Son of a Pitch Team Ursula Entry 2: BOARDING ALL ROWS

10 thoughts on “Son of a Pitch Team Ursula Entry 2: BOARDING ALL ROWS”

  1. Query:
    Oooh, this looks hilarious!

    The second paragraph, I would condense to say. “The story follows a colleague and me on a last-minute work trip, wherein a steady procession of jackasses are catalogued, ridiculed, and released back into the chaos.”

    250:
    The first line is great. Then I end up confused about who you’re talking about with the list. Yourself? I would follow the first line with something more concrete. “After years of air travel, my list is pretty long.”

    Beginnings should be punchy, and the beginnings of humor books doubly so. So I’d cut some of this beginning, maybe have the next paragraph start with “When you’ve spent more time aloft than…” That’s a super-good line, and so is the one after that. You can clarify that you were a business traveler later on…it’s okay to leave us guessing a little as to why you’d fly so much. It’s one of the things that keeps us reading.

    I’m so glad to have a funny entry on my team 🙂 Thank you for entering.

  2. Boarding All Rows is a humorous, creative nonfiction portrayal of the inconsiderate things people do while getting from Point A to Point B. (Is this strictly air travel or car and bus too?) Since a play-by-play of my twenty years of business travel would be lengthy, it squeezes the funniest events into a weeklong story line and is complete at 53,000 words. (Sounds like hoot!)

    The action follows a colleague and me on a last-minute work trip, (but this is merely a framework supporting the real story within:<…don't think you need this part, just get to the meat of the story.) a steady procession of jackasses. One by one, they’re dragged into the open to be cataloged, ridiculed, and released back into the chaos. Anyone who’s spent much time at thirty-thousand feet should recognize the Group Trippers, Power Hog, Juggernaut, and a long parade of archetypal passengers that only crowded airports reveal. (I am interested, and I haven't been on many planes! My brother-in-law, who travels for business all the time would totally relate!)

    While American society is creeping towards tolerance, our interactions as individuals are often rude, indifferent, and infected by a “me first, then you” attitude. (SO TRUE!) Since people can’t fix what they won’t admit, Boarding gives them a big shove down the road to redemption.

    First 250:

    You can learn a lot about a man from the list of people he wants to drown. (A grabby opener!) The names won’t mean much unless you know them, but you still have to wonder how they landed there. You also might be curious how the list got so long. (Do you have a long list?) How could a guy described as a fun, easygoing, two-hundred-pound puppy want to fill up a party van with people and drive it into the nearest lake?

    Air travel. Years and years of it.

    To be clear, I’m not talking about family vacations or weekend getaways. I love those as much as anyone and would argue we should take more of them. No, I’m referring to the soul-mincing meat grinder of work travel. (Why do you think work travel does this? Because you're on a plane to get to some boring meeting or going to confront someone about a problem?) When you’ve spent more time aloft than a flock of Canadian geese, the other passengers almost become a surrogate family. Not in a festive Thanksgiving at grandma’s way, but more of an obligatory family reunion, complete with distant cousins who just got out of prison or blow cigarette smoke in your kids’ faces. (Hahahahaha!)

    They’re not always the same passengers, of course, but if you pay attention you’ll see many common attitudes and behaviors. Just as heat and pressure can turn coal into diamonds, the chaos of a busy terminal can transform normal humans into colossal douches. (Have you ever transformed into one?) Yes, if we are truly the sum of our experiences, then we’re also a product of the jackasses we meet along the way.

    ~Non-fiction is not my thing, but this sounds hilarious! People can be funny and even when we're being jackasses, we should laugh about it.

