Friday, 6 January 2012

Uncensor Yourself

So I'd chosen my middle grade story. I'd had a basic idea of what I wanted to do with it. I had Scrivener to help me. I'd altered it to censor for younger children -

Wait, what?

Yes, a lot of you are probably rolling your eyes right now (if you were paying close enough attention). It was hard slog writing something that was altered for the audience. ALTERED FOR THE AUDIENCE. Face-freaking-palm. I would barely manage a thousand words a day, and I dreaded going back to the story.

Then, as I'm reading the rave reviews on CINDER, about the whole world being in danger, about Lunar queens and plagues and bioelectricity and all this stuff that pushes the story to the limit (there's nothing localised about CINDER), I realised my mistake. You want to go big? You want to get published? You're going to have to push your story. Uncensor yourself. Make it EPIC.

And you know what? Once I scrapped the old version, I opened up Word (I hear gasps from the audience here) and started writing the story how *I* wanted to write it. Religious aspects that would freak out parents? Whatever. Scary scenes? Kids can handle it (god, have you guys seen/read Horrible Histories? Jeez!).

And you know what? I did almost 4.5k words yesterday. This is the story I was trying to tell.

Writers, don't hold yourself back. You'll never get attention with a safe story. And it's as hard as hell to write a story that you only half love.