As creators, we all face the challenge of explaining our work to others. It’s like an elevator pitch, only there’s usually no elevator and when we’re put on the spot, our explanations don’t actually go anywhere.
How are we supposed to distill years of hard work and inspiration down to a ten-second sound bit? A one-page query letter? An event blurb in the local paper? A business loan application?
The task imposes itself on all creators. We dread it. Yet, distilling all that inspired creativity can bring out its most basic truths.
That’s why this site’s first Low-Ku* contest is all about pitching your ideas. (Hey, if Twitter can ask you to pitch in 140 characters for #PitMad, I can ask you to do so in 17 syllables!)
*Low-ku, because I don’t have hai expectations.
Impossible! you shout in a French accent. This can be done? Prove it, writer-boy!
Okay. Here’s a low-ku for a romance novel sitting in an e-drawer somewhere:
Water in his land.
She saves him from corporate schemes.
He drills her instead.
See? An entire novel. 17 syllables. And these don’t even have to be bawdy — I’ll prove it with my novel-in-progress:
Rumpus room rock star
wants his fame. First, he must learn
to riff with others.
Bingo. Just like that.
Whatever you’re writing — a novel, a thesis, a book of poetry, a State of the Union address, a recipe — I challenge you to refine it to a low-ku. If you’re creating anything else — a painting, a start-up business, a website, a baby — give it a whirl in seventeen syllables.
Perhaps the best part is, once you manage to low-ku your project… a query letter or any other regular ol’ pitch style will feel quite roomy. Condensing and explaining your work will be a gentle breeze.
The steps are easy: Write a low-ku. Send it to me through this link by January 24.
To read more about low-ku contests and the eternal glory of winning one, check out the page dedicated to them.