It’s Would You Read It Wednesday!
But before we get to Would You Read It, let’s have a go at You Can Write It!
Put these three things in a story!
My Wednesday gift to you! Have fun! 🙂
I’m guessing you’ll need a little Something Chocolate to get those writing synapses firing, (also maybe some caffeine because let’s face it, coffee was put on earth to go with chocolate 🙂 ) so how about a little Chocolate Cheesecake? (Or a lot… no one is judging you here! 🙂 )
This is (supposedly) an easy recipe for those with an Instant Pot. I technically have an Instant Pot… but I’m a little afraid of it 🙂 Nothing like a delicious-looking Something Chocolate, however, to give me the incentive to try something new! 🙂
Easy Instant Pot Chocolate Cheesecake
Yum! Doesn’t that look creamy and chocolate-y? Let’s just call it Picture Book Pie because it’s sure to give you the energy and creativity you need to write!
Now then, onto today’s pitch which comes to us from Paul. Paul Rondema spent his formative years in China and Nigeria before moving to central Indiana (talk about culture shock). He finally settled in Portland, Oregon where he teaches, writes and enjoys life with his wife and daughter. He can be found at: https://paulrondemachildrensauthor.wordpress.com
Here is his pitch:
Working Title: Does It Rain?
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-6)
The Pitch: In a whirlwind tour of the world, Does It Rain? makes a persuasive argument for the commonality of us all, for the shared joys and hopes and fears and dreams of each and every person who walks this home we call Earth.
So what do you think? Would You Read It? YES, MAYBE or NO?
If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest. If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Paul improve his pitch. Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome. (However I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful. I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)
Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks! For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read it in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above. There are openings in March, so you could get your pitch up pretty soon for helpful feedback and a chance to have it read and commented on by editor Erin Molta!
Paul is looking forward to your thoughts on his pitch! I am looking forward to writing Cupcake Kid Flies A Plane! Or maybe Special Delivery For Baby Goat, or Sky High Picnic, or Greedy Goat And The Great Cupcake Heist! Who knows???!!! Check in with me after Picture Book Pie and Coffee 🙂
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂
22 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #346 – Does It Rain? (PB)”
Hi Paul, this pitch is currently a maybe for me. It starts off well by saying it is a whirlwind tour around the world, which makes me excited to hear about the tour. But then it jumps to telling us what the story does, rather than showing us how it does it. I was also left wanting to know what the question “Does It Rain?” has to do with the story. You don’t have to fully answer the question but there should be at least some mention of how the title relates to the story. Obviously, one could guess, but you don’t want agents and editors to guess what your story is about. Best of luck with tweaking your pitch.
This is great feedback. Thank you so much.
Hi Paul. This would be a maybe for me. Mostly because I don’t have a clear idea of what it is. I love nonfiction and this feels like nonfiction but it’s not clear in the pitch. “A whirlwind tour of the world” is a great hook, but how is that actually accomplished in the book? Maybe a bit more about how the book is showing the shared experiences of Earth’s citizens through the idea of rain would help clarify things. Thanks for sharing and good luck!
Excellent point. Thank you so much.
Hi Paul – First, thank your for sharing your pitch! I have to agree with the first two comments. I love the idea of rain being a common, relatable factor for people around the world…a great hook! But a lot of things can be a persuasive argument for commonality—food, sports, humor…so how exactly does rain achieve this?? Also, is there a STEM connection to your story, perhaps even in some back matter? If so, you might want to mention that as agents and editors are on the lookout for STEM stories! Best of luck with this intriguing story!
I hadn’t considered your points. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Paul. There’s lots of great tidbits in this pitch. Whirlwind tour, commonality of humanity. They give me clues that this story will show me a beautiful diverse yet connected world.
I am a Maybe. The title, Does it Rain?, seems like a question that I already have the answer to. If it was a book about the desert, I might be really curious to know as a child, Does it rain? I don’t think that’s your story.
I think your pitch would benefit with more details showing us what the story is rather than telling us the theme.
I am not sure at this time if this is fiction or non-fiction. Is there a main character? What is the arc of the story? Is it a traditional arc rising to a climax? Is it a circular tale? Etc. Show me why I want to know if it rains?
I look forward to seeing your revision.
Sarah, you provide so much feedback…so many ideas. Thank you so much.
