Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Four Line Pitch

Today was a day of napping and a lot of tea and orange juice. My husband and I caught a summer cold, which sucks, but we are doing better now.
One good thing is I have finished editing my novel about Enforcement Agents aka Hunters in a dystopian/utopian society. Of course I continue to pull my hair out over the inevitable query letter. But wait, there is more! I am not talking about the ones we all see on Query Shark or agents blogs, no,no, no! I have decided I want to make my brain explode and go for the four line pitch.
Yup, you read that right. Sum up an 84,000+ word novel in four lines. You may wonder why I am choosing this line of torture and to be honest, I am not one hundred percent sure. On one hand I figure if I can tell you about my book in four lines, I am pretty damn good, if I cannot, I must really suck. Okay, not true, but I think it is an interesting approach in today's ADD filled world.
Jillian Manus of Manus and Associates Literary Agency gave a terrific speech on The Perfect Pitch and posted it to her website. I am in awe of how she took the original long pitch and cut it down to 4 lines, (set up, hook and resolution) to sell to movie studios. Now, while I would love to have a book I wrote made into a film, that is not really my goal. My goal is to get an agent to read four lines and demand the manuscript.
Here is where the primal scream echoes through the hills of Appalachia. What is aggravating and irritating and curse inducing is the fact that I cannot figure out for the life of me how to do it for this completed novel. As for my third book about the Archangels and Angels of Death, I think I could do it with my eyes closed. A dilemma, but maybe not. Perhaps that is what is supposed to happen. I pitch the Angels book and sell that one first. A weird idea, but I believe that one can crank out faster. This then gives me the hope that if I can get that done, it may help break through the block that is eating my soul for the other book. Dramatic I know, but this is how writers think sometimes.
Self reproach can be a good thing, but not for this situation. Sometimes you can write five novels before you sell one and those five may never see the light of day. While I hope that does not happen, I am prepared to allow the third novel to become the bread winner and not look back. Sometimes pride does get in the way, but hard work pays off. None of this was for naught. And if four lines is what sells it, then dammit, I am good.



  1. As a primarily sci-fi writer, The Marius Agency is not a good fit for me, but the website is full of good information to new writers. Thanks for the link.

    It'll be a challenge condensing my book down to four lines. I'd like to see your pitch when you do it. :)

  2. If I ever get it there, I will post it to allow you the joy of critiquing :)