Slice of Life: You Can Stop Writing Your Story

“You can stop writing your story. It’s been done.” That’s what I was told during a session on query letter writing during the SCBWI-OR Spring Conference. I know, it seems harsh. Perhaps I shouldn’t have shared my pathetic attempt at writing a query letter. And others heard pretty much the same words during the hour with this well known agent.

It stung, I’ll admit it. Especially since just the day before I had a critique with Stephen Mooser, President of SCBWI, who said my story was a perfect concepts with a perfect title (the perfect titles a slice for another day).

And never did the agent’s words appear more than this weekend as I sat down to work on the story-I-should-stop-writing. I haven’t stopped writing it.

Although she was brash, brunt and to the point, her comments made me consider:

How is my story different than the rest of the stories out there?
How am I making sure that my story stands out?
Do I change the opening?
Do I dump the notebook concept?
How can I write a query letter that will stand out and make any agent realize that I just wrote a fresh take on universal themes of friendship, loss, and love.

I have work to do. I have to get back to my writing.

More slices can be shared HERE.

This entry was posted in Slice of Life Challenge 2012, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Slice of Life: You Can Stop Writing Your Story

  1. Yikes…people and their stories are what I love most of all…because guess what, we like being able to connect and identify…I know that is one thing a YA audience is into. Maybe it also is the writing all of us need to start with…but then…I really don’t have any understanding of the publishing world. I am glad that you are in the SCBWI so you can give the rest of us some of these hints. xo nanc

  2. macrush53 says:

    Thanks for your encouragement. This was an eye opener about the world of publishing for sure. I was glad for the session not to be my first experience w/ SCBWI.

  3. Wendi says:

    I agree with the other comments – write about what YOU love. Your passion will tell the store more than the critics trying to steer your voice. I don’t have any experience with writing query letters, but I do believe pray that yours finds the agent who needs to read it!

  4. julieisrael says:

    Being original is difficult…but invigorating too, isn’t it? To think about all of the possibilities just waiting to be realized? Best of luck both in writing something you love and something an agent will recognize and get behind. Of course, I think Lisa is right, too. The important thing is that YOU are invested in your work! The rest will follow, one way or another.

  5. pamelahodges says:

    Oh my. Write your story. Develop your voice. Seriously, ever story has been done at least once.
    Please don’t be discouraged. Be brave, attack your keyboard, and write.

  6. Lisa Nowak says:

    Write what you love, and if New York won’t accept it, self-publish it. Even if it hasn’t been done before, that’s no guarantee it will sell. You’ve got to follow your heart.

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