Wednesday, July 28, 2010

19 WOW Wednesday: Anna Staniszewski


Writing "The One"

By Anna Staniszewski


Back in 2008, I was working on a young adult novel that I thought would be The One to Get Me Published. I poured months of work and sweat into it, convinced it was the best thing I'd ever written. When I began querying agents, I was told my writing was lovely, but...Oh yes, there was always a "but." I reworked and rewrote the manuscript until it was almost unrecognizable. But still, there were no takers.

All hope wasn't lost, however. In between all that toil on The One, I'd been working on other projects mostly to keep myself sane). And what do you know, one of them actually won an award. So I stared querying that project, suddenly convinced it would be The One To Get Me Published. When that second manuscript landed me an agent, I thought: We're finally on our way!

Well, The (Second) One had some close calls and went through several revisions, but it's still out on submission, nearly a year later. But you know what? All hope still wasn't lost because I'd kept working on other projects, and I had more than one manuscript my agent could send out. So while The (Second) One was still making the rounds, another little manuscript snuck in and got itself a book deal!

So this is my advice to other writers who are desperate for The One: Keep writing. You never know which project will catch someone's eye, and your writing will only get better the more projects you complete. Work hard, insanely hard, on The One, but also push yourself to work on other things, because you never really know which one will be The One.

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Anna lives near Boston with her husband and their adorably insane black Lab. She's represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Anna's debut novel, MY UN-FAIRY TALE LIFE, will be published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in Fall 2011. You can visit her at http://www.annastan.com/.

19 comments:

  1. Love this! And timely for me as I'm dealing with requests on my current 'The One' while polishing up what could well become 'The One, Take Two' and writing yet further editions of 'The One'... and all the while hoping that the real 'One' is actually a MS in some stage of 'written' as opposed to still residing inside my head... that would be frustrating... even if I know it'll eventually get out of there...

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  2. So right on! Thanks for this! And good luck to you!

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  3. Great, sound advice. It's hard to let go of The One, as I'm currently finding. It's difficult to know if it's truly The One or maybe the next One. Point: never give up. Keep writing, improving, and exploring. Thanks.

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  4. Inspiring, thanks! I thought I was slightly wacko for working on so many books at once, but I guess that's what keeps us writers sane--the juggling.

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  5. I agree. But life would be so much easier if we knew which one "the one" was beforehand. :) Congrats Anna!

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  6. Yay! Way to go, Anna! Never give up. Never surrender!

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  7. Love this! Thanks for the encouragement, Anna! I can't wait to read your novel- "the one"!

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  8. Congratulations, Anna! And thanks for sharing such excellent advice. It's hard to give up on The One so it's good to have this reminder.

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  9. Great advice!! It's good to hear encouraging stories like these :)

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  10. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. It is so true.

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  11. This is a great story! Just goes to show that you should keep working on your craft, keep writing novels, and never give up. Eventually it will happen!

    Congrats to you (again, ha) Anna!

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  12. Great story! Some days it can seem so hard, but the only way we end up on top is by never giving up! Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  13. Great post, and inspiring too. Never give up and keep on writing. :)

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  14. Yay Anna! Love her, love this post. So happy it finally happened for her.

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  15. Awesome post, Anna, and such great advice. It's so true. We won't know which one is The One, so we must keep working!

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  16. Yeah, Anna! So true. And our work evolves so much. I'm really glad I have more than one manuscript to offer and I'll keep on going until I find the "one." Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Thank you for sharing your story, Anna! And what writers may not realise is that they may be getting a lot of close calls. Just because an agent doesn't take you on doesn't mean you haven't caught their eye. Agents take people on because of what the market is looking for, but that can change a lot. You may be out of fashion now, but in six months be exactly the thing.

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