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

  1. It can be used as the basis for building a longer pitch to promote the project.
  2. It can be included in a bio.
  3. It can be used as the first line in a query letter.
  4. It can be used in a brief conversation to promote the project.

Elements of a Good Pitch

  1. Must establish at least one main character and his/her goal.
  2. If possible, it should give a sense of the time period, setting, or genre.
  3. Must contain the guts of the inciting incident (opening, the first step that drives the story forward)
  4. Must reveal an obstacle (what is in the way of reaching the goal) the character(s) will face
  5. 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

  • 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

© 2010 Starla Kaye

The Smarts Button

This website is the work of Starla Criser, an author who has published more than 50 stories, both traditionally and through self-publishing routes.