Who am I?

I am a writing and publishing guru. What I dont know about the market just isn't worth knowing. So what if I'm unpublished? I choose to give other writers the gift of my wisdom and experience* that the other 500,000 writing blogs out there fail to give.
* No actual experience

Saturday, June 25, 2011

imitiation is the most sincere form...

"Sit down and listen, children! I have something to read to you. No, now, please. Turn that wii off. Stop hitting your brother. Come on, boys. It wont take long, I promise!"

My long suffering children are my test subjects. I read my stories aloud, and watch for tell tale signs of boredom. The usual subtle cues - glazed eyes, yawns, pleads to let them go now, please, so they can do their homework!

One child hangs on to my every word. Then again, he loves reading. One has the attention span of a gnat and interrupts with irrelevant questions. He's not exactly a bookworm. The youngest cuddles up and enjoys the word flow, but is still of an age where he really needs illustrations when he's been read to. He's below the age range of my work, but loves the inimacy of story time.

I never ask whether or not they liked it, but I do stop and check comprehension, in case my indirect descriptions are too vague, or whether my "show" could benefit from a little bit of "tell" (hey, there's good telling and bad telling apparently).

I hear that editors will take the words "My children really enjoyed my work and tell me it should be published" in a query as such a strong endorsement that their fingers itch to flick it into the "no" pile. My children's responses guide me in terms of concept development and difficulty when I'm developing the story. Ok, so I think their taste is impeccable when they appear to enjoy it, but comprehension is more pertinent.

My main measure of success is whether a story stays with them.

If they are asked to do some creative writing in class, and if the story produced resembles something that I've written (particularly if it had been some time since I'd read it), then I air-punch in joy. The story has meant something to them - I haven't wasted my time writing after all. 


  1. Isn't it marvelous to know your children have something to teach YOU? :o) Just, shhhh, don't tell the agents...

  2. My stepdaughter begged to read one of my books once. She sat down and read...I think she maybe made it to chapter two before she started watching TV. Maybe that's not a good sign?

  3. @ Stephanie - the book held her attention for two whole chapters before the tv's siren call distracted her. For some kids, that's huge! Besides, kids tend to read in fits and starts, they rarely read from cover to cover.

    @ Phoenix - I learn from my children daily. They know it all already, and aren't afraid to tell. Loudly.