Monday, June 11, 2012

Still Levelling

Inspiration for today's post is from the wonderful Jen Daiker at her blog Unedited. Her Marketing Monday post, comparing a writer's journey with Alice in Wonderland really got me to thinking. About Alice, yes, but also about what I do when I don't feel like writing, or querying, or facing the blogosphere. I game.

The publishing world is big and scary, and good news can seem so far away. It's a 1up on a platform high above where you currently are in the game. Now you just have to figure out how to reach it. Every path seems to be filled with monsters and treacherous places.

Sometimes you just don't have enough armor, or your weapon isn't very powerful. Or you fall off and die - several times. When that happens you have two choices. You can keep trying until you figure out how to reach the platform on your own or you can go online and look up a game guide (also called a walkthrough). This lets you know what obstacles and opponents are waiting for you ahead in the game and how best to defeat them. Some people consider it cheating, but it's really all in the way you use it.

Comparing gaming to publishing makes a lot of sense to me. The bosses are agents, editors and publishers, and your weapons are your Manuscript and query letter. Don't underestimate the value of advice characters, which in our case are creative partners, friendly agents, and editors who offer advice for free.These characters turn up every once in awhile in third-person games to point you in the right direction. But in the world of publishing, you have to hunt them down yourself.

Speaking of one who has been killed by bosses many times, I try and try until I finally have to break down and look up a game guide. I go in as prepared as I can, but sometimes there is a strategy I forgot to employ or a specific weapon I need to use. Game guides help with this.

It's the same with writers trying to publish. You go in as prepared as you can, but sometimes you're not quite as ready as you thought you were. That's when you pause the game and go look up a strategy guide on a writer's forum, a blog, or in a magazine.

No matter what level you are in the game, we can all agree it's not as easy as we might've thought when we first started. Whether you're a single player or part of a group, you can't do it by yourself. You need the right gear and the right advice. As a gamer, I can say the best advice always comes from other gamers.

So, what helped you reach the level you're at now, and what advice, weapons and armor will you use to get to the next one?


  1. I love this analogy! I feel a bit like I do in games when I *think* my character will be strong enough but actually I need to do some serious levelling up before taking on the bosses.

  2. Great analogy and pretty spot on too! :)


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