Pitches, Bitches!

Okay, probably not the best title to start with, but let’s just move forward, shall we?

Pitches. Like all newer writers (and by new I mean to the actual crafting, not vomiting words), I utterly suck at this. There, I said it. Post over.

Not really.

At least once a week I have an epiphany about my writing. This week’s aha moment came when I started thinking about #PitMad, coming up on 9 June. I have a polished manuscript. I have a synopsis, a query (that I need to rewrite) and a 3-line pitch (that I think may have actually rebuffed an agent). Not intentional, just a poor word choice. So, my apologies.

I’ve been looking at all of these pitch tools wondering what I might be doing wrong. I’ve gathered zero interest from anyone. Zero. Then it hit me – I didn’t actually pitch my story. What I did pitch was my main character and the emotional trauma/core of the story.

*bangs head on desk till blood flows*

Seriously. My main character is a slave girl with a fiery attitude. She’s been raped, tortured, beaten, pushed around, and made to feel like her life is something she’ll never have control of. This also happened before the story started. >.<

So what is my story really about? Dragons, a mountain wall, a legendary Well to another world, and eventually the decision the MC makes to stop hunting her lost son to protect his life.

Yikes.

Now as I look at the above six lines, I can see why my initial pitches suck more than a Hoover.

So…. for anyone out there in the universe that’s polishing up those pitches and queries, here’s a few tips:

  1. Pitch your story, not your character’s trauma. Rape, torture and murder are not hooks.
  2. Spell check. You’ve seen it in nearly every article, but just pushing that across the table again. It happens to the best of us.
  3. Look for redundant words. I once thought I had my pitch just right, then saw 4 instances of the word ‘force’. Whoops!
  4. Read it aloud. I hate doing it, but hell if it doesn’t work.
  5. Have a friend, or ten, read it over. If they’re like my reading friends, they take off the kid gloves and don’t spare your feelings. Like seriously. I have feelings guys.
  6. Walk away, take a shower, go for a walk, whatever, and read it one final time when you’re eyes aren’t two inches from the screen.
  7. Cross your fingers and hope for a little luck.

Cheers and Happy Friday! 🙂

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