Think about going out to lunch.
How do you do that? Do you read me the whole menu? Do you talk about how you chew your food?
You have to take a guess.
Well, an informed guess.
Informed because you're going to pick not from the whole pool of story-things (the whole menu), but from a set of highlights that you like.
You're capable of so much more than letting one but always be the fulcrum on which the pitch tilts.
Frame it as a question - So what's gonna happen when...
As a declarative - Imagine her shock when...
As a spike - Then the lights go out.
There is NO SINGLE RIGHT WAY TO PITCH. Stop looking for the magic bullet.
Yes. Because that pitch can be elaborated on to become back cover text. It can put in press releases. It can be useful when you switch publishers. It works great in marketing.
With our old friend the list. And I like note cards for this. They're tactile.
One cool thing to a notecard please, and bonus points if you can keep it to under 6 words per card.
Make a pile.
"witches" "kingdom" "murderous wife" "dagger" "spots need to come out" "Macbeth" "Lady Macbeth" "Fucking trees" "prophecy" "tragic Scotland"
those could all be cards.
Will all of them make it into a pitch? Maybe, maybe not.
The reason you want less than 6 words per card is so that you're not crutching on specific language in pitch after pitch.
So, you may ask, what about spoilers?