Monday, June 28, 2010

Calling All Pitch Experts

Okay all you pitch experts, I know you're out there....

I don't usually do this type of thing, but I thought I would THIS ONCE.

First, a confession. I struggle horribly with pitches. Especially one-sentence pitches. Today I was messing around with my WiP and decided to write a brand new one-line pitch. If anyone happens to be reading (I know it's summer and you're all insanely busy) and would like to give feedback on my attempt, I'd be thrilled!

SCBWI LA conference is coming up at the end of July and I want to have an elevator pitch ready so that when someone asks, "What's your book about?" I'll have an awesome answer.

So without further ado, here's BACK:

When Heather gets back to rural America after five years in China, she’s hit with a lot more than culture shock: sister shock (because her older sister and former best friend is impossible to live with now that she’s pregnant and contemplating single motherhood) and I-so-don’t-want-a-different-boyfriend shock (because she loved her rocker boyfriend in China and is not ready to fall for the holier-than-thou farm boy next door).

Feel free to give feedback in any way, shape or form. I have pretty thick skin, I promise. You will not make me cry unless you go out of your way to be mean (which I'm sure none of you will).

But here are a few things I'm wondering about:
  1. Am I cheating? This is sort of a long sentence and the use of parentheses allows me to make it even longer.
  2.  TMI? We all hate it when someone goes overboard, right? Am I giving too much information? An earlier version had less information, but then I was worried the whole books sounded like a big cliche. 
  3. Am I trying to be too clever? I attempted to capture the illusive VOICE of my novel, but I might have gone overboard.
All right, if you feel like it, HAVE AT IT! And xie xie, xie xie, xie xie! (Thanks, thanks, thanks!)

P.S. You do not need to be a writer to comment. I'd love feedback from non-writers, too!!


  1. Here's my two cents, Amy (which is probably only worth about a penny and a half:) ).

    I think the parenthetical statements bog it down unnecessarily. You might try incorporating the same information into the shock statements, something like this:

    "When Heather gets back to rural America after five years in China, she's hit with a lot more than culture shock: pregnant-sister shock and I-so-don't-want-a-new-boyfriend shock--especially the holier-than-thou farm boy next door."

    That's, er, a lot of hyphens, and I'm sure you could make it a lot smoother than that, but hopefully that gives you something to think about. And I'm very much looking forward to reading it.

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Krista!! So helpful. Your version is a lot simpler. I love it.

  3. I like Krista's version--she somehow got all of the important plot stuff in there but w/o all the parentheticals.
    I have no advice of my own, just wanted to see if anyone brilliant had any advice for you here in the comments! :)

  4. Yep, much better. Too many parentheses will definitely slow the reading down and annoy your potential publisher. Keep it slick, concise and streamlined is my tip. I'm an editor and I'm currently helping a writer with this issue.
    I work on the three-pitch model and this looks quite good for a second pitch.
    I think of it as "Enter 3 BITCHES" as they are so tricky to nail down, ;-)