A couple weeks ago a friend asked me what my new project was about, and before I realized what I was doing, I'd typed up a paragraph synopsis that sounded pretty awesome.
Too awesome, in fact. It wasn't accurate! Some of the elements I'd mentioned weren't even part of the story, or at least not yet. I didn't do it on purpose. By wanting the story to sound as intriguing as possible, I'd overshot. That's when I realized I hadn't pitched my project. I'd pitched the project I wanted to be writing.
It sounded better in the paragraph than it did so far on the page, and I vowed to make my manuscript live up to my pitch. Maybe that's a backwards way of going about it, but by giving myself a succinct challenge ("I must hit elements A, B, C and D in the novel or it won't reflect the logline"), I at least guarantee myself a draft in which I include all my favorite parts. Will it work, or will it be terrible? Stay tuned.
Have you ever pitched a partial manuscript? If you do pitch your project before you're done writing it, are you ever surprised by your own synopsis? Has it ever led you in a new direction?