I’m baaaack! Don’t look so surprised. I told you I would be. Hopefully you are finished with last week’s challenge, but don’t worry if you’re not. There is no time limit as to when they need to be completed, as long as it’s before the March 31st conference. Remember, there may be an amazing goodie basket in your future!!
It’s Wednesday and that can only mean one thing: another super-duper inspiring and devestatingly constructive challenge.
I know, enough with the adjectives already. Let’s get started with the second challenge:
So, what’s your pitch?
No, not that kind.
Uhhh..nope, not that either.
I’m talking about that one-line gem that grabs the questioner by the collar and makes them say “Wow, what a great idea!”
Have you ever been asked, “So, what’s your pitch?” about a project you’re working on? And has your answer elicited this kind of response?
It sure has for me. Writing a pitch can be more nerve-wracking then penning a 200-page novel. How do you take those 200 pages and boil them down to, let’s face it, practically nothing and still make an agent or editor sit up, take notice, and want to hear more?
By practice, of course!
Your Conference Challenge this week is to write a pitch for a past, current or future project. Yup, I said future. Because all great books start with a great idea.
To help with this, I am posting a link to our blogger extraordinaire Laura Bowers’ pre-conference workshop from last year Perfecting Your Book Pitch. I can’t say how much it helped me.
Even if you’re not ready to sell or just not interested, you should try this exercise. Writing a pitch can help bring the meat of your book back to where it should be – in the forefront of your mind. It can also reveal that maybe you need more meat or forgot to add it altogether, as well as open your eyes to other issues. Many screenwriters will write a pitch before writing the screenplay, their thinking being if they can’t write a good pitch, then maybe their story lacks the necessary zest. I am told the book SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder gives some great advice to all writers in every genre on this and other aspects of the craft. It is definitely at the top of my must-read reference book list.
What’s that you say? Your book is ready, but you’re not getting a critique at this conference and won’t be talking to any agents or editors anyway, so why should you bother? I can answer that with another question. What if you find yourself in a conversation at lunch or coffee break and you are asked about your book? What would you say and can you say it quickly enough before that person’s eyes glaze over trying to process the five paragraphs of information you just gave them? And what if, by chance, that person just happens to be an editor or agent?
Okay, that’s four questions, but you get my point. Honestly, it really is a great exercise to help you focus and maybe someday sell that book you have been working so hard on, no matter where you are in the process. You owe it to yourself and that fabulous story inside of you.
Enough of my ramblings. I now give you our lovely co-blogger Chieu Urban, who will throw down this week’s Illutrator’s challenge gauntlet:
Illustrator Challenge #2
Now would you agree that we all have an imaginary character we find ourselves often doodling while supposedly focusing on something else? And wouldn’t it be great to bring this special friend to life in a story and into the hearts of children? Let’s illustrate this pitch and maybe introduce him to our fabulous regional members. Just send us your illustration and we’ll post it. Not ready to share him with everyone else? That’s okay! After all, he’s your secret buddy. Thanks for participating in the challenges. It’s all creative fun, don’t you think?
You bet they are, Chieu! Thanks so much!
Okay, my fellow writers and illustrators, let’s all get cracking and tackle those challenges!