I did something impromptu the other day – a mock pitch to a class for the novel I am currently working on. When I say impromptu, I mean it. No rehearsal at all.
And it didn’t go well.
It wasn’t simply because I was nervous.
It wasn’t simple because a little voice inside my head kept asking, “Will my audience think it’s stupid?” and “Are they pretending to be interested to be polite?”
And it wasn’t simply because I was trying to translate a 77,000 word manuscript full of plots and sub-plots, internal and external conflicts, into a two minute tease.
It didn’t go well for two reasons:
One, I had not practiced. After a week stacked with interruptions and tumultuous events which I would rather forget, pitching a story I know backwards, a story I have put my heart and soul into, should have been a walk in the park. And it could have been. But I had not practiced.
And two, I had not included one important point. I mentioned my “housekeeping” items: my title, word count, characters and conflicts. And I finished with a great cliffhanger line. But I missed one vital ingredient:
What makes my book special?
What makes it unique?
Is it the writing? Is it the story? Is it the way it (hopefully) makes the reader feel? What will the reader learn from it? Why did I feel the need to write it?
So now I have improved my pitch. I have included that vital ingredient.
And I have practiced.
Next time, I hope it goes well.
Has anyone else undertaken a pitch they would rather forget?