It never fails. You go through your manuscript. You catch the big problems (the six-foot tall bad guy becomes five-foot-one three chapters later), fix the continuity problem (She got married two books ago. What’s a fiancé doing here?), have eagle-eyed copy-editors track down the lingering hints of older sentences and verbs that had switched tenses mid-paragraph.
Your formatted text is perfect. You upload the book. All is well. You download the book. You open to the first chapter. . .
Arrrrrgh! Read more
I’m on the road without internet, so I apologize for today’s post. If you find yourself in moderation, please be patient and I or a moderator will spring you as soon as we can.
I’ve also been battling edits. Yea verily, I am proof that one should write in haste and edit/revise/tweak at leisure. Because land-o-Goshen am I having to slow myself as I work through the edits on the next release.
And to prove that the Great Author has a slightly warped sense of humor, this hit my in-box this week:
How to Know What to Cut from Your Novel.
Sales will be slower next year. That’s a spooky forecast, and one that is easy to make, because your collective Mad Genii have seen this pattern for quite a while. 2020 is an election year in the US. The uncertainty will slow sales of books. Election years are like that, even when it is a year where the presidential election is more certain (2012) or a mid-term election. It is not one hundred percent guaranteed that sales will slow, but I’d be willing to bet money on it.
What does this mean for us, besides more time to write as we try to avoid political ads and campaign stuff on the TV and phone? Read more
As promised, this is a link-post. I can guarantee that the links all worked, as of yesterday. However, not all of them go to equally usable sites. Some are more general IP, others are specific. I tried to avoid any that are so specific that you might not need them (i.e. things along the lines of, “How does copyright on reproductions of public-domain images differ between Poland and Lithuania?”)
www.thepassivevoice.com If you are not reading this blog, you probably ought to at least poke around it once every-other-week or so. PG is a copyright lawyer, and posts links to original sources as well as to legal dictionaries and related sources. And quotes, and book-plugs for Mrs. P.G’s historical novels. Read more
Next post, I’ll do a link post of sites with information on copyright (good, bad, and ugly) and related resources. However, that takes time I did not have last week, so I want to look at resources for authors, especially books that I have found useful.
Important caveat: these are books that I have found useful. Not all books work for all authors. Guides for people who do genre fiction (thrillers, romance, sci-fi and fantasy) might not work so well for people who write literary fiction, and vice versa.
A commentor here observed that the Merchant and Empire books are set in a small world. It’s an interesting observation, and one that deserves some thought, because a lot of fantasy and sci-fi books seem to sprawl. They cover an epic-worth of territory, sometimes by design, sometimes just because it seems traditional.
But not all stories need sprawling worlds. Some books, even novels or series, fit better in a small space, a human or other person sized space. Which is sometimes difficult to do.
On Wednesday, Sarah talked about the levels of reworking a story, ranging from minor edits to “keep basic idea, scrap the rest, and move on.” This can be in response to outside critiques, or you as an author growing and changing. It sounds logical and neat, if tedious at times. But it can also be emotionally painful.
There’s a reason I have an unpublished non-fiction work that caused me to have anxiety attacks when I looked at the file: one critique that dang near ruined the book. So there’s nothing wrong with a visceral response when you get feedback. It’s what you do after that’s the challenge. Read more