Before I get started, I'm over at The Pink Heart Society today, for Must Watch Friday. I'm chatting a bit about the HBO miniseries John Adams that I finished watching recently.
We're up to pitch number three now - here's Soraya Nicholas's pitch for Second Chance Soldier:
I would like to pitch my story, Second Chance Soldier, to you. Here goes . . .
"When Luke Brown finally arrives home from 3 years of active duty in Iraq, it’s not to the homecoming he had hoped for. His wife and son might be waiting for him, but he’s been a crappy Dad and an even worse husband, and he knows it.
Olivia has lived like a widow for years, and raised her son alone. So when her husband turns up and wants another chance, she has no intention of saying yes. She has the divorce papers ready. But the truth is, she still loves the memory of her husband, and when he asks for one month to prove himself, Olivia gives in.
Luke knows 30 days isn’t long, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes. Can this soldier be the Dad and father he so desperately wants to be? He thinks so, now he just has to convince his wife."
Hope you like it, I would love to send you the first chapter!
A couple of things grabbed me about this pitch. First of all, I'm a sucker for soldier stories. In fact, I'm writing one at the moment. There is something about a hero in uniform that just does it for me. So I'm already intrigued.
Even better is that this is a marriage in jeopardy story. I love them when they are done right and I don't see them as often as I'd like (I have yet to be brave enough to try one). I saw potential in this right away.
What red flag popped up for me? Well, growth arcs. The easiest (and fastest) way for me to explain is to post what I put in Soraya's e-mail:
"...beware of making your hero too self aware. Yes, he’s been a crappy dad, and not a great husband. But if he KNOWS it right away, where’s the conflict? What is going to keep them apart? What things has he suffered that he thinks they won’t understand? Go deep with your hero and there is lots of internal conflict to be found. He wants another chance, and asks for a month. How is he going to struggle? What mistakes is he going to make?
Also…make sure Olivia also has a growth arc. It can’t just be Luke that grows and changes. She needs to too. I think if you give Luke more conflict, then it forces Olivia to look at herself as well…and give her the opportunity to fall in love with not only the husband he was but the man he has become. Just some food for thought!"
I am really looking forward to reading this and seeing how Soraya handles it.
It's Friday, and I've done a good job at making my word count. Things are a little crazy today but I'm determined to finish chapter two. :-)
I'll be posting pitches four and five first of the week.