Pitching Your Story

            You’ve finished your story. You’ve workshopped it, edited it, shared it with family and friends. You’ve changed the things that needed to be changed. In your mind, it’s complete and ready to be pitched.

            You signed up for a writer’s conference in which you’ll have the opportunity to pitch it to several agents.

            The next steps are writing the query letter, the story synopsis and the elevator pitch to the agent.

            You might think that these overlap in terms of content: you are correct.

            The query will include a short synopsis of about one to two paragraphs, at most. The main purpose is to hook a potential agent into asking to read a portion of your manuscript. It also includes a brief bio which makes clear why you’re the one to tell the story.

            The synopsis is a one-page summary of the main points of the story. You introduce the protagonist, her internal and external motivations, the key elements that propel the story forward by increasing tension as the character struggles to fulfill her motivations, the climax where all that tension reaches its peak, then the ending.

            The pitch is a three to five minute speech in which you say what your story’s about.

            Your task is to write these three documents. It won’t be easy. You’ll rewrite each several times.

            Have fun with this one.