Friday, September 11, 2009

And here’s the pitch…..

Baseball season and writers’ conferences share that in common. The pitch! As I prepare for the ACFW Conference in Denver next week, I am doing a lot of practice pitches in anticipation of having a few moments with some editors. So if you catch me in the carpool line talking to myself, I assure you that I am not crazy – I am just polishing my pitch. The proverbial “elevator pitch” - describing the manuscript in thirty seconds or less. Bottom line, here is my really, really fast pitch: My novel is Eat Pray Love meets Steel Magnolias.

Hopefully that introduction of tying in a best selling book and a beloved movie will encourage a “swing” by an editor to learn a little bit more. I also plan to bring along a “one pager” with a brief synopsis and overview of characters.

In addition, I am thrilled to be signed up for Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel course.

I am frantically clicking the computer keys in an effort to rewrite my manuscript. That’s the one drawback for first time novelists – Before a publisher will purchase your novel, you have to have it finished. So if I’m not practicing the “pitch” in the carpool line, I am practicing dialogue between my characters.

Some good news for you aspiring and established novelists. According to Donald Maass, you don’t have to have or build a “platform” for your fiction. In a recent email, he responded to my question:

“There really is no “platform” for fiction. The best promotion for novelists is bringing out great novels on a regular basis. Everything else is secondary.”

Return your power tools to the shed. You don’t have to build Noah’s ark! Instead, craft your words and write great stories.

Take-away Tidbit:

I asked Donald Maass about his favorite food to cook. Here’s what he said:

“I make the best tomato sauce in America, bar none, bring on the challengers!"

Okay, readers. Let the games begin! Please provide your best tomato sauce recipes. I will see if Mr. Maass will provide his recipe at the conference next week.
As an incentive, I’ll purchase an extra copy of his Writing the Breakout Novel and send it to the winner. Bon Appetit!

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