Today I attended LDStormakers Boot Camp. This consists of five aspiring authors at a table with a “sergeant”, who is a published author or an editor. I did this last year and they shredded the chapter I brought to little, tiny pieces. Very small. The remains wouldn't even show up under most microscopes.
This year I was more prepared. I signed up to be with other young adult authors. (We write YA fiction, not that we are young adults—but some of us do act like it.)
So I arrive, check in, find my table and sit down. One girl is already there and another quickly follows. Two more ladies arrive and then finally our sergeant. All look like nice people and I'm excited to see what they write and what they think of my story.
Okay, so I said they all looked like nice people. This is 100% true. They are nice. The first story we go over is a contemporary romance. Set in Hawaii, I liked it. The second story we go over is a paranormal romance, set in France. Uh-oh. How did this happen? How did I get put at a table with four—yes all four of them—romance writers?
Huh. When it was my turn to read my stuff out loud I cleared my throat, swallowed and said, “This is neither light or fluffy.” I paused. “Sorry.”
Here's a sample paragraph from my story:
Then she did something she never wanted to think about again. Wendy reached the barricade and risked turning her dim flashlight on. The barricade had been breached. The wood and stones that made up the wall were mostly intact, but there were two holes big enough for a grown man to climb through, gaping open like hungry mouths. Bodies lay everywhere, and she literally had to crawl over her friends—people that helped raise her—to get to the lower gap.
It's dark. Not exactly a boarding school paranormal romance or a walk on the beaches of Hawaii. Er. Sorry ladies. I really think I scared them. However, they gave me great feedback, so that made me happy. And my writing must have improved over the last year, because they didn't completely shred anything but one improbable fight scene. Fine, I can fix that. Even though it might work in real life . . .
Tomorrow I have a pitch session with an agent. I'm excited to hear her feedback on the marketability of my novel and the pros and cons of pitching it as a series. More on that later.
Totally geeking out here!