Monday, September 07, 2009
Creating a Pitch for Your Novel
If you’re attending the ACFW conference this month, or if you’re querying agents, you may be struggling with how to create a pitch for your story. These guidelines can help.
First, remember that a pitch is a hook. It has one goal only: to make the editor (or agent) at the conference want to know more about your story. Just as a chapter hook makes the reader turn the page, your pitch hook makes the editor ask a follow-up question. (Sometimes editors will ask a follow-up question simply to be polite. The trick is making them ask a question because they really are curious about the answer.)
Therefore, a pitch doesn’t have to cover lots of information about your story. On the contrary, it should be concise. And it shouldn’t focus on theme. It should focus on specifics in your premise that will place questions in the editor’s mind.
You have to put yourself in the shoes of the editor, who’s heard a million pitches. What will make this editor want to know more about your story? Certainly not generalities. Nor themes. These things don’t lead to specific questions. Besides, all generalities and themes have been done before. The editor will think, “Ho-hum.” You need to give him something fresh.
Let’s look at examples ...
Continue reading in my Making a Scene column for this month's Christian Fiction Online Magazine.