This post has nothing to do with baseball. What it has to do with is writing. Writing pitches, specifically, which is something I do not enjoy doing. And, what’s worse than writing one is having to give a pitch to an agent or editor. Ugh!
This weekend I found out that one person in my three-person critique group does like pitches, both the writing of and the giving! So, I was wondering if there is anyone else out there who does too? And if you do, do you have any tips to those of us who don’t?
Today I worked on a pitch for a picture book manuscript that is in its final draft stage, and for inspiration I dug out from my source materials a print out of Nathan Bransford’s blog post, How to Write a One Sentence Pitch, you can check it out yourself at https://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/05/how-to-write-one-sentence-pitch. I found it helpful and you might too.
The gist of what he wrote in his blog post was this. You need to begin with the opening conflict and how it affects your character(s) in regard to what they have to do to overcome those obstacles and complete their quest. He describes it as a one sentence description of the plot, not the theme.
He gives great examples of the difference between pitching plot versus theme when he describes a pitch of the Elizabeth Gilbert novel Eat Pray Love. The plot pitch is not, he writes, “A recently divorced woman searches for love and happiness.” That’s more thematic. A plot pitch is specific and he gave the following example, “A recently divorced woman travels to Italy for pleasure, India for spirituality and Bali for balance, but she finds love instead.
The last recommendation he suggests is to add details that give a sense of the character of your story in order so the listener gets a taste of the story’s uniqueness.
Thank you Nathan for helping me get my pitch written down, now I have to practice giving it. My critique group is expecting it next weekend.
If you have other suggestions or recommendations on how to write or give pitches, please comment at the end of this post. I’d appreciate it.