Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hand-Wringing Time

This is it! Pitch day is fast approaching. I've been furiously editing my women's fiction manuscript and just drafted a query letter and synopsis--all in the hopes the editor will love my pitch (once I figure out what I'm going to say). Wouldn't it be nice if the editor leaned back in her chair, smiled and said, "I love the premise. Email me the full manuscript tonight." A girl can dream, can't she?

Of course, that never/rarely happens to a debut novelist so I'm trying to be realistic. For now, I'm concentrating on final edits (this is at least my fourth pass through 300 pages) and am adding more descriptions and more backstory. My novel is paced fairly quickly (which is what I like to read) and is character and dialogue driven (also what I enjoy reading). I do not like long narration and will put the book down if my eyes glaze over or if I start to yawn. Put me right in the middle of the action, I say. Now, it's my job to hook you, the reader, (and that scary agent/editor).

How about you? Have you written a synopsis, query letter or pitched to an agent or editor? If so, please share your tips and help calm my nerves.


  1. I've written loads of them, and still hate every minute of writing them!
    You have to put down 80,000+ words on a one-sided sheet of A4 and that's no easy task. It always sounds so dull and rubbish shortened to such as extent.
    If you want to email me your pitch I can look over it for you (I'm in the same boat as you), and maybe when I'm ready to pitch you can do the same for me?


  2. Beth,

    Think of it as an elevator pitch. If you were in the elevator with someone for a few floors, what would you say? And remember that the editors are looking for a reason to ask for your complete novel! I also think of it as sharing about one of my kids - I love to talk about them!! If I had five minutes, what would I say .

    Rachelle Gardner is an agent who writes a blog for writers: She has pitching tips and on May 12, responded to earlier comments about the fear of verbal pitching.

    Hope that helps! Take a deep breath - let it out - and share your wonderful story.

  3. Louise thank you for your support. I may take you up on that offer--still working on my pitch as of now!

    Terry, I actually read Rachelle Gardner's post two days ago, and it helped me SO MUCH. I commented on her blog. She had wonderful, sensible, conversational suggestions. I love your suggestion, too, about comparing our pitch to bragging about our kids. That makes sense.

    Thanks, ladies. Much appreciated.

  4. Hi Beth
    How did the Pitch go?
    Hope it was good for you.