I’m not an expert on pitching, but I am one of the few people who kind of loves it.
So, I was hoping this post could be informational but also share my love of pitching.
First, the reasons I love pitching (in conferences):
– It’s face-to-face, so you can get a feel of the agent/editor and their reaction to your story.
I already wrote a step-by-step querying guide HERE. But I left out the biggest piece of the puzzle: Writing the query letter.
So here you go, my attempt at a query letter guide.
First and most important piece of advice I can give is to read successful queries!
So, I just went through the journey we call querying and I thought I’d write about it since I love step-by-step guides.
This post probably won’t be completely comprehensive, but I did try to include everything I personally had questions about. And if you have any additional questions, feel free to ask them in the comments and I’ll try to use my resources, friends, CPs, etc. to answer them.
YA Interrobang wrote a wonderful intro article about it HERE. I’ll just blurb part of it to explain the gist of it:
We are going to #OwnYourOwn, with advice, with encouragement, with anecdotes so that you can know just how long we’ve been where you are, and how eagerly we’re waiting for you to take our hands and step forward to where we are.
Dialogue is a funny thing. It is the voice of your characters, but it is not necessarily always the voice of your narrative (especially when you’re writing in third person). This means that not only do you have to figure out how to give your story a voice, but also each individual character (wow, writing is hard y’all).
Anyway, here are a few tips that I’ve picked up as I’ve been writing and revising.
I present to you my story of how I got my agent
(Warning: This post is LONG and full of GIFs):
I started my professional writing journey when I had a weird dream (yea, I know, one of those people). I told my cousin about it because she’s a writer and I said, “Do you think that could be a book you would write?”
Next up in Adventures in Revising…Deleting WHOLE scenes.These are my lessons in mapping out my story (this can happen either before or after you start writing, I happen to do it after because I am a pantser, so I use it as a revision tool).
When I map I use visual aids, either a pin-board with little index cards, or a visual file with all of my plot points:
Mapping out your story
(A fun editing software could help with this.
So, I don’t know about you guys, but when I decided to write in earnest I just opened a Word Document and let myself go. When I felt like being “fancy”, I used Google Drive so I could have my documents “on the go”.
After I got more than 50 pages written, I would have issues finding sections if I wanted to add new scenes. So, I started trying to create things: like writing notes to myself in the document.
I was reading Miss Snark’s First Victim and Authoress had a really great point about hiring an editor for revisions.
To paraphrase she pretty much says that you shouldn’t hire her for her professional critiquing services if your work has never had eyes on it (i.e. a CP or Beta Reader). For one thing, those people read your work for free, for another, they catch some of the small stuff (i.e.
If you’re querying or about to query, then you probably know there are a lot of tools out there to help you in the process. For myself, I started out with an excel spreadsheet way too long for its own good.
I also had advice from critique partners and other writers.
But, in my need to be organized, I turned to Query Tracker
(suggested to me by my lovely critique partner).