I was recently given the chance to pitch a novel to a mainstream publisher. This forced me to do something I don’t do often – write a pitch.
Novel pitches are weird. Articles often describe them as condensing a story down into a single page. Except that that’s not really true, as I realised when a far more experienced friend gave me feedback on my first draft. Really, pitches are stories in themselves. They don’t tell your story. They let you tell a story about why people should be excited about your story. You do this by setting the emotional tone, showing some of the thrilling high points, and creating a sense of drama.
Pitches are stories about stories, and as such they’re a useful part of the publishing process. They refine and test a writer’s skills on a different scale.
But they are really weird.