Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction Writers => Writers' Corner => Open For Submissions => Topic started by: tebakutis on December 07, 2016, 11:22:54 PM

Title: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: tebakutis on December 07, 2016, 11:22:54 PM
EDIT: Corrected capitalization on the hashtag

For any authors on the forums with completed SFF manuscripts that also have Twitter.

#SFFpit (like another similar idea, #PITMAD) happens twice a year on Twitter. You post a Twitter-sized summary of your completed (but unpublished) SFF book on Twitter with appropriate hashtags to classify it, found here.

http://dankoboldt.com/sffpit/#sffpit-rule-changes (http://dankoboldt.com/sffpit/#sffpit-rule-changes)

You get up to 10 pitches for the whole day, and can pitch only once per hour. You can also pitch the same book more than once, but you have to word each pitch differently.

Agents will read pitches posted between 10pm-6pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) tomorrow (12/8). If they are interested in your pitch, they will "Like" it using Twitter. This is your invitation to send them a full pitch for your completed manuscript with whatever information they typically request (cover letter, synopsis, sample chapters).

As an example, here's the pitch for my espionage sci-fi book (which I'm tagging as sci-fi thriller, or SFT, since my category isn't listed).

Quote
24 meets Star Wars. A sardonic counterterrorism agent searches for his (dead?) wife while trying not to get shot by everyone. #SFT #SFFpit

If you don't include an age tag (such as #YA) they will assume your book is for an adult audience.

The #SFT tag shows my book is a sci-fi thriller.

And the #SFFpit tag flags it for agents who are reading tweets under that tag.

It's a quick and easy way to practice your pitch, summarize your book, and (possibly) get an agent to look at it who is actually excited to see it.

For those who decide to participate, good luck!
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: m3mnoch on December 07, 2016, 11:32:04 PM
that is totally freakin' cool.

Quote
n my guest post on #PitMad numbers for Brenda Drake, I estimated that the odds of success (having your pitch favorited by an agent or editor) were around 6%.

super interesting.

i totally dig the agent-favoriting as an invitation to send manuscripts.  i'm interested in seeing how this turns out.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: Nora on December 07, 2016, 11:53:02 PM
I find it more sad than cool. What do we get to, seriously? Tweet sized pitches? How unfair is this to people who don't have twitter anyway?

"Darkity stuff happens! #PresentTense #Depression #CannibalismIsFashionable #publishMe"

"MC with complex problems-but-sweet-personality goes full YOLO when dragon shit hits the fan #JustSFFstuff #SoundsUniqueRight?"

"Chicks discovers she's immortal and thinks it sucks, mopes and kills ghouls #BadassWithIssues #GoldenEggStoryWaitingToBePublished #NoticeMeSenpai"

Get real.




Edit, let me add this :

"Lady with Death-Eyes can see from the pov of dead people and goes rubbing elbows with the FBI and alllll the bad mofos they're after. #UselessSuperPower #PeakInTheMorgueDrawer #MentalBreakDownWaitingToHappen"

My fav.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: m3mnoch on December 08, 2016, 12:06:25 AM
sure, sad i suppose.

but --

how unfair is it to people who don't have physical access to agents?

how unfair is it to people who don't have relatives in the business?

how unfair is it to people who don't have writing groups?

how unfair is it to people who don't write in english?

seems like you can either complain about fairness, or you can work as hard as you to do as many things as you can to increase your luck surface.  like you can either actively chase your dreams, or sit around waiting for them to land in your lap.

*shrug*
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: Peat on December 08, 2016, 12:29:11 AM
I had meant to redraft my Fantasy manuscript before submitting but might go for it anyway.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: Nora on December 08, 2016, 12:30:43 AM
I just think twitter is stupid in general, so nothing on it appeals to me. I'm only stupefied that it makes the Holy Pitch go from a painstakingly assembled chunk of text that is meant to explain your work intelligibly, to a single sentence. It's even harder for our genre since it means we can't explain the setting much, and any cliche word will have to be seen as cliche as it comes. But hey! Whatever works.

People who don't write in english access the publishers who speak their own language. Believe it or not, many foreign countries have a striving publishing life in their own tongue.
People who want physical access to a professional can buy a bus ticket to the closest office.
People who don't have a writing group can find one on meetup or the internet, and people who don't have the internet won't feel sorry over this argument.

