This year was my first year attending the Philadelphia Writers Conference and amazing is the word that comes to mind. First off, there is nothing like being in a room surrounded by other people who share the same passion as you when it comes to writing or just having passion in general. Everyone was there because we all have a story to tell and we want to learn how to perfect this craft of ours.
This 3-day workshop was filled with much information. These classes we took over a span of 3 days were able to break down the bigger picture of many aspects of writing, publishing and pitching. One I enjoyed immensely was Maximizing the Emotion of a Novel. On day 2 Kathryn Craft talked about how a story is not powerful because of the events in it. No, a story is powerful because the events change the characters and as a writer we need to render those changes in a deft way. Also, there is a much better emotional impact if each f your characters has their own push. For example, how a wall looks to someone who is sad, looks completely different to someone who is happy. Kathryn was able to break down maximizing the emotion of a novel so well because I could feel her passion and excitement, not just for the topic but writing in general.
Day 2 we also had a class called Pitch Perfect. This was something I was extremely excited about because I will be honest, I have only pitched twice and I am not too good at it! As outgoing as I can be I am also slightly introverted and feel as though I never fully know how to explain my story to new people. My friends, however, tell me all time when I talk to them I have a new passion in me when I talk about my novel to them. So yes, Pitch Perfect was helpful to the passionate, awkward girl who loves writing!
The secret to a great pitch is that it’s a conversation. You need a hook! It should be both conversational in tone and professional in meaning. A great pitch is not a synopsis of your book, it entices people to want more. Pitching is a sales tool. You have a product that you want to sell. When speaking of your product (your novel) be proud of the fact that you are an artisan. Don’t forget to pause, take your time, make eye contact. Practice your pitch over and over again. First by reading out loud to yourself and then to others like friends. Don’t be afraid to give away surprises with your pitch, end with a cliffhanger and give a flavor of the world you created. When pitching it’s also ok to ask questions to the agent you are pitching to. Remember when finding an agent you need to be comfortable with each other. You will be building a relationship with this person, who is representing the very thing you love and created.