ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Example Pitch - Pitch It So They Can Hit It!

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I've had quite a few emails and requests to provide an example of my advice on pitching your book (read Pitch It So They Can Hit It first so you can see what I'm talking about). I hesitate to share some of my own projects currently making the rounds, so I came up with a book pitch for the Hobbit.

So imagine if you will, JRR Tolkien is a struggling author. He learns of a publisher looking for high fantasy. He knows that  publisher is as busy as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest and knows that he has but one shot to make it. Does he create an in-depth, heavily-worded summary totaling 10,000 words, or does he opt for something in the 330 word category and stick to one page. In my universe, he does the latter... and the rest, my friends is history.

So here is the pitch provided two ways-- the original, and reproduced after.

Here it is for those of you who have a hard time reading it.


THE HOBBIT
Book Pitch by JRR Tolkien


(Beginning) Bilbo Baggins, a half-man-sized hobbit living in Middle Earth, is persuaded by the wizard Gandalf to leave his content existence and adventure with a group of thirteen high-excitable Dwarves to reclaim the treasure of the vile dragon Smaug. The dwarves question the choice of Bilbo, who is obviously afraid even of his own shadow, but end up deferring to Gandalf, who has attained legend status with many different groups, including their own. (Throughline) Together the adventurers encounter and defeat Trolls, recuperate at an Elvin stronghold, fight against goblins, giant spiders, evil wolves, encounter shape-changing men and a whole host of dangers, on their way to Lonely Mountain, where Smaug sleepily guards Thorin’s treasure. (Subplot)Interwoven throughout the narrative is an exploration of the question whether or not greed is inescapable. When the dwarves obtain the treasure after the defeat of Smaug, they set upon each other as each tries to claim a greater portion. This group of stalwart fighters would lay down their lives for one another, but the shiny future promised by a fortune in gold has an immediately greater intrinsic value than the notion of friendship and warrior bond. Bilbo encounters the twisted character Gollum who is a physical manifestation of greed and want. Bilbo is able to escape the fiend by finding the ring of invisibility, which Gollum had been deliriously seeking all this time.  (Antagonist) But Bilbo’s greatest issue is his fear. It’s almost physical in its ability to control him. But each adventure is like a gate by which Bilbo is able to travel through and conquer his fear until, by the end, he is able to approach the dragon alone with nothing but his courage as companionship. (Ending)Ultimately, the dragon is killed, the treasure is recovered, the dwarves realize their greed and repent to each other, and everyone lives happily ever after. But as in most tales, the value of the Hobbit is in the journey, rather than the end.

 This sort of reads as a review, doesn't it. By doing so, it demonstrates the wholeness of the idea.

Some of you might differ with my choice of antagonist. Smaug is an antagonist; as are all the monsters. This is really a classic tale of G vs E. But all those things, to me at least, are secondary to greed.

(Note that the spacing in the text in the first version is from the conversion from .doc to .pdf to .jpg. and are in no way my fault :))

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