Starting that young has some interesting consequences in and of itself. But any beginner, at any age, has a struggle ahead of them. I certainly made a lot of mistakes as I worked my way into being in the know about the industry, and lots of people I've known have made these same mistakes. So if you're a beginning writer, you might take some notes. Get off on a better foot!
- Including excessive violence and gore to make the work more "adult"...
- ...but still deciding not to actually kill any characters off
- Throwing in my real life best friends (and cats) as characters and saving them from obvious deaths just because I couldn't imagine life without them
- Basing my story off of a dream that I then barely changed in the writing, which made some bits of worldbuilding quite confusing
- Ignoring the existence of parents because parents are too much trouble, which is a common trope for children's lit
- Reacting so badly to a critique of the book's title that I destroyed the story's entire existence, except for one snippet in my journal
- Not actually editing anything
- Not using the page break or automatic indent functions in Word
- Querying publishers instead of literary agents, mostly big ones that definitely don't look at you if you don't have an agent
- Not editing before querying
- Mentioning my age in the query
- Did I mention, not editing before querying?
- Querying from my mom's email address
- Not researching the people I sent to beyond their query requirements, which is important, but not the full picture
- Not addressing the agents/editors by name
Nonetheless, I do recommend that you research before querying, and don't forget to edit!
Thanks for reading. I'll see you next time for our July humor post!
Images via zmescience.com and ncsl.org.