Winding up for the pitch

Pitches are baffling to me. Or rather, the construction of pitches. Sure, there are formulas all over the Internet on how to craft the perfect pitch, but I think I’ve made clear how much stock I put in those hard-and-fast writing rules. Although I did come up with a pitch for Demon’s Heart, I have far less practice writing pitches than I do writing novels, so creating the perfect pitch seems to me like trying to catch a fly with your bare hands, except that once you start trying you realize that your hands are duct-taped to your knees and, come to think of it, you’re not even really sure there is a fly.

So I’m appealing to the greater knowledge and experience of the Internet to see if I can at least get the duct tape off my hands. When do you form your pitch? Early in the writing process, or are you like me, where you get to the end and think, Crap, I have to sum this up in one sentence? Do you practice your pitch? On whom? How do you get feedback? Have you participated in any of those Twitter pitch contests, or any other sort of pitch contest? What was your experience?

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7 Comments

  1. I’d love some pitch guidance myself… I’ll be there shortly (well, “short” is relative. I’ve had ideas of how to sum up my story in a sentence or a paragraph, but there’s always this feeling of not doing it justice, because there’s just so much more than will fit in one freakin’ paragraph that you need to know to get what my story is about… *sigh*.

    I’ve caught plenty of flies with my hands, though. I’m working on the chopsticks now. Curse you, Daniel-san!

  2. Glad I’m not the only one! It never occurred to me to start out with a pitch, because that just seems like it would hobble the process; if the book changes during the writing, you have to redo the pitch anyway. I do, however, have a wonderful group of writing sisters who are great at brainstorming pitches. We help each other out. AS for the Twitter pitch contests, participated once so far. No joy, but I’m sure it’s my pitch–wait, maybe it’s because the highest demand is for MG and YA and I write adult fiction. Yeah, let’s go with that! 🙂

    • That’s great that you have good writing buddies to brainstorm with! It does seem like starting with a pitch wouldn’t work very well, but it was such a stress to do it at the very end of Demon’s Heart that I’m trying to at least keep the pitch in mind as I work on my next project. Ah, the complexities of the publishing world . . .

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