Sunday, March 2, 2014

#PitchWars & #ThePride

So I think it's time for one of my rare blog posts, y/y? 

I spent most of December and January in an editing fog. Between Pitch Wars and Agent-Boss's clients, I was editing every day for almost two months. By the time I finished everything I was working on, it felt weird not to be editing. Like when you're on a boat for a long time and you get back to dry land, but you still feel like you're rocking on the water? That was me. I kept thinking, 'Oh, crap, I should be edit-wait, wait, no, I'm done. Pitch Wars is over.' I took a solid week off before I was ready to touch the Red Pen of Doom again. 

I had a blast doing Pitch Wars. My team, The Pride, consisted of Marie Meyer (NA Contemporary Romance Through the Storm), Sarah L. Blair (Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance The Shifting Darkness), and Anna Rains (Adult Contemporary Romance Forever Yours). Since I'd done Pitch Wars from the agent side and had previous experience with the editing process, I mapped out a schedule beforehand and set deadlines for myself & The Pride. I have to say, I don't think it would've been possible to pull everything off if I wasn't off from work during the last two weeks in December. 

I did full manuscript critiques for each Pride member. In addition, I gave them extra optional assignments because it was important to me that they understand that a) this business is highly subjective and b) it is a business. The Pride was fantastic about rising to whatever challenge I set for them and I feel they all grew as writers during the time we worked together. Sarah came away with a fantastic pitch that highlights the core of her manuscript beautifully. Anna not only did extensive revisions, but we worked together to plot out a potential series and she was able to subtly weave in the groundwork for the next two books into Forever Yours. Marie had the longest edit letter and she exceeded all my expectations. She ended up cutting, I think, about 12k. A major character got the cut and several scenes were ripped out. I was brutally honest with her and she thanked me for it. Through the Storm is amazing and I don't think there's anything like it out right now.

I honestly don't know if I'd do Pitch Wars again. I had such a great experience with The Pride, my expectations for the next group would be probably be impossible to meet. I also don't know if I'd be eligible to do it next year or if I'd have the time to devote like I did this year. In any case, I hope The Pride felt they got their time's worth out of me and for my part, this solidified my desire to be an editor. 

As of this moment, none of The Pride have made any agent announcements, but I'm confident they'll come. These ladies have proven they're willing to do whatever it takes to have a career as an author and it was an honor to help them on their journey to meeting that goal. 

I realized I never talked about the Pitch Wars submission process. If you'd be interested in reading my take on that, please leave a comment.