Untitled by Cassie Doyle
Four people dead. Blood on your hands. Two choices: wait for the police, or accept the offer of sanctuary from a passing stranger.
August is in more trouble than he expected. The summer holiday was going perfectly, leading him to the girl of his dreams. Then the slaughter started. Now, Caitlin’s disappeared into the back of a beaten-up van with a complete stranger and August is stranded with a pile of incriminating evidence. Hell, he can’t even blame the police for arresting him. It’s not exactly what he’d planned on doing the summer after high school.
Caitlin isn’t ready to face what happened. She threw herself into her new life, travelling the country with the enigmatic Zach under promise of anonymity. Her eyes are firmly set on the horizon and she can’t look back. But Zach’s got a job to do. Disguised as a backpacker, he moves from state to state tracking serial killers that prey on tourists and elimintating them. The only thing he’s missing is bait: something to lure the killers into his traps. Or should he say someone. Someone young and fast. Someone who’s already proven she’ll do anything to survive. Someone just like Caitlin.
Haunted by guilt over the friends she couldn’t save, Caitlin leaps at the opportunity for redemption. Together, she and Zach are an unstoppable, formidable killing team. Caitlin’s found her calling and, maybe, her soulmate. Then a familiar face appears on the TV news. August has been charged with multiple murders. Including hers.
Arielle & David: This pitch has a very distinctive and compelling writing style. Again, we see so many pitches that are so generic, written like book reports. This is your audition to show us what a great writer you are, what a great prose stylist, and you have done that successfully. Love the way this starts out. Very staccato and exciting. And it has a wonderful twist at the end. Again, it’s hard to have a great ending to a pitch, and you really nailed it. What can be improved? Some of this pitch is very vague, and it takes us out of the story. Example: “Then the slaughter started.” We don’t know what that means exactly. It seems like you take something very dramatic and impactful, and reduce it to something vague and confusing and flat. We don’t get a clear idea of what these characters look like, and what they desperately want in life that they don’t have. What is the relationship between August and Caitlin? There’s not enough there to hang our hat on. And frankly, the serial killer who kills killers is almost a cliché now, what with Dexter and all. Again, we have to say it, where are the comparable titles? Also, you spelled “eliminating” wrong. I know it seems like a tiny thing, but again, agents and editors are just looking for reasons to say no to you. And spelling seems like the simplest thing in the world, given the fact that we have Spellcheck.