But that’s how my day started. Yesterday I wrote some really good stuff, but today I trashed a lot of it.
Because I decided I was revealing too much too soon. A story has its own timing, and if you reveal things too early or too much at one time, it can be bad for the story (even if you avoid the dreaded infodump).
A writer has to be careful, we have to be sure to control the information the hero needs to finish his quest, not just from the hero but from the reader. Think about it, how satisfying would it be if the writer gave the whole story away in the first couple of chapters?
At the same time, the writer can’t let too long go by without some piece of the puzzle being offered. But that wasn’t my problem today.
In any event, painful as it was to delete my own words, I think the story will be better for it in the end.
I just had an interesting experience… a character I didn’t have in the first draft of Librarian came up to Roncen and basically weaved himself into the story. He’s a young thief that will be serving as an apprentice to Roncen. This was a bit of a tough decision for me to make, because as I indicated in the post about how I came up with Roncen (linked above), I said I like playing with (i.e. breaking) stereotypes, and the young thief is kind of a stereotype in fantasy, so in a way I’m bowing to one instead of breaking it.
On the other hand, he’s just come into the story and I’m not really sure how his part of the story is going to unfold yet. I’m hoping I can break away from the usual “young thief” stereotype by making him an apprentice of Roncen, so he’s not the young know-it-all that we see often in other fantasy novels. Or maybe he just thinks he knows it all but will be corrected often.
But I’m getting off topic. I certainly wasn’t expecting another major character to come up and introduce himself, so as I said it was kind of an interesting experience. I’m looking forward to see how he works himself into the story.
Found on Twitter… why one author turned down an offer from a traditional publisher to publish independently. Well worth reading.
There are a lot of myths about self-published authors that are generally accepted as conventional wisdom. And since myth-busting is one of my goals, I thought I’d share some of my personal story in the hopes of dispelling some of these pernicious falsehoods. Let’s start with the most common preconception: self-published authors are only self-published because they lack talent.
The most compelling argument I can make against this nonsense is the fact that I was once offered a contract by a traditional publishing house. A mid-sized Canadian publisher, but a traditional publisher nonetheless. I turned that offer down. Why?
One word: corruption.
The contract as written required me to give the publisher a right of first refusal on my next three manuscripts, and I would have to continue pitching manuscripts until they chose three they liked. That means I would have to pitch said manuscripts to their publishing house before…
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When a scene goes off in a completely different direction than what you’d planned, that can be a heck of a lot of fun… at least I think it can.
I just wrote one that had started off as a simple “let’s get the story from point A to point B” scene, but somehow my characters took over and started an in depth conversation that, looking at it now, probably added a lot to the story that wasn’t there before.
The fun thing is, I hadn’t intended to write that at this point. In fact, I hadn’t intended to write it at all, it just wasn’t on my radar. Now that it’s written, though, I can see the need for it, and I’m glad that my characters took the initiative to push me to tell that part of their story.
(Non-writers probably think I’m nuts about now, talking about my characters as if they’re separate people. Most writers are probably nodding their heads, though.)
On Friday I emailed the first 20,000 words of the (rewritten) Librarian to my semi-pro editor. Last nite I quizzed her about what she’d read so far. The one question that sticks in my mind is when I asked her, “if you’d paid for that book, would you feel cheated?”
Her answer: “No.”
In the end, that’s all I really wanna do: put out a quality product. I figure if I do that, the readers will find it, hopefully (hint, hint) by word of mouth from others.
Anyway, back to work on the rest of the rewrite. 🙂
Well, I’ve picked up the pen (metaphorically speaking) on Librarian yet again. And this time I’ve asked a friend to nag me to write, so I’m hoping I can get the rewrite done by the end of the month.
One thing I’ve discovered is that when inspiration fails at home (my usual writing place), it’s time to take the laptop on the road. There’s a local independent coffee shop (i.e. not owned by Starbucks or any of the other big chains) that has free wi-fi, so they’re a nice place to write that’s different from home. The fact that it’s owned by a friend is a plus.
If there are any other writers reading this, what do you do when inspiration runs dry?
…and I did fairly well, cranking out 2,180 words.
The problem with having an assassin as the main character is that you have to plan the assassinations as completely as he does, and there’s always something you haven’t thought of till the last minute. So I did a lot of backing up and plugging holes today.