Doing a Little Pitching

I looked at Blog over the lip of my coffee mug.  She’d finally calmed down enough to settle into the chair across the table from mine.  I think catching up on post reading and giving Twitter a little attention had done the trick.  At least for now.  Her expression told me I stood on even thinner ice than the old saying warned of.
“So,” she said, the word ripe with meaning.
I smiled at her.  “Did you see what I did last night?”
Twitter puffed his meager feathers and gave a contented chirp.
“I’m guessing you spent some time with Twitter?”
“Yes.  I stumbled upon a pitch party hosted by the awesome Brenda Drake .  #PitMad  You had to pitch your manuscript in the space of a tweet and agents browsing the hash tag could favorite if they wanted to see more.”
“Did anyone favorite yours?”
“Well, no, but some might still be trolling the waters.  I kind of came in at the tail end of it so I had to scramble the brain cells to generate something.  But it was a great exercise trying to write such a short pitch.”  I laughed.  “I had a helluva time boiling things down to query form.  How hard do you think it was for me to sum things up in under 140 characters?“
“Fairly difficult I’d imagine.”
Wow, dry as the last remnants of that loaf of bread in the back of the freezer.  I opted for the high ground and ignored her lack of enthusiasm.
“Wanna hear them?”
She shrugged, but Twitter bobbed his head with an enthusiastic chirp.  At least someone appreciated my efforts.
“My first attempt was this:  Ciara must face her dark magic, a father she never knew, and the man sworn to protect — or kill her — or risk herself & the empire.”
Blog raised a brow.
I scrunched my face at her.  “Fine. Not amazingly stellar, I suppose. But, c’mon, doesn’t it make you the least bit curious? There’s stakes here.  Her life, the empires, she has a man sworn to either protect her or kill her. Which one does he choose? Why’s he supposed to kill her? That takes it a bit beyond the normal fantasy, doesn’t it? Adds a little spice?
Blog didn’t comment.  She was proving to be a harder sell than an agent.
“Okay. Second pitch. Notice how I switch POV.   Bolin swore to protect Ciara, he also swore to protect the empire, now he may be forced to chose between the two.”
Blog must have felt inclined to say something so emitted a rather quiet, “Uh-huh.”
I growled.   “Okay, last one. Again, went for the POV change.  Donovan’s daughter is a tool, Bolin an obstacle, the crone an ally of convenience, the world & the Goddess’s head — his prize.”
Blog pretended to sip her tea. “You might want to get some feedback on those if you’re going to try again.”
“Fine.” I strolled over to the whiteboard, grabbed a big, fat, red marker and left a message for my readers.

Crack the WIP!

18 Comments:

  1. #PitMad was insane yesterday…it was so awesome to see so many agents jumping on and making requests. I think I lost a few tweeps because I kept retweeting my pitches, though. Hope you got a request!

  2. Great post. I like the one in Brolin’s POV, but the Twitter pitch must be in your MC’s POV so that the agents know who’s head the story will be in. Good luck!

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Brenda. 🙂 Actually, the story is told from three POVs, that’s why I switched it for each of the pitches.

  3. Not sure I agree with Brenda Drake’s assertion that an agent needs to know who the MC is. I think it’s more important to get the agent’s attention and demonstrate that there is LOTS of conflict in the story. I, too, like the Bolin-based pitch, but I’d modify it just a teensy bit to read:

    Bolin swore to protect Ciara. Instead, he fell in love with her. He also swore to protect the empire, and soon must chose between the two.

    This indicates there’s conflict, a romantic interest, heroic intent, and a ticking clock. Can’t ask for much more than that.

    Best of luck!

  4. I like Josh Langston’s suggestion. Ptch #2 is my favourite, but it needs tightening. You’re getting there, though! Good luck!

    • Tightening?!!? 0_0 It’s only 140 characters, how much tighter can it get? LOL Just kidding. 😉

      • What I meant was, since you’ve only got 140 characters, you don’t want to repeat words in your pitch. You wrote “Bolin swore to protect Ciara, he also swore to protect the empire, now he may be forced to choose between the two.” I would rewrite and drop the second “swore to protect”. By doing that you get around 20 characters to add a few meaningful details to your pitch. Hope this helps!

        • After I replied, I went back and read it over again, and immediately caught the “swore” repitition. 🙂 Oops! LOL I swore I’d never do that. Hee, hee.

  5. I agree with EM Castellan, #2 appeared prominent than the rest.

    • Thanks. 🙂 Hmmm… guess I’ll have to take a look at #2 and see how it stacks up to my query as well. It certainly seems to be the favorite.

  6. Pingback: Query on POV in Queries « My Random Muse

  7. Somehow, I missed seeing this post! I hopped over here from the post you put up today. First off, how come I don’t know about PitMad or whatever it’s called??? Not blaming you, just yelling at myself out loud (I do that sometimes).

    I definitely preferred #2 because it was short and to the point. I agree with Em that it could be revised to make it even punchier. I am going back to your other post now. Hang on…

  8. Such a funny post – I somehow missed it too and came over from your more recent post (and definately didn’t skim…). Your blog and twitter seem much more interesting characters than mine….

    #2 might pop more now – but I like the idea of what Ciara is going through. The thing is #1 does sound a little generic can you hook on Ciara’s biggest concern? Is it her shaky relationship with Bolin, being forced to face magic she doesn’t want to, or the lies she was told about her family?

    My hat is off to you – I don’t think I could summarise in 140 characters. Best of luck.

    • Thanks for stopping in, Raewyn. Hmmm…. I must have been away too long. LOL No one realized I was back. Hee, hee.

      I’m hoping they launch another #pitMad so I can try again now that I’ve gotten feedback.

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