June 21 Writing Prompt

Today I want to cover a little part of writing that every writer, author or aspiring scribe should learn.

How many actually do, though? About none of us.

It is called the elevator pitch, and it is something you should learn to do at a moments notice.

Imagine this, you are sitting at the table about to have a home cooked meal when someone turns to you and says “So, what do you do?” and you smile and reply, I’m a writer, I am currently working on a book.”

Then, they ask the most daring, politically incorrect and asinine question possible, “Oh really? What’s it about?”

How dare they!

Don’t they know you don’t have an answer for that question? They should know that by opening that can of worms only two things will happen. You will either begin talking and dominate the entire dinner conversation making yourself look foolish, or, you will stammer and stutter your way through a tale that makes you look foolish.

The audacity!

Story timer
Tell your story in as little time as possible. Do it with confidence.

But, you can get around all the awkwardness by knowing your elevator pitch.

Let’s look at the prompt before I continue the explanation.

June 21

Create your project’s “elevator pitch” that will explain your story quickly and succinctly.

Let’s talk about an elevator pitch. Essentially the term comes from salesmen trying to get people, generally busy businessmen, to buy their stories, wares or whatever trinkets they are hocking.

The idea came form “trapping” the potential customer in an elevator and selling them on your idea before you reached their floor where they were able to escape you.

This meant you only have a minute or two to express your self, explain your story and make a connection or rapport with the potential client or customer.

For authors, the idea is the same. You should be able to confidently and quickly introduce yourself, talk about your story and get to the point in just a matter of a few minutes. Most “experts” will tell you that if you can’t explain your story in 10 minutes, you don’t know it well enough.

Personally, I think this is too long. Depending on who you are talking to, you can forget the introductions, and get right into the book. Our dinner table example from above, as a case in point.

What is your story about?

I should know the genre, the main characters, the antagonist and the basic plot line. And you should be able to tell me everything in 3 minutes or less.

Go ahead. Write out a pitch, hone it down until everything you need to say is covered and then practice saying it out loud until it is under 180 seconds.

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