My Elevator Pitch

3 Aug

Aspiring author Karen Tyrrell recently wrote a thought-provoking post on elevator pitches and just what it takes to get your manuscript noticed by an agent or publisher. (If you haven’t read Karen’s post, you should! It contains lots of handy hints to get your pitch just right – read about it here).

It got me thinking: what could I possibly use as an elevator pitch for my manuscript? For a while there I was stumped. I literally kept drawing a blank whenever I thought about it – kinda like when I thought about writing my CV or my synopsis, total mind blank.

I started questioning what my novel was really about. I mean, it’s a post-apocalyptic tale set in Australia, with a young male protagonist and a whole lotta angst, but that’s not exactly the most eye-catching pitch ever developed, is it? And then it hit me in the shower this morning – my elevator pitch:

“Everybody is capable of killing. Fourteen-year-old Ollie just needed the right trigger.”

Okay, so it’s probably lame and it doesn’t make mention of the end of the world, which is kind of the whole premise, or where the story really begins anyway. But does it describe the basic undercurrent of the story? Does it highlight exactly what makes my novel tick? Yes, I think so. My elevator pitch is pretty much my novel, in a really tiny nutshell.

But what do you think? Does it grab your attention? Is it punchy enough to gain the interest of a literary agent or a publisher?

NB: I christened this post with a picture of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, simply because I want to look at him.

EDIT: I’ve updated this post with my new and improved elevator pitch, thanks to Karen Tyrrell’s lovely advice.


13 Responses to “My Elevator Pitch”

  1. Karen Tyrrell 03/08/2010 at 11:02 am #

    Hi Amber,
    I’m glad my BLOG, “Elevator Pitch” inspired you to rethink and rewrite your own pitch for your novel. May I make a suggestion … “Everyone is capable of killing . ____ just needed the right trigger. On the “line” insert a name eg Fifteen-year-old Amber
    Thanks so much for the acknowledgement and link to my website. I wish you every success in your writing and tweaking your pitch and synopsis… Karen :))

    • thewritingant 03/08/2010 at 7:30 pm #

      Thank you so much for the tip, Karen! I’ve taken it on board and have changed my pitch accordingly. It’s amazing what a few little words can do, isn’t it? Completely changes the pace and the feel of the pitch.

      Thank you for the luck, and thanks again for a wonderful and inspiring post! xx a

  2. miss ali 03/08/2010 at 6:06 pm #

    the picture is perfect! purely because JGL is in it 🙂

    I love the pitch, and I like Karen’s suggestion too.

    Good luck!


  3. Grumpy 03/08/2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Hmm, now I have to think of one for mine too 🙂

  4. Lila 05/08/2010 at 5:06 pm #

    So off-topic, but I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. ❤ Yum!

    • thewritingant 06/08/2010 at 11:20 am #

      I know, he’s so adorable! I’ve been having a JGL movie-thon. I’m watching everything he’s ever done, I just love him!

  5. Anna 06/08/2010 at 9:20 am #

    Hey Amber, it’s been a while. I think this is my first time commenting on your blog, too, since you pointed out the fact that you have a blog, lol. I see things are progressing along for you! Yay! *many hugs sent in your direction* I think the pitch is definitely interesting. Kind of creepy-interesting, lol. But in a good creepy-interesting way. 😉

    • thewritingant 06/08/2010 at 11:22 am #

      Hey Anna, lovely to see you here! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, things are progressing rather nicely. I’ve entered a short story into a competition for the first time, and am finishing off a couple applications for writer’s retreats that are coming up. *hugs back*

      Yay, I’m glad you like the pitch and that it’s creepy-interesting! Tbh, the whole novel is creepy, but I hope it’s interesting, too. 🙂

      xx a

  6. MyK 13/08/2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Hello Amber. I simply stumbled on your blog and wanted to encourage you through your endeavor. I’m kinda doing the same thing with music. Don’t be discouraged k! I really like the idea and have thought of similar things but just haven’t ever put it into words. I really do like the Karen’s suggestion as well. It gives you a strong image–really good for any kind of writing.

    Anyhow, wish you the best!


    • thewritingant 13/08/2010 at 3:35 pm #

      Hi Myk, thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comment. 🙂 I hope to see you around here again some time.

      Best of luck with your music and for the future.

      xx a

    • Karen Tyrrell 18/08/2010 at 12:23 pm #

      Hi Myk,
      I’m glad you like my suggestion for Amber’s pitch. Those few powerful words make her story unforgettable, don’t they?

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