Pitch your Novel in 140 Characters?!

Shelley Watters has an awesome blogfest going on over at her blog. Like so awesome that the winner gets a FULL request from Literary Agent Extraordinaire, Suzie Townsend!

(Click here for all the details)

To enter, you’ve got to do one simple little thing…sum up 375(ish) pages of your blood, sweat, and tears in the length of a Twitter post. 

And, because I love a challenge, here’s mine.


When her family dies on the Oregon Trail, a headstrong woman struggles through rough terrain and doubts of success in a male-dominated land


30 thoughts on “Pitch your Novel in 140 Characters?!

  1. FOREVER 😀

    I’m in the 20’s on the list so I signed up right when the contest started, but I’ve been revising and tweaking ever since.

    I can’t believe all the stuff I have to leave out, including the other lead character, the “gruff yet honorable trail guide”. This 140 character limit isn’t for the weak!

    Thanks so much for stopping by,


  2. But it’s still great. Even if there’s no contest involved, I want to create an 140 character summary of my novel once it’s finished.

    And you’re welcome. I might just stick around! WordPress has been introducing me to some pretty awesome people tonight. (I’m such an insomniac).

    • Elisa,

      I hope to see you here again!

      I post on Mondays and Wednesdays about writing (and sometimes about writing while raising my twins) and on Fridays I post a quote from a author on the subject of writing. I have guest posts every once in a while, and then there’s my series called “Saved from the Shredder” in which I give excerpts from books I’ve rescued from our local recycling/garbage center (you wouldn’t believe the beautiful books I’ve saved!)

      Thanks again,


    • PK,

      Thanks so much for your input on the 140. I hadn’t heard of Sara yet…

      *scrambles madly to open new window and Google name*


    • M,


      That sound was me reliving the creation of the 140 pitch. I had to leave so much out, even a character. (My story has two lead characters, Kate the naive woman who wants to go to Oregon and Jake, the gruff trail leader) I tried, but couldn’t fit both in so I decided to focus on only one.

      I highly recommend you try this. It forces you to shed everything but what is most important to your story. And then, to play with words to make it fit.

      Thanks for visiting,


      • Hmm … is that a dare? 🙂 I’m starting to think it ought to be. It would probably help a lot of us to get it done – if nothing else then to avoid the ever awkward “what’s your story about?” – “erhm, well, it’s actually about this guy who is born in Scotland, and then he moves to England at the age of …” conversations.
        Can I maybe hijack the idea for my blog (with a link to you and SHelley Watters of course)?

        • Hijack away! Just give credit to Shelley and her blog since it was her idea…plus you can link to it to give examples for your readers.

          I’m not a fan of the “what’s your book about” question either, but I think it is one that comes with our career path 😀

          Thanks for this conversation…it’s fun!


          • Yay, thanks! 😀 I’ll be hijacking in an upcoming post. I just need to figure out how to boil a couple of my own stories down first (I did one already, but the other is so much harder).
            – And thank you. I’m having fun too!

  3. You already know I love it! I think you did a great job of getting subject and plot across!

    Can you imagine a 140 character pitch for the Wheel of Time? Or Dune? Or Time Enough For Love? Someone should host a contest for us to try cramming already published monstrously complicated books like that into pitches!

    • A,

      Yeah, the one I sent you earlier was super boring and even though it was only 140, I noticed I managed to repeat info (the “tragedy” and “survivor” kind of said the same thing I thought)

      I might try one that shows both my lead characters?

      Hey, your name should be “Someone” for that contest idea you came up with. I’d be willing to throw in a book that I’ve “Saved from the Shredder” as a prize for the winner. Seriously, you should host that contest!


  4. Jamie,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving feedback. I really appreciate it!

    I’m on my way over to your blog now 😀


    • Thanks Christi!

      I took your comment into consideration & wrote another one. Would love to get your feedback on it if you will.

      Once again, great job & good luck in the contest! 🙂


  5. Jamie,

    I can’t believe how fast you can churn these pitches out! Amazing word use and skimming right over writer’s block!


    PS. On my way over to check it out now…

    • Regina,

      This has been great practice at tearing away everything but the basics of my novel. You should sign up!


    • J,

      Her name is Kate 😀

      I wish I had room to fit her name in, especially since it’s a relatively short name and wouldn’t “spend” too many characters. I thought a description of her character would be better, but now you’ve got me rethinking which is always a good thing.

      Thanks for the crit,


  6. Nicely done! Somebody in my tweet stream recently joked that she was starting to *think* in 140-character thoughts. And actually, using twitter does give you lots of practice in writing concisely!

    • Monica,

      I totally identify about the thinking in twitter length thoughts! It really does make you consider word choice and forces you to make your point.

      Thanks for visiting,


  7. Nice summary but nothing makes it stand out. There have been many books written about women on the Oregon Trail and a summary of them would be quite similar. I write historical fiction too and I would love to read your story. Perhaps consider what makes your novel unique.

    • Haley,

      I love meeting other historical fiction writers! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to critique.


  8. Summing up an entire novel like that is no easy feat, Christi! Wow, you did a great job. Writing that tight is one of the toughest things to do. I went through that with my book trailer. It might seem easy to outsiders but looks are often deceiving.

  9. Laura,

    Thanks for the lovely compliment on “writing tight”. This certainly was a fun contest, and made me concentrate on the bones of my novel instead of all the subplots, minor characters, research, etc…

    I love your book trailer! Remember that’s how we met :D?


  10. Pingback: Blogosphere, I dare you to write a description of your novel in 140 characters (see what I’m doing here? This title is 140 characters long). « Howalt: A Writer's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s