So, here's the skinny. I had to write a 35 word pitch today. I had heard about this really cool contest where writers submit their pitches to enter the contest and then agents read the pitches and pick their favorite. I thought, what a great way to get agents to see your work. So I decided I would enter. Then I saw that it was FRIDAY, LIKE TODAY! So I did some research, wrote my pitches, and decided to share them with you all to help you see what's going on. If I move past the first round, of course, I'll tell you all :)
First, here's what I learned through research...
1. Avoid generalities.
2. Concept and platform over summary of story.
3. Identify defining characteristic of your story and play it up.
4. Main goal is to hook; so make it memorable.
5. Revealing conflict is a plus.
6. No descriptions.
I wrote four pitches all one after the other and let myself just see what I could come up with. I'll write them, say what I did/didn't like and then at the bottom will be the one that I DID use. Enjoy and I hope this helps you all :)
Men storm into my home, break my things, and then steal me. The roads are broken, pavement cracked thanks to the constant bombings. The old world is dead, yet I fear these men more.
I tried to set the scene too much in this one. Why does an agent care that the roads are broken? They probably don't. I liked the first line because it said what was going on, but I think it went on a bit too long. My favorite part was the last line because it showed a conflict and left the reader wondering why she feared the men more than a dying world. Overall: crap.
I am stolen from my home in the midst of a world war. Eaters crawl towards my broken body, trying to devour me. And I fall in love with my captor.
So, I changed up the first line to be faster and to the point. Tried to show the fact that the world is at war. I brought in what I call the zombies, eaters, since that's a unique trail for them to have. Her broken body was a nice addition. I liked adding in the falling in love because it plays into the story a lot and shows the romantic subplot, which is great for marketing purposes. But it didn't wow me.
I’m stolen from my home during a National disaster bombing. Infected Eaters crawl towards my fractured body, trying to devour me whole. I fall for my captor turned savior, and we flee the safe-house.
I added in the National disaster thing to add a bit more setting. Don't really like "National disaster bombing" I think it reads a bit wordy. Added Infected because it sprinkles in one more idea about the unique take I put on zombies. Changed broken to fractured. Added the fleeing the safe house since that brings in the conflict. Doesn't really wow me, but I'm getting there. Like the changes of this one.
I’m stolen from my home during a National assault. Eaters crawl towards my fractured body, trying to devour me. I fall for my captor turned savior, and we flee the refuge, paranoia on our heels.
This is the one that I chose for a few different reasons. I changed the beginning to National assault because it read cleaner and smoother. I liked that it brought in the National and the fact that it's more of a war-like atmosphere over disaster. Kept eaters but for word count purposes got rid of infected. I wanted to make an emotional connection so the last line I added the paranoia to give the characters an emotional aspect and reaction.
So, what do you think of the pitches? Any changes you'd recommend? Who's really awesome at pitching? Advice to lend? Comment below!
© Taylor Lavati 2017
What Readers Have to Say...
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"For the Love of Ash" by Taylor Lavati was a rare 5-star read for me. I honestly find many typical romances rather dull and predictable. This was not the case at all here; there was nothing average about the romance, overall storyline, and the long list of supporting characters."
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-JLH for Wingless
For The Love of Hockey | January 2016
The Price of Love | 2017