Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Author’

256px-Busy_desk.svg

(My editor…unfortunately)

Scary, I know, but when you’re trying to get your book out in the busiest time of year, it’s bound to happen.

After the initial shock and denial stage, I immediately tried bargaining with her that I could push back my release a few months if she needed more time and, she first agreed—until she found out the page count of the third book. Clocking in around 640 pages, she just couldn’t promise me that it would get done by March. Since it usually takes another two or three months after the editor is through to make the changes and to send it off to copy editors, I knew I couldn’t make my fans wait that long.

But how could I change editors mid-series? Would this effect the consistency of my books? Could I find someone with the same skill at the same price? How could someone jump into such a complicated series mid-way?

After breathing into a paper bag for a few minutes and then self-medicating myself with too much chocolate, I realized that this might be meant to be (what I always say to myself in difficult situations). My editor recommended a few editors she works with (at a small press publishing company) and said there was one in particular that had a strong background with historicals. I contacted this person, sent off a sample chapter, and was so pleased to see that their styles were incredibly similar (at the same price to boot!).

She seems wonderful and she not only said she’d get right on the project, but that she wanted to read the first two books so she could understand the third book that much more!

So, just a word of assurance to any of you that might get the same shock, there are plenty of fantastic editors out there and situations might arise where you need to find an alternative mid-series. Take a deep breath and send out sample chapters to other recommended editors and feel around for one with a similar style. In hindsight, it would have been a good idea to touch base with my editor a month earlier so that I could have had more time to find a good fit, but this time I was lucky to find someone so fast who was willing to start the project immediately. So keep in touch with your editors!

Happy Holiday everyone!

DSC_0143

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Thanks to an insightful post by the talented Yesenia Vargas, I decided it would be a good idea to create a separate website for my series. Yesenia does an amazing job discussing the pros and cons of creating a separate website, and even though she ultimately decided to keep one website, I decided that it would be best for me to create two for the following reasons (you know I love bullets).

  • This website is a place to share my trials, triumphs, and observations with other writers. I need you all for support and advice, and hopefully, I might be able to help others as well.
  • Every time I host a giveaway, market, run a promotion, or I’m featured in an interview, I don’t want to spam all my writer friends.
  • If I had a few standalone novels then I would most likely keep them all here, but given that this is a four-book series, it’s probably best to create a separate site.
  • My other site has less followers, but readers don’t seem to want to follow a writer’s blog. They want information about your books, background, promotions, and releases. It’s good to give them what they want. Instead of clicking around on your writer’s blog, lead them directly to your books.
  • I wanted to separate each book on its own page, where I can list everything pertaining to that book (cover, blurb, historical background, and book trailer). That way, the reader only views information about the book they’ve read. I wouldn’t want to spoil the next book in the series for them.
  • I also started additional pages on my other site where I feature fun things such as information about past lives and my favorite reviews left by readers and bloggers.
  • I still have an Infinite Series tab at the top of this blog that leads you to my other site (and vice versa) so they are not completely separate.

Through WordPress site stats, I see that people who search for my books or author name go directly to the other website. This blog gets more views by people looking up writing topics. So I do think it was a wise choice.

Here’s the link if you want to stop on by. On a side note, I’ve released the cover to Infinite Loss, so go check it out!

Read Full Post »

I’m waxing sentimental at the moment and heard this song on the radio. Thought it works well as a writer’s theme song.
So, take a writing break, blare this song, and twirl all your query fears or sales woes away!

 

Read Full Post »

 

I’m just realizing that no matter which writing phase I’m in, I mumble to myself that I wish I was at another stage. Seriously, this is the pattern that is revealing itself:

  • I begin writing my first draft (I wish I was editing, that is sooo much easier!)
  • I start to revise (I wish I was already sending it the editor since my delete-hitting finger goes numb)
  • I get all my corrections back from the editor (I wish I was blurb writing since I pop Motrin endlessly to keep the headache from seeing so much red at bay)
  • I have to take a whole novel and sum it up in a few attention-getting sentences (I wish I was promoting already, can I just pay someone to do this?)
  • Release,  promotion, and attempting to get reviews (I wish I was writing again, that is sooo much easier!)

The sad thing is that this took me three books to figure out. Honestly, I kept thinking the next step was going to be so much better. Only now, I realize that every step has its challenges. I even keep hearing this in the back of my head, “Take a break from the series, this next idea is going to practically write itself!” I’m learning not to trust that voice, it’s an immature, impulsive voice with no long-term memory, bent on distracting me. If I listened to this voice nothing would get done.

So, I know now that every step of self-publishing is tedious. Even a passion can be tedious since any worthwhile art is not created without sweat and tears. I think this is why writers have to fight that rush to get the book out and off their minds.There is such freedom once you move on to the next release.

Do you agree? Is there a step that is pure enjoyment for you or do you find yourself praying to move on to the next phase only to
find you struggle with that one as well?

