Monday, July 9, 2012

#Writemotivation, Revisions and Winners, Oh My!

Before getting into goals, I want to congratulate

JOY CAMPBELL!

She was chosen as the winner of Angelfall by Susan Ee.

Goals for July 2012:
1: Complete first round revisions of MINGLED. Working on these
2: Begin revisions of NEVERLOVE by mid-July. Have lots of notes gathered to begin these soon.
3: Post 3 blogs a week.  Successful so far.
4: Comment to other blogs, at least 20 a week.  Been hitting this pretty okay.
5: Plot out basic/skeletal data for MG story idea.  Probably won't get started for a couple more weeks.

You'll notice I have a lot of revisions/edits going on this month.  My mind shifted into a semi-revision mode near the end of June while I happened to be reading the last book to meet my book reading goal for June.  The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.
Amazon
I've had this book since the day it came out...or I think a couple of days after it came out.  Either way, other books called to me, pressed for my attention.  I gave way to a lot of great novels and novellas - Darn all you wonderful writers producing stories that appeal to the various facets of me! - before finally settling down to read this sequel to The Clockwork Angel, the first novel of The Infernal Devices series.

I loved the story.  I really did.  But...

I was stuck, stopped, and jammed out of places.  I wanted to edit, edit and edit some more.  Now, I do NOT consider myself the world's best editor, far from it.  But I wanted to delete unnecessary "had"s, rework sentences so they didn't feel quite as passive, ax entire passages that read like filler.

In a way, it made me feel a bit better about my first drafts for MINGLED and NEVERLOVE.  Both of them need some (okay, a lot of) help :-)  If a Big 6 publisher can edit  a novel, approve it for publication and it still need an editor's light touch, well, perhaps there's hope for my stories yet.

Will this keep me from wanting to read the next book in this series?  No.  I really liked the story.  The romance was tender and tense with the triangle between Tessa, Jem (the calm) and Will (the storm).

Will this cause me to rest on my laurels and expect an agent/editor to look past my misspellings, grammatical errors, fillers and an overuse of adverbs?  Heck no.  I am NOT Cassandra Clare, an established best selling author with a loyal following.  I am Angela B., a humble writer on this funtastic-sometimes-depressing-sometimes-exhilarating-all-the-time-adventure called the road to publication.


Have you experienced a moment reading a Big 6 published novel that made you want to break out your little red pencil?

35 comments:

  1. Everyone makes mistakes. But I am less sympathetic with books that cost more. After all, aren't the Big 6 supposed to have the "best" editors?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because of the long-lasting-but-slowly-declining-stigma placed on those who self-publish, it causes me to have higher expectations of a Big 6 published novel. And why not? It is an expectation influenced by the repetition that only traditionally published books are the best, been well "vetted" in a sense, thoroughly edited and for all intent and purposes...perfect. I suppose when an arm of the industry makes a point of talking about how great they are, it makes me, as a reader, expect that greatness regularly. But you are right, mistakes do happen.

      Delete
  2. Reviewers (and agents, publishers, etc.) come down harder on new authors/writers while readers come down harder on established authors. Ironic, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must say, Alex, the irony was not lost on me :-) And yes...very, VERY ironic :-)

      Delete
  3. I've definitely read big 6 books I wondered how the hell they got published. Not a huge amount, but quite a few.

    But even with the niggling urge to correct mistakes and awkward phrasings I usually struggle with when I read, I've rarely come to feel as if my $5-10 was wasted. Perhaps not quite worth it, or perhaps a little disappointing, but reading is subjective and my 2 star review rivals hundreds if not thousands of 5 stars... maybe it's just me on some books.

    I expect the big 6 to put out stellar quality, but again - editors are subjective - what they find a quality story, I might not.

    I've yet to read an indie book that I could get through. Most are DNF for me. So it's very subjective. Also my dislike for romance as a plot device in a non romance genre probably helps lol.

    Your July is looking fantastic :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Things can be so subjective. I mean, I've looked at things that are some sort of phenomena and just shook my head at a loss lol!!!

      Delete
  4. Ha, ha! Yes! I've sometimes wanted to re-write a sentence, replace a repeated word, or smooth over something awkward. It's really hard to turn off the writer when I read!

    When I read Clockwork Prince, however, I was more focused on how she manipulated the love triangle. I could see what she was doing -- it was totally transparent to me. And it worked. I was simultaneously irritated at being manipulated and envious that she could do it so well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL!!! Yeah, there were several things I was able to enjoy. I just wish my "revising mind" was on rest so I could have enjoyed the love triangle much more.

      Delete
  5. Why spend $20 on a big six book when half are cookie cutter stories. I've been very happy reading self pubbed books this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there are lots of great books to choose from among indie publications.

