From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Elizabeth Rosso, author of “Meet Max”. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.
“Will you be my baby’s godmother?” That’s the question that I was asked twice in one year, and which ultimately brought Max to life – but naturally, it wasn’t quite that simple! Of course I said yes, but that led to more internal questions: what would our relationships be like? How would I interact with these children, and what could I offer by way of example? Reading, of course! And as I was flooded with memories of all my favorite childhood books, it occurred to me that maybe I could make up a few stories of my own. But about what?
I don’t think of myself as a particularly creative person. Ask me to make up a story and suddenly I don’t have any ideas. My mom always told me to write about what I know, though. So, what did I know? Well, I certainly told enough people about all the things my dogs got into over the years. What if I wrote about that? Where would I start? The beginning seemed like a pretty good choice, so I sat down to brainstorm ideas for a story about a woman who gets a puppy… and Meet Max! was born.
Actually beginning the writing process was a little intimidating, but I decided to draw on my experience writing other things – mostly papers for various classes in school, and memos for work. One of the most practical lessons I learned from those tasks was simply to put your ideas on paper – the writing style, word choice, organization, etc. aren’t important at first. Just get everything down on paper so you don’t lose your ideas, and then you can edit later.
I did just that with Max: every little detail about how someone might choose a puppy and take him home went into writing. Needless to say, that first version was not exactly what you’d be looking for in a children’s book! But my ideas were preserved, and as I began to shape them into a manuscript, other ideas came to mind – so many that I realized there might be a whole series of stories I could write about Max.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! How did I shape those initial ideas into a manuscript, anyway? Stay tuned to find out!
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