Comment to 'What's the elevator pitch for your WIP?'
  • Hi M.T.

    This sounds interesting but I think you need to break the sentence up. It's quite difficult to follow in its present format. It's also rather vague.


    "A famous novelist uses a nefarious organization to gather material for his bestsellers. A professor finds out he/she has been spied on and used as a character in a novel about ??. It's not a complementary portrayal?? He/she decides to go to Japan to track down the novelist, but without the organization finding out he/she is on their way."

    This pitch probably doesn't make sense for your story, and it's also too long, but I'm trying to indicate where you may need some specifics for the pitch. It should be more specific than anything I've suggested. Nefarious organization is too vague. What kind of material has been gathered and why. If the professor is the book's main character, provide some motivation for the professor's quest. Also, what threat might he/she be under by undertaking this quest.

    Having said the professor has to go to Japan I think you need to say what country they set out from to indicate there's a long journey or a culture clash or something interesting about this aspect of the story. Maybe the professor speaks Japanese or is an expert on its history or some such?

    Or if the Japan connection isn't one of the most important aspects of the story, you may well want to leave it out.

    There's a lot of potential information in your current pitch which will need whittling down to what is really important about this story. 

    I hope this helps.

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    • Libby, 

      Many thanks for your careful suggestions. You've proven the value of peer critique as what I wrote initially made PERFECT sense to me. However, if it doesn't work for a reader, it's time to revise!!! 

      Prioritizing for a 20 word limit is agonizing. 

      How about this: 

      "Two pieces of junk mail send an American Japanese specialist to Tokyo to track down an internationally famous author and his nefarious organization."

      I'm staying vague on the organization because it is a figment of the American's imagination inspired by his reading of the author's works. The American believes that the famous author is using the organization (central to one of his novels, and similarly amorphous) to spy on him to gather material for the author's magico-realist novels. 

      Further suggestions are welcome if time permits.

      Thanks again.

      Happy 2021 to you. 


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      • This sounds very good to me, Michael. It's interesting how sometimes just moving words or sentences around can improve things. Nefarious organization now sounds like something to pique an agent's interest. And you've cut down the whole thing very well.

        See what other people think. And if you have a chance to get professional feedback on the pitch, that could be very worthwhile.

        Happy 2021!

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        • Thanks for taking the time again.

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