Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Pitch"-er Perfect



Okay, of course, my pitch at the writers conference was not perfect, but look at the sweater I wore. Perfect. Better than any collar shirt, right?

And the (amazing, exciting, unbelievable, scary!) good news is that the agent said YES, she wants to see my story!!!

I thought I would come out of the pitch after receiving her card into my sweaty little palm screaming and jumping up and down, but no. I just felt like I had made one very small step in a very long process. Then I went to my room to call my husband and had a short happy cry. Apparently, I felt more like crying than jumping up and down.

The agent had one recommendation for me--a change that would make my story more marketable. She asked if I would change the accident that takes place before the story opens. Right now it is a car accident, but she wisely said that car accidents in teen fiction are overdone and any other type of accident would make it stand out as unique.

I'm open to suggestions...

+takes place in early June

+in the middle of the night

+in West Texas

+young people die

That is all.

24 comments:

Pam Harris said...

Yay! Congrats!! Hmm, as far as an accident, what about some kind of late night swimming accident?? Or something dealing with horses? I'm not too familiar with West Texas. :(

No Thought 2 Small said...

That's so exciting! Congrats! And it makes me happy to hear that I am not the only one that thinks the 'Car accident' is over done.
I agree with Pam, maybe a horse accident. . . ?
Maybe even just something on a ranch with cows or any type of farm animal. . .
Best of luck anyways!

Karen said...

West Texas (and living in the Eastern part) makes me think hunting accident. Especially if it's kids going out celebrating the beginning of summer. Shooting at cans and people are horsing around. Boys chasing girls, someone forgets where they are and steps into the line of fire???? That's my two cents worth. Congrats on your fabulous pitch!!!!!!! Woo hoo!!

Wendy Swore said...

Kids die every year on ATVs and in farm-related accidents. THey could be exploring a silo and get stuck in the grain. Dangers from suffocation and extreme pressure there.

Or machinery accidents. My husband's grandfather lost 4 of his fingers in bailers and such.

And congratulations.:)

Rebecca said...

That's so exciting! Congratulations!

You have some great suggestions so far. How about something like kids riding a couple of ATVs somewhere? Lots of accident potential, up and down dirt or sandy hills, especially at night.

You could use a train accident, too.

Rebecca said...

I was writing when Wendy posted, lol.

Peggy Urry said...

I have to say I like the silo idea - group goes in on a dare and never comes out....

Canda said...

You're right the sweater is cute-cute. Congratulations! An ATV hitting a cow can do a lot of damage. You probably haven't read that one in a YA before. (Hm. . . might be a reason for that.)

Susan G. Haws said...

I like the silo idea or something with hay. I don't know exactly how silo storage works. But I want to tell you about a boy celebrating his high school graduation with friends a couple nights before graduation in my home town his family lived in my ward. They went to business dealing with sawdust and were jumping in the huge large home size saw dus piles. He hit an air pocket (if I remember correctly) and instead of just landing on top he droped down into the depths of the sawdust with house size pile of sawdust on top. It was a tragedy. I wondered if this could happen in a silo? Or someone let a lot of feed out of the silo onto people? This air pocket would have swallowed the other boys but I think they were drinking and taking turns. I may have those details wrong.
Or, what about up in a barn loft or somewhere big that they aren't supposed to be and it collapses. Large machinary sounded good. Just brain storming.

Lance said...

Alien abduction. That's close to area 57.

Kristin Baker Przybyla said...

Gas explosion?

kbrebes said...

Gorgeous sweater!

1) Sand surfing is a lot of fun, but when the hillside collapses in a slide, kids can be buried. My father-in-law's best friend was killed in a landslide.

Congrats!

Tamara said...

so many good ideas, which is good, cause i'm kind of drawing a blank. I like Lance's idea, except then I think your book would become one of the genre-benders or whatever they call it. and can I say thank-you for dis-proving the collar-shirt theory. I might go clean out my closet!! Congrats.

Marsha Ward said...

Are there abandoned mine shafts in West Texas? Either the vertical or the horizontal version? They are very dangerous!

Jennifer Griffith said...

Loved the sweater. You looked fantastic and super professional. Great job dressing for success! And three cheers for a great pitch! Yea yea yea!

About the accident: armadillos and fireworks and an abandoned shack in ghost town and a fire. Kids with guns go out poaching armadillos to make designer purses, plus they're making So-be bombs to explode in the ghost town. On a dare one goes into the old shack and uses a sobe bomb for light but there's DYNAMITE in there. Explosive beginning. With armadillos. :)

Jennifer Hillier said...

Congratulations! I'll bet your pitch was better than you think it was. And that is one great outfit (love love love the pink sweater).

Happy to be a new follower.

Family Tree Gal, Carolyn said...

Congrats. I'm happy for you. (a large object, like a beam, or a piece of machinery falling were thoughts that came to my mind.)

Jolene Perry said...

Well, I heard from TWO other people who were suggested to change their car accidents...

I had a friend die in an ATV accident, and another on snowmachines, but I'm not sure that the snowmachine thing would actually help you...

Valerie Ipson said...

Who knew that pink sweaters and West Texas catastrophes would get you all excited! Thanks for all the fun, funny comments.

And, of course, armadillos and fireworks from you, Jennifer G, the writer of the blonde sumo!

I was brainstorming with my daughter last night and we did come up with fireworks and a fire...we'll see what comes after I'm done mulling.

(Mulling=wearing pajamas, eating toast, and immersing myself in the internet.)

Lola Sharp said...

Love the cute pink sweater...really the entire outfit is adorable.

You got plenty of excellent suggestions, so I'll only say my first thought was fire/explosion. Since it's the middle of the night, they could be at a party house or passed out afterward...and a fire breaks out.

This is my first time here. *waves hello* Nice to 'meet' you. Also, it looks like you've already reached a goal for '11 by pitching your book. (going by your sidebar goal and this post.) CONGRATS.

Have a wonderful week,
Lola

Valerie Ipson said...

You're right, Lola. I need a new goal!!!

And welcome!

Tina Scott, the writing artist said...

Valerie,
Wow, you're hitting the big time! Hello all, I knew Valerie before she was famous. Remember me, Valerie? Your best bud? your writing compadre?Can I just grab hold of your shirt-tails and come along for the ride?
Thanks.

Renae W. Mackley said...

Great photo of a great outfit. Congrats and good luck.
Most of the suggestions are better than mine, but you never know. My first thought was a Texas longhorn goring somebody that it chased. Work it in if it works for you.

Nicole M. White- said...

Congratulations!
Lightning storm- that would be common in Texas that time of year.

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