Monday, February 2, 2009

Draft Pitch

Edited and significantly changed 2-4-09

I'm working on the "pitch" for my almost-completed novel. On good days, I feel like Seek Ye First is good enough to be published. In tired moments and on worse days, I feel like I need to rewrite and go in a different direction completely. It should be more literary! It should be more genre! It should be funnier! It should be darker! It should be more "women's fiction" with the mystery riding backseat.

When the book is finally ready, the next thing I'll do is start pitching the story to agents. The idea is to pique an agent's interest enough that she - or he - requests more (a partial or full manuscript). The first step in the agent query process is to identify appropriate agents and note their submission guidelines. The second step is to send a query letter, and the "pitch" is a paragraph of the query letter describing the book. It often sounds like back cover copy and is also the verbal pitch you might give to an agent or editor were you riding an elevator together or sitting across the table from one another during a pitching session at a conference.

In the meantime, I'm taking this draft pitch down to keep working on it. Thanks to all those who sent suggestions via comments or email!

It’s the eve of the year’s most hotly anticipated video game release, and someone’s trying to permanently delete the game’s secretive lead designer. . .

3 comments:

  1. 1. Definitely compelling. In particular, I like "trying to permanently delete the game's...designer"! But...
    2. A little confusing. I don't understand the connection between the first and second paragraphs. (I realize that the third paragraph is supposed to be tying them together, but I'm not quite there.) Maybe a smidge more information would help?

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  2. Looking good! I stumbled on the verb "puzzle over." Also, like the first commenter, I'd love a sentence or phrase to tie the two paragraphs together.

    Just think, though, once you've got this nailed, you can use if over and over! :)

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  3. RAK, you're exactly right. I worked on so many different versions of this pitch last night that I clearly over-edited!

    Barrie, I really appreciate your feedback! You're exactly right about tying the first two paragraphs together - they'll eventually become one, I believe - and smoothing it out. I especially appreciate the note about "puzzle over." A pitch should be smooth, quick, and easy to read. No stumbling aloud.

    Thank you both, and also to those who responded via email. I've got more work to do!

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