I'm not interested in making a point about fairness at all, believe me. I'm just mildly irritated at another example of things getting dumbed down.
This "public access" thing could be perfectly well executed otherwise in an environment without such a word limit, and where the entire world won't have access to your pitch to make their own work out of it if they want.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: Quill on December 08, 2016, 12:31:12 AM
I've never used twitter, and I don't think this will make me, but I like the idea nonetheless - anything that will give people a chance to be discovered. Also, it was kind of a fun exercise to try and write a pitch in 140 characters (though not knowing twitter, I don't know if those hashtags also count towards the character limit; if they do, I am way above 140 and also terrible at this game). This would be my pitch for an old sci-fi story I used as writing practice before going full frontal fantasy:

Humanity engulfed civil war across stars when alien enemy strikes, forcing divided families to reconcile. Yet the worst enemy lurks within.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: m3mnoch on December 08, 2016, 12:39:46 AM
I just think twitter is stupid in general, so nothing on it appeals to me. I'm only stupefied that it makes the Holy Pitch go from a painstakingly assembled chunk of text that is meant to explain your work intelligibly, to a single sentence. It's even harder for our genre since it means we can't explain the setting much, and any cliche word will have to be seen as cliche as it comes. But hey! Whatever works.

People who don't write in english access the publishers who speak their own language. Believe it or not, many foreign countries have a striving publishing life in their own tongue.
People who want physical access to a professional can buy a bus ticket to the closest office.
People who don't have a writing group can find one on meetup or the internet, and people who don't have the internet won't feel sorry over this argument.

I'm not interested in making a point about fairness at all, believe me. I'm just mildly irritated at another example of things getting dumbed down.
This "public access" thing could be perfectly well executed otherwise in an environment without such a word limit, and where the entire world won't have access to your pitch to make their own work out of it if they want.

i can understand the sentiment you're rolling with, for sure.

to me, it just seems like the digital version of "the one-line elevator pitch" that every author is supposed to have at the ready just in case.

but, then again, i like twitter.  it's like a giant, chaotic conversation, where anyone can talk to anyone, all piled together in a heap.  i'm kind of a chaos-loving mess like that, tho.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: Nora on December 08, 2016, 12:53:37 AM
Why not dig Reddit then?
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: tebakutis on December 08, 2016, 12:59:55 AM
I just think twitter is stupid in general, so nothing on it appeals to me. I'm only stupefied that it makes the Holy Pitch go from a painstakingly assembled chunk of text that is meant to explain your work intelligibly, to a single sentence. It's even harder for our genre since it means we can't explain the setting much, and any cliche word will have to be seen as cliche as it comes. But hey! Whatever works.

Haha, I totally see where you're coming from as well, but remember this is just one more way to pitch agents, not the only way. You can still pitch them normally and should. It's like a lightning bonus round of the "getting published" game where you can think about your book in its simplest terms and possibly get super lucky.

That's how I think about it, anyway.

I've never used twitter, and I don't think this will make me, but I like the idea nonetheless - anything that will give people a chance to be discovered. Also, it was kind of a fun exercise to try and write a pitch in 140 characters (though not knowing twitter, I don't know if those hashtags also count towards the character limit; if they do, I am way above 140 and also terrible at this game). This would be my pitch for an old sci-fi story I used as writing practice before going full frontal fantasy:

Humanity engulfed civil war across stars when alien enemy strikes, forcing divided families to reconcile. Yet the worst enemy lurks within.

Sadly, the hasttags count toward your 140 characters. It's tough!

I had meant to redraft my Fantasy manuscript before submitting but might go for it anyway.

What have you got to lose? You can still pitch these agents independently, later, when you're ready. Unless they actually Like your tweet (in which case, send it to them!) they probably won't remember it. :p

Feel free to have fun with your own books as an exercise. Here's what I've got so far (I might come up with one more, or just do these five). Remember, only 140 characters, including hashtags!

