Thursday, February 9, 2012
Testing Out the Pitch: What to Write Next
I’m teaching an online mystery course for Low Country Romance Writers and the first lesson was on the concept of the book or the pitch. Although the pitch is often presented as the end result for getting an agent or a publisher, it is also a great way to test your overall concept in the beginning. Wonderful online resources for writing a concept are:
Lately, I’m full of ideas, but which one to center on? I have to admit that one of my criteria is, which would publishers be most interested in? My mother is visiting, and her response was, “You have too much of an emphasis on getting published and not enough on writing because you want to write.”
I do want to write, and I do write – every day in some form or another. But my argument to her is that every writer I know, both in person and on-line, has the goal of getting recognized through publication and being paid.
Here are my recent ideas in concept form:
A cozy mystery series combining culinary and paranormal elements: A scone recipe handed down from her Irish in-laws sparks Elle Dakin’s new home baking business when her husband is laid off. Elle’s recipes have the magical power to get people to say the truth, which can sometimes leads to murder. As well as her scone baking, Elle finds another avocation -- solving these murders in her small town near the Shenandoah Mountains.
Dark YA: After seventeen year old, bi-racial Wanda, born with HIV transmitted from her now-dead mother, nearly dies from a cutting episode, she finds that she has developed the paranormal ability to stop sexual assaults in progress, punishing offenders by infecting them with HIV. When a decent boy finally shows interest in her, Wanda finds it difficult to keep up her double-life, even as a serial rapist escalates to murder and must be stopped.
YA: Seventeen year old American Jane Austen blogger, on a Jane Austen society treasure hunt, time travels to Regency days and discovers a murder and a lost Jane Austen manuscript, which she investigates while trying out for her high school production of Pride and Prejudice opposite the popular yet stuck-up Senior who will play Darcy.
What if you never did get published or not by a “big six New York” publisher? Would you keep writing?
Are there any ideas I’ve posed above that are novels you would like to read?