As conference rears its mighty head in the not-too-distant future (days?! When did it become mere days away?), loops and blogs have gone haywire as people practice pitches. There are the short-paragraph pitches, designed to capture the conflict in the book and boil it down to its essence. There are single sentence pitches. And then there’s the movie pitch.
Apparently, this works like this: someone says, “It’s a cross between NORTH BY NORTHWEST and STEEL MAGNOLIAS.” Everyone sits around and nods sagely, understanding precisely what the book is about. Apparently, this makes a lot of sense to them.
Confession time: I write historicals because my knowledge of pop culture is pea-sized. I see movies–on occasion. In fact (she says proudly) in the last two years, I have seen five movies, which is about as many movies as I saw in the first ten years of my life. My pop culture knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate! (Unfortunately, pop culture is increasing at an exponential rate, too, and its exponent is bigger.) None of the movies I have seen are like my book. So my movie lexicon is a little skimpy, to say the least. And even those movies that I have seen, I can’t quite figure out how to cram into a pitch. I imagine that if I tried it, it would come out like this.
Person: Tell me about your book.
Me: It’s kind of like, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. Except without Harry. Or Sally.
Person: Uh. So what’s left?
SO. Moving along, then. This looks to be a fruitless endeavor for me, but that’s no reason you should stop! Tell me what movies your book is like! If I have seen both movies, you will win!
What will you win, you ask? Glory! Heaps and heaps of glory! Also, potentially something else that I am too lazy (and too busy packing) to think of now.