July 13, 2011

*GULP*-worthy mistakes

Each week, YA Highway hosts Road Trip Wednesday, a blog carnival in which YA Highwayers discuss a topic on their blogs and invite readers to do the same. This week's RTW topic is:

What's the biggest writing/querying/publishing mistake you've made?
 
Writing: Early on in my 'serious writing,' (i.e., after I quit my day job), I wrote a scene (from a now defunct novel) describing my main character by letting her look in a mirror and notice things about herself. I know, I know. Textbook rookie mistake. I've noticed mirror scenes in a number of published books since then, and they always kind of bug me.

Publishing: The only author I've met as an adult also happens to be one of my top 3 favorites: Jennifer Weiner. Last July, I attended one of her signings, and when I finally made it up to her table, I told her I was a YA writer and handed her my card. She accepted it, said she'd check out my blog (which she did!), and asked me what my favorite YA book was. I drew a complete blank, so I just mumbled THE HUNGER GAMES, even though I hadn't (and still haven't) read it! Yikes! Sorry, Jen! I also walked away without getting a picture, panicked, then ran back and asked for one.


What's the biggest writing/querying/publishing mistake you've made? Tell me in the comments or join the fun over at YA Highway!

16 comments:

Crystal said...

I can relate to your Jennifer Weiner story. Famous people make me edgy, too! Even when they're not all that famous. If I admire their work, they are famous to me and that's enough.

Sarah Enni said...

Oh man, asking for a favorite book under pressure...! There's no way you can accurately answer that question off the top of your head, LOL!

And I'm glad you ran back and got a picture!

Alicia Gregoire said...

Your story about Jennifer Weiner sounds like something that would happen to me. Of course, that would require me speaking to someone famous. (I tend to avoid that just because it's bound to be awkward.)

Holly Dodson said...

Yeah, that definitely sounds like something I'd do. I clam up talking to not famous people, so -- yeah. lol But kudos to you for running back to get a picture!

Rebecca B said...

Oh yes, I've written the mirror scene. And then believed that somehow mine wasn't a cliche (nope). :)

So cool that you met Jennifer Weiner!

KO: The Insect Collector said...

The pic is super cute!
I haven't done the mirror scene, but I've made plenty of mistakes.

I can totally imagine being flummoxed by an author into forgetting your favorite book. It reminds me of A Christmas Story when Ralphie goes blank upon meeting Santa.

Tracey Neithercott said...

I think it's a minor miracle you even spoke coherently enough to mention THE HUNGER GAMES. I'd probably answer in a series of whale mating calls.

Alison Miller said...

I would totally do something like that, instead I took my mother with me to a Nicholas Sparks signing and she blabbed to him that I was a writer. She was well-intentioned, but I'm sure he hears that so much. But he was so nice about it, and asked me a few questions. I think I answered coherently. Maybe. It was a blur.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Oooh, that reminded me of a writing blunder I'd forgotten about. When I worked in a bookstore many years ago, we hosted a signing of a popular picture book author/illustrator. In conversation, he mentioned he was starting to look for other authors' work to illustrate. "Why, I just happen to have the manuscript of my first ever PB right here!" I said.

I'm sure somewhere, there's a post on his blog where he says, "My worst mistake was mentioning in conversation that I was looking for something to illustrate . . ."

BTW, he did take my ms and wrote me a very polite letter explaining why we would not be working together.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

I bought a dictionary of overused phrases after I wrote the first draft of my first book and was appalled at how many of my "glorious descriptions" I found in there...we all have to hit ourselves over the head with a cliche or two before we get over it.

Kate Hart said...

Aw, that's so cool that she checked out your blog though!

Rachel Bateman said...

I love your Jennifer Weiner story. It makes me laugh so hard!

dalyamoon.com said...

Came to visit via YA Highway.

Jennifer Weiner's great! Lucky you! I'm sure she'll never know you fibbed to her. :-)

I blogged about a different mistake entirely, but I'm ashamed to say I started one novel with the character waking up. Yes, that old chestnut. And I did this even after reading list after list of bad opening cliches!

Emy Shin said...

It's so awesome that she checked out your blog -- and I'd so totally have blanked out on that question, too.

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give to fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with the Best Books Blog Award for all the hard work you do!

Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
~Deirdra

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Powerful Woman Writer Award for all the hard work you do!

Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
~Deirdra

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