**BOOK GIVEAWAY FOR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE DRAGON OF DOOM**
Last spring, I had the pleasure of hearing children’s book great Bruce Coville speak at a writer’s conference. One piece of advice he emphasized over and over again was that a writer should never throw away anything they’ve written. He used his book The Dragon of Doom as a good example of why writers should retain their work. The Dragon of Doom was published in 2003, the first of Mr. Coville’s Moongobble and Me series. But the idea for The Dragon of Doom came about much earlier, back when Mr. Coville was in his twenties. He started a story about a fumbling magician named Moongobble. Years later, after he became an established children’s writer, he pulled out his old Moongobble manuscript when he needed inspiration for a new book.
I, for one, am thrilled he never threw away that original Moongobble story, as The Dragon of Doom is one of my favorite Bruce Coville books. (Go figure—dragons, lol.) It’s such a fun story, about a young boy named Edward, who, seeking excitement in his life, apprentices himself to a magician named Moongobble. But Moongobble isn’t so great at magic, which leads to all sorts of mishaps and fun. Besides being a great story, The Dragon of Doom is amazingly illustrated by Mr. Coville’s wife, Katherine Coville.
I also like to think of the example of Pride and Prejudice, one of my favorite books of all time. The first draft sat around for some 15 years before Jane Austen decided to revise, turning it into the masterpiece of English literature that it is today.
The moral of these stories? No matter how lousy you think your current work-in-progress is, don’t throw it away. You never know when you’ll recycle ideas, characters, or maybe even successfully rework the manuscript as a whole somewhere down the road. There could be a masterpiece lurking there, too.
Do you keep your old manuscripts and writings? Comment below to win an autographed copy of The Dragon of Doom by Bruce Coville. (And yes, while The Dragon of Doom is technically a chapter book, the recommended age range is 6 -10, so it crosses into early middle grade. And trust me, it's a lot of fun no matter what your age.)