Monday, August 25, 2008

The Pitch

So. I wrote to an editor friend of mine and asked him if I could send him a pitch. A few days later I got a reply that said, sure, fire away. At which point, I thought to myself, man, I should have had a pitch written and ready to go...

I knew what story I wanted to throw at him, mind, but I did not have it all ready to go when I queried him. And this editor is someone who likes story pitches delivered in a very specific, one-page format. This is killing me. For some reason, boiling the story down to one page just takes it out of me. I know the story -- hell, I've been thinking about it and writing notes for this story going on three years now. But there's something about the reductive nature of stripping a story down to its essentials that gets me.

It reminds me of when Todd and I were in San Diego selling our wee book, 100 Girls. People would come by and ask what the book was about. Now I could have sat there all day and talked about my influences, and about the themes and characters, but I knew that they wanted a twenty-five-words-or-less synopsis. And I couldn't give them one. Not one that sounded good or that didn't involve a lot of stammering and me clutching my forehead like Columbo. The best we could come up with was, “It's like Buffy meets X-Files in that it features a young, strong, female protagonist, but it has sci-fi elements rather than supernatural, you F'er!.” But I usually left the curse unspoken. It was implied.

The point of that last little anecdote being: I'm not very good at selling my own stuff, and the pitch document is nothing if not a selling tool. You are trying to sell the editor on the idea of investing time and money on you and your project. And this pitch document is kicking my ass. I wrote one last night, just threw words at the page, which is what a first draft is, right? And then I sent it off to my managers for advice. Michael got back to me with many suggestions for how to make it work. I believe that they will make it work, I just need to apply them. And instead, I'm here, kvetching, instead of doing the work. Though, if I were being generous, I'd admit that this might actually be part of the process, as backward as that sounds.

Okay. Back to it. If I write about a new comics project in the near future, then you'll know I was successful. If I never speak of it again, I'll appreciate you avoiding the topic altogether.

3 comments:

flatelephant said...

kristin solds those books-and so can you.

you just have to believe.


and have boobs.

adam jk gallardo said...

What are you talking about? Todd and I are the biggest boobs I know!

flatelephant said...

true, true.

i think next years shirt should have boobs on them.

huge sales i predict.