I’ve written short pitches for my book ideas — three sentences, one sentence — but I hadn’t considered limiting myself to 140 characters until I heard two writers discussing twitter pitches. I suspect this was at the Missouri SCBWI retreat but don’t actually remember who or where. Yeah, when it’s overloaded my brain is just like that. Sorry.
140 characters may seem generous but it is considerably less than some sentences. The first sentence in this post contains 195 characters.
Just for fun I decided to try this with some of my ongoing projects:
Prayer and Praise Around the World: A picture book about prayer as a universal phenomenon expressed through song, dance and ritual. (132 characters)
Vomitology: The science of puke, both human and animal, as well as a bucket full of fascinating facts. (103 characters)
Fearless Felicity: Felicity seeks the spotlight, failing at the trapeze, the cannon and lion taming, discovering her place only when she turns the spotlight on someone else. (174 characters)
Rat Race: When Isaiah Alexander curses his sister, the spell results not in one huge rat but countless regular rats that he must find to bring her back. (153 characters)
I have to admit — I expected this to be really difficult. Nigh impossible even so when I quickly created two nonfiction summaries that were well within the character count I felt a little smug. “Easy peasy.” That lasted until I tried writing pitches for fiction. Coincidence? I think not. I’m much more comfortable with nonfiction. I think that impacts my confidence in leaving large chunks of information out of these super short summaries. With fiction I’m still trying to squeeze it all in.
Would I try to write twitter pitches again? You bet. I think you have to know your project inside out and backwards and be really confident in it before you can pull this off. And that should definitely be the case before you let an editor or agent read your work.