Riding the Dam – Pitch and First 150 Words (genre, middle grade)

Title:  Riding the Dam                                                                                                 Genre:  Middle Grade                                                                                                   Word Count: 40,000

Pitch: 1952 San Angelo is a boy’s paradise providing ten-year-old Allan with endless adventure. When his mother becomes ill, Allan discovers it’s not excitement he longs for, but the comfort of family and gift of friendship.

I’d been waiting for this day for three solid years. Today, Raymond and me were going to ride the dam. This was not just any dam, but the biggest dam in the world. If it was in Texas, it had to be the biggest.

We both had bicycles, but I had decided early on that it was a lot of work to pedal around looking for adventure, so I convinced Raymond to let me ride on his handlebars while he did the pedaling. I told him riding this way allowed for easier conversation.

This arrangement came with some risks. Kids were known to get their toes cut off in the spokes of a bike riding like this, so I learned to wrap my toes around the front axle like an eagle wrapped his talons around a branch during a windstorm and hold on for dear life.

Thanks for hopping by! Please share your comments.

And thanks, Brenda, for hosting the bloghop! Those interested should check out, http://brenleedrake.blogspot.com/


10 thoughts on “Riding the Dam – Pitch and First 150 Words (genre, middle grade)”

  1. Great pitch! The only thing I would change from your opening scene is I’d install danger right away in your first paragraph, if not sentence. I get the boy’s excitment, but I want to understand why we should consider him a dare-devil, and why it’s so dangerous to venture into the dam – kinda like giving us the consequences before he acts upon it.

  2. I think the pitch is good. We get a good sense of what the book is about.

    I’d agree with changing up the first sentence. I would probably switch the first two sentences: Today, Raymond and me were going to ride the dam. I’d been waiting for this day for three solid years.

    I also wonder if you shouldn’t change the were to are because you’re talking about today, which is present and were is past.

  3. I like the first 150. The pitch was good, but I think it’s more than 35 words? Also, it would read a lot easier to me if it started with “San Angelo in 1952….” Starting with numbers threw me off.

    1. Sharon, You’re right – I’ve got 37 words in my pitch. There are only 146 words in my first words, so I was hoping it would balance out. But, I may need to drop two words for the form. Thanks for hopping over!

  4. I like the pitch, gives us a good idea of the story.

    I like how the ten year old boy really comes through here in voice patterns and phrasing. I also love the surety of this line: “If it was in Texas, it had to be the biggest.” I work with kids and it’s so something a young boy would think/say with total sincerity (and just a little awe). Very well done.

  5. This is really great! Your pitch is wonderful! I agree with some of those above that the first sentence would be stronger if you changed it to..
    Today Raymond and me were gonna ride the dam. That pulls you right in..

    Really.. wonderful!

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