Pitch Critique and Monthly Goal

Last night I had my book pitch critiqued by two professionals in the publishing industry. (You can find them here: www.thebookdoctors.com) While, at first, I felt it could have gone a little better, I took a bit of time to really think about what they were telling me and I also ran their response by my writing group. The feedback I received showed me that I am on the right track of having a solid pitch but I leave the reader with some questions. With the help of Arielle and David (aka TheBookDoctors), I was forced to realize that I had some questions of my own...about my own pitch! That bit of knowledge is invaluable. They made me look at my own writing from a different perspective, from an outsider's view. With that fresh look I found that what I know to be true is not what I was showing people in my pitch.

Some of the feedback included was:

  • They wanted more freshness in a story idea that has been done numerous times.
  • They wanted to know why I stated a reader wouldn't be sure who to root for.

  • They didn't fall in love with my MC, they just felt bad for her.

  • They want to know what my MC's motivations are.

Do I have freshness and originality in my story? Absolutely, I do! Did I show it in my pitch? No. I'll need to find a way to balance showing the unique storyline while not giving away too much information. (This may be the toughest challenge).

Why won't my reader know who to root for? Well, it's a simple answer that will lead to a lot more questions. I think that line will just have to see the delete key.

Why didn't they love my MC? That's right! I didn't give them a reason to. I introduced her but that was all I did. They know nothing more about her now than they did before. This is a huge problem when you're asking someone to read a story about this particular character. (The funny thing about this is I put up a FB post yesterday morning with predictions of what might get called out. One of those predictions was that they wouldn't love her. I already knew that so why didn't I fix it?).

What are my MC's motivations? She has a solid career that she loves, she has her own car, her own house, and a best friend she would do anything for. What she is missing in her life is love. She's missing the love from a partner, she's missing the love of a family. She's a teacher. She's around children all the time. She knows their parents and their siblings. She's desperate for a family of her own, something she has never had. Did I show this in my pitch? I certainly did not. Why didn't I show this? Your guess is as good as mine.

So, for the next few days, I will be writing, revising, and re-writing my pitch for what will feel like the hundredth time (and it may well be close to a hundred times). But I am determined to get it right.

I am still on track for my self imposed deadline.

  • The final edits will be done by the end of May.
  • I will have beta readers lined up and ready to go.

  • While the story is being read, I will be constructing my query letter.

  • I will revise based on the feedback I get from the beta readers.

  • I will begin querying at the end of June.

Keep your fingers crossed that I can keep up this level of motivation and determination for  at least the next two months.