Perfect Pitch

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

Pitching isn’t a walk in the park. Coming up with a short, snappy few sentences to capture a whole novel is a little like emptying the ocean with a spoon. Where do you begin? Where do you end? How do you capture a rich story filled with scenes and characters you love and have lavished time and attention on in a handful of words?

Just recently, I had to come up with a pitch for my children’s novel. While pulling it together, I came across some tips that might prove helpful in crafting yours:

Make every word count: A pitch has to pack a lot of punch in a small package, so choose every word with care. Make sure that your adjectives are juicy and your verbs are energetic and evocative.

Plunge into your promise: Every book offers a promise to its readers. Some entertain, some amuse, others dish up romance or spine-tingling thrills. Whatever your book promises, your pitch has to broadcast its intention clearly and quickly.

Troll for inspiration: One of the best and fastest ways to master pitching is to study successful examples. These are everywhere: Check out the pithy descriptions on best-seller lists from The New York Times and other sources. Read the backcover teasers for popular books in your genre. Film pitches are also great models.

Practice, practice: Sometimes it takes a lot of distilling and revising to get a pitch that really sings and dances. Mine started out being kind of long-winded, but I kept writing and rewriting it until it felt tight and muscular. I kept looking for more sprightly verbs and ways to hint at tension and conflict.

Highlight key story elements: Be sure your pitch includes all these elements: protagonist, antagonist, conflict, stakes, setting, atmosphere, and genre.

If you get stuck, there is plenty of advice available on the Internet to inspire and motivate you. Write on!


About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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