The Perfect Elevator Pitch For Your Novel
The secret of the successful elevator pitch is to passionately convey the most powerful elements of your story in a short concise manner-get your audience so emotionally involved they will ask for more.
Why do you need to create an elevator pitch?
Why? Because as the name implies, if you are lucky enough to find yourself sharing an elevator ride with a much sought after literary agent, chances are you will have no longer than the short time an elevator trip last to pitch your book.
When do you need to create your elevator pitch?
When? You can write your pitch before, during or after you write your book. I find writing an elevator pitch to be one of the most challenging areas of writing. Some writers who wait until they have completed their novel feel that you cannot condense your book's theme or concise concept into sixty (60) words or less without the benefit of your completed project to work with.
I like to write mine in the beginning, usually after I have a detailed outline to work from. The pitch is of course, subject to change as my writing progresses.
If you take a look at Randy Ingermanson's very popular Snowflake Method for novel writing you will find that the first of his ten ten recommended steps is to write a one line summary of your novel that will serve you forever as a ten second selling tool. http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/snowflake.php
Here are a few more key points from http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/snowflake.php combined with some of my own.
- Keep it short, the shorter the better
- Don't use character names. It is better to say
" A quirky and unconventional private investigator"
" A doctor on the run, falsely accused of killing his wife"
" A handicapped trapeze artist"
I don't disagree with this, but I find it difficult not to mention my protagonist by name. When my pitch is a two-liner, use of her name in the second sentence serves as a smooth transition.
- Tie the big picture & personal picture together. Which character has the most to lose in the story? What does she want to win?
Cami at http://storysensei.blogspot.com/ has an excellent and informative article on the subject titled The 50-Word Elevator PitchRandy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method explaining how every story has (5) major elements to consider while writing your elevator pitch.
When do you write your elevator pitch? Do you have any tips or tricks you would like to share?