Loose Circuit
Quote
A rookie cybercop faces pro-gamers, algorithmic orgasm dealers, and the Russian mob to stop a man from hacking people's brains. #SFT #SFFpit

Quote
After his fiancé erases her own mind to save him, a reformed hacker goes corporate and discovers a plot to brainwash the world. #SFT #SFFpit

Quote
After a cybercriminal puppets people into murder, a rookie detective must stop him without revealing he's a cybercriminal, too. #SFT #SFFpit


Supremacy's Shadow
Quote
24 meets Star Wars. A sardonic counterterrorism agent searches for his (dead?) wife while trying not to get shot by everyone. #SFT #SFFpit

Quote
Half-Han Solo, half-Deadpool, Hayden Cross fights to stop an interplanetary war while relentlessly mocking everyone involved. #SFT #SFFpit

If you're bored, feel free to fool around with your own, even if you don't plan to tweet it. I think it's actually a good/fun exercise.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: Nora on December 08, 2016, 01:12:11 AM
"FBI consultant freaks out as her life becomes a fan letter to Harris' Red Dragon. #IHateMyAuthor #PleaseReviewMyCharacterArc"

"Does Immortality suck? Young immortal raised human sees all her beloved age and die. Yes immortality sucks. #NoraWritesPositiveStuff"

"Immortal gunslinger looking for a quiet life gets drawn into stuff. At least curiosity ain't ever gonna kill that cat. #NoBloodSucking #ReverseDatTrope"

"Guy gets a new phobia every day. Today it's doors, and of course he's gonna need to open a lot. #SadistWritersUnitedPresent"
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: m3mnoch on December 08, 2016, 01:37:12 AM
nora.  you need a twitter account.  if only so the world can witness those hashtags.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: tebakutis on December 08, 2016, 02:53:39 AM
"Guy gets a new phobia every day. Today it's doors, and of course he's gonna need to open a lot. #SadistWritersUnitedPresent"

Oh my god, that's perfect.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: J.R. Darewood on December 08, 2016, 04:41:57 AM
Why not dig Reddit then?

Gamergate
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: J.R. Darewood on December 08, 2016, 04:46:12 AM
I just think twitter is stupid in general, so nothing on it appeals to me. I'm only stupefied that it makes the Holy Pitch go from a painstakingly assembled chunk of text that is meant to explain your work intelligibly, to a single sentence. It's even harder for our genre since it means we can't explain the setting much, and any cliche word will have to be seen as cliche as it comes. But hey! Whatever works.

People who don't write in english access the publishers who speak their own language. Believe it or not, many foreign countries have a striving publishing life in their own tongue.
People who want physical access to a professional can buy a bus ticket to the closest office.
People who don't have a writing group can find one on meetup or the internet, and people who don't have the internet won't feel sorry over this argument.

I'm not interested in making a point about fairness at all, believe me. I'm just mildly irritated at another example of things getting dumbed down.
This "public access" thing could be perfectly well executed otherwise in an environment without such a word limit, and where the entire world won't have access to your pitch to make their own work out of it if they want.

I'm going to pitch a novel about Nora writing her pitch....


"Author condenses intricate 700-page masterpiece into 140 characters on a platform for narcissistic millennials w/ environmentally-induced ADD and a penchant for misinformation."

#hashtagsareevenworse #ifyourthoughtsdontgobeyondasinglewordthatsdepressing  #literatureisdead
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: cupiscent on December 08, 2016, 04:52:48 AM
I follow a lot of agents on twitter - partly a relic of my own agent-hunt, partly that they have heaps of interesting things to say about the industry - so every time SFFpit and PitMad and the others come around, I see heaps of them go flying past. Agents definitely do read and flag things they'd like to see (which is great for researching agent tastes as well).

That said, I have never participated in one, mostly because I had enough trouble slimming my novels down to a 250-word pitch letter, let alone getting that down to 140 characters minus hashtags. (Which is another reason that I've never been too sad not to have an opportunity to do in-person pitching. Also bus tickets from Melbourne to New York are a bit pricey. ;) ) You don't have to do things like this. All the agents who read SFFpit also accept regular old queries, and regular old queries work fine. That said, an event like this has a much quicker turnaround than a regular old query. Get feedback on your concept in under 24 hours! That beats waiting months to get feedback on your query letter summary. (Mind you, it has the same problems. Did the agents not like your concept? Or did they just not read it? What went wrong? No one knows.)

The key to a good twitter pitch is the same as the key to a good query: honing in on what makes your book unique, being specific, and making every word count. To that end, I'm loving the "(dead?) wife" in the example from @tebakutis.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: sennydreadful on December 08, 2016, 10:57:22 AM
to me, it just seems like the digital version of "the one-line elevator pitch" that every author is supposed to have at the ready just in case.

This is the thing. Being able to do this is an incredibly useful skill, not just in terms of pitching, but also because I find it helps me with how I think about the book. If keeping an entire book inside my head at the planning stages is starting to get uncomfortable, I go back to my one line pitch and things feel manageable again.

