Of Pitch Wars and Mentors…

So Pitch Wars is in full swing. In just ten more days, mentors will announce the writers they’ve chosen to work with for the next two months. Then the real work begins.

As I’ve stalked, erm, followed, each of my four chosen mentors I’ve been repeatedly reminded of exactly why I chose them. It would’ve been easy if I’d chosen each of them for the same reason, but that’s not the case. They’re each unique and would bring their own personal spin as mentors. It was agonizing to choose. So agonizing that I think the only thing that can exceed it is how it feels for mentors to choose only one manuscript to work with. Yowsers!

decisions

So as I reflected on my selection process, I began to wonder how other Pitch Wars hopefuls did the same. I’m sharing my thought process here, without naming names, and invite you to do the same.

Before making any selections I sat down and thought about what I wanted to gain from Pitch Wars. A polished manuscript and hopefully an agent, right? Well, of course. But what of the mentor/mentee relationship itself? What did I want from it?

First, I wanted open communications. Someone I can joke with when I make mistakes, but also someone who is not afraid to call it a mistake to begin with. This criterion wasn’t a huge help in the mentor-selection process. Mentors that I thought might shy away from calling out a mistake were few and far between.

Second, I wanted someone who could help me learn new things about the craft of writing. I’m a trained educator. I can talk learning methodology with the best of them-but I’ve had no formal training in the actual craft of writing. Not only do I want to edit my manuscript, I want to understand the edits I’m making from a craft perspective. Again, this criterion wasn’t a huge help to me. Have you read some of the mentor tweets? These folks know their stuff.

Next, I had to consider the content of my manuscript. A few descriptors include: ghosts, steampunk, historical (late 1800s), boy humor (including potty jokes, erm, outhouse jokes), southern twang, and even a dead body. Not only do I enjoy the weird and the wacky, but also the scary and macabre. I hoped to find mentors that would not only be “okay” with all of that, but would enjoy it.

Finally, and this one was for icing on the cake, I really hoped to find someone who loves to plot. Because I love to plot, right? Erm, no. I’ve tried to plot and outline. I really have. It’s my weakest point, but it’s not because I don’t want to. I’m a great “big idea” generator, and sometimes I’m afraid the minor plot points get lost in all of my big ideas. I’m hoping I can find a mentor that will help me marry the two ends of the spectrum.

So what about you, Pitch Wars peeps? How did you narrow down that list of awesome mentors to just four?

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2 thoughts on “Of Pitch Wars and Mentors…

  1. Great post Kendra! It was so hard to select a mentor. There were so many great choices! I tried to focus on a few areas. I looked for writers whose work I liked, who seemed receptive to my concept (based on their mentor bio), and who seemed like a good fit for me personality-wise (based on social media). I think I made great choices. But I also know they received a lot of submissions, so the competition is tough. Best of luck in Pitch Wars 🙂

  2. Hi, Kelly! You’re so right, it was extremely hard! Every time I thought I had it down to four, another mentor would say something awesome and I’d go through the entire process again. In the end, I really wish I could’ve chosen seven instead of four! Best of luck to you too!

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