One Writer’s Journey

November 15, 2018

Pitching Your Work

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 12:30 am
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One of the Library.con Live! sessions that I’ve watched was a keynote with author Mariko Tamaki. If her name looks familiar, that isn’t surprising.  She is the author of the New York Times bestseller This One Summer. This particular graphic novel won Printz and Caldecott Honors in 2015 and received the Eisner for Best Graphic Album.

Tamaki explained that more often than not you pitch a graphic novel before you write it.  That means that you have to be able to outline the whole thing (Act 1, Scene 1, Scene 2, etc.) and then follow through.  Part of this means knowing the basics of your story – who, what, where, when and why.

For me, the most interesting aspect was listening to her talk about the why.  Not only do you need to know why things happen in your story, you need to know why you are the author to write it and why now.  This isn’t new advice but Tamaki offered the best explanation I’ve ever heard.

When you pitch your story, you need to be able to tell the potential editor why you and why now.  Why now is a matter of theme.  What is it that makes your story relevent to readers today?  Why do they need your story?

This, obviously, pulls in you.  Why are you the one writer who should write this?  As Tamaki explained, we each pull along our little red wagon behind is.  It is full of all the stuff we bring along to the job.  It can be our interests or our experiences but it is what we bring that will help us write this particular story.

Tamaki also spoke on superpowers and making them relevent to the character.  To see this 30 minute session, register for LibraryCon Live! hereand scroll through the schedule to the lunch time keynote.



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