So I’ve sent off my submission – information letter and first chapter – to the Festival of Writing, but instead of feeling relieved I’ve got a little knot of anxiety forming in my stomach.
Why, you ask.
Well it’s because my mind has turned to the next phase of preparation for the festival – preparing for the 1-2-1 meetings. I’ve got two ten-minute slots scheduled; one with a book doctor and one with an agent.
So, the question is, how to present my book (and myself) most effectively in the short time I have with them. Basically, how best to make my ‘pitch’.
The first thing that people seem to talk about when you’re preparing to get in front of an agent is giving an elevator pitch. But what exactly is an elevator pitch?
I checked out plentiful resources over at The Script Lab website (www.thescriptlab.com). They recommend a 20-25 word ‘logline’ that gives a concise description of your story in a memorable way. No pressure then!
On the www.fictionwriting.about.com website they recommend distilling the essence of your story down into no more than three sentences, and making it engaging and professional.
www.wow-womenonwriting.com take the condensing even further and recommend that you’re able to pitch your story in a single sentence. That way you can flex the pitch longer if you have more time, without having to try and recite every single twist and turn in the story.
And then www.gointothestory.com take the elevator pitch idea and update it to a ‘Twitpitch’ – the art of pitching your story in 120 characters or less!
So, what have I learned from this?
- Well, I’ve decided that I’m going to prepare an elevator pitch that is a one or two sentence synopsis of my story.
- In order to keep it that short, I’m going to have to edit out any non-essential waffle (which could prove a challenge!).
- I’m going to may sure my pitch is engaging and includes a hook – I’m planning of seeking feedback on how successful my attempts are at this from my partner and the wonderful Clouders on the online writing forum www.writing-community.writersworkshop.co.uk
- Then I’m going to practice, practice, practice!
And, hopefully, by preparing for my pitch in this way, I’ll be able to give an Oscar-worthy performance.
(But, if I freeze when it actually comes to giving the pitch, perhaps I could try out some of the techniques used in the fabulous Oscar-nominated film The Kings Speech!)