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story Advice about pitching

I'm in a feature writing class, I have to pitch to my class and here's my concept:
Nurse Irene is an average single mom neck deep in debt, with a disabled son and a girlfriend who’s married to a man. She’s played it safe her whole life and has nothing to show for it. While tending to the wounds of a murder witness, Irene comes across a lump sum of cash attached to her patient. Against an arid Texas landscape, we follow Irene as she chases the cash, and everyone is on her tail. Irene is ultimately at odds with what is right and what feels right as she navigates a life of crime.

What am I missing for it to be a complete pitch? How specific/ vague should it be for a pitch? Any help will be appreciated.
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
I'm not sure why you say she's an "average single mom" unless that's supposed to be humorous? If so, I'd put it as the payoff and use the other points (neck deep in debt, disabled son, and married girlfriend) as the set-up.

"Lump sum of cash attached to her patient" is both awkward and unclear. Is it physically attached to him? Or he has access to it?
 
So someone witnessed a murder and got injured and then seeking medical attention they were robbed by their nurse ??
The cash is in connection to the murder, but yes, the nurse steals the money from the patient, the patient stole the money from the murder scene.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
So she is scum, we don't care about her. This is what you envision?
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
I hope she is the villain and the patient is the hero.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
The cash is in connection to the murder, but yes, the nurse steals the money from the patient, the patient stole the money from the murder scene.

Wait, they are both scum! :rofl:
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Why don't you write something more compelling like the nurse sniffs out the money and is able to steal it from the patient but the patient is able to seek revenge and get the money back, all from his hospital bed. And he did not steal the money it is his life savings, so we care.
 
Or... The nurse finds out about the money -- uses the people in her personal orbit to steal it and give it back to whomever it was stolen from.

As for the pitch you have so far...

I think you need a better description for your nurse. After that it's a bit confusing. I'm assuming she does NOT take the cash right away since you say she CHASES after the money but then you say, everyone is after her so NOW I'm assuming she did steal the cash and everyone's chasing HER, trying to get it back. So... While I'm sure it's clear to YOU? There seems to be some contradiction in the way you've pitched it here. Also, not really sure what the arid Texas landscape has to do with it either. Is it worth mentioning? Hard to know without knowing more.

Watch a movie called BLIND HORIZON with Val Kilmer. There is a similar setup where it involves the MONEY but I think it's done very smart. Worth watching if this is what you're writing. You may want to reveal something LARGER beneath it all.
 
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That's a synopsis, not a pitch.
Assuming you're talking about a verbal pitch, ALWAYS start by telling the catcher the Why? of it. Tell her why the subject interested you enough to write a script. Why the genre? Subject? Character?
For example, I'm an old man with a propensity to write strong female characters, so the first thing I do is make sure whomever I'm pitching at knows that I successfully raised two teenage girls by myself. It intrigues them.
A million people are writing scripts about riots right now; why should I read one over the other? Because of the Writer's passion for the story, that's why.
"One time I was in the hospital visiting a friend and I saw this nurse pushing her own son in a wheelchair and I started thinking. what if..."
And then tell the story, and do it emotionally, not methodically. It's not an equation. Your goal is to evoke an emotional response.
 
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