Elevator Pitches that Go to the Top Floor: Part 4/5–The Devil’s in the Details

First of all, I attended a talk by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff. The three of them met each other on line and became critique partners. YOU CAN DO THE SAME THING, thanks to our Fearless Leader, Heather.

On to your elevator pitch.


Today’s advice is short and simple, putting it into action is a little more difficult. (Ain’t that always the way?) Proceeding to…


  1. Voice–Your pitch must reflect the personality of the book. If you’ve written a humorous novel, then the pitch ought to be funny. If the story is an adventure, then the query should be exciting. A mystery, mysterious. You get the idea. Nothing disappoints an agent/editor more than expecting one type of manuscript and receiving another. Also, nobody understands a manuscript better than the one who wrote it, so never pay  to  have a query written for you. The editor/agent can tell.
  2. Word choice–Be specific and original. “Tall, dark and handsome” is a cliché, “A walking romance novel cover” is little more evocative. Your main character doesn’t “run”, she “streaks”, “scuttles” or “gallops”.  You’ve got a limited amount of time to get your point across, do it with punch and verve.

Okay, go reword your pitch and we’ll meet back here to wrap this series up with how to deliver your pitch.


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