Eighteen months ago, a publisher I respect a lot opened a tiny window for pitches – they were looking for a series of stories, and they wanted the whole package: premise, cast of characters, hooks, and short synopses of twelve episodes. And they wanted it within a week.
I had a great idea (if I do say so myself) and so I started putting the pitch together. Three days in, the publisher announced that all the available slots had already been filled – they had received pitches that were so good and solid, they had filled all the available spaces in three days.
So I shelved my notes and things. No way I could be able to do such a series as a self-published thing, and while I loved the premise and the characters, I had too much already on my plate to put some serious work in such a project.
Ten days ago, that same publisher opened again a tiny slot – for something completely different.
But this time I was ready – I only had to resurrect my notes from the folder where I had buried them, and tweak my pitch, to fit the guidelines, the request this time being for a stand-alone novelette.
And I am happy to report my pitch was approved – with minimal changes – in 24 hours.
I am in business – and I’ll be able to put on the page those characters I liked so much, and a lot of the stuff I had put together for the original pitch.
Bottom line: never ever delete a file.
Yesterday’s missed opportunities are tomorrow’s new chances.