How To Create An Elevator Pitch

What’s the point in writing a book if no one will read it? To get potential readers interested, writers should understand the value of an elevator pitch. Even if you’re shy, you should be able to keep eye contact for about a minute or two, smile, and say a one to two statement about your book.

Here’s tips on creating an elevator pitch:

  1. Open strong. Being specific is better than vagueness. You want a one to two line summary of your novel that will hold someone’s interest. It should take you 30 to 60 seconds to pique someone’s interest. If they look away or glance at their watch, you lost them!
  2. Keep it short, but say how your story is unique. Don’t be wordy, too vague, or too flowery. Once again, if someone looks away or glances at their watch, you’ve lost them!
  3. You want to tie the big and personal picture together. Which character has the most to lose in the story? What does he want to win? What obstacles stand in his way? But beware, try to keep your character’s name out of your elevator pitch.

For all the writers out there, do you think you can handle that? If you are really shy, try practicing in the mirror to observe what awkward movements you tend to make. You want to look comfortable selling your book. If you’re very talkative, practice in the mirror. You want to observe every time you twitch because you’re keeping your dialogue brief and not dominating the conversation hee hee.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Resist the Urge to Explain (R.U.E.)

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King take the R.U.E. concept so seriously that there is an entire chapter devoted to it called “Once Is Usually Enough”.

  • “Most writers already know to edit out places where they have literally repeated a word or phrase.  But the repetition of an effect can be just as problematic.  Whether it’s two sentences that convey the same information, two paragraphs that establish the same personality trait, or two characters who fill the same role in the plot, repetition can rob your writing of its power.”
  • “When you have a character point or plot development that is critical to the story, you drive it home more than once to make sure your readers get it.  As a result, you wind up conveying to your readers things they already know, which is almost as condescending (and off-putting) as describing emotions that have already been shown in the dialogue.”

Overexplaining happens to all writers (whether beginning, established, published, or unpublished).  That’s why it is important to revise, revise, revise, and revise some more.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby