Wednesday, December 7, 2011

RTW #108: What would you do to get published?

This Week's Topic from YA Highway:
How far would you go to get published?

We writers can form quite an attachment to our characters and stories. But we also know publishing is a business, and sometimes to make it in said business--to really build a career from it--we have to bend a bit. How far would you go to break into the publishing world?

What I would be willing to do: 

1.  Change character names.  (I think I may need to do this with one of them...sigh....)
2.  Add/delete/change minor characters.  Fine. 
3.  Alter the setting.  Though there are a few points I would be stubborn about. 
4.  Improve the plot in any way that does not destroy my big-picture vision for the story. 
5.  Try new things to improve my writing. 
6.  Undergo as many revisions as necessary.  Yes, I said AS MANY.  (As long as they don't cross into the territory of things I wouldn't do--see list below...)
7.  I'm sure there are other things I would do, in specific context. 

1.  Work really, really hard. 
2.  Make sacrifices in other areas of my life. 
3.  Trust an agent, editor, and other professionals to know what they're doing. 

What I would not be willing to do:

1.  Change the identity of the protagonists.  Each of my main characters has something to say, and if any of them becomes someone else, they can't say it. 
2.  Change the title....of my current WIP at least.  (The Madman's Crown)  I mean, okay I guess I would change it if that were the only way to get published, but there would have to be a seriously convincing argument for doing so...
3.  Fundamentally change the story in a way that removes it from what I'm actually trying to say. 
4.  Again, there are probably other things I wouldn't do in specific situations. 

1.  Neglect what is most important to me in life:  family, friends, and God. 
2.  Put myself in a bad position by failing to prepare for a future that might not include publication. 
3.  Violate my moral principles. 

What about you?  Where do your boundaries fall?


  1. So much agreement. I wouldn't want to neglect family, friends, or God either. Especially since it's only because of God I've gotten this far anyway!

    "Each of my main characters has something to say, and if any of them becomes someone else, they can't say it." This is great. And perfect.

  2. I completely agree with you, Susan. Although I would probably be willing to negotiate titles, unless I was completely sold on the one I had come up with. I would certainly be open to better ideas, though. Titles are not my strong suit. :)

  3. I would always be willing to negotiate titles. I am not good at coming up with them at all. Susan is going to help me with my titles. She comes up with awesome titles. I mean, come on, The Madman's Crown is resume enough.