Friday, May 05, 2006

Doublemint Fun

The only thing harder than coming up with interesting posts every day is coming up with funny headlines. