Monday, December 30, 2013

The Perfectly Painless Pitch Practice game!

With all the Twitter pitch contests coming up, ready to test your ability to boil your story down to 140 characters or less, I figured I'd share something with you all.

Something that'll change your life.

And the way you pitch.

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! Step right up and experience the one and only PPPPG!

*For the full effect, imagine I said that in a creepy carnival game operator's voice.*

Beetlejuice may not have been the ideal pain-free example, but I wasn't lying when I said my game is perfectly painless. And it's really fun, too! The best part, though, is that it will definitely help you hone your pitch. 

Here's how it works:

Take a sheet of paper and make 2 columns. Each column will have it's own heading. The headings will look like this:

  1. Column 1: just pick a random person, group of people, or place. This can be very specific (like Bruce Willis, The U.S. Navy, or Waffle House) or generic (a Chihuahua, people, or a lemonade stand).
  2. Column 2: the more specific you can get here, the funnier the outcome. Sure, you can say "goes to work," but why not turn that blah into an ah! by writing "races her coworkers to the factory on a jet-powered pogo stick?" 

The next step is to fill the columns. If you're a whip-cracking taskmaster, you can set a time limit. Say, one minute for each column. If you're more like me, then just go for 6 items under each heading. You'll need a minimum of 3 actions and 2 characters to create one complete pitch. So if you want to create more than one, go for multiplies of  those numbers. If you've forgotten what multiples are, then I'd like to direct you to

Okay, so after you've created your list, here's what you do. Simply fill in the blanks below with the items in your list. If you worked with another person or a group, this becomes less like homework and more like a party game. Because these will get crazy. 

Crazy FUN, that is. 

You may need to add in a small word here and there to make it really work, but that should be fairly easy to do. 

At this point, you may be thinking, "How is this gonna help me with my pitch?"

Well, it's simple practice. It's taking all of these disconnected elements and plugging them in where they go to find the story within a bunch of random lines. And if you can do that with the items you came up with, then creating a pitch for your own story will be a piece of cake.

Just for fun, I included a bunch of pitches that my wife and I came up with while playing this game. I think some of these need to be outlined and written. Because they are AMAZEBALLS.

When the US government passes a law to legalize mullets, Cary Elwes must impregnate the last women on Earth in order to become the King of the Owls.

When 10,000 Mitt Romney clones catch the T-Virus, the world’s oldest rapper must win a hotdog eating contest in order to stop the devil from getting his own cooking show.

When children all over the world begin blogging, the British must hire Christian Grey as the new Kindergarten teacher in order to learn a new language in 6 weeks.

When butt fat is discovered as a cure for cancer, a couple in desperate need of counseling must sail to Sandwich Islands in order to keep the robots out for good.

When a tribe of pygmies runs for Congress, zombie miners must punch a hole in the sun in order to defeat Dr. Seuss.

When Wal-Mart files chapter 11, a pirate with a fear of wood and water must grow mustaches of golden fleece in order to save the internet.

When our nation’s farms begin growing bellybuttons instead of crops, an a capella group must forcefeed Jason Statham an entire box of Lucky Charms in order to find Miley Cyrus's lost sandal.

When Furbies become sentient, an adorable child with a lisp must find Waldo in order to bring the lost puppy back home.

Happy pitching!


Ronni Arno Blaisdell said...

Best game ever. Can't wait to play!

Unknown said...


We came up with even more, but I figured those can stay in my pocket-of-totally-awesome-and-slightly-unwritable ideas.

Mirka Breen said...

We have become a nation of pitchers...

Unknown said...

And based on the ones we came up with for this list... WE'RE DOOMED!