Hosted by: Cynthia Swanson & Andrew Swanson

Pitch Prep – One Sentence Elevator Pitch

For the last week or so, I’ve been working to capture the flavor of my novel in one sentence.  Since I have yet to be able to describe the various levels of the novel and in particular the cosmology and mythology running behind it, this felt like a daunting task.  And I’ll admit, it has consumed me a little.

Okay, a LOT.  Here’s why:

In essence, the one-sentence pitch is used to manage up the story, or plot.  my research indicates it should tie the big picture and the personal picture, describing who has to most to lose and what they want to win, as well as include the opening incident, what stands in the way of the journey, what the quest is, and a hint of the flavor of the novel (funny, scary, etc.).

Oh, and it would be nice if it could do all of that in fifteen words, because shorter is better.

I haven’t been able to do short since before middle school.  This is why I write novels.

Still, I like the concept of being able to describe the big idea in a quick way, so I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, and Friday, it started to come together for me.

What is the big idea of my novel?

Betrayed, on the run and out of options, a gifted female finder returns to the family she left behind in Portland, Oregon, where she must confront old wounds and new dangers if she is to save people she cares about, and she learns a truth that shifts the foundation of her life forevermore.

Fifteen words this is not.  But it does capture the big idea of the story, which hopefully is compelling.  If anyone wants to leave a comment, I would love some feedback on this.

Next up: I will endeavor to expand the detail to a five-sentence paragraph.

Until the next post, happy writing.

Categories: Writing

2 replies

  1. Maybe it is vital to the story and you want to leave it in, but I am not sure why Portland or even Oregon have to be in there. That would eliminate 2 words!

    The very last part seems tacked on to what is otherwise a very tight sentence.

    Just my thoughts — for whatever they are worth!

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