Thursday, January 27, 2011


Write on!

Remember my friend who decided to write a book and needed some help? I went back to sit with him at his computer and see what he had accomplished. He had done his due diligence with finding publishers, writing a cover letter, gathering his writing credentials, and preparing his first 50 pages.

Then we hit a little snag. He had included too much of himself in his book. He had used real names, real anecdotes, and put them ahead of his intended topic. He had actually lost his topic completely in his rush to write his personal story. As it stood, no publisher would buy it because a writer whose own story is front and centre will be a writer who doesn’t like the cover choice because he’s not in it, and doesn’t want any words changed because he wrote them.

Note to self. Stay out of your own story.

I have another friend who writes personal anecdote books, and uses real names. Especially her children’s names. In one of her books, she was writing about changing diapers on her son, and how expensive that was when they were travelling and she had to use disposables. She wrote, “Nathan has the most expensive piece of bottom land in the country.” Nathan was mortified and never forgave her for embarrassing him.
Note to self. Stay out of your own story.

Have you ever found your story jammed because you are in it, hogging up all the space?

Vicki Cameron is the author of Clue Mysteries and More Clue Mysteries, each of the 15 short stories based on the board game Clue. Her young adult novel, Shillings, appeared in 2007. Her stories appear in the Ladies' Killing Circle anthology series and Storyteller Magazine. Her young adult novel, That Kind of Money, was nominated for an Edgar and an Arthur Ellis.

1 comment:

  1. Love the story of Nathan. Those little stories seem cute at the time but they don't go down well with the kids when they grow up.