Sunday, November 22, 2009

Perfecting the pitch

This weekend I had the opportunity to meet my agent Kristin Nelson, something that probably wouldn't have happened for a while except that my local RWA chapter invited her to be the guest speaker at our special end-of-year pitching workshop. Tucson's weather put on a good show, of course, but as there is nothing to actually do in Tucson we stuck to good food and good conversation, even bringing along the husbands for Friday night Thai. Overall I think we talked more mattresses than manuscripts - not at all a bad thing for someone (me) who craves a good night's sleep. Also, it was a pleasure to meet the bounding and occasionally squeaking Chutney!

At Saturday's meeting Kristin talked about perfecting the pitch (specifically in query letters). There's plenty about this on her blog, but to summarize:

Determine your plot catalyst (called the inciting incident in screenplay parlance). This is the event that sets the story in motion and should happen in the first 30 pages.

Shape the paragraph by adding the following:
a) Backstory elements
b) Other relevant plot elements
c) Character elements
d) A combination of the above

Aim for around 6-10 sentences. It should read like a back cover blurb.



No comments: