Michaeline: The Very Short Pitch

ca 1913 A young lady sitting on fence outside of a baseball park, cheering her team on. On her fan is written, "forty thousand tons" -- a reference to the fertilizer she's selling.

We’re all cheering for you as you pitch it right into the catcher’s mitt! (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

So, I was goofing around this morning and stumbled upon something that I didn’t know was a thing: the Twitter pitch contest. I have never participated, and I haven’t done enough research to recommend specific contests, but it sure caught my imagination!

The idea is to write a 140-character pitch (well, probably 130 after you include the contest hashtag and genre hashtag), put it out in the great wide Twitter-world, and then wait for agents and editors and fellow-writers to notice you during the span of the contest.

Wow. One hundred and thirty letters. Talk about your challenge! A good pitch would include your protagonist, your antagonist, your major plot complication and motivations. Could you do it? Why would you even try? Continue reading

Justine: Hook, (Log)line, and Sinker…er, Synopsis

writer fears, eight ladies writing, justine covingtonIt’s that time of year here at Eight Ladies Writing – RWA Nationals is upon us, just a few months away – and it’s time to start perfecting (and memorizing) our pitches.

Actually, for me, it’s more than my pitch. It’s my logline (which I’ve struggled with), my synopsis (which I’m pretty happy with), and my “high concept” (which I don’t yet have for Three Proposals).

Over the next three weeks, I’m going to break down how to write each of these, using Three Proposals as an example. This week, I’ll start with the logline.

The history of the logline is interesting. It started Continue reading

Justine: The Evolution of an Elevator Pitch

eight ladies writing, elevator pitch, RWAWell, it’s nearly conference time (I’m likely en route as you read this…or getting ready, anyway) and I’m eagerly looking forward to RWA Nationals. In preparation for my agent appointment on Friday (and the inevitable question from strangers, “What are you working on?”), I’ve been honing my elevator pitch (also knows as “describe-your-book-in-about-45-seconds-or-less”).

The (dreaded) elevator pitch (also called a log line) is a short blurb about your book that you can spew out in the time it takes you to go from the 35th floor to the lobby, and that’s not talking like a radio announcer who does all the legal jargon at the end of a car commercial. Your elevator pitch should be short, descriptive, and include the basic GMC for your main character, as well as setting and, if you have time, what sets your book apart from others. Save the discussion of your other characters and subplots for when your new elevator friend invites you to join them for a drink at the bar.

While my pitch may not be perfect, I thought it’d be helpful to show you its evolution. (Ya’ll know I’m not afraid to show you my work in progress — see Continue reading

Jilly: Dreaming Big, Planning Small

Dreaming Big, Planning SmallFor me, RWA National is a natural time to take stock and set a plan for the next twelve months. A year ago I’d almost completed the McDaniel Romance Writing Program and had decided that my manuscript needed re-writing rather than revising. In Atlanta I was thinking about the changes I planned to make, and I charged my batteries by attending lots of great writing craft workshops and inspirational talks by my favorite authors.

I also went to a Spotlight presentation by St Martin’s Press, and I made a particular note of the introductory remarks by Jennifer Enderlin, who said: “Dream big. Have unrealistic exectations. Think as big as you possibly can.” I took that advice to heart, and it’s locked in there. After all, if I don’t believe in my abilities, why should anyone else?

The last twelve months have whizzed by more or less according to plan. On Friday morning, I’ll Continue reading

Kat: Pitching: A swing and a miss. Ball two.

iStock_000007437156SmallI’m in the midst of preparing for an upcoming trip to Arizona to attend the Desert Dreams Conference sponsored by Desert Rose, a regional chapter of RWA. My travel arrangements are booked, I’ve chosen the workshops I’ll attend, my itinerary for the research portion of my trip is almost set, my business cards are ordered, and I’m in the process of freshening up my website. There’s just one thing left to do: Prepare for my pitch session.

I don’t know about you, but pitching my book ranks right up there with talking in front of a group (of two or more people), asking a strange man in a bar for a date, or buying a chili dog with the works from a street vendor. In other words, at the top of my “most scary things ever” list. Continue reading