Friday, April 29, 2016

Advice (I'm not asking for it. Nor am I giving it. I'm just talking about it. Maybe I should have called it Talking About Advice, but that was too long).

So here's a topic that's been on my mind, advice. When do you take it, and when do you not take it? When I started this whole road to getting published thing half an eon ago, I knew nothing.  My friend sent me to querytracker.net and Nathan Bransford's site, then away I went.  

I knew to follow Nathan's advice, he was an agent.  But what he represented was not quite what I was doing, so I never knew 100%.  When I went to querytracker or read other blogs, none of the advice seemed to fit me as a children's book writer.  It all went against what I wanted to do.  At first I didn't know if it was me, or them.  I pretty much soaked up the majority opinion, until one day, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I attended an SCBWI regional conference.  

During a page reading, one of the local chapter leaders read my page, which I had just written the day I submitted it, and then she gave some advice.  The pages were anonymous but apparently because I'm 8, and the grins and giddiness I was vibing out to the room, an editor figured it out.  She walked up to me.  "The Space School page was yours right?"

I was half about to freak out.  I'm super awkward, btw.  "Yes."

"I just wanted to say that what she said about not giving an age for your character was dead wrong.  Those details are key." 

"Oh good, thanks for telling me.  I wanted to make a protagonist that was the same age as the reader."

Well, I think you should definitely play with the idea of (in other words, do that) making your character older, but just don't forget to tell me his age."

"Oh, okay thanks."  

"Yeah, no problem, also your page was really good, it was one of the best, really funny."  Almost lost it again

"You like me?"  I didn't really say that, but my eyes probably totally said that.  

Anyway, ever since that day, I never know when to listen to someone or just do my own thing.  But right now, my WIP is a redraft of that same book.  It's kind of kick-ass now that I've grown up a bit and had time to realize that it sucked and I'm not Mary Pope Osborne.  I'm writing like me, and not trying to make the next Magic Treehouse book, which didn't fit my idea anyway.  

Honestly, I think where I'm at now is a result of finding all my mistakes, but I guess my question would be, could I have made this process shorter for myself?  Who could I have listened to?  Who do you listen to?  Comment below.  

-Chris 

1 comment:

  1. I consider Osborne to be a great inspiration, but yeah, my stuff doesn't exactly fit either. Great Blog. Enjoying it very much.

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