Hi everyone! Such an interesting exercise. And Andrew Wille is actually an editor for Jericho Writers!
Hannah, I think that the Suffragette+Soldier was a fantastic element that you took off your final pitch whereas it could drive the story on its own! War tearing them apart and the Suffragette’s quest to save her Soldier are also powerful ideas. Whereas courage and determination in the face of tragedy is a bit redundant: firstly, it could work for many stories, and secondly the Suffragette’s quest on the background of war implies that there’ll be courage and tragedy. If you can imply something, that’s great, because you’ve given a lot in just a few, information-packed words.

Carole, I also think you’re very close to the right pitch. But what is the heart of the story: the missing child case or the cosmological danger of Hell breaking loose? When Detective (her/his name) finds in an antique Bible the only clue to a missing child case, Hell breaks loose. In my view, this rather short version still implies the essential: that the Detective will have to find the child but also will have a larger purpose of saving the world from forces of Hell. An little issue I’ve got at the moment with your elevator pitch is that I’m not sure if the Hell breaking loose has to be taken literally. It could sound like a cliché, a common phrase not to be taken literally. It would have more impact if you said, in one or two words, what this disaster entails: horned-and-tailed devils? Earthquakes and hurricanes? Whatever it is, something specific would made much more impact, I think. At least you could try this.

Emma, you started far away from a great pitch, but I think that you now have such an effective one! It’s so interesting to see the process. You’ve got everything in your last version: grief (dark situation every reader can relate to, and the start of a character’s journey to more light), then unexpected relocation (the inciting incident), the family unity (the main character’s goal and chance to redeem herself), and the redefinition of family as a powerful resolution. Well done, it’s excellent!

Thank you so much for posting your elevator pitches. It’s so difficult to get it right. I know that because I’m struggling about mine too. But discussing the pitches of others helps as much as receiving comments on one’s own pitch!