Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Trust Your Instincts

My mom finally got around to clearing out my old childhood room, a mere 11 1/2 years after I left home. When she and my dad came down here to visit me and DH for Thanskgiving, they brought me "stuff" that they thought I might want (and cluttered up my already teeny tiny apartment in the process).

Amongst the "stuff" she brought was a folder of stories I'd written when I was a kid, well, at least the ones she could find. Apparently she could only find my complete oeuvre from the 1987-1988 school year (5th grade). So she and I spent an hour or so (while the boys were at the hockey game) reading my old stories.

My oh my. Some were, well, um, let's just say I had a very odd imagination and a rather strong proclivity for Ray Bradbury-esque stories, or as Bradbury-esque as you can be at age 10 1/2. I also hadn't exactly mastered the concept of motivation and used a lot of unnecessary and redundant dialogue tags, although I must say I was impressed with my usage of action tags at such a young age.

Most of the stories were strange and not terribly interesting, but the one story that was actually pretty good was a Nancy Drew clone (my heroine was Nancy Flew and her boyfriend was Ted Tickleson--but I made up my own plot).

Of course, my grown-up intellectual property attorney self is horrified by the unauthorized derivative work I created and warning bells in my head are dinging "Infringement! Infringement!" But hey, I was just doing fan fiction before I knew what it was.

I also found it quite amusing that I used to be my own publisher and print my own "books." I created this publishing company that I used to "publish" each of my books. And the books all included a rather extensive copyright page...kinda prophetic, considering my current career. No wonder I went into IP!

Maybe I should have trusted my instincts with that. Because fast forward to today, and the manuscript that landed me an agent is a preteen mystery. Not my chick lit. My mystery.

I could have saved myself a lot of headache and effort if I'd just stuck to what I did best, apparently. Of course, I have only the foggiest recollection of having written this story, but I know it's mine because it's my handwriting (oh yes, I wrote them all in longhand and in fact, I dated each entry, and there are several days when I only wrote 2 lines of text). Maybe if I'd continued to write Nancy Flew stories I would have realized much earlier that preteen romantic mystery is what I do best...

Anyway, I just thought that was funny.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 2:15 PM :: 7 comments

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