Thursday, March 30, 2017

Linda teared up over a chapter that I thought was a jury-rigged fix.

I'd brought in a love-interest in Chapter 20, just as an experiment. Nicole would actually show up earlier in the book, but the writing just assumed she'd been accompanying him. So the chapter turned out pretty well, and I thought, OK, this can be done. I liked that there was interaction. Plus, it added a good 20% to the word count, which I'm beginning to believe will be needed.

But, as I mentioned yesterday, I decided to write the rest of the book first, without the new character, and see how it turned out.

So yesterday, on  my walk, I took the new character out of Chapter 20. As a trick, I brought in the voice of Hart's son-of-a-bitch father; since Hart is suffering from hypothermia.

I thought it was kind of a temporary fix, and yet...

When I read it, I was amazed how effective it was--and when I finished, I looked up to see that Linda had tears in her eyes. Score!

It just goes to show you never can tell.


Dave Cline said...

Not associated with Linda crying or anything (although when you write something where YOU start crying... let me know).

A useful article for understanding the world:

"If one author hits the best-seller list, then publishers will be more interested in their next book. When the second book comes out, the publisher will put more resources and marketing power behind it, which makes it easier to hit the best-seller list for a second time. Soon, you begin to understand why a few books sell millions of copies while the majority struggle to sell a few thousand copies."

Duncan McGeary said...

Don't even go there.

I so enjoyed writing without any regard to commercial appeal. Even knowing that there is an editor who will look at this has changed my approach in subtle ways that I can't seem to help.

It wouldn't be the greatest tragedy if it didn't happen. The timeline alone is crazy. It takes a year anymore with the small publishers, almost two years for the bigger publishers.

Self-publishing? A few days.

I love writing books and putting them out. Now if only self-publishing actually garnered readers. (You know, without all the marketing whiz I don't have.)

I mean, even a modest number of readers would be good enough.

When the book by the bigger publisher is out, it will sell a thousand times more anything I do on my own. Same level of talent and writing.

Dave Cline said...

That article was not so much about writing as it was about understanding how tiny advantages can result in massive payoffs.

Pareto Rule, Winner-take-all, Golden rule (them that has the gold makes the rules).

Duncan McGeary said...

Yeah, I got that. I kinda explored all these ideas in my business.

But I believe there is still a place for individual modest achievement if you tough it out. Harder and harder to get by without breaking through, but it can be done. You can have a satisfying career being in the 80%, but you have to accept the limits.

Same with writing. I think you either have to get really lucky, or have exceptional talent, or bend yourself into pretzels to make it into the 10%.

I don't think bending yourself into pretzels is a good idea for anyone.

Hell, I'm beginning to realize that my attempt to get into the mainstream is already pulling me in uncomfortable directions--and if it wasn't for the opening, I probably wouldn't do it.

But I have an opening, so I can't just let it go by. Depending on whether they expect me to bend myself into pretzels. I'm going to be getting the "Suggestions for revisions" soon from the publisher, and I'm curious to see how extensive they are.

This isn't a career for me--I've already had my career. I can let opportunity pass me by without too many regrets, I think.