I’m getting near the end of my novel, THE SUITOR. Now comes one of the hardest parts: writing a pitch for it that will attract agents, editors, and readers. You write a book that runs around 100,000 words and then you have to explain its essence and build excitement in about 250 words.
It’s kind of a sucky task, but writing a good pitch helps:
- Crystalize for me what the novel is about
- Shape and direct the final edits
- Serve as the foundation for the eventual jacket copy
Here’s Draft 1 of the pitch (you can read Chapter 1 here):
It’s been a tough year for Anna. She barely escaped a murderous shooting and has faced relentless academic pressure in order to be accepted to a prestigious law school. Following graduation, to do something totally different she moves up to her family’s lake house and takes a summer job at a resort restaurant, but her adventure goes awry when she is seduced by the party life and falls in love with her boss, the ambitious and scheming Kyle.
Kyle has risen from a miserable childhood and is on the lookout for any opportunity to further advance. While he tells himself he loves Anna, he also sees in her a path to his own success. He will do what it takes to keep her, including encouraging her destructive behaviors and manipulating her feelings.
Soon, Anna realizes she doesn’t want to go to law school—she wants to marry Kyle and open a restaurant with him, which she will help finance from her inheritance. Anna’s father, Art, senses the trap his vulnerable daughter is falling into. Faced with personal health issues, he must also battle against Anna and Kyle’s relationship, and prevent the marriage without alienating his daughter.
At first, Art offers to pay Kyle to disappear, and when that doesn’t work he resorts to blackmail and threats. But he doesn’t anticipate Kyle’s response or the impact his maneuvers will have on Anna, and all three of them end up facing life or death consequences.