Two days after the Backspace Conference, why haven’t I posted yet, you ask?
Because it was crazy amazing and you need two days to recover before you can do anything else!
First off let me just say, it really was an amazing experience. Definitely something I would do all over again and here is why. I met some amazing people, AMAZING writers. Get this, I probably read several early drafts that will end up on next year’s NY TIMES bestseller list, how cool is that?
You should follow them on twitter now:
@marierearden- You want longing desire with a twist, keep a look out for her book. Your eyes will pop and your heart will swoon.
@RileyRedgate- Hunger Games and Ender’s Game have you entranced buy you want something new? Riley is your girl! You’ll never want to play another game again, unless it’s someone daring you to read this book. It’s an absolute must.
@SCookRay- We all remember those teen boy adrenaline rush books? Alex Rider and all? Well you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen her MC in action. Your typical boy with not so typical skills, but the price to be too cool for school is high.
@madelineclaire- The voice of the book is haunting, the mystical nature is entrancing, and the plot will have your fingers itching to grab the next book! All I can say is i’m buying her novel when it comes out…well i’m buying all of them, but still 🙂
Everyone there was very friendly, very open, and in no way judgemental about what you write. That’s not to say my query letter and first two pages got off easy. Yeah, not so much.
I changed a few things on my query letter per agents’ comments (Let us celebrate the birth of Query Letter #5) and brought it in the next day. The agents (a different amazing group) still had suggestions, all of which I put to good use in Query 51/2. In fact, Query #5 impressed them so much I got a couple of FULL MS REQUESTS!!!! AHHHHHHHH, breathe…remember to breathe.
Then there are my first two pages. A brilliant suggestion was made by an agent on the first day of the conference.
“Instead of starting on the day everything changes, start at the moment.”
Now I like this and shirk from it at the same time. It’s cool because it means you grab the readers attention right away, the pace of your book is immediately on turbo. The downside is the lack of introduction to the main character. When stuff is blowing up or moving so fast that you dont have a clear picture of the mc, is it worth it to start with a bang?
So I completely changed my opening for Day Two. I thought they were garbage, I was so upset over them, but I had to try. The agents who looked over my new pages didn’t completely hate them! They suggested more showing, less telling, but my new opening line made them laugh! VICTORY!! So yes, now i have to go back and completely change chapter 1, here’s hoping that it will work out.
I met and semi- pitched to a few other agents as well (I need to work on my pitching, always have your pitch memorized!) and got a few bites in the form of partials 🙂 These are the big breaks every aspiring author dreams of right? Well here’s the unforseen downside to those realized dreams. Now I REALLY REALLY need to make sure my MS is in top-notch condition. I was sure of it before, but Backspace makes you look at something old and rethink it a bit. On to a new bout of revisions with old and new beta readers.
For those of you who have never attended a conference but are thinking about it, you need to go. It is worth the entry/registration fee. I can’t speak for all conferences but here is Backspace’s layout
Registration, Panel 1, Panel 2, Query Discussion Groups, lunch, First Two Pages discussion, mixer, panel 3. Then you get to go home with your head full of dizzing new information to process. Like I said, I would do it all over again (but I would hope i’d remember my earlier mistakes in my query and pages so I could change them and get more critiquing!).
Oh and as for NaNo….yeah that’s suffering. Sacrifices, right?