Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Four of the eight of us in this workshop are writing crime fiction. The other four are writing sci-fi, historical fiction, lit fiction and nonfiction. We all share one thing. We can't write a decent pitch. In my case, once I say aloud the initial sentence, I'm babbling. And even the first sentence isn't great because I must take two breaths to fit it in. Of course, I smoked years ago and that might account for it. Our coach is brilliant at extracting the elements to emphasize. If only we understood our novel half as well. After some work, I come up with this: Raising the Dead is a suspense novel about a Detroit photographer nearing forty and desperate to succeed. She uses her relationship with a mortician to produce edgy pictures of dead black men. Her new obsession with this subject takes her into still darker territory, involving her in murder, mutilation and the racial and sexual politics of Detroit. What do you think? Remember it's two in the morning. I might come up with something better tomorrow. Does the "politics" thing make it sound like she's running for mayor. HELP.