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Monday, July 11, 2011

Elevator Pitches, Loglines, and Two Giveaways

This is your chance to win my all-time favorite guide for stylistic writing, Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark. Easy and fun to read, he gives strategies and examples for the aspiring and professional author. This book never strays from my keyboard.

Also, I am offering a critique of your First Chapter.

Two winners for Unicorn Bells followers. Comment here. Link back to UB from your blog or Twitter account. If you prefer one prize to the other, let me know. Otherwise, the book is First Prize and the Critique is the second.

Now onto Elevator Pitches or Loglines, or How to Boil That Novel Down to its Bare Bones.

If you had one minute to tell me about your book, how would you start?

Let me give you a hint, if you began with, “Um, well…” You. Are. Screwed.

The Pitch can be one, two, or three sentences. It is a marketing tool. It is a hook. It is an introduction to your story.

It is vital.

Begin with an introduction. Who is your protag? Give me a name and a spare description to convey the setting, approximate age, and a character trait. One sentence.

Now, what is the conflict, your MC’s biggest inner dilemma? Specific, original details highlight your story and make it unique. One sentence.

The last sentence must leave the reader wanting more, the consequences if the MC fails to attain his or her goals. One sentence.

Now highlight the words your pitch simply cannot do without to create a one-sentence pitch.

In my research for this post, I ran across several examples of pitches. This is from Douglas Clegg:

"In this tale of swords, sorcery, and vampires, a boy grows to manhood in a brutal medieval world. Rising in his station through his talent as a falconer, he falls in love with the baron's daughter -- but when their love is found out, he is forcibly conscripted into the Crusades. There, despairing of life, he seeks death -- and finds his destiny as a messiah of vampires in the bloody embrace of a female vampire called Pythia.
Filled with ancient buried kingdoms, battles against the Saracens, as well as a quest for a legendary Priest of Blood who will bring power to this falconer, this is the first book of a proposed dark fantasy trilogy called The Vampyricon."

Even though the author went on to say this pitch needed improvement, his example sold me. I bought the book. Is it any good? I don’t know, not yet. The point is, the pitch alone created interest and it worked as a marketing tool.

Submit your Elevator Pitch to cdcoff(at)gmail(dot)com and I will post them for an open critique by members.

Comment here to win Writing Tools or a First Chapter Critique.

Link to Unicorn Bell from your blog or Twitter account.

You have until Thursday, July 14th, at 11:59 pm to enter. I will announce the two winners on Friday, July15th.

Good luck to all!


Brooke R. Busse said...

I've recently managed to boil my WIP down to a fairly-decent summary. That's at least a start, right? Now I just need to go through and pick out my 'keywords'.

Glacier said...

Um, well...just joking. But that was me in the beginning. The pitch is super tricky.