Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Calling All Young Adult Fantasy Writers!

Although a previous blog mentioned briefly Mirrorstone, the children's/young adult imprint of Wizards of the Coast (distributed by Random House, Inc), I'd like to expand on that in today's thoughts.

Mirrorstone, once a place where you could propose series or standalone books of your own in the YA fantasy category, "will now focus solely on books inspired by the lore of Dungeons and Dragons, such as the Dragon Codex books and The New York Times best-selling Practical Guide series." Stacy Whitman, an editor at Mirrorstone, posted on her August 8th blog some of the changes facing Mirrorstone, though you can also check them out directly on the Mirrorstone website.

So the question is: good or bad news? Ultimately, it's a smart move on the part of Wizards of the Coast. By focusing on their brand name (Dungeons and Dragons) and clearing the table of anything that could blur that venture, they're committing all their resources and energy to what puts them on the book, so to speak. It's also good news for D&D (and Forgotten Realms, etc) fans because a tauter focus leads to an overall better product, better writers, better adventures.

Finally, I think it's a golden opportunity for the aspiring writer. To mangle the old proverb, "Blood will out," good writing will out. In other words, if you've got the ability to write, the stamina to see it through, and the desire to get your feet wet, send in a writing sample. They're looking for "talented writers" to continue the series lines, and this is your golden opportunity to prove you've got what it takes.

An Aside: Practice makes perfect. It occurs to me that all too often we writers baby our egos. We're not always willing to admit (as so many famous authors before us have) that we may need to write a couple of novels before we're where we want -- or need -- to be as writers. Writing someone else's story takes not only discipline but a steely resolve to keep your characters in line and your setting in keeping with the established world. Think on it.