Dec 8, 2011

Reaper's Return: The Pitch

As a followup to my previous post, a few folks have already asked me what I came up with a new, revised, shiny, happy new pitch.

Well, the short answer is that there are still several in the can. The shortest pitch? The 'elevator pitch'? The full monty? Well, don't make that face. I'm talking metaphor, here. This remains an essentially family show, after all.

My pitches have heretofore been a bit broad; I tended to pitch the entire series, which in hindsight is really a silly thought.

Try, for example, to pitch "Lost". The simplest thing - "a plane crashes on a tropical island. Weirdness ensues" - doesn't quite cover it. But neither does "Oceanic flight 814 crashes on an island that moves through time and space, giving all the survivors an opportunity to move on from the mistakes and laspes in judgment of their lives before, during, after and sideways from crashing on the island. There is a powerful electromagnet which powers the island and must be maintained by a guy with a cool accent who has to press 8 14 15 23 42 and I think I'm missing a number there but you see the numbers all throughout the series so it shouldn't be too hard to fix that in post, but there's this one great episode where a temporal physicist who is kind of crazy and played by the fantastic Jeremy Davies.... oh, but I digress..."

Or, another example I was thinking of.... how do you suppose M Night Shyamalan pitched "The Sixth Sense"? Because just saying "it's about a kid who can see dead people" isn't quite enough. And "it's about a kid who can see dead people, and the psychatrist who is trying to help him" is closer, but still kind of lacks a bit of the punch. But "it's about a kid who can see dead people, and the psychiatrist who is trying to help him... who is ALSO DEAD." is much better.

Oh, and if you haven't seen the Sixth Sense, sorry for the spoiler. And, also, welcome to the 21st century.

So anyway. Here's the latest presentation.

What if Death wore a pretty black dress?

Everyone in Oldtown had heard talk of the Reapers. Even though nobody had seen one in years, everyone whispered the tales: flying from rooftop to rooftop, stealing the souls of the unwary, letting their undead beasts hunt through the streets for any member of the community too reckless or fearless to heed the nightly curfew ... mysterious and terrifying, most feared to even mention them by name, lest they appear and gather your spirit away.

For 11-year-old Romany, her greatest fears were less about the mythological Reapers and more about surviving a miserable life inside of Oldtown's solitary orphanage. Her stark white hair made her an obvious target for the bullies, and the cruel nickname of "Ratgirl" had followed her for years. But if Rom thought her troubles were behind her, being struck dead by a bolt of lightning would only open the door to an entire life of new ones.

First on the list? Finding out that she a Reaper.

....aaannnnndddd.... Scene!

Thoughts? Comments? Feedback? Love to hear your ideas.

Reaper's Return, the first book in the 6-volume Young Adult Steampunk series "Chronicles of Aesirium", is available through Smashwords, Amazon (eBook and Paperback), Barnes & Noble (eBook and Paperback) and now on iTunes, too!


Karen Williams said...

Sounds fun! I'm looking forward to reading it over the holidays.

Unknown said...

Ren--I like your second paragraph about Rom. A lot. Enough to wonder if you could start with that? I also have another comment that occurred to me on Wednesday, after hearing you pitch. I love the opener regarding death wearing a dress, but could it be a different color than black? Only because "little black dress" to me sounds like a cute cocktail dress for an older woman to go to a bar in, and that's maybe not the connotation you want for Rom. Just a thought. :)

Elise Stephens said...

That "unkown" comment above was from me. I don't know why Google did that. -Elise Stephens.

Nixtastic said...

Hey Ren,

Your new pitch is much improved. It's concise and much more effective than what we heard at Pitch 2.0. I'm also delighted to know Rom's name is Romany. It adds something for me that feels kind of old world. I also like the way it leaves you with being struck by lightning. That's a nice twist and makes you want to know more.

Elise knows more than I do about little black dresses, and the first time I heard it, I also thought "little black dress" (that you hear about on women's hosiery and deodorant commercials as the sort of holy grail of simple cocktail dresses) instead of pretty black dress, but I think that in itself might be an interesting kind of quick (albeit temporary) hook. I think if you change it, you might lose the sort of instant recognition (that gets clarified when you find out she's 11) you get with x-black-dress.

Sorry for the delayed comment. I was getting ready to go on vacation and have been totally swamped.

Nixtastic said...

Oh - and Nixtastic is Mike Simon from Pitch :D