I am taking a day away from my series to write out some of my thoughts from this last, very exciting, and somewhat stressful event called #PitchWars.

The idea is extremely creative. It falls into the category of authors helping authors and I found it to be a fantastic idea. Non-agented authors (potential mentees) send their queries to agented authors (mentors). After a long process, and several million Twitter posts, the mentors choose one manuscript to help the mentee edit and rewrite and get polished for the eyes of an agent.

This year there were near 2000 entries, and a little over 100 mentors, so you see how stiff the competition was. My manuscript (Rising) did not make it in. I read some of the queries from other authors and am impressed with the quality.

The whole process has caused me to look over my own work and evaluate my  writing abilities.

I don’t think I do poorly, but I do believe I lack ‘spunk’. That’s the best word I can think of. I tell my tales in a rather linear to-the-point style, and I can see why they are not popular aside from a few friends reading them and cheering me on. It could very well be because the novels I have read are told in the same way.

I can’t compare the quality of my writing to C.S. Lewis, but I can compare the linear unadorned and less flowery prose to his, as well as to Forester, and some other authors of the 18th and 19th century.

Is it because I’m of another generation? Am I getting old?

I feel it is time to tune up the rusty old wheels of my mind, and read current novels before I lift up a pen (or punch a keyboard) again, to study and discover what the market really wants.

I know we can’t write for the market because the market is always changing. Still, there is a certain temperature, a pacing, an artistic quality that can be applied to any novel that will ‘jazz’ it up a bit.

I think I can get there. I may be taking a novel writing hiatus (I won’t stop screenwriting at the moment) to see what I can do. I’m not sure how long it will take, nor if I experiment on Rising in the process. We shall see.

Wish me luck!

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