Dare to Read

April 24, 2011

Two Moon Princess Blog Tour – 4

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

In this, the final week of the TWO MOON PRINCESS blog tour, please visit the following websites.

Monday, April 25: Nicole at Books Complete Me (Character Tweets)
Tuesday, April 26: Kate at The Neverending Shelf (Author Interview)
Wednesday, April 27: Diana at Books By Their Story (Review)
Thursday, April 28: Christie at The Fiction Enthusiast (Tens List)
Friday, April 29: Emily at Emily’s Reading Room (This or That List: Julian)
Saturday, April 30: Amy at Reading Teen (Review)

Thank you for all the wonderful bloggers that had me over and special thanks to Kari for organizing this awesome tour.

March 5, 2010

Good writers borrow, great writers steal. T.S. Eliot

Filed under: On Writing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:26 pm
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Vampires, angels, zombies and fairies have invaded the shelves in the teen section of the bookstores these days.

As a writer of Young Adult novels, I have read my share of them, and enjoyed reading them well enough, while calling it research. But after a while they all started to blend in my mind. The good guys were always young and beautiful, the bad ones, still young, but ugly. And not being either young or beautiful myself, this started to bother me.

Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought, to have a wicked and wise older woman as the protagonist? Something like Buffy, the Vampire Slayer with the mother as the slayer?

After bouncing the idea in my mind for several days, I presented it to my friends and fellow bloggers. They both liked the idea and even volunteer to co-author my story. Then, Mary Fran went to the bookstore and found a book which she thought had stolen our idea, and panicked. Wouldn’t we be copying if we wrote ours now?

I told her,”No, of course not. My story is different.” How could it not be when I had not read those other books?

It was only later that I remembered a surrealistic moment I experienced last year when reading Diane Gabaldon’s novel Outlander.

Both, Outlander and my young adult novel Two Moon Princess, involve time travel.

In Outlander, a nurse from 1945 England travels to XVIII century Scotland where she falls in love with a native.

In Two Moon Princess, a girl from medieval Spain travels to modern day California and then back to her world with the American boy she fancies.

But that is all they have in common, the time travel part. The story line, characters, voice and intended audience are totally different.

Yet, when I reached the last sentence in Outlander, I almost dropped the book. The sentence paraphrased eerily close the last sentence in Two Moon Princess. How could that be possible? I hadn’t read this book when I wrote mine.

So, maybe Mary Fran is right. Maybe my vampire book will not be totally original. But that won’t stop me from writing it. After all, according to Plato, there are only six basic plots, so any story we may tell has been told thousands of times already in a slightly different way.

We, writers are like children playing with dolls, dressing them with a new outfit and making them look new every day. And as long as we have fun doing it, why should we stop?

As I did in my previous blog ‘Rejecting Rejection’, I’m going to give you two sentences.—the two endings I mentioned above—and ask that you leave a comment telling me which one you prefer and why.

Please do, you’ll make my day.

#1. “And the world was all around us, new with possibility.”
#2. “Around us, the New World stood still, waiting.”

And in case you wonder which one was mine in the Rejecting Rejection blog, the answer is # 1.

So, congratulations to the winners. Oops, I said there will be no winners. So, I rectify congratulations to everybody that left a comment, and thanks so very much.

Carmen Ferreiro Esteban

Please follow my book reviews at https://carmenferreiroesteban.wordpress.com

November 6, 2009

Rejecting Rejection

Filed under: On Writing — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:36 pm
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Let’s start with the obvious: Editors and agents are people. They come in all shapes and sizes and have different tastes. Their likes and dislikes are their own. Their rejection of your manuscript does not reflect on your writing, but in their inability to fall in love with it.

Agents and editors are flooded with submissions. They have the prerogative of being selective. They will only represent the stories they love.  

And that is their right.

Yours is to keep looking for the agent/editor that will fall in love with yours.

So keep that rejection letter in perspective. Don’t throw the manuscript away, but send it again. Because what one editor/agent hates, another will love. You just have to find the right one.

You don’t believe me?

Let’s do an exercise.

Here are two versions of a description of a lake up in the mountains of Spain, a setting in a young adult novel I’m working on.

One of the versions is mine (not necessarily number one). The other is a rewrite from a person in my critique group.

Once you have read them, please, leave a comment saying which one you like best.

There is not right or wrong answer. If you choose the one I wrote, I’ll be pleased. If you choose the other, you’ll prove my point: not everyone has the same taste. And its corollary: not everyone will love your writing.

And that is okay. Who would want to go to a party where every one is wearing the same dress?

Version #1

The water was black like the boy had said. Black and still, like a piece of night fallen to earth. A perfect circle from where I stood at the edge of the ridge: a full black moon trapped in the mountains.

Version #2

Black and still, like a piece of night fallen to earth, the lake formed a perfect circle from where I stood at the edge of the ridge: a full black moon trapped in the mountains.

Carmen Ferreiro Esteban