I went to a Writers & Artists workshop at the weekend. It was excellent and by tea-time I was thoroughly re-invigorated, re-working the synopsis of my story in my head and full of energy and positivity to push on in my quest to become published.
The last session was really depressing. I know the panellists were giving their considered opinions and I am sure they are completely right. But it was a big switch from the vitality and enthusiasm of what had gone before.
There are a number of things that don’t help this quest.
- like most authors I am a little paranoid about my work, thinking my stories are perfect in every way, and therefore unwilling to change them
- like quite a few others I don’t think anyone will really take them seriously and they aren’t really any good at all
- the reality of course is somewhere in between. They have faults. They may not be commercial. They were not originally intended for a specific age group and may well be best suited to any adult “in touch with their inner child”, as one of the speakers said.
- if I want girls to read it, there seems to be an absence of girls in the story until half way through the second book (but she’s great!)
- if I want 8-12 year olds to read it, the language may be a bit challenging and it needs more dialogue and obviously young heroes
- if I want young adults to read it, well, it had better not be about guinea pigs…
On the other hand, I can rewrite it with George as a girl (and still an engineer). I could develop Lady Nimrod’s role rather more. I can ignore the whole thing about guinea pigs and just make it an adventure tale. And most of all, I can read things that people in those age groups are reading and find out what mine might actually sit with on a bookshelf.
I could also just rewrite the synopsis and my pitch to reflect the guidance given in the workshop and keep trying for publishers etc while working on an alternative version.
Passion and resilience. The key qualities needed to be a published author. Thank you to Kaye, Emma, Camila, Val, Julia, Elen and Cressida. I didnt realise how much Publishing was a woman’s world.