Read Full Post »

About.com on Fiction Writing defines writing style as, “the way you write, as opposed to what you write about (though the two things are definitely linked). It results from things like word choice, tone, and syntax. It’s the voice readers “hear” when they read your work.”

Wikipedia (the definite source on writing :)) defines writing style as, “the manner in which an author chooses to write to his or her audience. A style reveals both the writer’s personality and voice, but it also shows how she or he perceives the audience, and chooses conceptual writing style which reveal those choices by which the writer may change the conceptual world of the overall character of the work. This might be done by a simple change of words; a syntactical structure, parsing prose, adding diction, and organizing figures of thought into usable frameworks.”

I have had a few reviews lately that have commented on my style and it’s surreal once you hear how others hear your words. All of the below excerpts were taken from Amazon reviews:

“The writing is clean and direct with very little flourish.”

“I was quickly entranced by the writing style as I partook in this unique, fascinating adventure. L.E. Waters captures scenery and dialogue with such ease that it’s easy to picture in your head, everything rolls naturally. No stilting, no rushing, no forcing.”

“I had never thought I would enjoy historical fiction however, it is written in such a way that it flows within the story and is very realistic.”

“The author’s writing is clean and well-done, and Waters does an excellent job giving a richness to the worlds her characters inhabit, while still staying historically accurate (at least as far as my somewhat meager knowledge of ancient cultures goes). Her characters are nicely complex while still being likable (that is, they’re not goody two-shoes, but neither are they evil).

“I found the writing to be somewhat flat; it didn’t feel like there was much action going on. I enjoyed the premise, but found the implementation lacking.”

(Oh well, you can’t make everyone happy)

I’ve looked up what clean writing implies and it seems it’s a direct, uncluttered delivery with minimal descriptions, that’s easy to read. So I can see why some may like this non-flowery narrative and others may detest it.

Did I set out to write like this? No. I really wasn’t aware, but I do tend to get itchy reading all the detail in a Dickens or Austen novel (yet I still love them!)  and I have been known to roll my hands rudely when someone tells a story in such a way, “Last Monday night—no, I think it was actually Tuesday and it was late afternoon…”

When I was researching how to revise and attract an agent I read that it was best not use adverbs, slash out needless words, and never use more than two adjectives to describe something within the same sentence. So I obeyed, and with the long list of characters I have it’s probably best to keep everything else simple. But I also write from two male POV and one Spartan female POV(more masculine than most females) in the first book. In these three lives I tried to be more direct and laconic. I wonder if readers noticed that I softened things slightly with the last female POV? I’ve yet to receive any comments about style on my second book but I’m curious to see if my ‘clean’ style is consistent.

Dashiell Hammett, author of The Maltese Falcon, once said, “It is the beginning of the end when you discover you have a style.”

Are you aware of your writing style? Have reviewers or classmates surprised you with comments on your style? Have you ever attempted to change your style? Is it the kiss of death to realize your style?

Read Full Post »

I’ll admit it. I was one who balked whenever I read others suggestions to write at the same time every day for a certain amount of time/word count/chapters.

Isn’t it better to just pick up your computer and write whenever you got the chance? That must be more productive. And what about writing when inspiration overtakes you? How can creativity be clocked-in?

It wasn’t until I read Catherine, Caffeinated’s fantastic post, Don’t break the Chain, on advice from Jerry Seinfeld about having a daily writing goal, that I wondered if I should give it a try. Everyday. No cheating.

Weeks ago, I was furiously writing (for five days!), then life interfered once again even though the inspiration was still there. How was I going to be productive while still spending time with my kids and giving them a happy summer?

I needed to try something different, so I folded and decided to join Catherine with my pledge of five hundred words a day. No matter what. I know, that’s not a high aspiration, but as with diets, it always helps to keep things reasonable if you want something to work long-term.

Well, it’s been a week and I haven’t broken the chain as of yet!

Funny thing is, I’m writing more than ever. You see, I give myself about an hour everyday to write five hundred words. I don’t spend the time checking all my favorite blogs, books sales, messages, emails…etc. I give the whole hour over to writing. I start writing and quickly reach five hundred words. I say then, okay, now you can stop whenever you want after this, but I usually fill the whole hour and reach three times my goal. The best part is I tell myself that I’m done writing for the day. I can do chores around the house, play with my kiddos, go for a walk without ANY work guilt! It has freed me up completely and I’m more productive.

So now, I’m sorry to all those I chuckled at when I read about writing goals. All those wise writers surely have something there. And if you’re laughing at me right now…please, just give it a try!

…Now, in a totally different direction, I happened upon this picture of the day. Oh boy! I’m sure all you writers out there could have a field day with a flash fiction piece on this one!