What a terrific theme! But I want to know more. I know this can be difficult, to say the least. My suggestion is instead of telling us the theme/issue of the story, show us! In my opinion, when a writer ‘tells’ the theme of their story, they miss the opportunity to WOW the agent/editor. Think along the lines of a movie trailer. They state their logline within a minute to wow their audience and catch their attention to watch their movie. I hope this helps. Cheers, PAL
Excellent point about showing versus telling. It’s something we preach in stories, but I sometimes forget in pitches. Thank you.
I like the direct, concise brevity and the uplifting message. It’s a bit sophisticated even for book buyers (since they want to get a hint of the book’s voice from the pitch), so I suggest something a bit lighter like:
In a whirl-windy tour of the world, readers of all sorts can immerse themselves in a downpour of shared joys and hopes and fears and dreams of each and every person who walks this home we call Earth.
If ‘immerse themselves in a downpour’ is just too much, the readers can just ‘discover’ or ‘explore’ the shared joys.
I’m not a big fan of the repeated ‘and’ in lieu of commas. To my ear, they hinder flow.
I love the ideas/suggestions. Thank you.
Personally, it sounds interesting knowing your background.
Thinking of it as a pitch: no. It sounds more like a back cover synopsis or a tag line review.
Now, you may have a great story, but in the pitch, likely the only part an editor or agent may read or hear, you need to let them know how they can sell it.
Since it is a younger picture book, I need a younger character in it (or at least one that has a 4-6 year old’s mentality).
I need a topic/plot for a 4-6 yo. I think I get it, but it needs to be clear. Right now I am taking it as an adult problem/issue. 4-6 yo tend to be egocentric (though transitioning to awareness) and tend to notice things superficially.
I want a resolution. I want to know that when I walk away after reading this story to my kid or class, they will have laughed or we have been able to have some kind of bonding moment or discussion. (I think this is where your story falls)
Overall, I want you to describe this story to a five year old. How would you make them want you to read this story? Your own family doesn’t count.
Hope this helps.
I love the reminder about writing for a 5 year old. Thank you.
Haha, I tried the Instant Pot too, Susanna…and instantly sold it to someone else. Just not for me, I guess. Bummer, cause that chocolate cheesecake looks amazing!
On to the story–at this point, I’d have to say I’d be a no. The pitch really doesn’t tell us anything at all about what the story is about, other than our commonalities. And from that, the title seems to have no bearing on the story itself (which if I could read the book, I’m sure would make sense, but just going off the pitch alone, I don’t see it). As a picture book, I’d want to know who the main character is (hopefully a child/children), what’s at stake, and what happens if the child doesn’t achieve his/her goal. If it’s not so much a plot-driven book, I’d still want to know more specifics about what the child encounters along his/her journey and discoveries.
I agree with Matthew that if you can’t describe it to a young child, it probably needs some work. It sounds like a fantastic, and very relevant concept though, definitely one I’d like to learn more about!
Katie, great points. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Paul, I am impressed by your bravery in putting your pitch out for everyone to comment on here. Well, brave and very intelligent because you got great feedback. This is just my 2 cents worth as a complete newbie who wants you to prosper.
A picture book on rain sounds fun and active. The sounds and feel of the cold water immediately come to mind; they’re visceral. Although prior knowledge abounds, this pitch didn’t awaken any of those sensations in me. For me, the idea of “whirlwind tour” just makes me tired, like I ate a bunch of empty calories and didn’t even enjoy nor remember what I ate. “Persuasive argument” reminds me of school and homework that I was forced to do. The word “commonality” feels stiff. All excellent words but for a different type of book.
Shared hopes and dreams sound lovely. Can you crack them open a little? I’d love to follow the rain as it drenches everyone or see how people from London and Africa react to the same storm as it travels around the world. I want to hear about our “home we call Earth.” Lovely phrasing! It think commonality is already in the verb here.
Best of luck! You’re doing great work. Thanks for encouraging me to be brave by shining your light.
Kate, thank you for your thoughts. You’ve given me a lot to think about (and some great suggestions about how to move forward). I appreciate your ideas.
Susanna, thanks for the writing prompts – sure to result in a story that will soar!
Paul, I love the idea of using a natural occurrence, rain, to show how kids are alike worldwide. But I agree with the comments above about the pitch & how you can improve it. I look forward to reading your revised pitch later this month (or when Susanna hosts the Pitch Pick).
Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve got a bunch of great ideas for revising.
You have some important themes running through your pitch, but I am still a bit lost to specifics which will hook me into wanting to know more. It may help to think in terms of kid talk and vocabulary, as if you are pitching to young reader. All good wishes for this.
Great point. Thanks. I’ll remember that when I revise this pitch.