We had a fantastic day at this year's conference with a great line up of speakers. I attended a couple of workshops: the first being characterisation in a fantasty world .... some great ideas to be gleaned by looking how charaterisation/plot/place are intermingled in novels such as Lord of the Rings and Dune. The other workshop was on plotting a novel in an hour .... loved the idea of starting your novel by getting a few chapters down on paper then taking a step back and plotting out the main elements so you can see where it's going. I've already used this idea on my YA novel and it's helped me focus on how I'm going to get my heroine to the end.
Pitches .... my 10 minute face time went amazingly well - my main aim was to get a critique on my writing style which is something I've been working on. The feedback I received was great - good pace/dialogue/flows well; everything I've been striving for so I was more than a bit excited ... shame I can't do cartwheels as I would have flipped a few down the corridoor:) The three minute pitch was a bit shakey ... it's a fine art getting the essence of your idea across in such a short space of time. I have, of course, thought of better ways I could have done this since Saturday ...
On reflection I found the face time session so much more valuable in that the editor/agent gets to read the synopsis plus a good chunk of your writing before you meet, so they're already prepared with ideas/views before the time starts. The 3 minute pitch is very much a chuck it all in and see method where you're sandwiched in between a long line of fellow 3-minuters all rattling away one after the other .... must be pretty overwhelming for those on the receiving line.
Friday, 3 February 2012
till Get Writing and my two pitch sessions. I'm busily working on my three minute pitch which currently consists of pages of notes shoved into my folder ... some of which are illegible as they were written at gone midnight. Making the notes has helped get my mind more focused on what I'm going to say and, more importantly, the main elements of the novel that I need to get across in the pitch. Sometimes I find I need to write everything down in minutae detail to get it clear in my head how the plot line is going to work before teasing out the core points.