Thursday, July 8, 2010

The All-Important Pitch

I'm taking a two-week pitching class with Bob Mayer. The sole objective is to come up with that one sentence pitch the fate of our careers depend on (cue scary music). I came up with it in three tries: Endless Lives reimagines Judeo-Christian mythology to transform Lucifer into the first vampire who then attempts to overthrow God because he believes humans shouldn't suffer. (24 words-cue Rocky theme)

I did something last night I highly recommend. Instead of sorting email by date received, I did it by subject. That allowed me to see how the pitches evolved.

And that's the word I'd use. The pitches evolve. This word is changed for a stronger, more concrete word. Order of words is changed. Bob's comments are incorporated, making the pitches longer and longer. What is essentially happening is people are fine tuning their story sentences.

But we aren't writing story sentences. We are crafting pitches. Bob is honing in on the WOW factor, and people are trying to make their story sentence incorporate this.

I've pitched in person and I watched other people pitch. It amazed me how many people didn't even make eye contact with the agent/editors and just gave a prefabricated spiel. That's not what pitching is. It's a conversation and your opening pitch is your ice breaker. Conversations lead to relationships and relationships lead to favorable opinions.

That's what we are crafting, ice breakers.

I became comfortable writing synopses when I stopped thinking of it as condensing my book to 1-2 pages. Instead it was just another format to tell the same story. The word pitch is scary. It is important and the fate of our career rests on it. Ice breaker, not so scary

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great concept for a story! My friend's taking this course too and really enjoying it! Good luck.