I really like the idea of an elevator pitch - now to stalk out some good elevators.
Here is my pitch, can you tell me what you think?
When the search for a missing newborn pits a defense attorney against a police detective in a dark parking garage, one of them ends up dead.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
Hi Michelle - I'd say it's fine so far but you need more. So far nothing new to grab an agent in an elevator. What else do you have? Like - "What do the baby and the victim have in common? The answer upends lives and uncovers a side of LA life never before exposed...." (obviously I have no idea what really happens in your work!) Good luck.
...my take....as Laurel suggested, create interest in the characters. What you have above is a pretty run of the mill plot line. It would be heartstopping in real life, but not that original in fiction. Whose baby is it? The child of the famous, infamous, the homeless? Laurel's suggestion also creates a question/mystery in the mind of the reader, which is critical. Any pitch should dive right to the question of WHY (which is what drives plot). Don't tell them the plot--let them wonder what the plot will be.
And best of luck!!
Good suggestions from the others. I would also take into consideration that you're going to have to say it in conversation. Practice it out loud. Does it sound like you talking, or does it sound stiff? Keep working it until you've got something that's easy to say, and clear when you say it.
Here's a handy formula I came across for creating an elevator pitch:
Character, problem, conflict, stakes, and a cliffhanger ending.
A lot to get into one sentence (of less than, shall we say 500 words?), but if you can do it, it's likely you'll really have something. In truth, a couple of sentences are okay. Find a building with high ceilings - it will take the elevator longer to traverse floors.
Good luck, and re-post when you've redesigned.
It sounds a little scary coming from a stranger in an elevator, but putting that aside I am curious about which one ends up dead and what happened to the baby.
I would shorten it a bit by losing the parking garage:
"When the search for a missing newborn pits a defense attorney against a police detective, one of them ends up dead." Unless the entire novel takes place in the parking garage, it's not important to the pitch.
Also, be able to talk about the theme. If they like what they hear, you want to follow up with, "Immune from Prosecution" is a thriller (a legal thriller?) about [main character and who s/he is] who [dilemma]. But at its heart, it's a story of [theme].
Redemption? Our brutal natures? What happens when a good person is pushed to the limit? If you know what you're really writing about, you can have a deeper conversation -- much more engaging.
But I bet an agent would request the manuscript based on your logline alone! Great job.