As indicated in comments in my previous post, I have been trying to get a novel ready for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition. A vital part of this exercise is the 300-word pitch, from which all the wheat will initially be sorted from the chaff. I spent what seemed like a few decades writing one for Baa Baa Black Belt, only to decide that perhaps it wasn’t the best choice. There is no children’s or Middle Grade section. It would have had to go in Fantasy or in Young Adult. Adult fantasy addicts generally don’t take Baa seriously unless they just happen to read it, Middle Graders love it but aren’t catered for, and most of those in the angst-ridden YA category consider it beneath them to try it.
I decided to go for another novel which has more proven appeal for Young Adults – Regina.
Meanwhile, here is the pitch I laboured on for Baa Baa Black Belt. I just hope it isn’t the one which would have worked.
PITCH FOR BAA
Can a pathetic lamb become hero of a classic quest-themed fantasy, fighting monsters and rescuing damsels in distress? After rigorous training by hornless Rambeau, yes!
This gourmet parfait has layers of wordplay and situational comedy, excitement, action, mystery, twists and surprises, rhyme and music. It focuses on enjoyment, which carries younger readers through undeterred by deeper layers of meaning and the more complex humour which entertain their elders.
The story starts at a beguilingly gentle pace while Baa gains and practices his skills, at home and after entering Fabulous Forest magic circle. Events and encounters seem to have an “Alice in Wonderland” inconsequentiality until the adventure gathers momentum and threads start interweaving.
In the ‘Nursery’ section of Fabulous Forest Baa encounters Mary (combining “has lamb” with Quite Contrary, Goldilocks and Riding Hood) and gathers two companions, sardonic Wolfred wolf and lazy pony Lightning . Others become Clarence the vegetarian ogre and Squiggle squirrel.
The arrival of ‘Dreffles’, particularly nasty mixed-up monsters, marks the start of seriously scary stuff. Wolfred and Baa are summoned by Wizard Prang, who has an albatross alter ego, to attend a meeting of the ruling Wizards’ Circle who then send them to discover why North Forest has a magic blackout. Attempts on their lives show that the villain must be one of the wizards. Strange happenings involve Magic Supply Company’s generators. Mary is damsel-napped.
In journeys and adventures which follow they depose false King Artuv Kong Troll in favor of Hin Kong Troll and rescue hordes of damsels, while their characters develop and mature. Baa turns out to be a wizard and to have an alter ego, in the guise of which he finally defeats and unmasks the villain..
It transpires that the keys to everything have been Crown Princess Mary, a spring balance, and butterflies.
© January 2013 Colonialist (WordPress)