Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Writer's Conference and the Agent Pitch

I've always wanted to attend a conference and a real pitch session. As terrifying as they sound, I know it would be an invaluable learning experience.

In April I'll get my chance!

For Christmas, my wonderful hubby signed me up for the LDStorymakers Conference. As soon as I knew I was signed up, I got online to see what intensives and pitch sessions were available. They all filled up on day one! I was a bit sad about that, but decided to put my name on the waiting list for one of the agents that I think might "get" my YA novel Fade Into Me. Monday night I got the email that enough people had canceled and I was in if I still wanted it!

I shot off a quick email before going to bed saying I'd take it. Tuesday morning it sunk in.

What did I do?? FIM was complete, the first half really good, the middle not bad, but the last half is a disaster. The plot crumbles to mush and my characters develop multiple personalities. However, I do know how to fix it. You may remember me mentioning it in this month's IWSG post. I also noted that I was setting FIM aside to work on Search For Knowledge (Talia's sequel)--which I did. So yesterday I FREAKED out.

Fade Into Me wasn't ready to share with an agent if they wanted to look at it!

The adrenaline pushed me all day. I found two people ready and willing to read for me, and I worked through the first 125 pages of the manuscript. By the end of the day my house was still a mess and I didn't know what to cook for dinner, but I was confident that in two months I could have this ms rocking. That's a great feeling.

Today I want to share a great article with you that proves I put more pressure on myself than necessary.
7 Tips for Pitching to an Agent or Editor at a Conference by Writer's Digests very own Chuck Sambuchino.

According to this I have up to a year to submit the manuscript if the agent requests it. Plenty of time! No pressure at all!

Whatever.

If' I'm doing this I want to be ready now. Which  might be partly stupid, but it turns out I need the pressure of a deadline to get things done.

Do deadlines bring out the best in you, or are you disciplined enough to get it done on your own?