Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pitch it!

I hung around Mary DeMuth's very cool blog yesterday. I was there to respond to comments (if any) about my guest post. While there I noticed she'd done something remarkably generous. She's a writer's mentor (and yes, you can hire her to help you perfect your prose), so she asked people to pitch her their non-fiction books in the comment section.

And it got me thinking - what a great idea! Why? Because the comment section is the perfect place to squeeze your ideas down into a visually small place.

When you write your pitch in a Word doc. or whatever program you use - the page is big! Look at all the space I can fill up. But the comment box is small - it actually forces you to see your pitch from a different perspective and helps you make the cuts, change the verbs, and sharpen the focus of your pitch until you are saying exactly what needs to be said - and nothing more.

So, I'm putting on my imaginary agent hat, and asking you to pitch your NOVEL to me in the comments section of this post. The book doesn't have to be finished, just as long as you know what happens and can end the pitch smoothly.

Use as few words as possible - but be clear. (Extra challenge: can you keep it under 75 words? 50? Go for it!)

Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind when writing your pitch:
    • Use the same voice as the book itself.
    • No adverbs or adjectives.
    • Use strong verbs.
    • Talk only about the MAIN thread of your book the most. If you have subplots
      or intersecting plots focus on how they play out in the main story in one or two
      sentences (if you need to talk about them at all).
    • Don't hold back - use rich language, inviting voice, and creative
    • Don't forget the basics - genre, word count -that's up front info agents
      want to know right out of the chute.
    • Include your e-mail address if you would like me to chat with you about
      your pitch. If you include your e-mail address, I will get back to you in a few
      days with ideas about what you did great and what you might want to


Lisa Lickel said...

You don't make things easy! But I've been working on this proposal anyway, so here's another take:

Thank you for considering this proposal for a contemporary inspirational intrigue. Complete at 82,400 words, Innocents Pray is the story of a woman’s quest to determine her own fate when her cancer returns. Libby Davis is prepared to accept death. Her son, her husband, and the doctor who saves her life have other ideas. When four different prayers are offered over the same situation, how can God answer?

Thanks for your opinon.

TGirlsRock said...

Allways and Forever is a 1st draft story at 50,085 words. I am currently working on revisions and edits.

An unexpected teenage pregnancy takes Samantha on a journey away from God. Her family turns their back when she marries her high school sweetheart instead of going through with the preplanned adoption. After a 3 year attempt at a marriage, they split and she is left to pick up the pieces. Can her elderly neighbor help her find her way back to God? Will she see the signs that are pointing to Him at work in her life?
Thank you for your help!

Avily Jerome said...

Wow, thanks for the opportunity! I would love to hear what you have to say about my pitch!


Here goes:

To escape from her abusive stepfather, Lainey flees to Wyoming, taking on the disguise of a young man named Lane Cooper. On top of trying to make a life for herself on the brutal frontier, Lainey's struggles with her feelings for the local sheriff who hides a dark past. Then, a conniving woman makes an accusation against her. The only way to prove her innocence is to reveal her identity, which could lead her straight into her stepfather's clutches.

Bonnie Grove said...

Lisa, Wendy, and Avily, you can each expect an e-mail from me tonight.

Way to be brave and PITCH IT!

Good job.

Cathy Bryant said...

Okay, here goes:

My novel, These Roads Lead Home, is a contemporary romance of 60,000words. In the storyline, school teacher Dani Davis searches for a home. Alienated from her mother, and recovering from her husband’s infidelity and sudden death, she reaches out to her Aunt Beth. A visit to her aunt's home in Miller's Creek convinces her this is the home she longs for. But when Steve Miller, the town’s mayor, noses around in her personal affairs, Dani fears she made a mistake. When an anonymous donor provides funding for the renovation of downtown Miller’s Creek, things get twisted around in a way no one expects. Will Steve’s suspicions of Dani hinder the work? Will they be able to call a truce for a higher cause? Or will an age-old secret destroy them both?

Thanks for the opportunity!

Cathy Bryant(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie Grove said...

Cathy, can you e-mail me? All my e-mails to you are sent back. :(