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Ever had a picture book published or find success when the story came easily?

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That's badly worded but what I mean is...

Have you ever written a PB that's had contest/agent/publisher success when it came really easily to you? Maybe you wrote out one draft, did some revisions, had some critiques, more revisions, another set of critiques and then suddenly there was your final draft... but somehow it all felt a little too easy?

I feel like that write now with one of my stories and it's making me uneasy! But maybe I'm just being a total fruit loop. I feel like I sweated and toiled a lot more over my other stories and somehow that makes them feel more special, and as a result I feel they're more likely to find success. But maybe that's just hogwash?

Thoughts?
#1 - December 09, 2012, 03:48 PM

Nope, but I certainly cheer for those that do!
#2 - December 09, 2012, 03:57 PM
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I wrote VAMPIRINA BALLERINA in about 45 minutes.

That is, I wrote the draft that sold in 45 minutes.  There were about 17 revisions after that.
#3 - December 09, 2012, 04:16 PM
VAMPIRINA BALLERINA series (Disney-Hyperion)
SUNNY'S TOW TRUCK SAVES THE DAY (Abrams)
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I wrote VAMPIRINA BALLERINA in about 45 minutes.

That is, I wrote the draft that sold in 45 minutes.  There were about 17 revisions after that.

Yes, this is what I mean! (I realise that PBs - even the most perfectly polished ones - go through plenty of revisions during the editing process!)

Well, that makes me feel better. This one didn't take me 45 minutes! Thanks!
#4 - December 09, 2012, 04:22 PM

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I read an interview with Sherri Duskey Rinker, author of GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT CONSTRUCTION SITE and it sounded like that one came pretty easily. She acknowledged in the interview that it was unusual.

http://www.romellebroas.blogspot.com/2012/08/interview-with-ny-times-bestselling.html
#5 - December 09, 2012, 05:54 PM
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I have a PB ms that got lots of agent attention (though no one signed me), and then since I've sent it out on my own has gotten editor interest (though so far no contract yet  :crossedfingers ). I wrote it out in just a few minutes and the revisions I went through on my own were relatively minor.

Here's hoping it gets picked up :) .
#6 - December 09, 2012, 06:38 PM
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New!
My first book was written in 15 minutes and published by the first publisher I sent it to.  Then it was 10 years before I published number 2.

 :lightning:

Another picture book, EARTH MOTHER, also seemed like a gift from the Story Fairy.  I rewrote it once and it sold to the third publisher who saw it.  The editor asked me to change one word.

My book SOMETIMES BAD THINGS HAPPEN was written in about 30 minutes and sold the next day. (But that was a special case.)

On the other hand, THE IMPOSSIBLE RIDDLE sold to the 69th publisher. And CINDER EDNA (four plays, a video, and still going strong after upteen years) sold to the 40th.

So, yes, Siski. It's possible that you've been touched by the Story Fairy and you've written a truly, marvelous tale that will make you rich and famous.

But it's also possible to be delusional about these things. My very, very first manuscript was about a snail race.  I thought it was a work of genius.  It wasn't.

So check your story out with a critique partner or two.
 


#7 - December 09, 2012, 06:45 PM
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 12:25 PM by Betsy »
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Blimey, Sherri Duskey's story is unbelievable. It's the kind of story that would have done me untold damage had I read it before I found the BBs! (In the sense that I would've sent out a lot of utter rubbish!)

KatieC, good luck! I like these stories of 'easy' stories that make it! Fingers crossed mine will be too.

Thanks, Betsy. Yes, that's the thing. I do feel like maybe I'm delusional. Well, not totally delusional but maybe thinking it's more sparkly than it is. I mean I know for sure it's not a pile of dog doo but I'm just not sure whether it's shiny and amazing enough to catch an editor's eye. Anyway, I'll get some more feedback and move on from there.

Thank you!
#8 - December 09, 2012, 06:49 PM

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To remind myself of the danger of deluded thinking, I have the following quote by Annie Dillard on my website:

"The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged."
--Annie Dillard
#9 - December 09, 2012, 06:55 PM
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I love that quote by Annie Dillard. But one of my best stories (that won a contest) came very easily to me. I did one revision and sent it off. Most of the time though, I have to work to make the stories shine. I wish it were easier more often. So take heart ...

Vijaya
#10 - December 09, 2012, 07:00 PM
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I haven't seen any connection between how long it takes me to write a story and whether or not it sells.
#11 - December 10, 2012, 05:26 AM
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To remind myself of the danger of deluded thinking, I have the following quote by Annie Dillard on my website:

"The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged."
--Annie Dillard

There used to be a thread here called Newbery/Dinglebery, :confused2 about just this.
However, some stories do seem to write themselves. So it's a good question.
#12 - December 10, 2012, 10:28 AM
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It's not about how long something took as much as how good the idea is. Sometimes, great ideas come in a flash or even in a dream! And sometimes, they don't... but it can be molded and developed into one over a long, even a painfully long period of time. I've experienced both. (for me, anything over 3 months is painfully long)
#13 - December 10, 2012, 11:42 AM

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Newbery/Dingleberry  :haha  :haha  :haha

Who was the picture book potty mouth that came up with that?! (I have my suspicions... based on the other thread I started about cursing in picture books!)

I went back and looked over the MS and felt it was lacking me. By 'me' I mean that it could potentially have been written by almost anyone who can write a half-decent sentence. So I've worked on it some more and now it's infinitely more me and, I think, infinitely better! (Does that make me sound like I think I'm infinitely great or what?!?!!)  :haha
#14 - December 10, 2012, 12:21 PM

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