  3. Query:
    Boarding All Rows is a humorous, creative nonfiction portrayal of the inconsiderate things people do while getting from Point A to Point B. Since a play-by-play of my twenty years of business travel would be lengthy, (Boarding All Rows) squeezes the funniest events into a weeklong story line and is complete at 53,000 words.
    The action follows a colleague and me on a last-minute work trip, (which frames) the real story within: a steady procession of jackasses. One by one, they’re dragged into the open to be cataloged, ridiculed, and released back into the chaos. (Love this line) Anyone who’s spent much time at thirty-thousand feet should recognize the Group Trippers, (the) Power Hog, (the) Juggernaut, and a long parade of archetypal passengers that only crowded airports reveal.
    While American society is creeping towards tolerance, our interactions as individuals are often rude, indifferent, and infected by a “me first, then you” attitude. Since people can’t fix what they won’t admit, Boarding gives them a big shove down the road to redemption.

    This is the first nonfiction query I’ve seen in SOAP.
    But hands down, I’d want to read this based on your description and voice. Your last statement (which has a tagline feel) is just great. Excellent pitch.

    First 250:
    You can learn a lot about a man from the list of people he wants to drown. The names won’t mean much unless you know them, but you still have to wonder how they landed there. You also might be curious how the list got so long. How could a guy described as a fun, easygoing, two-hundred-pound puppy want to fill up a party van with people and drive it into the nearest lake?
    Air travel. Years and years of it.
    To be clear, I’m not talking about family vacations or weekend getaways. I love those as much as anyone and would argue we should take more of them. No, I’m referring to the soul-mincing meat grinder of work travel. When you’ve spent more time aloft than a flock of Canadian geese, the other passengers almost become a surrogate family. Not in a festive Thanksgiving at grandma’s way, but more of an obligatory family reunion, complete with distant cousins who just got out of prison or blow cigarette smoke in your kids’ faces.
    They’re not always the same passengers, of course, but if you pay attention you’ll see many common attitudes and behaviors. Just as heat and pressure can turn coal into diamonds, the chaos of a busy terminal can transform normal humans into colossal douches. Yes, if we are truly the sum of our experiences, then we’re also a product of the jackasses we meet along the way.

    I want to read this now. All of it.
    🙂 awesome

  4. So I can’t officially vote for this one c I’ve been lucky enough to read part of it.

    I just want to say that when you write adult, witty, snarky, humor, you can have a lot of fun with your query. You want to keep that snarky voice throughout the query to make it stand out– and I think this entry does that nicely.

  5. Revision based on author feedback:

    Title: Boarding All Rows

    Age and Genre: Adult Creative Nonfiction

    Word Count: 53,000

    Query:

    Boarding All Rows is a humorous, creative nonfiction portrayal of the inconsiderate things people do while getting from Point A to Point B. Since a play-by-play of my twenty years of air travel would be lengthy, it squeezes the funniest events into a weeklong story line and is complete at 53,000 words.

    The story follows a colleague and me on a last-minute work trip, wherein a steady procession of jackasses are cataloged, ridiculed, and released back into the chaos. Anyone who’s spent much time at thirty-thousand feet should recognize the Group Trippers, the Power Hog, the Juggernaut, and a long parade of archetypal passengers that only crowded airports reveal.

    While American society is creeping towards tolerance, our interactions as individuals are often rude, indifferent, and infected by a “me first, then you” attitude. Since people can’t fix what they won’t admit, Boarding gives them a big shove down the road to redemption.

    First 250:

    You can learn a lot about a man from the list of people he wants to drown. The names won’t mean much unless you recognize them, but you still might wonder how they landed there.

    You also may be curious how his list got so long. Why would a fun, easygoing guy want to fill a party van with people and drive it into the nearest lake?

    Air travel. Years and years of it.

    When you’ve spent more time aloft than a flock of Canadian geese, the other passengers almost become a surrogate family. Not in a festive Thanksgiving at grandma’s way, but more of an obligatory family reunion, complete with distant cousins who just got out of prison or blow cigarette smoke in your kids’ faces.

    They’re not always the same passengers, of course, but if you pay attention you’ll see many common attitudes and behaviors. Just as heat and pressure can turn coal into diamonds, the chaos of a busy terminal can transform normal humans into colossal douches. Yes, if we are truly the sum of our experiences, then we’re also a product of the jackasses we meet along the way.

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