Monday, February 8, 2010

Some thoughts and an announcement

I hope you had a great time with the pitch contest over the weekend! For me, the most helpful part was figuring out which elements of my story needed to be in a pitch. What did someone need to know to be hooked? I feel like I have something that can be expanded to fit into a query.

I'm also going to start playing with it to figure out how it would sound spoken aloud. Over the weekend, Tess (who just signed her contract with Farrar, Straus & Giroux this weekend) raised a point about how we need to have a more conversational version in mind as well:

"So, if an editor asked me that question and I said, "Jade had never gotten along with her brother,, when they have to team up to fight a secret society...." that editor would think I was insane."

Now that you know what you want to say, rehearse it a bit so that you can talk about it naturally. It's a great excuse to talk to yourself- or at least mutter under your breath for a bit. (Not that I've ever needed an excuse for either.)

Now, for the announcement.

Andrea suggested that we host first page critiques. We Slushbusters really liked the idea. So we're thinking about setting up a First Page Friday. We'll post a reader's first page and ask folks to critique it. We're still working out the details, but please get your first pages in order. I hope to have this up and running soon.

Thanks again, and have a great week!


Steena Holmes said...

The pitch contest was fantastic, IMO. I don't think I could use mine conversationally, so that's what I'm working on right now - I have 3 weeks to polish it before I have an opportunity to use it at a conference.
Creating this pitch also showed me where I was going wrong with my query - so that helped tremendously!

Now - I love the idea of a first page critique! Count me in!

Tess said...

It was a great contest and gave us all something to think about, something to define and determine and muse on. That's always a helpful thing.

and, thanks for the shout out!

Michelle said...

I'm excited about this. First pages critiques are always interesting at conferences. I'm often surprised at how closely the editors' comments echo the kind of thing the Slushbusters might say.

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Wow! I didn't really think you'd go with the idea. Now I have to work on my first page (:

I learned so much from the pitch competition. Thanks for sponsoring it. I look forward to your next contest.

Brenda said...

I love this idea too! I just took my first few pages to a writing group last night and had some great discussion about where the story starts. I also realized that I have no experience talking about my novel AT ALL and really need to refine a verbal pitch b/c I was all over the place.

Ian said...

This sounds like a great idea and just the thing to get me revising again!

I learned loads from the query contest and not just from the comments made on my own pitches. It was good to see other people's writing too.

Sarah said...

I'm so glad you all like the idea. (Andrea's idea, actually.) The Slushbusters are a critique group. It seems natural that our blog should have a little bit of that as well.