Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Elevator Pitch

This is a rerun post from March 9, 2012


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 (now about 18 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?


Laura Pauling said...

That second one sounds great. And yes, people will ask. I have mine ready too! Short is better I agree.

Katy said...

I agree with Laura: The second one sounds awesome, and would be fairly easy to spout off aloud in, say, an elevator. :)

Great E post, Kris!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Boy can I realte to your E! I have the same problem so I am not the one to give advice. I'll be checking back to see how you resolve it and maybe I will be able to do the same.

Happy A to Z-ing!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Ooo, the dreaded logline. It took me months after my book was published to develop mine. My friend told me that the best way to do this is to quickly touch on all highlights of your book.

Also, people only want to know the juice and not more than what they ask for.

Great post!


A to Z co-host

Theresa Milstein said...

Oh, you made me laugh. I've frozen a few times too. Off the top of my head it's hard to think, "Who is she? What does she want? What's stopping her?" in as few words as possible.

Gina said...

A pitch is really hard. I think I have mine but it never sounds as good when I actually say it out loud. But yours does sound great. Good luck!

Thanks for visiting my blog.
From Diary of a Writer in Progress

Nicole said...

Oh, I totally sympathize. That one little line is sometimes the hardest to come up with.

Nicole said...

Oh, I totally sympathize. That one little line is sometimes the hardest to come up with.

Cynthia said...

Once, an agent asked me what my story was about. Even though I had a pitch all nice and memorized for this moment,I just blurted, "It's about a girl with a power." Since then, I've learned to get over my "stage fright" and talk about my work more comfortably.

Alana said...

An excellent post, and useful in so many industries. I was just talking with my sister yesterday about how she has to focus her latest business plan for the pitch.

I do not have a WIP at the moment, so I am not worrying about it, but I think it is really good to remember that as much time that writers spend in the query, they should spend on the elevator pitch as well.

Will share this with my writing group.

Alana @
a to z blogger