Definition of a Pitch
A one sentence or one-two paragraph paring down of a plot line, not the theme, for quick promotion of the project. This is also called a logline or a hook line.
Reasons for Having a Pitch
- It can be used as the basis for building a longer pitch to promote the project.
- It can be included in a bio.
- It can be used as the first line in a query letter.
- It can be used in a brief conversation to promote the project.
Elements of a Good Pitch
- Must establish at least one main character and his/her goal.
- If possible, it should give a sense of the time period, setting, or genre.
- Must contain the guts of the inciting incident (opening, the first step that drives the story forward)
- Must reveal an obstacle (what is in the way of reaching the goal) the character(s) will face
- Must begin the quest (a physical or internal journey) by the character(s) to obtain his/her goal
Basic Structure for a Pitch
*This is borrowed from Nathan Bransford’s Blog at http://blog.nathanbransford.com
- When OPENING CONFLICT happens to the character(s), they have OVERCOME CONFLICT to COMPLETE QUEST.
*An example from my medieval romance, Maggie Mine
- At King Edward’s orders in his efforts to gain a stronghold over the Scots, Maggie Durward must marry a famed and powerful English knight and leave her Scottish homeland to live in England amongst strangers she doesn’t trust, and with a man she believes left her beloved brother for dead in the Crusades.
Links to Articles About Writing a Pitch
- Nathan Bransford’s Blog at http://blog.nathanbransford.com
- Query Tracker.net at http://querytracker.blogspot.com
- eHow to Write a Pitch Line for a Novel or Screenplay at http://www.ehow.com
- Elevator Pitch or High Concept? at http://www.learntowritefiction.com/elevator-pitch-or-high-concept
© 2010 Starla Kaye