First Full Day

So, today in class, MN gave us his pep/fear talk. “There are 50,0000 people writing novels every year. You don’t have to worry about 48,000 of them. You need to give up any ego you have, and do what it takes to be in the 2,000 who actually publish. And sometimes that means your breakout novel is NOT the book you really want to write. But it’s the one that can sell.”

– He had us read a 9-page synopsis and 1-page writing sample from a real author who was beyond help (author’s name withheld).
– He had us pretend to be editors at Knopf and pick it apart, giving it a yay-or-nay and telling why
– He had each of us give a practice pitch: Name, Title, Genre, Comps, Credentials (what you’ve published, or if you have experience that relates to the subject matter), Log Line (Short description). Pitch (Jacket Blurb Nutshell).

Then he picked it apart. Half of us were asked for new titles and more definition, almost all of us were told to define our genre better (many of these ppl walked in saying “I write literary fiction” and left with instructions to get comfortable with their stories really being mainstream, commercial, fantasy, women’s fic, etc.

He liked my concept, but agreed that I need plot help (well, I knew that).

He suggested strongly that I embrace the chick-lit aspects of my idea, and make it quirky, and not fight the funny.

And he asked for a longer title.

Attached is what I came up with after class, when Michelle and I went to the Round Table in the Marina, got Pizza and Beer, and went to work.

It uses most of the elements I wanted, though I think I’m going to have to toss the 70’s part, and set it all in the future, but keeps the elements I most loved.

And he said Universal Blend should be my book of short stories.

And I agree.

Leave me a comment with your email address if you want to see my pitch :) You must be able to read word doc or docx files.

Tired, tired, tired

Arrived SFO yesterday.
Walked to Hyde St. to get muni pass. They were closed.

Brunched with Clay, at Mama’s on Washington Square, where we both had the French Toast sampler, and we split a side of bacon and a side of home fries.

Hung out in the park talking, until a scary old guy decided that 62 degrees was just too damned warm for pants, and dropped trou in the middle of the park.

Bought truffles and salt water taffy for bus money.
Ended up taking cab.

Came back to hotel.
Called Fort Mason to find out where Meet and Greet was … meeting.
Found out venue had changed.

Wandered to Cioppinos on the wharf.
Had Aglio e Olio & lovely chardonnay while meeting and greeting.
Workshop leader reminds me of a fuzzier, warmer, more literary Brent Spiner.

No, really, he does.

Am tired, but looking forward to tomorrow.
Expect this will be most informative.