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What to Expect When You're Expecting... A BOOK

17-year-old YA Highway contributor Emilia Plater is currently working on getting her novel (not to mention herself) through the Teen Years. For more about Emilia, visit our Who We Are page.

Last night, I jerked awake at 4AM. 4AM, people. Increasing in volume every second was a high-pitched, blood-curdling banshee wail - also known as the cry of my baby niece, not-sleeping in the other room. Because life is so hard when you're a baby, right? Life is just soo -

Uh, anyway, as I lied awake listening to that sound comparable to ten nails on a chalkboard accompanied by a cat in heat, I got to thinking: kids. Books. Both keep you up 'til 4AM, reading and obsessing and - if you're a writer - writing. And OMG, when it comes to writing, there are even more similarities...

Makin' the baby AKA Brainstorming This first key step requires intimate interaction with your DC (Dear Creativity). Forreal, it can be an awkward process. Sometimes your DC scares you, sometimes it ejects too many ideas too fast, and sometimes you have to coax it for hours - even months - to just get ONE freakin' idea. But when done, it's so worth it. A book is on its way, dude!

~ A Note on Unplanned Babymaking ~ 
So it was a lonely night, and the whole thing just... happened. I get that. And now, despite your misgivings, you can't resist the idea growing in your head. I get that, too. Just be careful. Look for support online. You can write this thang! 


The First Year AKA The Beginning This ain't too bad. Sure, you get an average of .5 hours of sleep a night, and you're starting to wonder if that gorilla tap-dancing in your bathroom is actually a hallucination. But you love it. You love the sight of your book, and you love the exciting moments. As much work as it is, you know it'll be worth it. It HAS to be, right?

Terrible Two's AKA The Middle Oh, my god, what were you thinking? How did this horrible beast come out of you? Your book is completely incomprehensible and impossible to make progress with, except when it's running around screaming at you to do things. "New character here!" "Stop writing, I want a popsicle!" Yeah, IT wants a popsicle. More like you want a popsicle. Shoved in your brain.

First Day of School AKA Querying Okay, this is it, man. Sure, you've sent your book to beta daycares - but no one cared then if your story lived with its finger up its nose or couldn't comprehend that 3 went between 2 and 4. Now? It's off on its own, without you there to guide it, and it is being JUDGED. Luckily, your parent-teacher meeting with Ms. Agent isn't a total disaster...

The Teen Years AKA Revisions One word: awkward. Who knew you raised such a weird book? I mean, come on - how much Axe did you spray on it hoping to cover up that plot hole? It's hard to get it to bend to your will these days, but just threaten it with a complete re-write, and it'll get the picture. A nice bucket of acne medicine should clear up that backstory rash real quick. Theeere we go.

High School Graduation AKA Publishing You did it, it's over, and holy shizz, you are glad. Maybe your book will go on to make millions as a venture-capitalist paranormal-romance type. Maybe it'll stick with an indie life, not making much but developing a cult following. You're proud either way. Because man... that was intense.

So there you have it. Books are basically quiet, much-loved kids that live inside your computer. You could also say that preggocy = outlining, and mo'! What other parallels do you see?

The process of publishing a book having a baby is a long, laborious one that will take up most of a teenager's time, money, and promising future. In light of this, false substitutes should be used, such as practice novels sacks of rice. Under absolutely no circumstance should a teenager seek to publish a book become pregnant or not take the cautionary measures to avoid -

Oh, wait. Too late. Crap. (Happy Memorial Day, USers!)

~ Emilia
Emilia Plater

Emilia is a YA author who avoids studying, food that isn't covered in cheese, and waking up before 10:30AM whenever possible. A bundle of confusions.

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  1. Love the post! Btw, child birth is painful. Writing the first chapter isn't. Of course, having a knowledgeable writer crit that first draft of the first chapter might be a whole different story. ;)

  2. Haha, this is a brilliant post! Very funny! :D

  3. Rock on. Mine's in the Terrible Two's at the moment. What was I thinking? Where do I go from here? I've taught it to walk and talk and now I want it to just sit down and shut up.

  4. *snort*

    How much Axe did you spray trying to cover up that plot hole???

    A lot. A whole lot.

  5. I love analogies! And now I'm going to bed with a grin. Thank you!

  6. HILARIOUS. All I can say is, I'm glad I tackled writing before kids - this post makes it seem like good practice. (baby in that pic is so adorable btw.)

  7. LOL, I've always loved the baby/book metaphor, but this is my favorite explanation! Great post, girly!

  8. Great post. Genius. I am sooooo linking to this one!

  9. Oh Emilia. The whole thing. Just..... <3

    The second picture makes me headsplodish. I need a popsicle in my brain.

  10. emilia is a genius AGAIN. fab post. SO TRUE! hehe

    you guys always rock.


  11. Haha, great way to describe the book process!

  12. Thanks for the amazing comments, everyone! <3

    Stina - Oh! That is very true in most cases. Maybe it's an epidural... hehe!

  13. ROFL!! Emilia, this post rocks! "how much Axe did you spray on it hoping to cover up that plot hole..." ahahahaha! Awesome. Thanks for the laughs and the very fitting analogy.

  14. LMFAO...did you seriously just write about "coaxing" your DC for hours? EEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

    So. Awesome. And hai, terrible twos--been through the bookish and human ones. Both are a hoot. Um...


  15. "it ejects too many ideas too fast, and sometimes you have to coax it for hours - even months - to just get ONE freakin' idea."

    OMG. *struggles not to die of laughter*

  16. Here's another parallel: sometimes it just up and does whatever it wants, and you're left pulling your hair out and screaming at it, but it doesn't care what you want. It's just going to do its thing, no matter what you say xD it's all like "You can't force me into a mold!!"

  17. I love this post! And Oh my gosh, that baby is devilishly cute :)

  18. This made me LOL a lot. "coax" and "Who knew you raised such a weird book? I mean, come on - how much Axe did you spray on it hoping to cover up that plot hole?" especially.

  19. So funny! Love this post. Great paralells.

  20. Bwahahaha. Calling your WIP "my baby" takes on a whole new meaning thanks to this post :D

    Love it :)


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Item Reviewed: What to Expect When You're Expecting... A BOOK Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Emilia Plater