How Do You Get an Editor?


I’m a new fan, and I was introduced to you by your autobiography, How I Came to be a Writer. I was so inspired by it, that I wanted to tell you what I thought about it. I also have a few questions too.
First off, It’s a great book, and I took a lot of great advice from it. Your writing process is similar to mine, except you use a chair with binders. I instead use a desk full of post-it notes. But when I have an idea, “It’s like a rock in my shoe. I just can’t wait to get it out.” I’m still only in the 5th grade, but I love to write. I wrote an autobiography myself too. But now I have some questions.
1. Your first story was about a mother chopping her child’s head off. Why did you take this violent approach on your books at such a young age?
2. How do you get an editor?
3. You write based on “What if this happened” ideas. How do you think of things and get ideas in this fashion.
Thank you for reading through this message. I enjoy you’re writing, and your style.

Phyllis replied:

It’s nice to hear from another writer.  First of all, that story about a mother chopping off her child’s head was an old story from a fairy tale book my parents read to us–along with much better stuff by Mark Twain and other authors.  Somehow that story must really have affected me, because the one I “made up” for my kindergarten teacher was obviously plagiarism!  As far as getting an editor, you need a book publisher first, if it’s a book manuscript, or a magazine that publishes short stories.  There was a much larger market for short stories when I began selling what I wrote than there is now.  If I were you, I would enter your work in every contest you can think of.  When you get to middle school and high school, try to join the school newspaper staff.  For story ideas, I suggest that you think of the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you, or the saddest, or funniest, or that made you most angry or happy, and write a short paragraph about it.  Then rewrite it making it happen to a fictional character.  Perhaps change the beginning, or the ending.  Add things, subtract things…in other words turn your story over to your imagination.  You are starting with something very personal, with feeling, and giving it wings.

Posted on: April 12, 2017


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