Wednesday, December 7, 2011

YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday #108: How Far Would You Go?

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This week's topic:
How far would you go to get published?

I have mixed feelings about this week's topic. I can't help but feel that it implies there are levels of "staying true to your novel" versus "selling out in order to get published." It brings to mind the image of the crazed author, the artiste, snarling at anyone who wants her to "kill her darlings," on one hand. On the other stands the sell-out, who put her novel through plastic surgery and hacked at it so much that it little resembles the beautiful story she first envisioned. I appreciate that YA Highway did say that this is entirely up to interpretation, because I myself stand in the middle of a very grey patch.

We must remember it is all about the story. We write because we love stories and want to tell them, because stories live within us and swirl within our brains until we feel that we will burst unless we share them. It is our job as the writer to come up with our very best story, and it is the publishing world's job to help us tell the story in a way that will reach out and touch the largest possible (and most suitable) audience. After the storytelling, the book no longer belongs to just the author. It also belongs to the publishing world and then to the readers. If I did feel that an editor wanted me to cut away some vital pieces of the story, I would consider how those revisions effect the story as a whole, and I would do my best to pick and choose my battles. A major plot point is one thing, but quibbling over smaller details that lead to a leaner and better book seems to me to be too egotistical.

I hope to craft my stories into the best possible books I can write, and then I hope to find an agent and editor who will help me mold and shape that rough rock into a diamond that sparkles.

P.S. There are still a few days left to enter the Holiday Giveaway!


  1. "...and then I hope to find an agent and editor who will help me mold and shape that rough rock into a diamond that sparkles." WELL SAID!

    I agree, this is a very "grey" area kind of question. I can see writing a certain genre or following a trend being enticing to someone who REALLY wants to get published. Or maybe they just really want to write a story that follows a trend.

    Good post!

  2. Wow, I loved your answer. I agree with everything!
    Nice ;)

  3. I loved the image of the crazed artiste!

  4. Pick and choose battles. Sage advice. Good answer!

  5. Agreed, I think finding the balance between artist and editor is what you need to do to make a story work. :)

  6. Totally agree. There's a sweet spot in between selling out your novel and clinging psychotically to every detail as written. We all have to let go at least a little bit in order for the best story to make it to the page.

  7. Great answer. I love your hilarious opening images, and it should definitely be about the story, always.

  8. @Marquita: The tricky thing about trends is that they come out of nowhere. A great writer will write a book that skyrockets and thus a trend is born. Rather than following trends, we should strive to create new trends of our own.

    @Juliana: Thanks! Love your blog's layout, BTW.

    @Tarah: Thanks! Yes, we're artists, but no reason to be divas!

    @Colin: It's all about knowing what's really important.

    @Ellen: Balance is the perfect word to use!

    @Crystal: Letting go is a good way to put it. A bit of distance can help a writer be more objective about their work.

    @Jillian: It's something I remind myself every time I feel stressed about agents or publishing or networking.

    Thanks to you all for commenting! :)

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