      Delete
  6. I get a tiny bit of satisfaction when I read a best selling book by a successful author from a big publishing house and I find a mistake. Kind of a childish - "See. You're not so perfect." -reaction.

    But I probably shouldn't admit that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Admit away...part of the reason for this post. :-)

      Delete
  7. It is a bit annoying - you think, how can so many people have missed the same mistake. Continuity errors irk me, especially when I work so hard to iron them out of my own stuff.

    However, like LD said, it is tempting to get a kick out of finding a chink in the armour of mega successful authors... :P

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have to agree with the rest. It is really annoying to see authors from the "big 6" get away with things that I have been berated for and fixed over and over again in the past. If I can fix them so can they!

    Great post Angela, and awesome job with your goals so far!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bonnie. Working hard to get the goals done and eager to do my stories justice.

      Delete
  9. I have to agree with LD in that it's sometimes nice to see that the Big 6 authors are no more perfect than we are. However, I have read a lot of indie / self pub lately and some of it (more than I want to admit) is painful.

    Still there are gems among the indie novels and lemons among the big 6 and for each of us which and how many varies because as K.T. said Reading is subjective.

    It's nice to know I'm not the only one who notices errors in other works though.

    Keep up the work on your goals! May your every day be a success in and of itself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you kindly, Majk. True, subjectivity can play a part. One reader's gem is another reader's WTH?

      Delete
  10. Not that I like to hear of books being imperfect in numerous ways, but it is kind of validating to those of us who aren't with the Big Six. I've found some of these, too, thinking: "Isn't this supposed to be polished when there are some many eyes on this manuscript?" Apparently not.
    Congrats to Joy! Now she is a wonderful writer who knows how to edit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go Joy! I think she had a book out or coming out soon titled Distraction. Gonna keep myself up on that.

      Delete
  11. I bought CP on day one as well, and still haven't read it. It's going on vacay with me. I have had the experience of feeling like I'm doing a beta read instead of enjoying a polished piece - mostly in the middle grade range.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've only had the pleasure of reading a few MG books. Been pretty lucky so far. Each one must have gone through the necessary rounds of revisions/edits so the reading was clear, concise and enjoyable. Then again, the last one I read was during a first draft session so I wasn't in "revise mind" and may not have noticed :-)

      Delete
  12. Once we begin to write and study the craft for ourselves our ability to think/read like average readers fades. The more we read and the more we grow as writers the more difficult it becomes to avoid noticing where other writers fall short. Our eyes are trained now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You make an excellent point. Gives me something to think about when it comes to reading my books that I've chosen strictly for pleasure.

      Delete
  13. This book is on my list. I've picked it up a few times and put it back down because I have enough books to read! It's funny because I'm rereading a book that I loved the first time around.this time I'm listening to the audio and there's a load of telling. Yet it's still a great story. I think it's because of the characters. They jump off the page.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Sounds like the old "show not tell" getting the knockabout. Sometimes the rules just don't apply in making the story better, I suppose.

      Delete
  14. hate it when i read a book and it isnt done! so distracting! has to be reeeeaaallly good for me to keep reading...

    thanks for the heads up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Distractions aside, that's the one plus for Clockwork Prince. I really enjoyed the story so continuing the book was a definite. I'm glad I finished it.

      Delete
  15. I've read a number of publishing house materials that disappoint in the editing department. It's both disconcerting and an encouragement - on the one side, I expect better from those who claim to be 'the standard' - on the other, I see that even the big-boys-of publishing struggle with ebook formatting issues. As for common grammar/fragmented sentences...I'm ever on the look out to correct these from my pieces. I'm no big name author, but I strive to put out the best stories I can for readers. I'm growing with each book, and I love every minute of it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Nadja. That's the best thing, work hard to put out the best product.

      Delete
  16. Sounds like you're off to a great start. Good luck with the rest of the month!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michael. Going to do my best :-)

      Delete
  17. I usually catch something in everything I read. Sometimes it's small and others it's a gaping hole. And until there is some universal standard to eBooks, the formatting will always be subject. LD nailed it though, LOL

    You're doing wonderfully Angela. Keep pressing forward!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love your attitude. :) You've already lifted my spirits just by witnessing your optimism and drive. Great job handling your goals so far. Keep up the good work, and keep inspiring us with your awesomeness.

    And yeah, I do find things in novels that I want to edit, edit, edit. It can be both a frustration (Why aren't I published yet?) and a boost (Surely I can be published if...). But the best thing for me is to remember that it's not just mechanics that get our novels published. It's our stories, our characters and our writing. We have to work hard on the whole package if we want to see our books sitting on a shelf with Cassandra Clare's. ;)

    ReplyDelete

Talk to me :-)
Comments are welcome.