Friday, May 19, 2017

What I give up in pleasure, I give to the reader.

Nice of me, huh.

I've been doing nothing but re-writing for a couple of months, which is not my favorite activity. Right now, I need to get "Snaked" done. Cohesion wanted some major changes and I'm trying my best to do them. Haven't really ever had anyone from the outside ask for that before. They've got a stake in me--I've seen the cover to "Snaked" and it's pretty spectacular--so if I make a good faith effort, I'm sure it will work out.

Meanwhile, I have "Deadfall Ridge" out with beta-readers and editors. The first beta reader, who knows his outdoors, was pretty blunt in his criticism--which is good, believe me. I can address most of his criticisms, and a few others I can try to finesse, but I'm not surprised by what he found to be faults.

He really liked the first chapter "Which made me willing to read the rest of the book." The implication that he didn't like the rest. "Too many adverbs and ing words."

So I immediately went to the manuscript and started fooling with it. For one thing, I think I have decided on the final draft to turn it all into 3rd person. I was never completely comfortable with the 1st person. Just didn't feel like I pulled it off.

I'm backing away from the book until I get all the critiques back.

I need to get "Snaked" done first.

Just trying to handle the "Snaked" revisions one at a time. Finding the simplest solutions wherever possible, because I've got two major changes I need to concentrate on.

It's weird--but having someone actually request changes is way more stressful than just realizing myself that changes need to be made. Most of the suggestions are right on--especially for the kind of books Cohesion publishes-- big, action-oriented creature books. My book was probably a little too mellow the first draft. (I've already done one rewrite on their request, which improved the action dramatically.)

In other words, they are helping mold this book into a much more vibrant story.

But I always like my first drafts, you know. That is always the real story to me. Improving the books for others--and I want to be clear here; they ARE improvements--still tends to diminish my pleasure a little.

What I give up in pleasure, I give to the reader. 


Writing while moving is pretty much impossible. I knew that. I figured the month was a goner.

What I'm not sure I anticipated is how it would change routines so much. I had particular times, places, and habits at the old house which were all designed to be conducive to writing. None of those routines are here.

I guess I'll have to develop new routines.

There are walking spots close to Redmond, but they are in "yahoo" territory. (The first few miles of "wild" outside any urban area are all beat up to shit. Shotgun shells, trash, tire tracks, and so on. You can walk, but it's like walking in a trash dump.)

So to get to anywhere nice, I have to drive another five to ten minutes, somewhere between 20 to 40 minutes out, which is a third further out than from Bend. But I'm willing to pay that price. Some of the spots I've identified are very nice, and will probably be very conducive to writing.

1 comment:

Duncan McGeary said...

I mean, I owe as much to the reader. Rewriting makes the book better.