#JustPitchIt Pitch Workshop ENCORE!
Welcome back, class! Did you all enjoy your field trip? That Talynn… she’s a pretty good gal, isn’t she? I just love her Victorian-themed blog. Unfortunately, now you’re back with me. *hands tissues out* Take heart, though: Talynn blogs all year long, so you needn’t lose her forever.
If you missed the pitch workshop on Talynn’s blog here are the posts, so you can catch up right quick:
Monday – Pitch Workshop: Your Character
Tuesday – Pitch Workshop Part 2
Wednesday – Pitch Workshop: Part 3
Thursday - Pitch Workshop Final Day
Through her workshop, you should have a rather nice grasp on how to write a stellar pitch. What I’m going today is not to counterbalance, refute, or add to what she already did a great job with. All I want to do today is tell you precisely what I look for in a pitch.
Just Pitch It!
The motto of this Twitter pitch party has and will remain, If you don’t pitch it, you might as well pitch it. Keep the main premise of that in mind—any pitch is better than no pitch. So, try to have some fun with it and stay relaxed.
You know why I think it’s called pitching? It’s just like pitching in baseball, you can wind up and wind up and wind up, but eventually you have to let go and just trust the ball will go where you wanted it to. So, stay relaxed, do what you can, and then let go.
Do you remember the first day of the query workshop? I made you all change around your query letters to put very specific information in your introductory paragraph. You all worked really hard and ended up with some exceptionally great hooks. Bully for you, because that’s also the starting point for your pitch.
As you write and rewrite your pitches, I want to be sure you always stay cognizant of these checks and balances for your intro to pitch adjustments:
As you are working, I want you check for four main pitch characteristics:
- Character limit not exceeded?
- Hook kept?
- Did I lose appeal or meaning?
To make everyone’s day go a little smoother, I’m going to make us an Excel form to use for character counting. If you want to make your own, it’s rather simple: Open an Excel spreadsheet, copy and paste your pitch into a cell, and then type =LEN(cell designation). So, for instance, if I copied and pasted my pitch into cell A1, I would type =LEN(A1) in cell B1 right behind it.
Or you can just use this form: #JustPitchIt Pitch Workshop ENCORE!
For a Twitter pitch party, you want to remember to account for the genre tag, as well as the hashtag attached to that particular party. To that effect, you’ll notice that I included #JustPitchIt MG/NF to the spreadsheet. You do not have to be writing an MG or NF manuscript in order to participate today. However, since this is a #JustPitchIt workshop, I figured that would be a good hashtag to use. Besides, I’m annoying and I decided to use a long hashtag, so if you’ll be extra set if you use this during #adpit or something similar.
What Really Counts
When I scan through pitches on Twitter, I’m looking for the whole story. Think Friday Phrases (#FP) on steroids. I want the whole conflict stated in one sentence. Where am I and where should I want to be? Tell me the ride I’m going to take, and I’ll let you know if I want to take it.
Quite frankly, I’m looking for themes that may interest me. For instance, one of my manuscript wish lists (#MSWL) include American settlers in the 1800s. So, if I see a pitch that has “America” and “1800s,” unless it’s coupled with “aliens landed,” there’s a good chance I’ll favorite that tweet.
Focus on just getting the main elements across.
For my fictitious manuscript, THE GARDEN OF WINTER from the first query workshop last week, the main elements I would want to keep would be fairy tale and parable. For THE CROSSING, probably prairie, hope, and 1873 would be the elements I would want to make sure made For BALLINA THE BRAVE, I would keep contemporary, grit, and most likely, courage.
So, whether you’ve been following along on Talynn’s blog, or you just found out about the pitch workshop today, I want you to paste your final 140 character in the comments below after you’ve double-checked the character count.
I want you to either italicize (to do this type <em>word or phrase to be italicized</em> ) the elements you are focused on getting across. For MG, if you can fit the word count in, too, that’s fantastic! We all have different thresholds for MG word counts.
You do not have to have an MG or NF to participate today. Please just keep your pitches clean.
I’ll try to comment as you go. I’ll be actively watching from about 8 a.m. to around 2 p.m. Then, I’m going to take time with my little one, but I’ll be back on in the evening. Just as with the query workshop, I encourage you all to comment and help one another. When subjectivity abounds, the more opinions the better!
Finally, when you are absolutely sure that your pitch is as good as you can make it, don’t forget to submit your MG and/or NF pitches to the #JustPitchIt pitch submission form. Anyone who has a completed MG and/or NF manuscript can Tweet their pitch May first on Twitter, but to be eligible for publicity plan or full manuscript edit, you must submit your pitch using the form.