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Hook - historical fiction


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#1 RossWrites

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 09:35 AM

Here is the reworked pitch

 

Self-indulgent artist Sebastian provides forged works of art to the Nazis to keep masterpieces safe, but this looks more like collaboration with the enemy to some among the fractured Resistance.



#2 Testome

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 10:42 AM

First, that's too long of a sentence for use in a hook or a pitch. I would break it up.  As for the hook, I would focus on the plot. This is all setup. What does the mc want? What gets in his way? The stakes would be helpful too. 



#3 Niambi

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 07:43 PM

Great start, now makes it shorter and add some conflict.  We know the book is ripe with the standard fair of WWII-esque danger, but what does the MC want besides to paint and survive?

IS Sebastian trying to get back to the states?  If we cut out the juicy details we're left with this:

 

Forced to jump from a train in Nazi-occupied France, American expatriate and artist Sebastian finds himself in the care of a pair of Resistance fighters who soon discover an unexpected and highly risky use for his unique skills; forging great works of art to keep the genuine masterpieces out of plundering Nazi hands.

 

American Sebastian finds himself in the (French) Resistance forging great works of art to keep the originals from the Nazis.  

 

Which nice but still a bit vague.  It doesn't hook.

 

As Testome said, the MC needs to want something.  That something should be unique to him.  Since the setting is WWII, it can't simply be to beat the Germans ... everyone wants that, and he can't do it himself.  

 

For example, if he is a thief and wants to use the war to steal the works of art, then has to decide whether he intends to keep the originals for himself or not then it starts to wet my palette.  



#4 RossWrites

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 08:51 AM

Thanks for your thoughts. Below is a rework of the pitch. It's shorter, gives more about the MC personality, and something about the challenge he faces.

 

Here it is:

 

Self-indulgent artist Sebastian provides forged works of art to the Nazis to keep masterpieces safe, but this looks more like collaboration with the enemy to some among the fractured Resistance.



#5 Niambi

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for your thoughts. Below is a rework of the pitch. It's shorter, gives more about the MC personality, and something about the challenge he faces.

 

Here it is:

 

Self-indulgent artist Sebastian provides forged works of art to the Nazis to keep masterpieces safe, but this looks more like collaboration with the enemy to some among the fractured Resistance.

 

 

Nicely done!  I get a much better sense of the tension now.



#6 MissDaisy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 07:12 PM

Here is the reworked pitch

 

Self-indulgent artist Sebastian provides forged works of art to the Nazis to keep masterpieces safe, but this looks more like collaboration with the enemy to some among the fractured Resistance.

 

Here is the reworked pitch

 

Self-indulgent artist Sebastian provides forged works of art to the Nazis to keep masterpieces safe, but this looks more like collaboration with the enemy to some among the fractured Resistance.

 

 

I feel crazy. You know those puzzles where there are two pictures of the same thing side by side and you're supposed to find what's missing in the second one? Hmm. Where's the real second one, RossWrites? While you're pulling it up you might think about adding some "whozits" -- Lt. Gegenhein of the Royal Nazi Association, Hans NoName, deposed leader of the Resistance -- This kind of information gives me more sense of setting and motivation.

 

Now I want to know what these people do in the story, how they try to block Sebastian from -- doing whatever Sebastian is going to try to do that's different from what he's already doing. Something has to change; what is it? What action takes place?

 

What does 'self-indulgent' mean here? The word makes me think of Devil's food cake. (I'm not even joking. And now I want some.) Is that the most descriptive word you can use to make your readers immediately like (or even hate) Sebastian? [..., the self-important forger of masterpieces who....]

 

BTW, I should have started out by saying I only critique writing when I would like to read more of it. So I'm looking forward to your next draft.

 

Regards

MissDaisy



#7 dizzywriter

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:28 PM

Thanks for your thoughts. Below is a rework of the pitch. It's shorter, gives more about the MC personality, and something about the challenge he faces.

 

Here it is:

 

Self-indulgent [how is this manifested? Can you be more concrete without being more wordy? I imagine he is selling out in some way for money or power or safety]] artist Sebastian provides forged [forges] works of art to [for] the Nazis to keep masterpieces safe [is he tricking the Nazis or do they know it? Because if he's tricking them, he's putting himself in danger], but this looks more like collaboration with the enemy to some among [some in] the fractured Resistance [consider it collaboration with the enemy].

I like the concept and the hook, but would tweak it a bit.

Any input you can give on my query is welcome.






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