Start Your Novel Planning with the Elevator Pitch

Welcome to the 8-post series on preparing or planning your novel for Nanowrimo (or anytime). In today’s post, we focus on writing your elevator pitch as your first step.

An elevator pitch is another name for book blurb. You see it on the back of books and on the online book record, usually under “Book Description” or “Overview.”

I recommend you start with your elevator pitch because it’s an activity you can do in 5-20 minutes and it’s a good way to get your brain in gear for writing your novel. Don’t worry about your elevator pitch being perfect. You can revise it once you’re done with all your novel planning or when you’re done writing your novel after NaNoWriMo.

Start here: Take note of your genre. This will give you a general idea of your story ending.

Elevator Pitch Formula

  1. Situation: (Also called the Initial Action or Premise, this is the beginning of the plot.)
  2. Main Character(s): (Self-explanatory)
  3. Primary Objective: (At first, what does your main character want?)
  4. Antagonist Or Opponent: (or Central Conflict. Who or what is keeping your main characters from getting what they want?)
  5. Disaster That Could Happen: (What’s the worst that could happen, and/or what does your character want next? Often phrased as a question.)

1. Abandoned on his relatives’ doorstep as an infant,
2. Harry Potter
3. longs to understand where he came from and why he feels different.
4. He discovers that he is a wizard and that his parents were killed by Voldemort, a powerful and evil wizard,
5. who has been hunting for Harry, to kill him.

The Torah Codes by Ezra Barany

The Torah Codes by Ezra Barany

Another example: A reclusive computer programmer, Nathan Yirmorshy, pounds out ones and zeros in the quiet of his home while his landlord secretly watches from behind a two-way mirror. When an intercepted note connects the landlord to a secret society, and a detective ends up dead, Nathan must abandon his home and everything familiar to him, open his heart to a tarot reader he has never met, and trust her with his life – just as the ancient scriptures have foretold. (The Torah Codes by bestselling author, Ezra Barany)



Please share me on social media: Instagram, Pinterest, etc.!

Plan Your Novel 30-Day Writing Challenge, starts October 1st

If you’d like hands-on support to plan your novel for Nanowrimo with your peers and with experienced instructors — Beth and Ezra Barany, then join us for our next course starting October 1st: 30-Day Writing Challenge to Plan Your Novel.

All the details for the course here.

Follow our tips on Twitter with the hashtag #30dayWC.


Resource: For more pitch tips, check out the previous post on Writer’s Fun Zone by Ezra Barany,

How to Write the Perfect Pitch to Sell Your Novel In Person.



The Five Kingdom series about Henrietta The Dragon Slayer by Beth Barany

Award-winning novelist and creativity coach for writers, Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. She writes magical tales of romance and adventure for women and girls to transport them to new worlds where anything is possible. She empowers novelists to write, publish, and market their genre novels.


Books by Ezra BaranyBook marketing mentor, Ezra Barany is the author of the award-winning bestseller, The Torah Codes. Contact Ezra today to begin the conversation on how he can help you design your book cover or pitch via FacebookTwitter, or contact him through this blog, or email: EZRA at THETORAHCODES dot COM. More about his thrillers at

Beth and Ezra Barany, Co-Founders of the Barany School of Fiction

Together Beth and Ezra run the Barany School of Fiction.
Check out our listing of current and upcoming self-paced and facilitated courses here:

Tip #2: Plan Your Novel with Story Synopsis is here.

List of all 8 tips here.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. David Wolf says:

    Now I am confused. Your first email about the genre contest said “attach” the 1st chapter. Your 2nd corrected email said, “Go to this site for the correct form.” I am at the site. Where is the form? Is THIS the form? (I also did not notice / forgot to include my 1-paragraph elevator pitch when I attached my chapter.)

  2. Beth Barany says:

    David, Read the instructions on that PDF It tells you how to apply online. If you have more questions about applying, contact BARDI ROSMAN KOODRIN, Literary Director, I know the application process is confusing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *