Thursday, February 16, 2006

Submitting a Children's Story: Stage 2

Time Spent: 3 hours

I spent the day polishing and printing query letters, touching up "The Monster Under the Bed" and "The Snowdragon" and printing multiple copies of both,and putting everything together to send out to publishers. They're ready. This is really it.

Now technically, I sent my first query letter out today by email, to Simon and Schuster. It got returned because the postmaster said it couldn't find the recipient, but so what? Haha, I guess I'll just send that out by snail mail.

In creative writing 1, we had to write a story based on a setting of our choosing. It could even just be that the story took place in this particular spot. For my setting, I chose, which is quite possibly my favorite place in the world. I'm in the process of revising that story now, titled "Journey," and I decided to do some more research on Tybee just to make sure I get all my details right. I looked at a map of the island a lot and also the website for. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never been to the Breakfast Club, but I when I'm on Tybee, I'd rather be on the beach than eating breakfast - if I'm going to be up that early, I'm collecting shells that have come in from high tide. Anyway, I really love this particular story, and it's been fun to reread it a couple of times and look at all the comments that were made on it, and then work on the improvements.

I think what I've learned most today is that I'm SO much better now at showing things instead of just telling them. I think every creative writing student (I don't think I'm just speaking for myself here) gets really frustrated hearing or seeing "show, don't tell." But then you write enough, and practice it enough, that it starts to come to you naturally. Instead of thinking "I need to show this particular thing because I need to show and not tell," I think now, "How can I describe this thing? How can I show that someone's sad, or angry or nervous? How do *I* feel when I would describe myself as one of these things?" It's not so much a conscious effort anymore because I've had that practice. And yet it's still something I need to practice and need to learn every time I sit down at the computer to write a piece of fiction.

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