Last Saturday the St. Louis Writers Guild had a workshop on writing pitches. Since my pitches stink worse than a Major League pitcher who hasn't changed or washed his lucky socks in over six weeks, I needed yesterday's event.
Brad Cook, the president and the workshop facilitator, shared these as crucial components of a pitch as you're writing one:
* The hook--what is going to get the reader/editor intrigued?
* The log line--a short, snappy line
* The elevator pitch--a sentence 25 words or so long, which you could also use if you are trapped in a broken elevator with an agent/editor for at least
seven hours and they're hungry and thirsty and dazed and confused and at
some point they don't have the energy to ignore you...
* Include if it's complete or not
* Word count
* Who is the main character? Keep the pitch focused on the main character.
* What is the main plot?
* Say something about yourself
As you're giving the pitch to an editor/agent, keep these things in mind:
- Stay positive. Don't say things like, "I'm not really a writer..."
- PracticePracticePractice--Practice your pitch aloud.
- Interact with the editor/agent. Don't hold the paper in front of your face.
- Fiction--focus on the characters.
- Nonfiction--focus on why you wrote the book.
- Your back story is not worth sucking up too much of your 5 minutes.
- Don't give away the ending, unless they ask (and then tell them).
- Be prepared to be rejected.
- Don't expect the editor/agent to take anything from you.
Before I went on Saturday, I didn't have a pitch. However, as Brad was talking, I was writing and then rewriting, and came up with this pitch. I'd appreciate any (honest) feedback and suggestions you can throw my way. (Of course, if my story bores my beta reader, the manuscript won't even get out of the dug-out.)
Lucy is Julia Roberts in Judi Dench's body. A writer,
she deals with unimaginable anguish as she works through
the dysfunction of her family and the fun of menopause.
Lucy becomes unraveled and eventually redeemed through
the fictional circle of writers, along with their essays and
memoirs she's created. At the end, the five semi-incontinent,
chocolate-addicted women go on a road trip trying to right a
terrible wrong. Humorous and poignant, The S.D. Society
is complete at 82,000 words and is part chick lit novel
and part anthology. (I then have a couple of sentences