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WRITER'S EDGE: Pitching Mistakes

Steve Kaire points out the pitching mistakes many screenwriters make when either in meetings with executives or pitching a screenplay at pitchfests.

Steve Kaire is a Screenwriter/Pitchman who’s sold 8 projects to the major studios without representation. Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveKaire.

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These are common mistakes writers make when pitching their material in a live pitch session. They should be avoided at all costs.

The first is not practicing your pitch and expecting to be able to wing it when you're in the actual anxiety provoking situation.

Practice at home with a tape recorder and ask friends or family
for honest feedback.

Don't memorize your pitch. If you do and forget a few words, you'll look foolish. Use what I refer to as “rehearsed spontaneity” which makes your pitch seem natural and smooth.

Another critical mistake is telling your listener the wrong genre for your story. That indicates you don't know what you're talking about and you'll lose all credibility from that point on.

You pitch your story by telling what happens in your story rather than what your story is about. There's nothing worse than listening to an excruciatingly boring unfolding of what your plot is about.

Your logline is the premise or setup of your story not a summary of what happens in Acts 1, 2 and 3.

Another mistake is not being able to answer questions about your material such as character development, making suggested changes that would improve the story, etc.

Receive unbiased feedback on your pitch through in-person or remote meetings with
The Writers Store One-on-One Pitch Clinic
either in person or online.