Category Writing

Final Preparation for #PitchWars

Are you in the home stretch preparing for #PitchWars? With the submission window less than a week away, hopefully you’re not still scrambling to get that last scene written, or restitching a plot hole together. By now I hope everyone can see the finish line and be ready to take a deep breath and relax while the mentors dive into their busy weeks.

If you’re on the home stretch, here’s a few tips to help get you organized. Please note: I am not a mentor. This is my own take on getting ready so, you know, grain of salt. 🙂

  1. Get your PitchWars folder setup. Wherever makes sense on your machine, you want to have a folder labeled for PitchWars. When you’re done, it will likely contain a spreadsheet and 4-5 word documents...
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Managing Time as a Writer

Managing time is not a rodeo I’m unfamiliar with, but this past week has definitely challenged my schedule.  Between family obligations, out of town visitors, writing, editing, and critiques, I’ve been sleeping less and wrapped around my kindle a lot more than normal. On top of it all, I still have a paid job I need to keep on top of. Over the course of nearly a decade of contract work, here’s what I’ve discovered:

  1. Make time for yourself. No matter how exhausted you are, or how many projects are brewing on your plate, downtime will help clear out the numbness and cobwebs. When working on several projects at once, an agile, refreshed mind is a must.
  2. Eat real food. I can not stress this enough...
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Gearing up for #PitchWars 2016

Getting ready for PitchWars can be a daunting task. Not just for mentors, but for mentee hopefuls as well. This is the first year I’ll be entering my MS, and all I can say is there’s an amazing amount of work that goes into getting ready, even when you’re already certain that manuscript is polished and ready. I thought mine was… nope. 🙂

Here’s what I’ve found:

  1. Have your manuscript ready: No matter how much you believe this baby is done, keep refining right up to the submission window. Why? Because things change. I decided to do a quick read-through on mine, did a few chapter swaps, and while I was able to clean up nuances and filler words here and there, I made a very large discovery along the way: my story started in the wrong place...
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Standing Out in the Crowd

Whether you’re a national corporation or just creating your brand, standing out in any crowd is a tough thing to do. Especially with so much focus on assaulting the world with millions of names, logos, and products, it can be difficult to wave your hands and scream “pick me”, and be noticed.

A few things to know:

I. Your brand will be viewed subjectively. Everyone has an opinion. Even with this article, some will crinkle their noses and click away from the site. Bye! Others will stay and be drawn by my words (haha), the layout of the site, or the pretty banners at the top. This is where knowing how to find your audience comes in. Don’t walk into a saloon peddling tea and cookies. The same goes with writers and their stories...

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All Hail the Critique Partner

If you’re a writer and you don’t have one… stop.

Go right now (before you touch that cup of coffee) and find a critique partner… or twelve. It can be a nerve-wracking thing to put your work out there for someone else to see.

Not just read, but have an opinion about.

Gather your courage and know that there’s an evolution to all writing which can only happen outside of ourselves. Here are a few reasons why I recommend at least three critique partners.

I. Our Knowledge is Limited. When I first took the plunge to get random ideas out of my head and on paper, I was struck by how difficult this was. During that time I was in college, a single mother, working, and barely surviving. I mean barely. The only thing I had going was the ambition to make a better life for me and that little girl...

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