Twitter book pitches turn writer into smart aleck (#comedy)

Social media pervades every aspect of our lives these days. Commerce, church and state are all represented in the chatter fest. Artists, musicians, politicians and pundits interact with their fans on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and such. And now literary agents are casting their lines into the info flood waters to hook the next great novel that could spawn multiple screenplays and branded products from lunchboxes to lingerie. That is why today is called #PitMad day in the literary social media world.

The hashtag #PitMad is short for “Pitch Madness.” According to the blog Sub It Club, #PitMad is a day periodically set aside for writers of books to pitch synopses of their manuscripts to literary agents on Twitter in 140 characters or less. Also called a “pitch party,” #PitMad has its own special sub-hashtags that writers may use to indicate which genres their books fall into. #YA is for Young Adults, #PB for Picture Books and so on.

I joined today’s #PitMad party and created a new column in TweetDeck so I could watch other writers’ #PitMad pitches scroll down my screen at lightning speed. My book’s genre, Historical Fiction, does not have an officially sanctioned #PitMad hashtag, but I made one up–#HF–and I’m hoping prospective agents will know what that means. This is what I pitched at the party:

Who wrote her the love letter and why did she marry another man? How will she survive war? #HF based on real people & events. #PitMad

So far, no one with publishing powers has bitten, but I will be persistently #PitMad-ding anyway. (Please, somebody, favorite me!)

Back to those cascading hashtags. As I read the streaming tweets, some of them struck me funny. I mean no disrespect to other writers, but honestly, some of the tweets deserve snappy comebacks. So without revealing the authors’ identities, I give you “#PitMad Pokes”

  • What would you do if you found out that you were the chosen one? What if you had the power of immortality?
    (Already been written — New Testament)
  • Elvira thinks the Monster cheese from the grocery store deserves to be free, like any other person…(Does she mean muenster? If so, I totally agree…)
  • Losing your first love is heartbreaking. It’s not any easier if he’s already dead (Wait, what?)
  • He wanted an education. They gave him a gun. Now 18yo Mike defends the afterlife against a ghoul from the First Crusade (Do guns work on ghouls? I mean, they’re already dead, right?)
  • An unexpected visitor sneaks in the house, leaving glitter, glue and paint footprints everywhere. (Already been written: Cat in the Hat)
  • A “living goddess” & triple amputee learns she’s been used as a puppet & risks her life to discredit the regime that mangled her (Possible title: One-Armed Majestic Marionette)
  • When a Little Girl’s best friend-her favorite dress-is lost at Ellis Island, she must be found or be forgotten forever ( I assume “she” is the dress? Possible title: Say Yes to the Dress Quest)
  • Androids. Teenagers. Mind readers. Space station. Romance. Action. Friendship. Villains with heart. Antiheroes. Loss (possible title: One City Block in Brooklyn)
  • Pink Piranha is hungry & she’s snapping at other pets.There has to be a food somewhere to curb this fussy fish’s bad behavior. (Yes, it’s called Soylent Green)
  • A corset wearing librarian. An undercover sheriff. A drug ring moving through the branch. Small town secrets (Possible title: Prairie Horror Picture Show)
  • NYY fan must choose betw the wife he feels obligated to and the BoSox fan he falls for in 9-11 #LoveStory
    reimagined (“Love means never making her cheer for Derek Jeter”)
  • A boy makes friends with a tiny horse, a cat, a mysterious Vietnam vet and an animal seller as he searches for his sister (Possible title: A Brony, a Bronze Star and a Breeder)
  • Scooter lane activist Alma will do anything to advance her agenda including forcing suicide on her mendacious rival. (What is a “scooter lane”? Is it like a bike lane?)
  • If Dan Brown told Moses’ story, set in 2090s America w/ cryptic codes & anagrams, interracial love triangle (only Dan Brown could pull that off..)
  • Archaeologist can travel through time. Now trapped in the Ice Ages, she must find her way home or die trying (Possible title: If I Had an Ice Pick)
  • Greeting the Captain with “You’re going to hit an iceberg” is not going to save Titanic. (But it couldn’t hurt to warn him, right?)
  • Hungry? Better watch your sandwich. Greedy gull steals lunches (Moral of story: don’t eat at the beach)
  • The propane that cooked her shot at love, a soda turning ppl into aliens, & 1 professional mean-girl. Yuna’s out 4 revenge. (“The propane that cooked her shot at love”? An alien-creating soda? That’s one bad barbecue…)
  • If you have a clone of yourself it’s easy to commit life-insurance fraud, unless you’re a bungling idiot. (wait…you AND your clone are bungling idiots? This can’t possibly end well…)
  • When her sister makes a stunning recovery, Izzy should be happy, but killer zombie cyborgs make that challenging. (Zombie cyborgs are such buzzkills…)
  • To form the family they never had & always wanted, 5 teens unite after blackmailing their parents for money & emancipation (Already been written: The Jackson Five)
  • Opal is bored in a world of no sleep. Then Dad is arrested, she starts to dream & the strange red-haired woman is after her (“I Dream of Jeannie” meets “I Love Lucy”)
  • He’s the man of your Dreams. With nerves of steel and a heart of gold, this bronze god can melt you like quicksilver! (Possible title: Smouldering and Smelting)

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