A while ago, Janet Reid did a very brief query review through her blog. (It turned out to be a precursor to Query Shark.) I wasn't quite finished my MS, but I knew enough to write a query. So I spent lunch break writing the pitch part of the query. It was a great distillation of the story, but it wasn't a great pitch.
That's when I realized my story needed work. Lots of it.
So, I thought about what would make the pitch good- what would make the story even more engaging. It meant taking what had been the slimmest of threads in the plot and weaving it through half the story. So I wrote the query with the new and improved pitch. Then I started on my MS so that it would match the query.
It meant research. It meant cutting a third of what I had, and writing nearly 40,000 new words.
Yet my story has grown into something I'm proud of. And all because of the pitch part of a query.
Working on your pitch can be helpful for a variety of reasons. As I'm working on mine, I'm thinking about whether:
- It communicates the conflict.
- It communicates the stakes. (What happens if things don't work out?)
- Does it make someone want to read the story?
I'm also thinking about how I'd better go outside and shovel the snow, but that's an entirely different issue.
Have a great weekend, everyone!