Getting Published Part One: The Book (OR what happens when you procrastinate for five years)

Today’s Tea: Vanilla Rooibos

Like most things, it started with a pretty simple idea. During my senior year in college, I was re-watching SLEEPING BEAUTY and CINDERELLA (for research*) and had the thought: what if there was a school for fairy godmothers?

That was the idea. So I scribbled out some scenes, a few brief character studies and proceeded to do absolutely nothing about it. I graduated, moved back to Los Angeles, got a job in animation production and started working very long hours.

I would think about the idea sometimes, mostly when I was driving to or from work, but for the most part I didn’t do much about it except complain to myself that I was wasn’t doing much about it.

It took a really long time for me to focus enough to turn that idea into a story. And that story into a manuscript. And when that manuscript was done, I read it and realized it was awful. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad book.

So it got scrapped. And I started over.

The next manuscript was better. It didn’t share a lot in common with the first manuscript. The characters had all been renamed, the tone had completely changed and somehow what had started out as a standalone novel became a series with six outlined books. But the original idea stayed the same.

I ended up writing that new first draft in about two months. Pretty speedy, huh? Yeah, except for those five years of preparation that came before it.

Friends, it has been said that you should write a story that you would like to read. I strongly believe this, because you will be rewriting that manuscript for years. YEARS! I finished that first draft in 2011 and just now, three years later, am I reaching the end of revising that puppy. Publishing is a long process and you’ll need two things to make it through: patience and a love of your story, because both of those will be tested throughout the publishing process.

Thank goodness I really, really, really like fairy tales.

*No really. My thesis was about the representation of women in animated films and yes, I am a nerd.

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