Update on Noveling – Pitch


It is March 23.  The fields are icy; where there is no crust of snow there is glazed mud.  In between slips and slides–I ran into a tree yesterday trying to cross-country ski–(ouch! said bleeding shin–trees are hard!)–I am also trying to publish a novel.

It is difficult.  First, it’s a difficult novel.  (In other words, I’m not even sure IF I like it.)  This makes it extremely hard to foist off on others.

Secondly, I genuinely have plenty of other stuff to do.

Which means I give all that other stuff priority!

And yet…and yet… I know if I let too much time go by, I really will not be able to stand to look at this novel for a few more years–

Also, I would like to be able to start writing poetry again.

And so… and so… in a fit of nerves and depression, I uploaded the novel today.  Meaning I submitted for self-publication.  Meaning that I’ll probably have to edit one more time when I get the proofs, but I am nearly there.


I also went through a bunch of extremely musty old magazines that I have from the 1960s (and have been storing in boxes outside)  to try to begin putting together a cover.  (Yes, I know I could get people with actual knowledge of these things to  design it!)

In the meantime, although I’m not sure why–given that it embarrasses me so much, given that it truly mortifies me–I set forth below the “pitch” for the novel that I wrote and that just passed the first round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.  (The book is called “Nice.”) :

It is summer, 1968, and Les has been trained to be nice.  

When she was really little, they played the Star Spangled Banner in movie theaters before the show; she could feel her chest ripple just like the flag on the screen.

But it is summer, 1968–Martin Luther King Jr. shot in April and now Bobby Kennedy.    

“What in the world is happening to this country?” her mother says as they stay up after the shooting, watching the TV people try to decide whether he’ll have brain damage.  

Les wonders what she, a kid, a girl, can do about any of it.  Other than hold firm to the idea that people are good, that if everyone would just be nice enough, they could impart some of that niceness to others–

Though, in the meantime, she would also like to be just a little more cool–

Then Duke comes to visit, a cool cat, a natural charmer, and something happens to Les that is not nice– 

Who can she tell?  How, afterwards, can she un-tell them? 

Her older brother, Arne, lives his own side of the story that summer as he tries angrily, in the midst of suburban family life and the escalating Vietnam War, to become a young man. 

But “what in the world is happening?” he wonders as his sister changes, his sister who has always been the nice one–

Their story traverses the landscape of country, family, heart.


Thank God, I don’t think the pitch counts for anything but getting into the second round!  And I have no expectations of the contest.  And the book is not written like the pitch!  And I don’t think that was even the final pitch as I edited it on the website!

I think I am posting this to keep up my commitment!  Thanks for your kindness!

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14 Comments on “Update on Noveling – Pitch”

  1. Brian Miller Says:

    hope it goes well for you k.
    def hard to work on something you are not even sure you like.
    can you rework it into something you like?

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. I don’t really dislike it . I am just tired of it and terribly insecure. I don’t think I could dramatically change it at this point . There are a few things that I think should be cut but I don’t trust my judgment really. Thanks though for your suggestion. You are right– I should more forthright! K.


  2. Bravo for submitting this to a contest – making it into the second round is significant. Your pitch is, dare I say, pitch perfect. It is intriguing and makes the reader want to read the book – so you succeeded. Think how awesome you will feel once it is published and you can move on to the next project. I am in the same place – so much work, it is boggling at times. Keep going!

  3. Steve King Says:

    Trust your judgement.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. I guess my judgement is to leave the parts in, as I have done so . I feel like it is a bit repetitive, in terms of some of the action but that’s partly because it tries to follow human psychology and people are relatively repetitive. (But maybe books shouldn’t be.). Anyway, forging ahead. Thanks. K.

  4. claudia Says:

    i dunno… if i would feel insecure i would give it some more time to rest and develop – but each of us is different – so maybe for you it’s the right thing to get it out there…

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I think I feel insecure about many things. This is a book I’ve worked on–on and off–for probably fifteen years or so–so I don’t feel insecure that it hasn’t been worked on enough. I am not sure it represents my current view points or way of writing–and it is a fairly serious book–so I think that makes for the insecurity. Also, when you have something dangling along for so long and going through so many versions, you do get to be more rather than less secure about it, perhaps. k.

  5. Susan Says:

    I want to read it. Heck, I just wrote a poem about the 1979 Shoreham nuclear power plant action! Feed me!

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    Glad to hear you have reached the uploading stage, even if one more edit looms. That pitch is not bad at all, nothing to be embarrassed by, anyway. Pitches are pitches, meant to tease more than inform, and I especially like the beginning with the chest rippling like a flag. Good luck, k, and I know you will be glad when you get to the end of this waltz–and not just because you’re tired of dancing. ;_)

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, yes. The pitch felt worse to me looking back at it, but it did what it was supposed to, I guess. Yes, will be happy. I do not think anyone will read it, but I’ll be done, which will be the main thing from my perspective. k.

      • hedgewitch Says:

        Well, no one can read it unless you get it out there, so I’d say doing so improves the likelihood by a hundred percent that someone will. ;_) And perhaps that/those someone(s) will be just who needs to read it, so it will all be worth it.

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Of course, that’s right. I am being a bit precious, I fear. Who knows? Thanks. k.

  7. ds Says:

    There’s insecurity and then there’s insecurity. Yours is the good kind, which came with the courage to submit the book anyway (mine is the bad kind, which comes with the never-to-be-fought urge to stick my head in the ground). And to echo/paraphrase hedgewitch: submitting the novel/pitch (which sounds quite interesting, btw; 1968 being the year that everything changed) is no guarantee that it will win or be read, but not submitting it would have absolutely guaranteed that it wouldn’t. Good luck!

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