All night the song from Lion King has been going through my mind.
It’s easy to think that we are prepared when we begin submitting our work. Reality, however, may be much different.
For instance, how well do you know your novel? I mean really know it. I’ve heard of writers attending critique sessions at conferences and when asked questions about where their manuscript is headed, they fail to have an answer. They had been so wrapped up in other projects, they were no longer intimate with the details of their initial manuscript.
What are your MC’s motives?
How did you pick the villain?
Where does your novel take place and why?
Love your manuscript so much you can talk about it in short, concise thoughts. Don’t risk losing your potential editor or agent or future reader by rambling about the plot.
My Dear Daughter loves to regurgitate movies for me. She always provides me the long version, complete with quotes and back tracking.
Your readership doesn’t love you as much as I love my daughter. They will not have the patience for us to “remember” the details and spew them out willy nilly.
Get a pitch–a one sentence summary of your novel–and be prepared to use it.
Prepare a mini-synopsis for those moments when someone asks for more, but has little time to spend while you search for the right words.
Reread your manuscript and familiarize yourself with the characters, plots and story that you are trying to sell. Because if you can’t, nobody else will.
PS. If you don’t believe me about getting the facts straight from an earlier post, just check out the comments. Laura was kind enough to spare me more than a day’s worth of embarrassment by reminding me which Disney movie this song was from. Never assume and never forget to edit.