Maybe You Should Consider Biting The Bullet!

imageI’ve been working on Always And Forever for about nine years now. Well to be honest, I became discouraged on many occasions. Especially when I received rejections from newly solicited agents. I had gone through the novel for the umpteenth time, and I knew I had corrected every little mistake that could have possibly been overlooked during previous reviews. So, it would probably be more accurate to say I worked on the book for nine years off and on. Some of those offs were many months in duration.

I’ve tried to walk away from the book, but I can’t.  It’s a great story waiting to be told. It’s also a thorn in my side. As much as I try to push it away and move on, I find myself drawn back into the story and a desire to see it published.

One of the Agents I sent my work to, said I had a great premise but the story was riddled with grammatical and structural errors, head hopping, and dragging dialogue. It wasn’t ready for publication.

I took her constructive criticism to heart and took courses, read books, and worked on my manuscript feverishly in an attempt to make it publishable. Well here we are Nine years later and I still have a piece of work riddled with grammatical and structural errors, with no head hopping, and forward moving dialogue.

I’ve had friends read my novel and point out mistakes. I’ve used several online grammar programs, but I still have a piece of work with an unacceptable number of grammatical errors. It’s not ready.

A month ago, a lady that I know started an editing business and said she would love to look at my work. As a favor to me, she reviewed and provided corrections to my prologue and first chapter no charge.

I was appalled at the number of errors she cited. I have no idea how I could have missed so many small things. I was seeing for the first time what the literary agents were seeing when they reviewed my work, and I fully understood what the one agent had offered when she said it wasn’t ready.

Needless to say, I have hired her to help me with the rest of the book. It is an expense, but I’ve come to realize that we can’t edit our own work. As authors, we are to close and can’t see what jumps off the page for people with trained eyes.

Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet. And yes I know that’s a cliché,  but it sums up perfectly what I’m trying to say 🙂

Something to think about.

 

-Jan R

 

Maybe You Should Consider Biting The Bullet!

Maybe You Should Rethink That Title

Always and forever 3Thinking of a title for your current piece of work? I went to google and typed in the name of  the title I was planning on using for my novel, ‘Always and Forever.’ Two books came up with the same title. I thought that wasn’t too bad, but decided to go to Amazon and type the title in to see always and forever 1what they had. Well, I stopped at ‘Always and Forever’ number 20, and passed quite a few ‘Forever and Always’ along the way.

There isn’t a problem with my choice from a legal perspective. A title can’t be copyrighted, so it’s fair game. The question is, do I want to use a title that is so obviously overused?

One of the pros would be that the first two ‘Always and Forever’ titles I ran across were always and forever 2best sellers. This means people who liked those books, may have a positive view of mine, or at least a curiosity to check it out. What do you think? Would you keep the title or change it?

On a related note, I saw a headline that read-Confused buyers make World War II book, ‘Fire and Fury’ surprise bestseller. I’m not going to get political, but I did find that funny, and since it fell in line with my blog this morning, I thought I would use it 🙂

I’m not sure I want people to buy my book because they confused it with another one. I would hope the back cover description caught their attention, and the novel itself kept them reading.

-Jan R

Maybe You Should Rethink That Title

Do You Have Rewrite-itis?

I got tickled when I first saw this word. I have to admit, I have dealt with rewrite-itis. What is it? It’s a severe condition that effects both published and unpublished writers according to The Everything Guide To Writing A Romance Novel. It means your are unable to call a book, chapter, or even a scene finished. So what causes the condition? A fear of failure or success. For me it is definitely failure.

What are the symptoms?

  • Rewriting the same scene, chapter, or book more than ten times
  • Never finishing a book, because you keep going back to polish the first chapter
  • Constantly having others read your book with the hopes they will give you some revisions to do
  • Taking your finished manuscript to the post office to mail, only to return home with it in hand for further revision

So what do you think? Do you have a case of rewrite-itis?

Rewrite-itis has a close cousin – Research-itis. Maybe you have that one too. True research is crucial to any novel, but an author needs to know when to say “Enough is enough.”

So what is the cure? Set goals and deadlines and stick to them. Remember your manuscript is your baby, but sooner or later you have to turn it loose.

Just something to think about.

-Jan R

Do You Have Rewrite-itis?

Write A Page Turner!

images9B8IY8URI love Writer’s Digest. If you’re seriously pursuing a writing career,  you should consider subscribing to the magazine. They have great articles from published authors that cover a multitude of subjects – related to writing of course 🙂

I recently picked up a copy of one of my older publications and reread an article by Jordan Rosenfield on building tension, or I guess I should say, quick tips for infusing scenes with tension.

Dramatic tension relies on the reader’s knowledge that something is about to go down – but the details for how or when have yet to be revealed. To create it, you must:

  • Thwart your protagonist’s goals and delay satisfaction.
  • Include unexpected changes without immediate explanation.
  • Shift power back and forth.
  • Throw in a piece of plot information that changes or alters your protagonist.
  • Create a tense atmosphere through setting and senses.

Tension keeps the reader waiting with baited breath, wondering if the protagonist is going to survive, find love, or achieve his/her goal.

Remember tension keeps your reader turning the page.

Something to think about.

– Jan R

Write A Page Turner!