Well, Here We Are.


Half-way through December with the holiday-that-shall-not-be-named right around the corner. No, I’m not ready.

I relieved myself of the pressure of NaNoWriMo about two weeks in when, as I told someone on Twitter, work exploded and I lost the will to live. The job stress led to panic attacks and the last thing I had energy or time for was trying to keep up the word count everyday.

Then, somehow I heard about Pitch Wars, about 24 hours before the deadline to get in on it. So I scrambled and put together a pitch and sent in the first five pages of the WIP, Revenants Abroad. Alack and alas, I was not chosen by any of the mentors I sent it to, but did get some really amazing feedback on it from one. Another was not as helpful and actually suggested I table the whole thing since paranormal/vampire stories are a tough sell right now. Well, maybe they are, but they’re still being published. I mean, really, what ISN’T a tough sell? Agents and publishers are all hoping for the next Harry Potter.

blacksmithBut as I said, I got some really thoughtful, helpful feedback from Julie Sondra Decker. I mean, A LOT of very specific detailed critiquing of those five pages. I was amazed and incredibly grateful. She gave me a lot to think about and  that need reworking right in the beginning but things I need to take another look at throughout. And she was right. I look at those opening pages and think, “Geez, how did I not see that before?” So while I wasn’t chosen as a “mentee” it was still worth sending it in. Not all mentors responded, only two of the four I sent RA to did, so I realize how fortunate I was.

One thing about the mentors involved is a very high percentage of them were only looking for Middle Grade or Young Adult, so clearly they were not going to be interested in my manuscript. Since I found out about the contest so late I had very little time to read through the mentor bios and pick out four who might be a good fit. I may have chosen badly in haste, I’m not sure.

So, back I go for another round of revisions. I’m undecided about participating in PitchMAS now, but may give it a shot anyway.

And if nothing else, I found a number of excellent new people to follow on Twitter.

Now if I can just get the job situation squared away, maybe I can get back to focusing on writing.

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7 comments

  1. DD,

    So sorry for the horrid stress you are having at work.

    But good for you for going forth and entering the pitch wars. Good luck with the revisions. And never ever listen to naysayers. Write the story you wish to tell, to the best of your ability. No, not everyone will like it, nor will everyone even want to look at it. And that’s okay. I believe in that saying, “If you try to please everyone, you end up with mediocrity.”

    1. Thanks Tasha. Hopefully I’ll be out of that place soon. I’ve sent so many resumes out I’ve forgotten where I’ve sent them.

      I think part of the problem with RA was the group involved in the PitchWars were largely focused on MG and YA. So basically I was pitching to the wrong crowd. But, I’m glad I did it because of the feedback I got from Julie Sondra Decker.

      When someone is a total naysayer I think it’s ok to dismiss them entirely. Especially if there are other opinions from people you respect who disagree.

      I love that quote from Harlan Ellison: “Write for the most intelligent, wittiest, wisest audience in the universe: Write to please yourself.”

  2. Well that’s great you got to get someone to take a look at it! Like you said, the feedback was valuable!

    I know it’s easy to discount someone who doesnt like something you do, but I wouldnt listen to the guy about tabling the story.

    it might be a tough sell, but like you said again, so is everything else. It’s very hard to come up with an original idea.

    Stick with it! :D

    1. I really think the crux of the problem was this was entirely the wrong group to send this story to. But the critique I got on it was really good, and I’m going to do some rewriting, even if I end up just self-publishing it. I’ve spent too much time on it to just give up. And I do love it, I’m not ready to just forget about it.

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