Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pitch Puzzles -or- Jane Austen in Twenty-Five Words

I read about a pitch opportunity on the blog Help! I need a Publisher.

Twenty-five words to hook a reader onto your story. Not at all easy. I wonder if it helps if one's story is dramatic as opposed to thoughtful? Certainly some of the pitches in the comments were catchy -- well written, but also full of interesting premises and exciting events.

So what if you're writing about normal people living normal lives in normal ways, with no supernatural beings, no murders, no abusive family-members: then what?

I started wondering, how would I pitch Jane Austen -- any Jane Austen, in twenty-five words?

Feisty young woman tangles with arrogant man. Both mature, and despite family upheavals and conflicts, romance follows.

Quiet woman finds lost love again, but has he forgiven her past rejection? Family conflicts, scheming plots, but steadfast love wins all.

Two sisters exemplify reason and emotion, and both learn that a balance between the two is the key to love and life.

Okay -- I've gotten a bit silly. Sorry. In order, they were 'Pride and Prejudice', 'Persuasion', and 'Sense and Sensibility'. I didn't use my word quotas, so I could flesh them out a bit -- these ideas were off the top of my head.

The problem for me is that what sets these stories apart is not the basic plot, which sounds like a simple romance novel, but the development of the characters. "Both mature". They do. Both Elizabeth and Darcy are very different people by the end of the novel, and that is what's compelling: the people she creates and the interactions between them.

So my puzzle is, how do you pitch character development? Ideas, anyone?

No comments:

Post a Comment