IWSG #14 – Are We Brave or Foolish?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.


Until this week I thought we were all brave. You know, facing our fears and literally putting our hearts out there for everyone to examine.

Then I came across a post about #PitMad and it got me thinking. what kind of fool would try to put a whole book into 14o characters? Me, that’s who. Me. *hangs head in shame*

It started off with me telling myself that I’ll just see if I can write a log line that short. Then it led to adding tone. Somehow I got hooked–over twenty scary examples of my efforts captured in a spreadsheet with hashmarks included. Here’s where I found a spreadsheet example. *smiling shyly*

There is satisfaction from cramming story, tone, plot, conflict, and players into 140 characters. In fact, if I was wearing suspenders, my thumbs would be tucked under them. It feels pretty good.

That doesn’t mean I’ll post them on twitter. I may practice a few more times before going for the gold, but I might. And knowing I can is exciting.

Knowing I will, gives me a cold chill. This is where I reflect on how foolish I may be. Sure the pitches sound pretty good as I read them aloud.  And I know my way around a log line (twitter pitch), but to put them out there where agents and publisher pick over them…


…is taking a leap of faith I’m not sure I have.

Anyone else doing #Pitmad? Any advice?

91 responses to “IWSG #14 – Are We Brave or Foolish?

  1. I think it’s more brave than foolish, but you never know what might come of it if you never try. I’m not #PitMad ready but I have been practicing and writing some Twitter pitches to use in the future. But I will be spreading the word and cheering people on.

  2. I’ve done #pitmad and others just like it many times. It’s so much fun, addicting, and you meet some wonderful people. Each time I’ve also gotten requests, so it was well worth the time. If you’re looking for an agent I highly recommend doing it. Just remember there is etiquette to follow, like only pitching twice an hour, and you’ll do fine. I’m not doing it this year because I don’t have to anymore. And that, is an awesome feeling. Anymore than that I can’t share publicly… yet. 😉

  3. I’m not doing this but I admire that you are taking chances and taking a leap of faith! Good luck Anna!

  4. That is creative. I’ve heard of this before, but never investigated. Now, you have my attention.

  5. This is a brilliant idea and you might get lucky with someone who like your tweet. I’ll be looking out for tweets for Pitmad on the fourth. I’d suggest just edit and edit some more the tweet or tweets you plan on sending out before the day arrives.

  6. Post them…go for it and strut like a peacock!

  7. sherry fundin

    I agree with Kim. Go for it. I love when an author to pack a punch in a small package. 🙂

    sherry @ fundinmental

  8. Wow, Anna! This is one heck of a challenge. I’d love to see how you manage it!

  9. I didn’t know about Pitmad until now. But yeah, I’d say you’re darn right to feel satisfied and proud!!! 🙂

  10. ooh, I’d not heard of this before. I can see the appeal, thanks for the link. As for whether or not to jump – go for it, nothing to lose and who knows what you might gain! Best of luck 🙂

  11. Hey, I’ve done that before! Such a fun pitching event. I really believe that if you’re going to make it as an author, you have to be able to tell a compelling story in 140 characters–or at least hook people.

  12. That sounds like a great exercise in practicing brevity and tightness in writing!

  13. I think someone would be foolish not to use those awesome loglines that you no doubt came up with it. You should do it!

  14. You should definitely go for it. You can win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket, as they say. Sounds like you have put your practice in and polished your pitches. Take a chance. Good luck!

  15. I’m doing PitMad too! Last time I got an agent who is actually reading the full manuscript right now…I haven’t heard back from her yet though, so that means I’m still free to pitch, and I’m gonna do it again, see who bites.

    My advice–you can only pitch twice an hour, and twitter won’t let you do the same exact tweet twice, so you have to tweak them slightly to not be identical. People tend to flood at the top of the hour and at the :30 mark, so schedule them at an odd time like at :18 and :47. Good luck!

  16. Just seeing #pitmad puts me in a cold sweat. I’m notoriously bad at loglines due to non-linear plots, but PitMad is a great opportunity. Faster response than querying and more fun for agents who must tire of plowing through long, unsolicited submissions. Best of luck, Anna. It is because you’re brave, you will shine.

