The Writer’s Craft #41 – A Boy Who Dreams of Saving the World
Michell Plested has been reading Science Fiction and Fantasy since he was six years old and writing for almost as long. He is an author, blogger and podcaster living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He writes in multiple genres spending most of his time with Science Fiction, Fantasy and YA Adventure. He is the host of the writing podcast “Get Published”, a 2009 and 2011 Parsec Finalist and the Science Fiction Comedy podcast GalaxyBillies which has been called “Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Beverley Hillbillies” by his listeners. Michell’s first book, “Mik Murdoch, Boy Superhero” is scheduled for release in early 2012.
I believe everyone has at least one story to tell. Personally, that story is about a boy who has dreams of saving the world.
In many ways, the story is somewhat autobiographical. I grew up reading comic books. I made wishes on the turkey wish bone at Thanksgiving and Christmas and I tried various things to get superpowers of my own. It never happened, of course. But, I never lost the dream.
It wasn’t my first book, however. The first book I wrote was a fantasy novel that took me seven years of painstaking work. I finished it that book the year I first heard of NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo is an interesting challenge, but what to write?
It was finally time to write the YA Superhero story that had been lurking in the back of my mind. I did a few notes on what I thought the story might be and anxiously waited for November 1st to arrive. When it did, I started a frenzy of writing that saw me surpass 50,000 words in a mere 22 days.
knew the story needed a lot of revision but I also knew I had something special.
I did multiple revisions of the story before testing the marketplace. I sent twenty queries out and received six responses. Three of them requested a partial. For those of you who have ever received a request for a partial, you know just how thrilling that can be.
One publisher asked for a full manuscript, which was even more exciting. The publisher ultimately passed on the story, but I was more certain than ever that my story would find a home. Over the next couple years I had a few more requests for fulls. And I kept writing more books about my boy superhero.
I met several publishers along the way, some through conventions and more through my “Get Published” podcast. Get Published is a podcast for amateur writers like myself. A few times, while discussing current projects with a show guest from the publishing industry, I was asked to submit my work. So I did.
That actually accounted for my first short story sale. Before I knew it, I had three sales of short fiction under my belt.
And then it happened.
Mik Murdoch, which I had pitched (by invitation) to one of my publisher guests, was accepted after some requested revisions. The feeling, after all the time I had already spent writing, revising and submitting my work is hard to describe. One part disbelief, several parts giddy euphoria with a bit of cautious optimism thrown in for good measure.
I know my publisher (Five Rivers Publishing) and my editor believe in the book as much as I do. I’ve seen the cover, and in my humble totally biased opinion, it is amazing.
The road is long, but, well worth travelling. And the even more exciting thing is, I know the road is not a dead-end. We are branding this book as part of a series, so I will have the fun of writing more books in the coming months and years.
I’ll admit, there were times when I felt like quitting. I didn’t think I would ever make the grade. I’m glad those moments of weakness were ignored and I persevered and can now live my superhero dreams through my characters.
Were you once a boy or girl who wanted to save the world? And have you been influenced, in your own writing, by your childhood dreams?