“You can always go back and correct errors. You can’t go back in and add awesomeness.” The Mighty AG
This is a direct quote from the The Agency Gatekeeper. Her blog rocks my business socks. She tells it like it is and even gives recipes for awesome desserts.
Her post hit home for me. I am so freaked out by the query process. The littlest things I tend to get hung up on. In the end, she’s right. You can fix mistakes, little errors. But you can’t go back and erase something that sucks. You get one shot at showcasing how awesome YOUR story is and why the masses will line up for blocks for an autographed copy…sorry….daydreaming.
What is the difference between a bestseller and a slush pile? A partial request and a form rejection? I believe it all boils down to great storytelling. Either you have it or you don’t.
I am sure many good novels get passed over, too much saturation in the market, been there done that sort of deal. But if you really think, think about the books that have stayed with you, that made you laugh, cry, there was something about them, wasn’t there?
A woman finds a message in a bottle washed up along the beach. She searches for the man whose prose inside it made her fall in love, without even laying eyes upon him. They meet; let love in, then tragedy strikes. Bam, grab your tissues, you just read Nicholas Sparks’ Message in a Bottle.
A girl is new to town, new and in high school, feeling out-of-place is putting it mildly. When she meets the school hunk he seems grossed out by her. But he can’t seem to look away either. Little does she know he’s a vamp and wants to kiss and eat her at the same time. You already guessed, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight.
A man arrives at a gruesome crime scene. Clues have been left for him to solve the murder and only manage to implicate him. But he must act quickly to make sure the killers are found. He finds himself with a surprising ally and is thrust into a mystery where solving it may change human history, forever. Only the best-selling novel of all time, Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code.
These stories rocked, maybe not to you but for enough people to be on the NYT Best Sellers List and made into Hollywood blockbusters.
Now, imagine if we were one of the author’s of any of the above. No doubt they would all be different books entirely.
It was the author’s distinct AWESOMENESS that made history, made it memorable.
Go out into green pastures my fine fellow aspiring scribes, and craft your own personal awesomeness. It will hurt, it will make you dig deep, it will make you cry and have that best friend of yours-self doubt, yapping away. But honing it in, developing it like you own child is the difference between us and them. (Them being the above persons who perfected their inner AWESOMENESS.)
Now, shoo. Go. And write well.
P.S. What made the PIC personally awesome for me was NOT the LA Gears, nor the Mullet, not even Super Mario Brothers, and definitely not the Ducktales Poster (you know you all just sang in yer head “Ducktales, Whoo hoo”). It’s the fact that this kid sported a hot pink t-shirt. There was nothing like a confident teenage boy in the 80′s. Hmm, got me thinking about a YA novel….. “Dude, that was Awesome” has a ring to it, no?