Sunday, February 23, 2014



Category/Genre: NA Historical Fiction/Time Travel

Word Count: 62,000


Having discovered the manuscript for a mysterious symphony, grad student and “lady’s-man” Hans Meyer takes off for Germany to research Beethoven and the symphony, which will make one killer thesis. When a strange text shows up on his cell about a Time Train, offering Hans the inside track to discovery, curiosity buys him a ticket to ride and he is dropped off in Vienna, 1820.

When Hans meets 19th-century Viennese chambermaid, Analeise, a love connection sparks like he’s never felt before. Now romantically involved, they accidentally uncover love letters holed up within Hans’ bedchamber windowsill, exposing a secret about Beethoven and the mysterious manuscript which has eluded history books. Hans brings Analeise and this information back to the 21st century only to find his existence has been erased. He must find a way to rewrite the past, which might mean losing the 19th-century girl that has actually stolen his heart.

First Line:

With my right foot planted on the piano’s sustain pedal, the final notes of “Piano Man” dissipated under the laughter at The Tavern.


  1. The good...I am much more able to understand the whole relationship with Analeise now. Well done. I love this premise, and think the combination of incorporating intrigue, time travel, and music is great. I have a little hesitation with the first paragraph. To me, the first long sentences make it just a little difficult to follow, and slowed me down. Maybe consider either breaking it up, or tweaking it just a bit. Also, I think it is spelled "ladies man." Other than that, I really like this,and think you did a great job!! Good luck!

  2. This is one of my favorites (and I'm not just saying that because my son attends a performing arts high school where he plays viola). My only nitpick would be to take out the term "lady's man." In this context, I don't think it adds anything to the pitch. Other than that, great job!

  3. This is more clear and I still really like the premise. Here are some thoughts: In the longer pitch, will there be any mention of who or what is behind the Time Train? It can't just come out of nowhere and I assume it is connected to whoever wants to erase Hans. Why is he so important? Is someone trying to hide or reveal something about that manuscript? I would like a hint of the reasons all of this is happening. Also, here are a few language suggestions: 1) Two sentences in a row begin with "When"--you might want to switch that up.2) You might want to add "for" so it reads "make for a killer thesis" 3) should be "that has eluded" instead of "which has eluded" 4) should be girl "who has" stolen his heart 5) you might want to cut "actually"--you don't need it. Hope this helps!

  4. I think the others have made some good comments, I especially agree with wanting to know who is behind the time train.

  5. I Love this pitch. I think the pitch would be stronger if the first sentence wasn't so long. It loses its impact for me, when I know how much better it should be.

  6. First sentence feels a bit long. Is the music Beethoven's? The discovery of a mysterious musical score drives grad student Hans Meyer to conduct serious research in Germany. An unknown work by Beethoven would make one killer thesis.
    I'd cut 'Now romantically involved' - you mentioned the spark in the previous sentence, which tells me that and it doesn't seem to go with uncovering love letters. I'd get rid of the word accidentally in 'they accidentally uncover' ... uncover implies this
    I'd cut 'actually' out of last sentence.
    Hello time train! What about the train, does he ever find out who's behind it? And going back only to find you don't exist! Eeek! So intriguing! Sounds like a fun ride. Good luck!

  7. Hi Susan! I finally have time to take a look.

    I remember your entry from sunvssnow, and I loved it then :-)

    Though I like the play on words in the first paragraph, I think things are a little too vague still. There are too many questions about the time train and what kind of arrangement he made to take such a ride. Was it free? Did he have to trade something to go?

    In P2: "Now, romantically involved...." I think you can cut this. They didn't find the letters b/c they are involved, so it doesn't make sense to say that there.

    However, love the stakes and the fact this story is about music.

    About your first line: It doesn't grab me, and it doesn't tell me about the tone for the novel. Where's the voice? I want it to grab me. This doesn't.

    But I think you're amazing and I want to see this baby snatched up! So, best of luck to you :-)

  8. Hey I love this concept and I always have. I think the first line is perfect, not too long at all. If it was my line I probably would have made it a word or two longer showing how the laughing patrons weren't paying attention at all. Great Job!

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  10. This could be a really fun time travel romp! I felt there were a few too many glib phrases: "the inside track to discovery, curiosity buys him a ticket to ride" "a love connection sparks". One or two add color or voice, but too many in such a short text like a pitch can be overwhelming. Also, there are a few grammatical things to clean up (ladies' man instead of lady's man, girl WHO has actually stolen his heart) but otherwise I would definitely keep reading.

  11. Judge comment: The plot pulled me right in, as did the first sentence. You've set up the book well, but the pacing feels off at the end of the pitch like you threw in all this exciting action and plot development in a couple of lines.

  12. I never get tired of this premise either - love a good time-entangled romance! A time train is a fun idea, too! A few minor things: two sentences in a row start with "when" and there's no need to say they're romantically involved, that's already shown.


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