World Fantasy and Pitching

on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

So I've been weirdly quiet about this for...I don't know why, but I am indeed going to the World Fantasy convention in San Diego this year with Jason, and we are leaving tomorrow morning. I'm very excited to make contact again with a lot of the people I met at WorldCON, as well as hopefully meet a few new faces. Last year was a good bit of fun, even though we only talked to a few people, and I'm certain this year will be even better.

I even bought a silver sharpie so I can have freaking Neil Gaiman sign my Kindle. So that means I'm serious about this, guys. 

I'm certain most people who read this blog know what World Fantasy is, but if you don't the general gist is it's a convention of authors, agents, and editors that meet together to find new talent, enjoy each other's company, and shoot the breeze. You won't find people in costume (last year's it went over Halloween and even then I only saw one or two costumes) like at WorldCON, and it is a much smaller convention, but it's still a lot of fun.


So in preparation for World Fantasy I've been working on pitches. There's a great Writing Excuses episode on pitches that just recently came out, and I've been using that for reference. To put it basically, you have three pitches you need:

- An elevator pitch (a sentence, quick blurb)
- A slightly longer pitch (two or three paragraphs, just a quick summery or "movie trailer")
- A long pitch that goes into the most detail

Now, I never really thought much about pitching. I always figured that, should the need arise, I'd be able to just spurt something out. However, when I was talking with my wife on the car ride home and failing completely and utterly at even a sentence pitch, I decided I should probably actually work on this.

And I found some good and bad things. 

The good thing is that the sentence/elevator pitch was actually pretty easy. It took about ten minutes at most, and I never really did any substantial changes to it minus a few word choices. 

The bad thing is the two paragraph one is killing me. 

For some reason, this is really tough. Trying to find a focus with slightly more space, while still making something that is both compelling and easy to say is...difficult. It already has gone through more revisions than the actual book has, and I'm still not satisfied. 

I'm not even going to touch the long pitch. I'm going to assume (hopefully not incorrectly, like before) that I'm able to talk about my book for a decent amount of time without failing to hard. 

So now I just need some agents and editors to test this on. Hmmm....


A quick Naught but Glass update: I have yet to start the novel, though I've gotten a good bit of planning done. I also don't have any names yet, which is probably a bad thing (my design document has "the Hero," "the Sidekick," and "the King" in lieu of actual names). I'm hoping to start it tomorrow night before World Fantasy, however. 


Lastly, I'm finally getting to read some of the indie novels I picked up on Kindle (after I finish Hogfather by Terry Pratchett). So expect reviews of The Wars of Gods and Men by Brondt Kamffer and The Black God's War by Moses Siregar III once I finish them. As always, you can track my progress on Goodreads. So far: both books are excellent, and most certainly worth the asking price (Wars of Gods and Men is only $1, and The Black God's War is on sale this week for $2)

That's it from me. Expect a World Fantasy report one of these years (about the time my WorldCON post comes up. Yeah, that turned out real good).


CNHolmberg said...

You'll have to let me know what you think of The Black God's War...

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