Disaster is the only word I could use. I was terribly nervous and under-prepared. I had spent two hours in two class preparing my pitch. They were great classes and I really worked hard on my first 3 sentences or my log line. I thought that they sounded great. What a beginners mistake, not everything and rarely anything sounds good the first time around. I listened and worked and polished my log lines and became satisfied. I became aware that I was going to pitch later that afternoon. Lunch was great, as I had convinced myself that I was ready.
After lunch, I decided to perfect my perfection and went to a class that allowed for quick pitches. I stood in line and finally pitched to an experienced pitch listeners, not sure what that means. The first said, that I needed to keep everything the same. The second said I needed to change everything and the third said not to listen to the previous two. I walked out of this experience, ten minutes before I was to pitch, with no clue on what I was going to do.
Things went from bad to worse. I waited for my turn and when it was finally my turn, I pitched my pitch. I introduced myself and said the title was: The Devil’s Gate – after an embarrassingly long 30 second of an 8 minute pitch – I finished reading my log line. My listener, an agent, looked up expectantly. I rambled for the next two minutes. After finishing, my listener, asked for my pitch paperwork and began looking it over. She was obviously confused and so was I. First, she was confused on my pitch – I had some glaring missing points and second more importantly, she doesn’t represent Fantasy.
With my tail between my legs, I walked away bruised and informed. My listener did a great job in explaining what I was missing and what agents expected. Failure is sometimes a quick way to force us to be successful. If I hadn’t failed so miserably, I wouldn’t have spent that evening working so hard on my pitch for the next day. Round two began early the next morning. I changed some words and really tried to set a hook for the pitch. It also helped that I was pitching to someone who was interested in Fantasy. When I walked out of my second pitch appointment – I had a request for 3 chapters. Later in the day, I had a request for the entire manuscript. All in all, the Pikes Peak Writers Conference turned out to be a success., who would have guessed.