As part of my baby steps in getting myself out there, I’ve begun the one line pitch to strangers per the advice Blake Snyder offers in his Save the Cat! series. The idea is to test your brilliant idea for reaction so that you may hone its verbiage and ultimately decide if the idea will stick, is meant to be written, etc.
I have chickened out on this every time. The Trader Joe’s cashier, the Basha’s meat counter dude, the Target aisle helper. I practice my line, I gulp, I exhale and not once have pitched a stranger. You see, it has to be a stranger because they won’t care who you are or if their reaction or lack thereof has just peed on your parade.
Today, I did it. I pitched a total stranger. It’s my idea for a romantic comedy. I’ve honed it, I love it, the line itself is, of course, brilliant.
I made her cry.
Did I mention it’s a comedy? Suddenly, I felt like crying, too. It was awful. I got her a tissue, she blew her nose, I backpedaled, she hiccuped. Awful.
So, yeah. Word of advice: divorce is a very touchy subject, even if used in a joke.
Onto the next victim, right? Because, really, what possible reaction could be worse than making a sweet old lady cry?