I decided to take a break from the pitch I'm working on to write this little post. So it's only fitting to talk about pitching.
I've spent many years getting to know various editors and publishers. On occasion, they have given me the opportunity to talk about their books with them. Inevitably, that leads to a short pitch and a fun conversation. I must say, I never expect much to come from that. Personally, I prefer to just write whatever story comes to mind, which I have done for many years. That's been fun and a great way to hone my craft.
Then there's the written pitch. These can be grueling and stressful, depending on the company I'm pitching for. Before I write the one paragraph pitch, I sit down and write down the story. Not the script. That's silly because you never know what will and won't be accepted. What I mean is I will sit down and detail four issues of the story. Think of this like writing the ideas in a notebook. The only thing is, it's more organized than that. from there, I will figure out the major story beats and theme and all that jazz. To me, it makes the pitch more solid. Unfortunately, then I have to tackle the unenviable task of making that one paragraph that's exciting enough to make an editor say yes to publishing it. At least, if I get the yes, I have all four issues roughly laid out.
Then there's the pitch that gets created for an original concept. This is by and far the biggest gamble. It's very time consuming. Before I sit down and approach the issues, like I would for a previously existing property, I build a world. I create characters, towns, planets, cults, gods, and whatever else the story requires. Then I'll organize the issues. From there, cut it down into a paragraph pitch. This can take months to build and as I sit there and write, I fall in love with the characters that I create. To me, I'm so attached to the concept that I need to see the story get published.
Pitching is tough. I send them out expecting a no from the publisher. It's very common. The biggest challenge, you never know what they are looking for. Publishers have plans and small press companies have budgets. It's grueling but you can't get discouraged. It's an old adage, keep writing. Chip away and talk to editors. A pitch might not get picked up. That doesn't mean it's a bad idea or you're a bad writer. It just means that wasn't the write story at that time.
That's enough mindless rambling for today. Time to get back to the pitch. Wish me luck.