Sunday, March 11, 2012

The all-important Elevator Pitch

Or log line.

Or pitch line.

Or whatever the heck you want to call it.

Yesterday, for the first time in a very long time, someone asked me what my novel is about. I stalled. I stammered. And finally I blurted out..."it's about a girl who plays golf."

Really, Kris? After all this time? And that's the best you can come up with?

The NE-SCBWI conference is in 40 days. I really need to be able to describe my novel better than that. Yes, I have an agent. No, I'm not querying. But it's vital that I can describe my book better than that! Because, people WILL ask.

Back in 2010, I won an agent pitch contest with the following:

With the family golf course on the verge of bankruptcy, Kate Anderson decides she's going to be the first girl to win the Junior State Championship to draw the crowds back, but her plans are derailed when her best friend and crush is accused of vandalizing the course with a blowtorch.

Yeah, that rocks. But it's hard to say to someone out loud. It's great written pitch. It worked great in queries, but not so much in person. 

I'm thinking about: 

Kate Anderson has to win a local golf tournament to save her parents failing golf course. Along the way, there are blow torches, British boys, and kissing.

Of course, I've got nothing for the middle grade novel. Best start working on that one...

Do you have an elevator pitch?


Anonymous said...

These are SO difficult for me! I'm a writer -- I can write pitches until I'm blue in the face. Now, ask me face-to-blue-face? Yeah, I clam up.

Your pitches are great, and it reminds me that I really need to work on mine without sounding cheezy. Thanks for sharing!

Anita Saxena said...

What I've learned to do is be bold and say that written pitch, but say it casually so it doesn't SOUND like you are reciting something memorized. If that makes sense, LOL.

YA Yeah Yeah said...

No experience in pitch-writing, but as a blogger, that second pitch definitely has me interested in reading your book - it's certainly attention-grabbing. Great stuff!

Laura Pauling said...

That cracked me up! :)

That's something we all work on! And you're right, the 1 or 2 sentence logline doesn't always translate over to a verbal pitch.

Taryn said...

OMG I LOOOOOOVE pitching. And querying. I love everything about novel-summation. (Except synopses, because they'e boring.) And it's a good thing I do, because everyone's been asking me lately! "It's about a swimmer whose rival is drown on the last day of nationals, and since she's the top suspect, she has to figure it out before she's charged." It doesn't sound very pretty, but it's a very natural sentence to say in dialogue.