As the ladies gear up for Nationals in NYC (in less than two weeks, eeeik!), schedules are already jammed with workshops, site-seeing, pitches, social events, receptions, keynote speeches, and even dances (yes, you read that right — at least two of our ladies will be attending events that feature dancing). I’m looking forward to taking part in everything the conference has to offer, save one thing. The dreaded editor/agent pitch.
This year, the agent and editor I’m scheduled to pitch are both high on my interest list. Which means I’m particularly stressed out. Interviews in general are high anxiety for me because I’m verbally challenged when it comes to tooting my own horn. Last year, I literally had no voice, so I squeaked my way through my pitches. This year, I want to hit one out of the park which means extensive prep work, including developing a strong pitch that includes the GMC for the main conflict and the romance between Cheyenne and Reed. Last year I got nailed on this aspect (what’s keeping them apart, an editor wanted to know). This year, I want to relay the conflict that is keeping them apart in a crunchy way.
My challenge is to convey the guts of the main story line — Cheyenne & Hawk in a pitched battle over the family heritage — while depicting how the romance lives or dies by it (in other words, communicating how the land battle is keeping Cheyenne and Reed apart). Given that my pitch is a mere ten minutes long, this won’t be an easy task.
Today, I’m focusing on the GMC for both the primary plot line and the romance, as well as playing with words and ideas:
Cheyenne (GMC): Cheyenne wants to sell the land she’s inherited from her biological mother to purchase her design idol’s home, but to do that, she must step into her mother’s shoes and live in her ramshackle house for sixty days.
Hawk (GMC): Hawk wants to pass down his family’s heritage to his granddaughter River. To him, that means ensuring that the family land is valued and preserved. He has no intention of allowing Cheyenne to sell it.
Reed (GMC): Reed wants to keep his promise to Rose (Cheyenne’s late mother) and help Cheyenne inherit the family homestead, but at the same time he must deal with Hawk — a man to which he’s indebted.
Okay that’s a rough sketch. Here’s a quick and dirty pitch:
Cheyenne Monroe is independent to a fault, but to win the home of her design idol Penny Morgan and put Dry Creek Arizona far behind her, she’s forced to reach out to single father, Reed McConnell, executor of her mother’s estate and a man who behaves like a cornered renegade who has given up his guns.
McConnell has made a promise to help Cheyenne win the land, but his father-in-law, Hawk has other ideas and intends to use blackmail if necessary to secure his loyalty. As Reed walks a tightrope he begins falling for Cheyenne — despite the fact that she’s as far from the motherly woman he’s been seeking as Hawk is. Worse, she has the spirit of a wild mustang, determined to run free, and he’s a hobbled quarter horse committed to putting his daughter before his own needs.
Okay, it’s obvious I need help, and unlike Cheyenne I’m not afraid to ask for it. How can I make the pitch above better (and more succinct?).