Thursday, March 1, 2012

Letting friends hold my baby.

Ended up making five copies of the manuscript. Used up pretty much three ink cartridges; (21.99 each) but it appears that copying at Kinko's or anywhere else I've looked would cost even more. (When did retail copying become so expensive? When we stopped using them so much?)

This whole writing a book is actually costing me; trips, supplies, employees taking over hours. Didn't expect that.

I have handed out four manuscripts to volunteers, who are willing to read and critique. At first, I was just going to print out a couple, but decided the more suggestions for improvement, the better.

I didn't actually ask anyone to read it -- I just sort of dangled it in front of them, and if they offered, I took them up on it. With the understanding that if they got bogged down for any reason (too busy, really don't like it) they can give it back in a week or two and just say they didn't have the time...

I'd love it if I didn't have to completely rework the damn thing, but I'm guessing from what I'm hearing back so far, I probably will. The goal is the make it a better book. I'm taking the difficulties of each stage as the difficulties of that stage, and feeling fortunate that I didn't know how many times I'd have to work on the damn thing before I started.

Damn thing.

Makes me nervous to give it to people, but better to make as many improvements as possible before I put it before the world.


yokem55 said...

Duncan, you need a laser printer. Ink nothing but a money hole....

Duncan McGeary said...

Took Chapter 30 to writer's group, and they pretty much dissected it.

That's how I know I still have work to do.

Four more chapter to read, and I'll have read the whole book there.

Duncan McGeary said...

Don't laser printers use ink?

yokem55 said...

They use toner. A single cartridge (depending on the printer, etc) costs $40~ish, and is good for 1500+ pages.... They are more expensive than inkjets up front, but cost much less over time and require a lot less maintenance...

Leitmotiv said...

Or you could take it to the library... first so many pages is free. After that... I don't know

H. Bruce Miller said...

Many years ago I read this couplet in the Reader's Digest:

"Search all the parks in all the cities,
You'll find no statues to committees."

The best creative work is always individual and personal. Stay true to your own voice and your own vision.

Duncan McGeary said...

I more or less agree with you.

But most stories can be improved. I find that about, say, 70% of the criticisms at writer's group are valid.

Some I can't do anything about, because they change the very nature of the story.

Others I can't do anything about because they would require so much work rewriting that the whole venture becomes too much.

My big choice will probably be -- how much work makes sense to fix a story, and how much am I being lazy not to do those changes?

Spelling and most punctuation corrections, are usually valid
though sometimes they stray into style.

One of the big early criticisms at writer's group was that I wasn't playing up the love story enough. (Group is 80% female.)

First critique I heard from Jared was too much love story.

Neither are probably wrong, the problem probably is I just didn't do it right.

I'm not worried about losing my creator's vision. As long as I'm the one writing that last draft and I like each choice I make.