Whew! What an insane weekend. I feel so chock-full of good information I keep having to use pink, sparkly duct tape to keep my head from exploding. Storymakers was phenomenal and you’ll be hearing all about it over the next couple of weeks or so as I divulge notes that just may take your writing to pure awesomeness. (DISCLAIMER: How you use these notes is up to you, but pure awesomeness is one of the possible paths you can take with them.)
Also it was a success for me pitch-wise too. I got a full request on my novel SHADE and got to know another agent who gave me the a-ok to query. Hopefully one of them holds the news of the ever-anticipated, “I’d like you represent you.” Only time will tell.
And in the meantime, I’m going to be doing insane amounts of revisions to apply all the good tidbits I learned at the conference so I can put my best manuscript forward. (NOTE: If an agent requests more at a conference, it’s perfectly okay to tell them you’d like a little time to apply what you’ve learned to your manuscript. They would prefer they got the best you can offer.)
But onto Monday’s quote. Our keynote speaker this year was Anne Perry, bestselling author of the William Monk series novels and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels—all detective novels set in Victorian England. (She’s even a winner of an Agatha Award.)
Her keynote address was phenomenal—well—more than phenomenal. I can only tell you it was the kind of address where you half question whether you can actually be listening to such a remarkable thing. Of course I’ll post some notes from it later, but one of my favorite parts:
Everything that you have experienced, write it the very best you can and share it with everyone you can. They may find at three in the morning you were the companion they were aching to hear from.
Wouldn’t we all love to be that companion in our writing? I can remember all too often feeling unwell or being unable to sleep during college and I had Harry, Ron, and Hermione to see me through those moments. Or being able to take strength from three orphans whose lives were far more unfortunate than my own.
Are you in this for fame or are you in this to really affect people? If it’s the latter, put all your effort into honing your craft and digging deep and putting your truth on the page. Write the very best story possible. Make that your goal and be that companion. If we do we’ll gain audiences who will always come back for more. That’s not to say it will be easy or that publishing it will be easy. But all of that effort will yield a lot of fruit, when it’s time.
What say you? Do you hope to be the ‘companion’ writer? How are you striving to hone your skills? What advice would you give to those just starting down the writing path?