Homework

I’m doing mine, because I know the editor I’d like to talk to will ask.

I finished my chapter-by-chapter summary, which was really helpful because it showed me that my book does flow, and there are no holes. (Will it show an editor the same thing? Not necessarily. This is why I need an editor.) And I now have both a 400-word and a 750-word synopsis.

I also have a blurb, but I really already had that, because that’s what’s on the website. Also what you’d find on the back of the printed book, or in the description on amazon.com. It’s the movie trailer version of my story, crafted to entice the reader without giving too much away.

And I have a throughline. That’s the one-sentence, high-concept summary that you’re likely to find (along with other dry data such as author and ISBN) in a catalog listing of the Library of Congress. Ready? Here it is:

A gifted young healer-warrior struggles to find her path and must stand against a dire threat to her kingdom.

Catchy, huh? (No, it’s not supposed to be catchy. Just pithy.)

What is supposed to be catchy is the elevator pitch. The idea is that I’m in an elevator with my dream editor, and I have a few floors’ worth of time to convince her she should take a look at my manuscript. This is definitely the hardest part of my homework, because I only get 2-3 sentences, maybe 75 words max, that take less than 30 seconds to deliver. And the pitch has to convey particular elements of the story: the situation, the character(s), the objective, the opponent, and the potential disaster. It needs to be intriguing, it needs to be informative, and most importantly, it needs to be something I have down cold, because it is useless if I cannot deliver it comfortably.

This needs work.

So come on, peeps, somebody ask me about my book, so I can practice getting cozy with my elevator pitch.

Hey… maybe it will make you want to read it.