Writing on Wednesday (September 23, 2015)

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Writing on Wednesday is a way to keep this particular writer on track (I hope!). These are weekly posts/updates where I will share something from the past week of writing with the readers of this blog. Sometimes it might be something I’ve learned, found useful, or a bit of my own writing and ideas. I hope this will be a time of sharing, encouragement, and accountability. Join me in setting some writing goals to finish that project and celebrate each success.

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I caught a glance at my calendar this morning, and realized that I’ll be attending my first writer’s conference in 16 days. Excitement and nervousness are definitely close cousins when I think about this. I’m so excited to step into a world with many other writers, and more specifically writers who also want God to be a focus in their writing. But I’m nervous. I don’t know anyone else who is attending (or rather, I don’t think I do–there’s always the chance of bumping into someone I may know) and I really have no idea what to expect.

Many people attend conferences simply to hopefully get their novel picked up by an agent or editor. While that isn’t my goal, I’d rather be prepared if someone were to ask what my novel is about. So, one of the first things I want to work on is a couple of “elevator pitches” for what I’m working on. All they are is a 1-2 sentence description of what a novel is. They should inspire curiosity about the project, a snippet about the main character, a hint at the theme, and tell what the novel is about. That’s a lot to pack into 20-30 words. I’ve been working on them this week.

This week, since I’m spending so much time on these, I thought I would share a few tips that I’ve discovered about writing these pitches:

  1. Make sure to highlight what makes your novel unique or special. What makes it worth reading over any other one that is in the same genre?
  2. Include some sort of hint to the theme or message of the novel.
  3. Tell who your main character is… but keep it simple!
  4. You’ll need to include major components of the novel: setting, core conflict and subplots, and a bit of action.
  5. Don’t discuss the process of writing your book.
  6. Keep it short. 1-2 sentences; 20-30 words.

That feels like so much to include in such a little space.

I’ve been working on writing four of these for books that I have in various stages of development. One is a (very) rough draft, one is partially written, one is plotted and sits at about 2,000 words, and the final is an idea that I am working on plotting.

In the past, I haven’t shared too much of my writing on this blog, and I hope to slowly change that. So, I am sharing my four “Elevator Pitches” with you. Feel free to offer constructive feedback on them:

Hope Springs: Jacob Walker has one dream left: to start a successful ranch in the Nebraska prairie and keep away from as many people as he can. But when Millie Cartwright comes to town from a passing wagon train, Jacob’s plans go awry when a misunderstanding leads them to the altar. Hope Springs is a novel portraying how sometimes God has plans that far exceed our own.

Second Chances: Caleb Walker and Elizabeth Connor have on thing in common: Neither are interested in love. But, when Lizzie’s new employer causes problems, Caleb may be the only one who can rescue her. In doing so, he may just have to open his heart back up to love. Set in Nebraska, just after the Civil War, Second Chances is a novel about how sometimes, we need to take one more chance at love.

Joy Comes in the Morning: Set during Michigan’s lumber boon, Joy Comes in the Morning is a novel about the peace and joy that can come from some of life’s hardest circumstances. After the unexpected death of her husband in the Upper Peninsula, Eleanor Halladay finds herself alone with her three young children and a baby on the way. Travelling to her sister’s home only leads to more hardships, but a job as a cook in a lumber camp offers hope and love.

The Marriage Pact: When Cameron Whitfield’s promotion hinges on his ability to be a “family man”, he scrambles to find a wife–a memory from high school of a marriage pact made with the girl next door, Tara Benton, may just be his only solution. What he doesn’t know, is that he just may be Tara’s answer to prayer. The Marriage Pact is a contemporary marriage of convenience novel.

Please share your thoughts on these. I’m not looking for grammatical corrections as I’ll be talking about these. But do they pique interest? Tell enough of what the story is?

Have you written an elevator pitch for one of your novels (finished, WIP, or idea)?

Feel free to share it in the comment section!


5 thoughts on “Writing on Wednesday (September 23, 2015)

  1. The last two raise my interest the most — I think it’s because they seem a little “unexpected” — in one, the heroine has children; in the other, it sounds like a contemporary twist on an “arranged” / mail-order bride. 🙂 Good work, and have fun at the conference!


    1. Lol You would be drawn to Joy Comes in the Morning. You don’t know it, but I do and it just so happens that some of the difficult circumstances in this story resemble the difficult situations I read in your “A Time of Grace” series. And what do you know, BOTH books are inspired by granny stories. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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