We’ve covered all the conference How To’s and To Do’s – now it’s time to laugh and learn, because even I can’t make this junk up.
You know the Pitch Prep Area, right? The room, hall, or lounge where dozens of writers gather just before pitching their novel(s) to the editor and/or agent of their dreams? Yeah, that area. It’s an important area. Any writer who’s been in it will tell you it’s like the green room before you go on stage. The following is a list of things NOT to do in the pitch prep area. Unfortunately, I didn’t make these up. Like the “Do not use hair dryer in the shower” warning tag on your ConAir, someone had to actually do these things to make it on this list. That whole adage about life being stranger than fiction? Never more true…
- Do Not not show up for your appointment without any notification. We all have to listen to “Susie Q. Barstool? Bueller? Bueller?” being called out over and over before someone snags your missed appointment at the last minute and rushes to the woefully vacant chair in a panic. Let the pitch coordinator know ahead of schedule that you won’t be attending your appointment and she or he will fill your slot well ahead of Go time.
- Unless a pitchee is your good friend from church and you both discussed prayer time prior to meeting in the pitch room, Do Not go up to an acquaintance or total stranger and proceed to pray for them right before they pitch. I’m talking Laying on of Hands and all. You don’t know them, their religious affiliation if any, or how much you are freaking them out. Just don’t do it. Silent prayer is awesome. So is meditation.
- Do Not ask a total stranger about her pitch, moments before she’s about to go in, and then deconstruct it for her, tell her everything that is wrong with it, and what she really ought to say. Number one: You are not her buddy or crit partner – you’re a stranger. Number two: She’s about to go in right now!
- Do Not jabber too loudly. I’m guilty of this so it’s going on the list. Lots of people chatter to stay cool. That’s okay; let’s just use our indoor voice (myself included). Luckily I have my girlz to do the hand pat if my volume dial goes up too far.
- Do Not go up to a pitchee, right before she’s about to pitch, and ask about her sick/deceased/recently injured family member, friend, pet, co-worker, or acquaintance. In fact, don’t mention death, disease, or dismemberment at all! Pitchee is trying to focus and rock that pitch. All of the former topics are highly emotional and distressing. Avoid them. If you don’t, people won’t like you. I promise!
And that’s it. *steps off soapbox* Does anybody have one to add? We’d love to hear it. We can laugh, but we also learn in the off chance we’ve committed a pitch prep room faux pas.
I wish everyone the best of luck pitching and dozens of contracts in the future; just don’t be that writer. =)