Friday, March 22, 2013

All about Pitches


Last week I received an email telling me that my pitch had been selected for the Write On Con Pitch Fest which I had entered a few weeks back. The pitch fest stretches over five days: 18 to 22 March. From Monday I spent a lot of my time reading the pitches (initially only in my group) but later I read many other pitches too.

I read all the pitches in my group as well as the agent's comments on each of them. One can learn so much from reading the agent's comments. Her feedback was insightful and her comments gracious. She made it easy to understand why our query letters don’t get requests for either partials or fulls.

It’s because we either complicate our pitches by adding too many plot points and other details or we simplify it to the extent that we are underselling our story. Either we harp about the plot and ignore the character or we talk too much about the character and ignore the conflict.

When agents read our pitches, they want to know about the 5C’s (Character, Conflict, Choice, Consequence and Confrontation). Once we get these 5 points assembled, our pitches can work in our favour. Even if one point is lacking or ignored, the pitch can fall short and result in a rejection.

I think getting a pitch right is an art which atleast I have not perfected.  I am hoping to work hard on the pitches for the 3 books of my Zespirit chronicles.  A pitch is all about making our query stand out from the hundreds of queries agents receive.

What about you all? How are you at pitches? Does your pitch work in favour of your story? Did your pitch get you your dream agent? Any pitch secrets you want to share with us.

P.S. I completely forgot that today is my third Blog Anniversary. All the deadlines made my head woozy and it slipped out of my mind. How can I forget the day I dived headlong into the world of blogging and met all you wonderful people.

Picture Courtesy: Melissa Crytzer Fry

21 comments:

Rahul Bhatia said...

Thanks Rachna for this post and explaining the finer naunces of writing:)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think you've nailed what makes a pitch good. And also making it sound unique from what's out there. That's what my agent had problems with in my story.

mooderino said...

Excellent tips, thanks for sharing the 5 Cs.

mood
Moody Writing

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations on the selection.
I don't think I'm great with a query and I struggle with the synopsis just as much. I did land a publisher but I'm convinced it was a complete stroke of luck.

Richard Hughes said...

Good information. Thanks for sharing.

Karen Lange said...

Congrats on being selected! That is exciting. :) This is good advice. I need to keep it in mind as pitches are not my favorite, nor my best skill.

Have a great weekend!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Friends, just by reading the pitches and the agents' comments on Write On Con, I feel a little more Pitch Savvy. Pitches have never been my favourite things to write.

Mark Noce said...

Sweet! Good for you Rachna:) Can't wait to read more of your stuff:)

Stephen Tremp said...

Thanks for the tips! And happy third Blogoversary!

Cheryl Klarich said...

Congratulations, Rachna!

Bless you!! (Happy Anniversary)!!!

Carol Kilgore said...

Good information about pitches. I'm going to bookmark this. Helpful for writing back of the book copy, too.

Medeia Sharif said...

I used to overwrite them, and then I went to a conference that had a session on pitch writing. I now write tighter ones.

Al Diaz said...

Congratulations on your bloggoversary!

Excellent advice. I'll try to remember it when I need to make a pitch. Hell, I'll even memorize them.

B Pradeep Nair said...

O sure, Rachna. A good pitch is an art. It's so much related to selling. And, today it's all about how we sell -- our talent, skills, potential, achievements, etc.

Donna Hole said...

I've yet to perfect the art of perfect pitch (query) but thank you for posting this list. I think I can use it.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

.....dhole

Dave King said...

Sincere congrats, a worthy choice. Very pleased for you.

Dorji Penjor said...

terrific tips.. thank you very much for sharing...
And Happy third Blog Anniversary... You always had very interesting posts and i bet a lot more are yet to come.

Happy blogging..

Julia Hones said...

Congratulations on the pitch, and happy blog anniversary!

Lynda R Young said...

Congrats on your three years of blogging!!!!! How awesome!

I have to tweak my pitches a lot before I can get them right.

Misha Gericke said...

Nope, but almost did, and now it got me an amazing editor, so I'm happy. :-)

Madeleine Sara said...

Happy Blogversary Rachna.
I have yet to get a novel pitch right, though I did get success with a magazine once.