Thursday, 24 February 2011

Finding my voice and USP

Although I've been writing children's stories for several years on and off now, I only serioulsy started writing for children in 2007 after I came second in a Writing for Children short story competition, with a story about magical shoes who taught a bully the error of her ways. This story made me feel that I could write for children and I enrolled and completed a writing for children correspondence course, which my first book Rosie and the Sick School came from.

It's only now after two years of writing my second book for children that I know I've found my voice and USP - magic and mystery. Some of the stories I'd written over the years have these elements and Rosie has too. My second book (which is currently with two agents) has this too but more so, and after writing the final draft I feel more confident about it and what I've written because I feel it's what I'm good at writing.

Of course, I've had help along the way. I sent my second book to Cornerstones for a report and found out where I was going wrong (a lot), then I rewrote it accordingly. But then came the SCBWI-BI conference in November 2010 followed by a meeting with an agent that I'd won at a raffle. At the conference I showed the first three chapters of my third book to an editor who suggested that the items in the book have magical properties, and this I thought was a good idea, so good that I decided to use it in my second book too. I also went to a talk by Linda Chapman on what magical element stories are and listening to her talk made me realise that this is what I write and want to write. Then a week after the conference I met the agent who gave me lots of comments on my second book including making one of the teachers more of an enemy, and making the title more appealing, both of which I've done, feel enhances the story and am lots happier about it.

Now I know what I love writing about and feel happy and confident doing - writing stories that have a magical and mystical element to them, with an enemy whom the main character has to defeat to make life better again. Now I know who and what I am my tagline reflects this: Author of Adult and Children's stories with magical elements, as I feel that's what I do best at, and it's my USP now.

1 comment:

Leila said...

It's great when you find out what you want to do! Hope you enjoy your writing even more now.