Sunday, October 30, 2005

the same story

the same story
"My story is just like another book and now I'll never get it published!" It can be hard to write your story or shop it around when you know that there's something else like it out there. People on discussion boards always try to be helpful when this subject comes up by saying things like, "there are no new story lines" or "you have to make it your story, which will be unique." But that's hard to do without a referece point.

Take the vampire books for instance. I have been reading lots of them to get in the mood for Halloween. They all have common characters (vampires) and common legends (Dracula) but each book looks at things in a different way. It made me realize that you can have a book with a similar character or problem that is vastly different from other books that are supposedly like it. Now you might be saying, "but I'm not writing a vampire book, so that doesn't apply to my story."

So here's what you do. Read every book that is like your idea. Why? Because you will probably see that although you are writing about a bully, or a selfish little brother, or problems at school, these books are different than your book. The characters have different goals and dreams, and unique ways of dealing with problems or boyfriends or little sisters.

Sometimes it's easier to see that we are unique when we have a reference point about what is different.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Witchie Book Reviews & Finishing Projects

My mom sent me some Halloween art that I did as a kid, and one of my pumpkins had a poem attached. It was about witchies (and it was spelled that way too). In honor of the Halloween witchies, I'll tell you about 2 witchie books I read recently.

Whispering to Witches by Anna Dale
I have a new favorite book! We meet Joe on the train to his mom's house for the Christmas holiday. He was supposed to spend the holiday with his dad, but ended up being shipped off to mom and stepdad's house instead. Of course, things go wrong and he gets off at the wrong train station. On his way home he hurtles into a coven of witches and that's when his holidays start to get interesting. We never learn how old Joe is, but it doesn't matter. He's old enough to get into trouble and try to help the witches out of trouble, and flirt with a witch his age named Twiggy. Whispering to Witches is a middle grade British import with all the British words like tyre and trainer included. It's one adventure after another, and once again, it's a book I will read more than once (wow, I never do that, and now I've found 2 books this month to read multiple times - the other book is Liliy's Ghosts - I reviewed it on 10-14).

The Witch's Portraits by Lisa Geurdes Mullarkey
The Witch's Portraits is a deliciously evil witch story, which is refreshing in this age of thinking that witches are great and everyone wants to be one. It goes back to the time when kids told scary stories and spied on their neighbors, and what happens when they get caught snooping. The only problem I had with this book is the voice of the mc. It took me a while to get into the story. Once I did, I got used to the mc's voice. Then it only bothered me when the voice took over and it took me out of the story. But it's still a fun creepy story about the bad kind of witch.

Finishing Projects
I'm done with my illustration assignment!!!! It took me longer than I thought it would, but I like the pictures and the magazine editor did too - yay!