This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.As the day of the Lit Factor Pitch draws closer, so the fear in my mind grows. Here are six very real things that terrify me about LBF…
Repeatedly Getting The Name of My Novel Wrong
When I’m actually writing a book, I don’t usually have a title. I just call it something silly, as if it were a little creature that lives in a hutch. The book I’m going to pitch at LitFactor is called ‘The Resolution Game’, but I keep getting mixed up and saying ‘Revolution Game’.
Agent X will expect grit-filled dystopia, and I shall deal a jolly Jilly-esque book about horses and parties.
Not Having Heard of Any of Agent X’s Top Authors
That question – "So, Carlie. Obviously you know I represent Veronica Wellwright? Do you imagine your career following a similar impressive trajectory?"
"Veronica! Yes. Lovely! Um. Golly. Oh! I’m so sorry, I’m so clumsy…oh, let me. Tissue, here…"
Being hit by The Blankness
I was once signing one of my daughters into Pony Club, and the Valkyrie with the register barked: "Name?" I just mouthed, hopeless, guppyish.
The only cure is a gin and tonic.
Losing My Plot
"So, yeah, the whole thing does that, and then there’s this bit where – Oh! And Sadie fancies him immediately - but before that, there’s like, this huge showdown…or was that after?
Anyway. It’s really fun. And er…funny.
Did I mention I once met Richard and Judy? I’m sure they’d remember me if…"
Failing To Convince
Oh doom, doom! There can be nothing worse than watching a face go from polite interest to polite rictus. That dreadful eye-sliding, and shooting of cuffs to disguise watch-watching. But what to do? Offer them another book? Tap dance? Flatter them outrageously, and say, "Now, lovely Agent X. Why don’t you tell me all about you?"
Finally. My worst, and most likely. Not knowing when to stop.
I talk. Oh golly, do I talk. My background is sales and marketing, and sometimes, my ability to gabble and joke and charm and wheedle has done me great favours.
Imagine though, that I see a flicker of interest on Agent X’s face. I’m trained – practically bred – to go in for the deal. My speech will quicken, my gaze will fix.
That nice Ben Woods will be moving writers along, gently detaching them from their 15 minutes of precious chance.
But my fingers will be curled beneath my chair, my body weight low. Agent X will be transfixed by the conviction that shakes my voice; the words and promises, the dreams and ambitions I’m demanding to share.
Ben Woods will nod at the man in the fork lift. They’ll advance, unseen; unnoticed. Agent X is pale now, hands trembling. The forks will slide beneath my chair and rise. I’ll not know. I’m locked onto a course I can’t change.
Agent X will slump, exhausted. A motherly blonde will seize her chance, trundle over with a brandy and her YA MS beneath a paley-pink, beaded cardi.
The forkie will take me out into the cool of the London evening, deposit me gently next to a clamped Mini.
I’ll sit there in the falling light, talking, talking. Telling a story no one will ever hear.