Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pitch Party 2014 updtate: MO' PRIZE


Guys, it's time for a prize reveal. If you weren't aware, we're planning the dual events of PitchParty2014 for Jan 4th and 5th. On the 4th, we reveal our tweet-length pitches for the work we're looking to sell. On the 5th, a 100 word pitch (pasted and/or linked on here). After each, we talk and judge and people vote and ultimately I and my secretive panel of judges (yes they aren't all stuffed animals) and on the 6th, I will announce a winner!

Now, for a prize. There will be postcards sent out to all the runner-ups (or everyone, depending on how many of us there are) but the winner will get a special prize made all the more valuable by the fact that I will be embarrassing myself for your pleasure.

If you are crowned the ultimate PitchParty Winner, you will get to choose two things that will become one thing. First, you will choose any song (the more crazy singing, the worse this will be) and then you will choose one of these voices:
  • Smeagle/Gollum
  • Zap Brannigan
  • Meatwad
  • Darth Vader
  • Some sort of horrid monster
  • Dr. Zoidberg
  • Sean Connery
  • Krusty the Klown
  • A variety of accents -- pretty much just choose.
  • Or just make up/tell me to make one up. If I can't do it we'll work it out. :D
Then, as you may have been able to guess, I will sing your song in that voice. In video format, so you'll get a little extra absurdity in your package. There's a few more voices that I couldn't remember what characters they're from that I do but just ask, given enough practise, I can get almost anyone. 

You still have two weeks to get those pitches together! How can you describe your novel in 140 characters? 100 words? You'll be surprised which one is harder :D Feel free to send your early versions to me for tips and early reads! See you soon!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pitch Party 2014!

It's that time of the year again! Pitches upon pitches! #Nanowrimo is over, and many of us have manuscripts worthy of attention. But we don't always know how best to sell those stories. I don't mean in the store, I mean to an agent, an editor, someone on the street. I'm not talking 1920's newpaper hawker, but there is something to shouting out your own work. And as with anything, practise is useful and important. Nobody does everything right the first time, unless the thing they're trying to do is nothing. We can all do that pretty well. 

Pitching takes practise, and why not pratise in an atmosphere of even criticism and support? The first #PitchParty (found here) was a blast, and we had a ton of fun. The winner got a postcard, a tirdition that I will be continuing since artists are all broke. There will be two rounds to the #PitchParty -- a Tweet round and a longer, 100 word blog pitch. Both of those things will be posted on this blog, and a totally impartial team of judges (hey psst I need two judges, email me evrardau @ gmail dot com!). These should be manuscripts you have either finished or have in editing, or at least real close to finished! :D

The Twitter #PitchParty will take place Saturday, Jan 4th, at a time to be determined soon, probably something like 8PM EST. During that hour, everyone who wants to will pitch one tweet-length pitch for their novel, including the hashtag. We'll discuss and laugh and have a good time and the next day (Jan 5th) everyone will post their 100 word pitch in the comments on the #nanopals blog. 


Er, hem. You will not be denied this! This is a great opportunity to have some fun and get some solid feedback on your pitch before you go ahead and make a hundred Gs selling it super well. BECAUSE YOU CAME TO THE PITCH PARTY. 

So, brief recap -- You've got a MONTH to prepare a tweet-length pitch AND a 100 word pitch. Tweets on Jan 4th, 100 word on Jan 5th, right here. We'll do a few prep sessions and spread the word beforehand, so use that #PitchParty hashtag! One real entry in each per person -- but feel free to send me your extras just to see if they're cool too :)

I'll see you soon!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Yeah hey look I'm not supposed to be here, okay. My MS is right there on the other side of the screen, and she's lookin' at me right ugly. The editing, the editing! The words control my life. But you know, sometimes you gotta be free, you gotta find a little YOU time. Which I'm going to spend on you. With a handy-dandy list of the editing I should be doing right now!

What am I doing right now? AHM EXORCISING MAH DEMONZ.
No, I'm not getting my vodka blessed then playing quarters with my old college roommate (a monster), nor am I going on a spirit journey. That's later. Instead, I am engaging in the incredible act of hunting down the demons in my MS, the dark spirits that cloud my text and obscure the beauty and power of the prose beneath! What the hell am I talking about?


  • SAW
  • FELT
  • KNEW
  • AND
  • THAT
I see you, spawn of Ghidora! Begone from my texts, begone from this earthly realm and never return! Well, not all of you. Sometimes I need you. But like, only on holidays. If we could just have a few little demon meetups once or twice a novel, that would be swell. 

In not-crazy person words: This selection of lexical items is a good tracker for words that can and should be ridden from your novel! All of these add clunk to sentences and break up pace. Stop seeing things! Stop hearing things, stop feeling things, just, you know, things. Imagine you are watching a movie and instead of the camera you had the cameraman, and you were just looking at his viewfinder the whole time, shaking and wobbling as he tries to keep up with the action until you realize you're on a goddamn set and Tom Cruise is just on a friggen treadmill. You've got some guy who is seeing everything for you. He maybe sends a telegram and lets you know what's going on in the action scene every few weeks -- who cares, you've stopped reading them.

Okay, so the crazy came back. All this has been said before by smarter people (read: here) but I'm giving you what I'm personally looking for right now. Ctrl-F->DELETE. Every sentence looks better, my Godzilla. Even if you don't have too many of these instances, and you already know this stuff, go through, because they are sneaky little buggers, and they get in all over the place.

Okay, I'm running back to my MS to murder these beasts. Too many run-on sentences given life by the necromantic powers of AND! Go back to your prison, you moster!