So I’m alive and well. Not that you would know it as I sit in my dark editing cave pouring over the Liberty Trilogy.
Thoughts on editing…
1: Be ruthless. If it doesn’t have to be there, why is it there? I always ask myself when I’m reading. If the sentence doesn’t serve a purpose or make the story better then it faces the chopping block.
2: Think like a reader. Give the reader information they want to know in creative ways. I love writing suspense, but some times I’m tempted to keep information for later reveals when it really won’t add to the story. I find that if I give some of those details earlier it helps the reader to better invest in the plot point.
3: Actually read. I have to force myself to read the words on the page after about the third time through. I already know the plot and I know the chapters, but if I will stop and read I often catch little things that are wrong. Because I know what it’s supposed to say I fill it in or fix it in my mind, but it needs to be right on the page too.
4: Take breaks. When the words and blurring and you’re not being able to improve take a creative break. Watch, listen, or read something to get your creativity flowing again.
5: Don’t hate. I fall into the ‘getting bored’ with my own work after a few times through. The jokes aren’t funny, the reveals seem cliché, and the characters one-dimensional. Try not to let the fact that you have lived the story for months or years cloud the experience. The reader will go on this journey once with you… it needs to be a great experience once, they would get bored if they read it 10 times too.
6: Remember why you wrote it. I write because I have stories to share. the ultimate goal isn’t to make a bestseller or to see my work on the screen one day. The goal is to write the stories I have in my mind, and to give the characters life. Even if I’m the only one that ever reads them it’s still something special, and a work or art and love.
Thought for today relates to one of the oldest pieces of wisdom I have been given as an author.
— To be a good writer you have to be a good reader.
Right now I’m doing my usual and reading two books at once. An oddity I have done ever since I was a kid… I’m reading a satirical scifi, and a book on early British sea power. The thing that I find so striking is that regardless of which I prefer, or how much I like or dislike the individual authors’ quirks there is always something to glean from their work.
I think it’s absolutely vital as a writer to read and to constantly fill my creative mind with other author’s styles, tricks, and ideas. It makes a fertile ground for my own creativity, and makes me appreciate the talents of the people around me.
As I continue to edit and prep the Liberty Trilogy for publication I kept being struck with the same thought– I wish there were a way to tell more of the secondary characters’ stories without pulling away from the plot.
Then it dawned on me… I can do just that in some short-stories / novella.
This is a later down the road project, but it really made me excited to think that some of these characters will finally get to have their stories told. I knew I only wanted to do three books in the series, but these would be outside the chronology, tie-ins, but not part of the primary story.
Very exciting prospect for down the road assuming the world enjoys these books half as much as I have!
Next month the website will be getting a mini-overhaul.
-Better Blog format
Thanks for going on the journey with me! More to come soon.
Happy June readers!
I wanted to take a post and fill you in on my plans for the rest of this year.
2017 has been an ultra productive year for me so far from a creative standpoint. I have finished 3 rough draft novels, and a fair bit of editing. The fact remains I can be as creative as I want and that doesn’t put book in the hands of eager readers.
In August I will be attending the Killer Nashville Writers Conference. I will be going primarily to learn, and network, but with the secondary goal of finding an agent for the Liberty Trilogy. Writing For Liberty…, …With Justice, and Not With A Bang… has been a labor of love, but ultimately I think it’s a great adventure and I want to get it out there into the world.
The Liberty Trilogy will be my focus for getting it sold/published, and out into the world, but that won’t stop me from working on other projects as I have time.
Hakomi & I Saw You Naked are also ready to find a home and I will be working on some prospective art for them this summer.
The website will be getting more attention, and I will be blogging each step along the way to get the Liberty Trilogy released to the public.
Thanks for making this trip with me readers!
Let’s talk about what I have learned about agents. Full disclaimer I don not currently have representation as an author, so take these with a grain of salt as I clearly don’t have all the answers yet either.
1: They don’t like to gamble.
- If your novel sounds like a wild stab in the dark they as business men and women are not likely to take a risk of you unless you’re a proven entity.
2: They like an established product.
- I got the same feedback from many agents the first time I queried them. “You don’t have enough online presence.” I thought this was a weird thing to say as how am i going to get a social media following without books on the market for people to read? It’s possible, just get the idea that you’re a writer and you are set up to be around for the long haul. That gives agents the warm fuzzy that you will be actively engaged in selling your work.
3: Agents are there to sell a product, not coddle your artistic expression.
- We authors like to invest ourselves into our work. We then hate having someone tell us to change, edit, or thin our work down. If we want an agent to put their talents of selling writing to work we need to be willing to meet them. It’s one thing to write just for yourself, but if you want it sold you have to be willing to make edits.