Saturday, March 9, 2013

When is Enough Enough by Ginger Simpson

How many times have you picked up a book you are enjoying, but wondered, "God, when is this going to end?"  I don't care how many trees are on the property, it doesn't matter to me if the pond is bubbling in the back yard if it doesn't involve the character and further the story in some manner.

One of the reasons I've been turned off by some mainstream books is that they go on and on and on, giving you useless information and being repetitive.  This my dear friends is because most major publishers have "word requirements" and you must meet that magic number to be considered for publication.  I've always sucked at writing to word reqs because when my character says I'm done, I'm done.  Luckily, I've found small press, most who encourage you to write from the heart, and give you leeway to create stories of various lengths.  You know you've done something right when the worst review you get is, "It was too short."

  My blog partner here has done some awesome work in my absence, most of them dealing with common problems we all encounter as readers and authors.  If you haven't read them all, I encourage you to take a trip backwards and enjoy her shared knowledge.

Anyhow, the real reason for this post is to encourage other authors to be smart.  There is a niche for each of us in this ever-growing ocean, but just like I've always told my kids...take a few minutes and think about what might go wrong.  If something comes to mind, then plan a different approach.  Usually what you think will go wrong, will.

I believe e-publishing has flourished because of the popularity of the Kindle, Nook, and other readers which make downloading possible at a lower cost.  I also think the reputation of e-published authors has suffered because of so many first time authors self-publish without learning the most common pitfalls most of us know.  I've been writing for almost a dozen years now, at least seriously, and I still learn things from every editing session or every chapter critique I submit to my group.  To jump into publication without a clue, hurts all of us.  I encourage new authors who are writing their debut novels to take an extra month and find a good critique group of people who've learned the ropes.  Don't rely on your relatives for feedback, because most of the time, they don't know anything more about writing rules than you do.

It's funny, I was a reader long before I became an author, and I thought I would really know how to write my own novel.  I was in for a great big shock because although I read hundreds of books, I didn't realize why some were more entertaining and kept me turning pages more so than others did.  I had no idea how head-hopping, POV, cause before affect, and overuse of tags could draw me out of the story...in fact, I didn't even know what most of the terms meant.  I'm happy to say, each book I write, at least in my opinion, is better than the last because writing is continuous journey of learning.  So, don't start out thinking you have everything mapped and ready for success.  If you suck, people will notice.  Sadly, they then won't want to try other e-published books because of one bad apple.  Don't be that apple!

1 comment:

Marva Dasef said...

My writing is too sparse. I never give a rat's ass about the landscape unless it's getting in the way of my character's progress.

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