
        I like the "friendly tentacles they can't seem to evict from the kitchen sink" - I think it does a good job communicating a feel for this world. Is there an overarching plot growing behind their... more
        • Thank you!AC, Sun Jun 17 12:38am
          I'm glad you liked the tentacles! There is not an overarching plot, at the moment, but I have a few ideas that I could develop more. Glad you asked! G.U.A.R.D. stands for Guardians against Unseemly... more
    • Ah, what the heck, I'll give it a go. Badger421, Wed Jun 13 5:12pm
      Truth be told I've barely even started most of these projects, but I think they're the most likely to go anywhere if I ever actually apply myself to writing a proper novel. The Bastion Walls The sun... more
      • Your stories all sound awesomeAC, Thu Jun 14 12:15am
        I mean, I voted for The Bastion Walls , simply because I'm a sucker for very personal epic fantasy, but all your other books sounded fabulously entertaining and engrossing. I'd like to see any and... more
        • Well thank you very much!Badger421, Fri Jun 15 3:52pm
          I'm glad you like them, The Bastion Walls especially, as it's sort of my flagship project. It's basically my love letter to military history and fiction wrapped up in fantasy trappings. A bit niche,... more
      • Link Luckily Ix was around to tell me how to get it right this time. Thanks, Ix!
    • You know, what, sure! Elevator pitches!Alleb, Wed Jun 13 2:00pm
      (The Nanovels I have no longer hold my interest, so these are actually just ideas I have bouncing around, some of which I've done some writing on, some of which I have not.) And It Goes All the Way... more
      • Fascinating ideas all 'round.Badger421, Tue Jun 19 1:37pm
        But my vote goes to Alchemy or Chemistry. I really love And It Goes All the Way Down, it's got a great sense of mystery to it, but I just can't say no to a college student interacting with dragons... more
      • Siiiiilence, we hunt for the Queen!Matt Cipher, Fri Jun 15 4:07pm
        . . . . . *crickets* . . . *thumbleweed strolling by* . . Nobody? Ronnie James Dio? The King of Metal? . . . "Killing the Dragon"! I was referencing the dragon attack from Should I Major in... more
      • I'm similarly ambivalent with yours.Huinesoron, Wed Jun 13 2:46pm
        I checked And It Goes All The Way Down ; that's a fantastic first line, and the concept is exciting. But I also love Chemistry or Alchemy? , because... well, I'm a chemist, and there should be more... more
    • *cracks knuckles*Iximaz, Wed Jun 13 1:35pm
      Here are a couple of the different stories that I've worked on, or am working on. One of them actually did get picked up by a local publisher, but they went out of business and I never got to see it... more
      • The Pureblades sounds right up my alley, and Cycle of Worlds seems like a riot, but the whole childhood sleepover lost MacGuffin idea is just too charming for me to resist. Plus, I have a soft spot... more
        • You guessed right. :)Iximaz , Mon Jun 18 12:52pm
          I pitched the idea at a panel back in middle school, so honestly, itís probably for the best the publisher went out of business. Can you imagine the sort of dreck I mightíve put out? :P I really do... more
          • Yes, called it!Badger421, Tue Jun 19 2:07pm
            It does sound like a really fun idea, but I can definitely understand being thankful for a youthful endeavor being kept out of the wider world. In fact, I just watched a video on that same subject.... more
      • ...Well, this is interesting.Iximaz, Sun Jun 17 1:58am
        So far, it's an even split between all three. That doesn't help my decision on which one to work on, but at least I know people are interested! :P
        • You noticed that too?Huinesoron, Mon Jun 18 4:02am
          At one point my pie graph was a perfectly quartered circle! It's actually shaken out a little now, with a clear preference for Kraken Knights , and a slightly smaller contingent supporting Gravity's... more
      • NuuuuMatt Cipher, Fri Jun 15 4:04pm
        As much as I love Deapool: Genesis The Cycle of Worlds, I had to vote for the Pureblades. Sounds like the Shadowhunters done right (although the name's equally as silly. No offence).
      • Cool!AC, Thu Jun 14 12:26am
        I feel like The Pureblades could be everything I love about the Shadowhunter Chronicles, minus the clunky fanfiction-esque writing, and I can't wait to see it be published sometime! That being said,... more
    • Clarification:S.M.F., Wed Jun 13 12:11pm
      Is the summary for Gravity's Embrace suggesting that the spaceship itself is approaching him? That's the impression I'm getting, anyway.
      • Kind of!Huinesoron, Wed Jun 13 2:40pm
        Pilots from New Etruria and the Celtic League (among other nations) essentially act as their ships' computers; for the duration of their service, they are treated as identical with their ships. It's... more
  • Click here to receive daily updates