    VR Barkowski

  17. Oh, definitely go for it! Good luck, and I’ll cross my fingers for you!

  18. I hadn’t heard of this before but I think it’s awesome and you are very brave. Not foolish at all! I love short fiction, some people have such a knack for it and I admire that ability. Good luck!

  19. Give it a try! #Pitmad is awesome–I got nine requests last time! One thing I learned that has an amazing impact–make friends with the other authors. Thank them for retweeting your pitches, retweet theirs, and compliment the pitches you like. It makes a HUGE difference. My pitches were retweeted over 100 times during the last #Pitmad.

    Good luck!

  20. I’ve never tried anything like it, and it definitely sounds challenging. Good luck. 🙂

  21. Oh, that sounds terrifying! Good for you for even attempting it. Good luck if you give it a go!

  22. What a great idea! Pitmad is new to me. Go for it, Grrll!! Best wishes!

  23. Good luck! I’ve been there before, may even throw out a pitch too. We’ll see. My eyes get crossed every time I try to write one. Congrats on getting that far!

  24. Sounds like an excellent exercise if you have the discipline. I’ve always thought books should have a 25, a 50, and a 100 word pitch. Not that I’ve ever pushed myself to do it, but it is such a good idea…

  25. That’s the first I’ve heard of it. Sounds great. Go for it. Jump on the bus.

  26. I haven’t heart of that. It sounds super hard. Congrats for being willing to try!

  27. Cool! I was able to boil the novel I’m writing’s plot into two sentences and I did a happy dance when that happened. Getting it down to 140 characters means that you really know what your story’s about.

  28. You should definitely Jump into #pitMad, or any of the other twitter pitch things that go on throughout the year.
    People I know who participate love it and it’s a great way to network!

  29. spunkonastick

    If you’ve written that many, one of them has to be great. You should do it.

  30. This is super cool, Anna. Good on you. As the other commenters have said, I didn’t know about this. I’m going to check it out. 🙂 Thanks for the heads-up, and I wish you all the luck in the world with your pitch!!

  31. I’ve never heard of these and will have to check them out now, as well as your “pitches” on your spreadsheet. Thanks for introducing me to your madness that I may make it my own so you won’t feel alone! Lisa @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

  32. I know a few writers who do #Pitmad. It’s not something I’ve done, but I do try to think up some 140 pitches for my books. It’s just something good to practice and have. Good luck with yours and when you post them.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine (Cohost for June)~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  33. It’s a skill in itself to write those tight pitches. Best wishes.

    • Thanks. Its funny when I read them sometimes I think I’ve done a good job, then a half hour later I’m asking myself what am I thinking. I guess we’ll see tomorrow how well I’ve done. 🙂

  34. Learned something new, did had not heard of it till you. Sounds great and good practice too. Good Luck. Sorry posting back so late, my day started late,and did not get online till after 8pm, so catching up now.

  35. Summing a book up in 140 characters is crazy hard. I’m impressed that you have a spreadsheet of stories. It’s great you were able to cram the important story elements into yours.

  36. It’s not foolish. You’re incredibly brave! Loglines and pitches are so tough. Good luck to you! 🙂

  37. I think we all fail automatically if we don’t try doing what we can’t stop thinking about 😉 So, yay for bravery. It will be fun and no matter what happens it’s a great experience to have under you belt. Go, Anna!

  38. Perhaps we’re brave AND foolish! But you know what? We won’t have regrets about wishing what we could’ve done.

    I think it’s awesome to fit a story into 140 characters. It forces us to focus on what the guts of the story are.

  39. kaistrandauthor

    I’ve done #Pitmad in the past. Got some interest. It was fun. You have to get used to putting yourself out there. When you have books out and people can (and do) say any ole thing they want about them & not always with respect, you have to learn that water-off-a-duck’s-back thing. Best to start with a respectful crowd.

  40. I never heard of #Pitmad. Very interesting. Best wishes and thanks for always adding a link when you comment on my blog. 🙂

  41. jenniferbielman

    LOL, that’s crazy. Good luck. Sounds like a fun challenge.

  42. Glad to see that you decided to bite the bullet and publish them! Congrats on getting three requests! Sounds exciting!

  43. Haven’t heard of this, but I admire your bravery. If we stopped ourselves from trying out of fear of looking foolish, we’d never accomplish a thing. Best of luck!

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