Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One Sentence Pitch

Hello again,
Here it is, hump day.  Get over the hump, and it's all downhill from here to the weekend.  Of course, if you're a writer, that just means you get to spend more time on the computer.  I love staying up late on the weekends and sleeping in the next morning, know I don't have to "get up and go."

Today's post is about a very simple sentence I  learned in a creative writing class~was it all the way back in college?  Heck, who knows.  My memory is like swiss cheese.  Anyway, this is a one sentence check to see if your plot is sound.  It's called The One Sentence Pitch because you could use it to pitch your book to an editor or publisher if you were of a mind.  I think I've also seen it referred to as The Elevator Pitch.  If you're a self-published author, this probably doesn't apply to you, but it's still a handy tool for keeping your ducks in a row, and for helping to write those pesky back-of-the-book blurbs or tag-lines.  I'm terrible at those.  I think my editor, YoDen, actually wrote the one for The Phantom Pilot.  Or maybe that was my bio, I'm terrible at those, too.

Okay, here is the sentence, just fill in the blanks: 

My novel is about ____________ who must ___________ in order to ____________.  

As you can see, you must name your protagonist(s), and tell what they must overcome in order to have a successful resolution.  

For example, here is my sentence regarding The Phantom Pilot:  My novella is about a couple of kids who must figure out why the phantom pilot is haunting them in order to help him move on to the other side.

Here is the sentence for The Phantom Student, book two in the Phantom Series:
This novel is about Derol Pavey, a new student who must enlist the aid of Jase and Stevie in order to overcome the bullying that somehow connects him to the phantom student. 

So there, I hope that is helpful to you when you are plotting or even when you are just trying to come up with a tag-line.  Here's another that could have been written about one of my favorite movies, Terminator:  This story is about Sarah Connor who must avoid being terminated by a cyborg from the future in order to live long enough to give birth to the leader of the revolution that will save the world.  

Okay, maybe I went overboard with that one a bit, but hopefully you get the drift.  It's fun.  And I think it's helpful, too.  


Afterthought: I challenge you to do a one sentence pitch for your book or a favorite book or movie and post it in a comment.  =)


  1. My novel WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM is about a soldier and a businesswoman who must get off the drifting, wrecked spaceliner before it self destructs or the enemy arrives! Hmmm, I probably need to crisp that up a bit but a fun exercise!

    1. I want to read that, Veronica! Thanks for stopping by!


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