I'm also pretty terrible at coming up with them, but Save the Cat by Blake Snyder helped me get my head around the idea. (It's an excellent book in any case - it's about writing screenplays but much of it can apply to books too. Highly recommended!)
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: m3mnoch on December 08, 2016, 02:49:45 PM
Why not dig Reddit then?

Gamergate

heh.  actually, it's because the community around reddit is homogenous.  (have you ever been to a reddit meetup?  *shivver*) twitter is a pretty broad cross-section of humanity.  like facebook, but with lots of interesting people to talk to -- not just your family and friends.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: tebakutis on December 08, 2016, 10:03:37 PM
Quote
Half-Han Solo, half-Deadpool, Hayden Cross fights to stop an interplanetary war while relentlessly mocking everyone involved. #A #SFT #SFFpit

FYI guys, this pitch got me THREE likes this morning (WHAAAAT?) from Sam Morgan of Jabberwocky, Lindsay Mealing at Emerald City Literary Agency, and Brooks Sherman at the Bent Agency.

So holy **** did I get lucky. Even if all three pass on a full request, at least I now know how I'm going to pitch my book if I take it indie. You can never go wrong with Deadpool.

Time to throw some queries together.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: m3mnoch on December 08, 2016, 10:44:53 PM
aside from teb's awesome deadpool one, a quick perusal of the hashtag turned up a few of the other popular tweets of the day.
https://twitter.com/search?q=sffpit

Quote
TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE meets IF I STAY. Willow can be in 2 places at once but only keeps one set of memories. #YA (http://https:/twitter.com/hashtag/YA?src=hash) #SFFpit (http://https:/twitter.com/hashtag/SFFpit?src=hash)— Roxanne Lambie (@roxannelambie) December 8, 2016 (http://https:/twitter.com/roxannelambie/status/806894998494920705)

That awkward moment when you realize the new duke is the guy you met when lying low - for killing the last duke. #YA (http://https:/twitter.com/hashtag/YA?src=hash) #FA (http://https:/twitter.com/hashtag/FA?src=hash) #SFFPit (http://https:/twitter.com/hashtag/SFFPit?src=hash)— Rosanne Rivers (@CityJuliet) December 8, 2016 (http://https:/twitter.com/CityJuliet/status/806895504844091392)

#SFFpit (http://https:/twitter.com/hashtag/SFFpit?src=hash) #MG (http://https:/twitter.com/hashtag/MG?src=hash) #FA (http://https:/twitter.com/hashtag/FA?src=hash) Dragons vs humans. But when crippled girl joins humanity's flying warriors, a mystery unfolds. Nothing is what it seems.— Becki Fornwalt (@novelarnia) December 8, 2016 (http://https:/twitter.com/novelarnia/status/806878740319911936)

this whole thing has been awesome to watch.  i need to finish my damn book so i can do cool things like this!
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: Nora on December 08, 2016, 11:14:50 PM
The last one sounds opaque and confusing, but the one in the middle seems like great banter on the author's part.
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: cupiscent on December 08, 2016, 11:24:37 PM
I agree, Nora, "a mystery unfolds" is ultra-generic. But I'm loving that second one.

Here are some more awesome ones that seem to be gathering plenty of likes:

Quote
#YA female ROBIN HOOD & her band of merry women steal to survive in a space opera setting. #SFFpit #SO #SF For fans of KILLJOYS + FIREFLY

Quote
Celia inks tattoos for a devil. To escape her servitude, she'll need ink, lies, & the help of a mad carnival troupe. #YA #FA #DF #sffpit
(love love love that one!)

Quote
To clear her name of murder, Jameelah must master star magic—taught by the true killer. WRATH & DAWN + GIRL OF FIRE & THORNS #SFFpit #YA #FA

Quote
FROZEN + STAR WARS: Reclusive princess forgoes freedom and joins exiled rebels to stop the cyborg army invading her empire. #SFFPit #YA #SO

It's interesting that all of these that we're finding are YA. A lot of the authors who participate in online contests like this are submitting YA spec fic. Possibly because a lot of the agents who are online active (twitter, blogging, contests) are YA / spec-fic agents. Or is the causative link the other way around?
Title: Re: #SFFPit tomorrow, 12/8/2016, 10am-6pm EST
Post by: Nora on December 09, 2016, 04:46:39 PM
"Can our charming heroine avoid the rocky road to mental breakdown her author penned for her? Probably not. #ManVsWriter"