“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” -Ernest Hemingway
Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month?
National Novel Writing Month is also known as NaNoWriMo to writers all around the globe. I’m signed up and actively working forward on my new work-in-progress novel called The Other Side of the Sea. You can see my progress on a bar chart to the right in my blog’s sidebar. The goal is to complete 50,000 words by the end of the month. It’s a big goal, one I intend to make. I will have months of rewriting after November is over, but before rewriting can begin, a writer needs a first draft. That is my goal.
As part of the intense writing going on around my house, this week I’m participating in a blog hop workshop run by Heather Webb, a writer (and now friend) I met in May at Backspace in New York City. Heather is currently running a series on writing a rock star novel pitch over at her blog Between the Sheets. As part of the series, she’s helping novelists with their three sentence pitches.
What is a Pitch?
A pitch is what you hear when someone tells you about a book or movie, but in a condensed format. It can be over a few paragraphs, through an enticing marketing blurb found on the back of a book, or in an even shorter format like a one-sentence description. I don’t have to tell you how hard it is for a novelist to boil a 350 page book down into one sentence. (It’s tough!) That’s why I’m asking for help — your help — with writing my pitch. In this case, Heather asks for a three-sentence pitch.
So, I’m posting my three-sentence pitch for my novel Water Lily below, and asking for feedback on it by the end of the week. The other great folks participating in Heather’s challenge will be stopping by to add their thoughts, and I hope you will as well. On Friday, we all send our polished three-sentence pitches to Heather, when she’ll choose three to send to her esteemed agent, Michelle Brower, at Folio Lit in New York City (whom I also had the chance to meet at Backspace in May. Michelle is brilliant!). Michelle will choose one winning pitch, and read the first ten pages of the chosen novel’s manuscript.
My pitch for Water Lily:
Water Lily, 86,000 words, is character-driven women’s fiction, in the tradition of Vanessa Diffenbaugh and Kate Morton, and with elements of The Red Violin.
First pitch, 11/5/12:
When a Boston court convicts her father for her mother’s murder, Lily Miller’s grandparents change her name to Rachel Revere and move her to another state. But secrets reemerge twenty years later when her father’s viola surfaces in a Czech royal music archive. Rachel must decide how much to risk in pursuing the answers that may free her father at last.
Revised pitch, 11/6/12:
When a Boston court convicts her father for her mother’s murder, Lily Miller’s grandparents change her name to Rachel Revere and move her to another state. Twenty years later, Rachel reconsiders her father’s innocence when his treasured viola surfaces in a Czech royal music archive and secrets reemerge. As tensions build with her fiancé and grandparents, Rachel must choose between having their approval and pursuing the answers that may set her father free at last.
I’d love to hear your suggestions for improvement. Thank you!