- On November 29, 2020
In just a few days I’ll be participating in ‘PitMad,’ a Twitter event that helps connect writers with agents, acquisition editors and publishers. Authors (like myself) post a brief description of their current work, then industry professionals review the proposals looking for projects they think will meet their needs. They indicate their interest by ‘liking’ the tweet which gives the writer the go-ahead to contact the person or agency directly. A ‘like’ doesn’t automatically mean a contract, but it’s a foot in the door. And many books on the shelves today started as 280-character teasers on PitMad.
Even if I don’t find a literary agent via PitMad, participating is still a great way to get a sense of my story and decide how I want to package it. A successful book is more than just plot, conflict and characters, it has a distinct feel and tone that makes it appealing to readers. It’s up to me to decide what will work best for this particular project and PitMad is great for setting that course. For any tale, there are dozens of possibilities within the 280 character limit (about 2 or 3 decent-length sentences.) Take Romeo & Juliet for example:
Tongue in Cheek: Star-crossed teens who defy their parents will do literally anything to be together, or die trying. Includes lush settings, party scenes, witty puns, sword fights and flashy characters galore.
Formal: When the teenage daughter of a wealthy family falls in love with the son of her parents’ arch rivals, she is forced to choose where her loyalties lie. Her decision will result in dire consequences for everyone involved.
Mysterious: The bodies are piling up in 15th century Verona as a blood feud rages between the Capulets and Montagues. Can a budding romance between rival heirs heal the rift, or will their forbidden love be the final straw that dooms them all?
Bare Bones: Two wealthy families who hate each other. A secret romance between their teenagers. Deadly clashes and revenge killings. A ‘perfect plan’ for the lovers to be together. An ending that leaves everyone second-guessing themselves.
So now I’m working on my pitch, trying to find that ‘sweet spot’ that blends interest in the story with a marketable strategy agents and publishers seek. I’ll probably use a variety of angles (PitMad allows three pitches per project) that highlight book’s various aspects. Ideally, I’ll come away with an agent or at least a request to see more. After all, it only takes that one ‘like’ from the right person to take The Vermicular File to the next level!