I went to a 2-hour writing class earlier this week and gathered lots of helpful information and tips. She mentioned one thing that made my blood run cold: elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a one sentence summary of your book that you could give to a literary agent in an elevator to get them hooked on the idea. Uh-oh, I’m in trouble. Though the instructor didn’t elaborate as to how many semi-colons, commas, hyphens and conjunctions could be in this sentence, I’m assuming it should be short enough that I could say it with one breath, and typed, it shouldn’t resemble a paragraph. Take a look at the last sentence. Now you see why I’m sunk.
It’s taken me almost six months to write a query (less than one page). Actually, the clock is still counting because I’m still not confident that it’s a decent one. I had trouble with the brevity required for one page, so the idea of a single sentence freaks me out a little. And, if one sentence isn’t pressure enough, it has to be interesting too? Maybe I’ll pretend we’re going to the 207th floor for my first draft (gives me plenty of time to talk) and I can work it down from there.