Thursday, August 28, 2008

Give It to Me Quick!

I love “high concept” pitches! Probably because I’m so good at coming up with them (if I do say so myself). Not only am I a romance writer, I’m also a HUGE film buff. And just like movies need a tag line, so do you and your novels. Admittedly “Futuristics from the Heart” isn’t my most fabulous work. I think I do better at summing up novels…except for those 100 word blurbs which I hate! I like it short, simple and snappy like a one-liner. A couple of the examples that follow have gotten me kudos from teachers like Robin Perini and Kelley St. John.

So here are some of my best with a few ways I used them.

DECODER & THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY:
A “Saint” meets “Agent Cody Banks” coming of age story.


I loved Val Kilmer in the Saint and adored the Leslie Charteris books I found at my local library. As a nod, my heroine name is Leslie. I used this line in my cover letter as a closing.

BELIEVE IN ME:
Man versus machine terminator tale with an X-man-esque cast.


Of course man versus machine goes with Terminator, but it also symbolizes the way my heroes are fighting huge odds including cyborgs. As for the X-men, I’ve loved them since I was a kid. My genetically engineered team isn’t built on them, but because of their prevalence in the media and movie industry I figured it would be a safe bet to play. Everyone I know loves this one, especially my paranormal writer friends. I used this on my cover letter closing and as a lead into a pitch at two conferences.

LOVEMAKER:
A flip-flopped SWEET HOME ALABAMA with a heady dose of STRAIGHT TALK.


This line got an editor to read my chapters after she’s already passed on another submission. In LOVEMAKER, the heroine comes to NY from small town Georgia, so that’s why it’s a flip. Straight Talk is a movie with Dolly Parton where she gives love advice on a hit radio show. Since my heroine’s a love consultant, I thought it fit. And they’re both blondes. ;0)


This is wording I brainstormed for new banners on my website:

Imagine…
A modern-day Walt Disney cursed to be a werewolf,
whose only savior is the Norma Rae of witches.
Who’ll burn who when love is the bottom line?
CASTING SPELLS


This is for my new theme park paranormal that I came up with on the way to Florida for vacation. I owe the kernel to a trade magazine I picked up at the Welcome Center in Georgia.

A 1,000 year old feline…
A witch in the making...
Sparks fly and fur becomes manly flesh,
during a raging war for supremacy.
Will love end an ancient curse…
and conquer the Dragon of Deal’s Gap?
CRASH INTO YOU


This is for the novella I wrote for Samhain, that didn’t final in the shapeshifter contest. It’s a follow up to JUST ONE LIFE and involves racing in the winding hills of NC. Believe me it’s a rush.

What happens when…
a mark warms up to his captor
a bounty hunter falls for her prey
and the client doesn’t bag herself a husband?
When LEAP DAYS hit, business rocks.
Will you side with the hunter or the hunted?



This is for the first book in a new series that stemmed from a wives’ tell I heard. Of course I mixed in a little imagination, a new world and added some grit. This is definitely not your mom or grandmother’s type of romance.



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4 comments:

Savanna Kougar said...

Wow, Skylar, my brain is buzzing and spinning at the same time.
It's a crash course in the art of High Concept.
Thanks.

Skylar Masey said...

Thanks for the compliment Savanna!

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Wow! These all sound great! Amazing energy in these ideas. Good luck with all of them!

Skylar Masey said...

Thank Jenn! I appreciate the kudos :0)