I’m a huge fan of contingency plans. In writing, life, menu choices. It’s always good to have a backup plan. Keep your hopes up! Channel that energy somewhere positive! When you find out there’s no Sachertorte, at least Linzertorte is an option!
This weekend, with the PitchWars mentors making their final picks, it’s hard for mentee hopefuls NOT to think about the contest, so instead I decided to devote at least some of my time to thinking about my Plan B for what I’ll do if I don’t get selected, and I came up with the following.
I already know I want to revise this manuscript once more. I haven’t sent out any queries at all yet, and I don’t want to shoot it off too early. It’s close, but it’s still a little jiggly and can use some firming up. While I’m crossing everything that I’ll get to work with one of the fantabulous mentors, I figured it would be a good idea to map out my strategy in case I have to wing it on my own.
I got to thinking about what I might have to change and what’s really important to the story. This in turn got me thinking about what editor extraodinaire, Cheryl Klein, had said at a revision workshop I attended. “You get one thing,” she’d said, “Maybe two.” She was referring to those things that we as writers feel are so important to the manuscript that changing them would endanger the manuscript’s core.
So I started to write down my manuscript’s strengths, and I wrote down two things (being generous to myself) that I’m not willing to change. Luckily for me, these things seem to be what piques people’s interest in my story in the first place, heh heh, so I don’t think I’ll be asked to change them. Still, it was a good exercise.
Then I started to think about my manuscript’s weaknesses, and I wrote down a list of potential changes I’ve been contemplating. Things I feel in my gut that might need work. Things that might hold someone back from falling in love with it. I got some great feedback from writeoncon and from some new writer friends, so I definitely have somewhere to start.
What about you? What’s your Plan B?
Besides Linzertorte. Because Linzertorte.