Pitch Perfect: Getting to the Heart of your Romance Novel or Women’s Fiction Story (for pitching and for querying)
Instructor: Janet Wellington
Who should take this class?
Anyone working on--or even thinking of writing--romance or women’s fiction.
You might be the most talented writer on the planet, but if you can’t describe your story in an exciting but succinct way, you’re in trouble.
Everyone needs to learn how to pitch. Okay, maybe everyone except those few heavy hitters who have the luxury of only having to share a vague idea about a story with their editors because their stuff always sells well (we hate them, but let’s move on...).
So, the rest of us need to be able to present our story ideas within query letters, synopses, and during frightening agent and editor appointments at writing conferences!
•Can you use a 3-word phrase to describe your story? How about in one sentence?
•Can you capture the essence of your tale in 25 words or less?
•When your listener wants to know more about your story, do you know what to say and, more importantly, what not to say?
•Do you know the biggest benefit of having an agent or editor appointment at a national or regional writing conference?
The main goal of this class is to help you understand the different types (and lengths) of pitches you need to prepare, and for you to learn several ways and styles of organizing your pitch (that you can utilize in query letters as well as agent/editor appointments).
Testimonial (this was one of my students at a recent writing conference where I taught a class on pitching and then provided some one-on-one guidance to selected students):
Hi Janet -- Now that I'm back home, I just wanted to say thank you one more time for all your help and encouragement with my pitch. I was so drunk with relief when I walked out of the (editor) meeting that I forgot to tell you the editor actually complimented the way the pitch was put together -- and I followed your formula almost to a "t." If I hadn't taken your class, I hate to think what I would have come up with... Beth K.
The outcome? The Harlequin editor asked this unpublished writer for her complete manuscript!
Not sure if you should take this class? Well, in my opinion, for best results you should either be working on or have completed a romance novel, novella, or a women’s fiction novel. However, with that said, if you are currently even starting from scratch, you can also use this process of getting to the heart of your story to set up a condensed story description you can use as a helpful tool to stay on track and write more efficiently!
What do you get? If you read and comprehend all the lectures plus complete all the assignments, you will create your very own pitch that you can utilize for query letters, synopsis blurbs, and/or as a verbal pitch to agents and/or editors at conference appointments. Or, this process will clearly point out where you need to do some more work on your story. It might be a painful awakening that you have some serious revising to do, but it will be time well spent.
Either way, you’ll have gotten to the heart of your story.
For students of Pitch Perfect, I will also offer individual critiques of your final pitch via a “private tutoring” session for an additional fee of $35 (additional continued one-on-one tutoring may be offered on an individual basis). Private tutoring prerequisite: student must have a complete synopsis for a romance novel/novella or women’s fiction novel (5-10 pages) which would be emailed to me prior to our telephone appointment. The $35 private tutoring session entitles the student to the following: (1) instructor pre-reads synopsis, (2) instructor pre-reads pitch (based on completed course assignments), and (3) instructor provides up to 30-minutes of one-on-one brainstorming/critiquing via scheduled telephone appointment (arrangements to be made via email). No guarantees or warranties are implied or provided, but you’ll have my complete attention, brainpower, and experience during your private session!
Each session of this course will have a “lecture” plus an assignment--you can decide whether or not you want to participate with other students via the LSS eboard. Pitch Perfect students will also have access to a private chat room set up by LSS specifically for students of this course where you can discuss questions and frustrations (and I will announce specific days/times where I’ll do my best to be there for Q&A).
Lesson 1: Prepare To Pitch
Objective: Understand the 3 different length pitches you’ll need to prepare for every manuscript; the 4 elements to every query letter and agent/editor appointment; tips to surviving an agent/editor appointment
Lesson 2: Who Are These People Anyway?
Objective: Dissecting your hero and heroine; understanding goals, motivations and external conflicts; understanding hero/heroine archetypes; learn how to describe characters in specific ways
Lesson 3: Internal Conflict: the Emotional Element
Objective: How to isolate the internal conflict in your story and how to describe it within a pitch or query letter
Lesson 4: The Happy (or satisfying) Ending
Objective: Understanding the resolution and how to describe it to tug at the listener’s heartstrings.
Lesson 5: Putting it All Together
Objective: combine the homework assignments to create your perfect pitch (designed for a query letter and/or agent/editor appointment)
Lesson 6: More Pitching Methods
Objective: Additional ways of putting together a pitch; understanding pitchlines and the high concept pitch; wrap-up
Start Date: November 13, 2006
Duration: 6 weeks
Class Materials: Instructor will provide
Private tutoring option: $35 - Contact Instructor