Crafting A Particularly Perfect Excerpt

Crafting A Particularly Perfect Excerpt

The Particulars Cover

The Particulars Cover

Writing a novel from start to finish is an extremely challenging feat, but I discovered that creating the novel itself is a synch compared to crafting an engaging and well-written pitch.  How could I distill over 100k words into just under 250 words while still maintaining the essence of the plot, characters, and style of the book?

It is no easy task.  I struggled and wrestled my way through over fifteen drafts each seemingly worse than the last.  False starts and failed endings.  It took me a long time to get to what I finally settled upon, but I’m not convinced it’s ready.

I need your help!  Please read my pitch, and lend me your constuctive critique.   What’s working?  What isn’t working?  Does it pull you in?  Do you relate to the characters?  Does it make you want to read the book?  What can I do to make it stronger?

The Particulars Pitch
by Lauren Soffer

Please excuse Professor Veril Maloit as he passes out cold.  He’s just standing up to accept the biggest honor of his writing career only to fall flat on his face.  To Veril’s astonishment, his girlfriend, Samantha Elderhopper, is selected to become an apprentice to the elite group of writers known as The Particulars, and his lifelong dream of joining the enigmatic organization is in shambles.

While recovering, Veril overhears a conversation between the group’s Grand Master, Cameron Johanson, and another Particular about making unsuspecting people disappear.

Is something sinister afoot?  Tracy, the opinionated incorporeal voice that’s following Veril around certainly thinks so.  Chances are he’s finally going out of his mind, but as Veril investigates, he stumbles upon a Particular conspiracy, witnessing the society’s crimes for himself.  The famous authors are secretly vampires sucking juicy details out of people to infuse their writing with vivid realism, erasing their victims from memory to all but Veril.

Terrified, he dreads forever losing Sam to the humanity devouring Particulars, but what can Veril do?  He knows nothing about hunting vampires.  Or so he thinks, until the delivery of a cryptic letter illuminates the murky details of his mysterious lineage.  Armed with a magic pen and inkwell, his creative writing skills, and a grab bag team of would-be heroes, Veril discovers that he’s the inspired author of his own destiny.

Thanks so much for your time and help!  It’s much appreciated.  You can leave your feed back right here in the comments, or you can email me at

Cross-posted from The Particulars Blog.
Mother’s Day Tribute

Mother’s Day Tribute

First Birthday

First Birthday!

I share a special relationship with my mom, but it hasn’t always been that way, and it hasn’t always been easy.

Growing up I didn’t feel I was loved unconditionally by either of my parents, but especially not by my mom.  It’s strange looking back at how I felt because it is so clear to me now that my mom completely adored me and doted upon me.  At the time though, I took her tendency to be critical to be a reflection on me when it was really just my mom’s struggle with anxiety showing itself.

My mom worked full time when I was very young, but she would come home from work and play with me for hours before I went to bed even though she must have been exhausted.  She read to me endlessly.  I attribute my love of reading and creative writing to all the hours I spent curled up in her lap as she read me picture books and eventually entire novels.

Car Trip

My mom, sister, and me on a car trip.

I consider myself so fortunate that she always was supportive of all my creative endeavors.  She praised my writing, drove me to all my theater rehearsals, and supported my decision to go to Film School.

My mom created amazing childhood memories for me from the little things like the home cooked meals we always shared to the family vacations we took.  We drove up the coast of California over two weeks, went to places like Mexico, New York, Hawaii, and Canada.  Every trip was a success because of my mom’s gift for planning.

I admire her other gifts as well.  She is an accomplished architect and an amazing crafter.  She paints, knits, crochets, and sews.  She painted me the most spectacular secretary desk.  It is one of my most favorite treasures.

Most of all I admire my mom’s strength and perseverance.  When my parent’s separated after over 25 years of marriage, she went back to work for the first time since my early childhood.  She also took on caring for me, her chronically ill daughter, both physically and financially.

26th Birthday

On my 26th Birthday.

I cannot count the hours she’s spent being there for me through the hospitalizations and other aspects of my illness.  It was rough on our relationship at first.  I had been a fiercely independent person and had a difficult time accepting help from her graciously.  She wasn’t used to giving up her freedom to be there for me constantly.  But in the end it brought us closer together as we grew to really value each others company and spending time together in every context.

I am so blessed and grateful for my mom!  I only hope that someday I can be as wonderful a mom to my children as she has been to me.