Read Full Post »

I’ve mentioned work-shopping on my blog before, but I realized I haven’t described what goes on in one and why I think it’s important. Back when I was considering one, I would have appreciated someone letting me know what to expect. I already finished my first novel and wanted to get some feedback before I self-published. I found a promising writer’s workshop fifteen minutes away from where I lived that meet once a week for a few hours. They had so many different classes ranging from the basics of writing to advanced courses. One class offered feedback on finished novels and the time it meet at night worked out for me.

I was a month pregnant a the time and knew that I would be going through the worst of morning sickness during the workshop, but I knew I needed this help if I was ever going to release my debut novel. I was so nervous. I had no idea what I signed myself up for. Was everyone going to be more advanced than me?

I got an email a couple of weeks before the first class requesting that we send everyone our first ten pages. My finger hesitated over the send button since no one outside of my circle had read my book. But if I was seriously thinking of publishing I was going to have to get used to it.

*click send*

I was both impressed by my fellow workshopper’s first ten pages, and assured since I saw that each person could improve. I wrote all my comments on the side and printed them out to bring with me. Yet it didn’t dawn on me until I walked into the small, crowded room that I was actually going to have to say those criticisms to their faces! All nine of us sat down with the teacher who immediately began with the person to his right. He wanted to go around to table and let everyone give their impressions and improvements out loud…while everyone was watching you. It was strange to match up each writing piece with the face, having learned intimate emotional details before you’re casual acquaintances.

Of course, I could only mention my positive critiques. I curled up my page slightly so no one could see my real notes on the page. However, the negative criticisms rolled off these workshop veterans tongue. I kept my composure long enough until the workshop ended and then I shut the door of my car. I called home and cried like a two-year old. I almost didn’t return. But I decided to lift my chin and steel myself for more. I quickly learned that it was better to hear these things in the workshop and not on the review page. It took me a few classes before I flattened the paper and said it all. When the first class ended I signed up for more. I needed to be sure that my whole book was looked over.

The most important things I learned there:

  • Exposure: You need to have many eyes look over your MS before sending it off to agents or self-publishing. If you were only writing for yourself than it would be fine to keep it to yourself, but if you are writing for the market than you must get as many different types of people to let you know if something isn’t working.
  • Revise, revise, revise: I remember when the teacher actually held my MS up and proclaimed, “This is a great first draft.” I replied like Milton from Office Space, “mm…mm..m…my final sir.” I laugh now because it really was a draft, not even close to finished! But I truly thought I had revised it to death at that point. I sent it to all the best agents! How could he say, “first draft”? So I learned that lesson. Now matter how many times you think it’s done…you need to hear that it’s looking good from others…so many others! Each time I sent in those ten pages I picked through it, measuring every word, changing a comma to five different places before I settled! You do some great revisions when you think a whole table-full of writers are going to nit-pick it.
  • Workshop teachings last: I can’t write anything without the echos of all their lessons rattle around in my brain.
  • Negative criticism: This is the most important thing. I wouldn’t have been ready to handle the reviews and judgements of readers before these courses. I’ve reached the point where I’m ready for anything. I actually enjoy a critical review since I’m so open to how different people interpret my story and I know I can always improve something. I usually say, “You have a good point there. I’ll try to fix that going forward.”
  • Positive reinforcement: Yes, I actually received just as much positive support, but I seem to remember the negative things more. Only when someone is dishing out improvements left and right can you be assured that the positive things they see are indeed true. I have no doubt those people would have looked straight into my eyes and said, “This isn’t any good.” But they didn’t, they said things like, “If you just changed this, this, and this, you could really have something here.” I really trusted their opinion and if they thought I was ready to publish at the end, I knew I was.
  • Problems: They let me know when something was missing, where there was too much explanation or where there was too little. They let me know when a scene needed more description and even voted that they thought first person present was the way to go (I originally had it in first person past). They were right. It helped make my readers feel like they were experiencing everything themselves and I haven’t had one reviewer say they didn’t like the first person present and it’s usually not thought of well.
  • Camaraderie: There were so many times we just laughed. Laughed at the process, at ourselves, and the struggles we were all facing. We all got to know each other and at the end it was like we were a writing family. Writers NEED support of other writers. We are all facing so much rejection, so much self-criticism, so much outside criticism. The reassuring word of a fellow writer of simply telling you that they’ve been through the same struggles are golden.

I really miss my workshop and the fantastic writers I met there. If I had the extra money and time to invest I would, but for now I need to put that time and money toward bringing my next book to market. Thankfully, though, I have all my writing friends on my blog to help fill the void (I love you guys!) I appreciate what that teacher and fellow classmates taught me and I’m sure my first novel is better for it. I can only hope I’ll take what I learned from that class and apply it to all my future projects.

So all of you out there, if you’re close to sending your first project out or if your creative well has run dry, I strongly recommend looking up your local writing workshop and see if you can afford it. It is money well spent 🙂

Have any of you taken a workshop before and how was your experience?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: