writeafterwork

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Pitchers: Don’t turn a ‘Like’ into No Love

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As the Twitter pitching season goes into high gear, I felt it might be a good time to share some hard lessons from my own experience. You see, I entered a pitch contest last year and was as nervous as you, but low and behold my pitch garnered lots of attention. At the end of that fateful day I had more than a handful of agents and editors clicking the heart under my pitch! It was like the clouds parted and that ray of sun was shining only on me.

BUT….I wasn’t ready.  Nope. My manuscript had been edited, revised and critiqued to death but not in the right way. My concept was great but my premise was weak and both resulted in a big, fat NO from several agents I queried.

So I stopped querying and asked the others to wait. My next step was crucial. I took my great concept to the pros and started working with the likes of Larry Brooks, reading Margie Lawson, and breathing all over the three act structure. But those things alone were not enough for me to breathe new life into my manuscript. I needed to put in THE WORK.

My next step was crucial. I took my great concept to the pros and started working with Larry Brooks, reading his books and sharing my pages with him.He was brutal and I benefited greatly from it.

But that beating alone was not enough for me to breathe new life into my manuscript. I needed to put in THE WORK.

Yes, you’ve heard it many times and I am here to testify about it again. DO THE WORK.

After getting advice, I sat down and restructured my entire story. A story I’ve been working on since 2013. A post by Cheryl Klein suggested I create a goal/obstacle chart to track each scene’s action and make sure the story was moving forward. After that, I read a book by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary that nearly changed my life. Among other

A post by Cheryl Klein suggested I create a goal/obstacle chart to track each scene’s action and make sure the story was moving forward. After that, I read a book by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary that nearly changed my life. Among other things it said each chapter should have the protag up then the antag down and vice-versa, to keep the conflict going. Genius! So I incorporated that too.

Then I decided to experiment with voice and found the right one for my MC.

But that’s not all. I broke down and hired a story coach. Yes, someone who could be my personal devil’s advocate, walking me through every page of my manuscript to help me make it the best it can be.

And now, I’m almost ready to resubmit because I am confident I’ve finally found the secret sauce for my novel.

All that said, take your time and DO NOT SUBMIT UNTIL YOUR BOOK IS THE BEST YOU CAN MAKE IT. There will be pitch parties when you’re ready and eager agents/editors too.

There will be pitch parties when you’re ready and eager agents/editors too.

Take a lesson from me: Don’t let a ‘like’ turn into no love.

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