In this installment of her web series writing tips, Stephanie Bourbon answers all our novel writing career questions.
How does this help us as TV writers? Well, besides the personal satisfaction writing a novel can give (because there’s nobody hovering over you with second-guessing notes), there’s the little matter of how much money you can make if your book becomes a TV series or film. Not to mention what good little career launchers well-written novels can be.
While you mull this over, let Stephanie give you the deets.
Former Larry Brody student Stephanie Olivieri Bourbon has found great success as a writer and illustrator. Now she’s branching out into video with a series of extremely helpful ones about – surprise! – writing and illustrating.
We don’t usually show trailers of broadcast or cable/satellite series, but today we’re making an exception because, hey, this is a fascinating look into one of TV’s most hotly awaited new shows.
We’re talking Watchmen, baby, based on the comic book series created by Alan Moore & David Gibbons. Except Moore’s name isn’t in any of the official credits because he demanded to be out, out, out of the loop, and for reasons probably having to do with gross ignorance, HBO refuses to use the term “comic book” and refers only to the comics’ later “graphic novel” version.
Anyway, if you’re a fan we think you’ll definitely enjoy checking this out.
The only element in this article that’s even more appealing than its immense helpfulness is its warm, moving candor. The writer, Andrea Jarrell, now has several more big fans – LB and the rest of us here at TVWriter™. Here’s why:
How I Stopped Sabotaging My Writing Goals: Confessions of a Late Bloomer
by Andrea Jarrell
Given that I published my first book at age 55, some might call me a late-blooming author. I am. But not because I suddenly discovered writing and decided to write a book. I am a late bloomer because I finally stopped sabotaging myself and did the work needed to realize life-long ambitions.
Writing books is all I ever wanted to do. Yet, for many years, I wore my writing dream like a costume—acting the part but never really committing to the work. Throughout my childhood, teens and 20s, I might have looked like someone working for her dream: sending earnest poems to teen magazines and entering contests, majoring in the right subjects, founding student publications, and working in New York City publishing jobs.
Sometimes a glimmer of the dream would start to come true: winning the Rotary Creative Writing Contest in junior high, getting into selective writing workshops, getting my first byline in a national magazine. But instead of these little wins driving me towards my dream, they often caused me to back away and to talk about the dream more than to go after it.
In my late 20s, I got jobs alongside my dream—jobs in marketing and PR that required a bit of writing talent. These jobs felt safe and productive. I got married and started a family. By my early 30s I had fashioned other goals that took me up a management ladder as I pretended the original dream to write books no longer mattered. I felt vaguely depressed every time I went into a bookstore but didn’t examine this feeling too carefully.
Of course my nemesis was fear—fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of being told I didn’t have talent, that I wasn’t the best, that I had to work harder. Harder? The truth is I hadn’t been working at all….
What’s it like to be a trending new writer? We like this self-examination of one new “killing it” writer’s perspective.
by Christina Soontornvat
“You’re on fire!”
“You’re killing it!”
Those are the types of comments that came across my social media feed last fall as I posted screenshots of my most recent book deal announcements.
Due to publishing’s funky and unpredictable timing, I had back-to-back announcements two weeks in a row: one for my middle grade nonfiction about the Thai Cave Rescue and another for my new chapter book series, Diary Of An Ice Princess (Scholastic, 2019).
To the outside world, I was “on fire.”
Inside, it felt like I was finally crawling out of a hole.
Flashback to four years earlier: I had been overjoyed when my first agent sold two projects: a middle grade fantasy and a picture book. I felt like my career was getting ready to blast off into outer space! Instead, I found myself stuck in orbit.
After the excitement of that first sale, I struggled to write another novel. And then my agent and I parted ways just months before my debut hit the shelves. The split was amicable and non-dramatic. It was the right thing to do at the time, but when I found myself in the whirlwind of my debut year, fielding agent rejections when I was supposed to be “living the dream,” I felt sort of…pathetic.
I had worked for years on improving my craft, then tried for years to get an agent, then went through a long submission process to sell my work. Somehow, it felt even worse to be having a tough time after experiencing some measure of success. This felt like starting all over again, but with even higher stakes.
I told myself I should be grateful for what I had. After all, I knew friends still searching for their first agents. It seemed whiny and entitled to feel the way I felt….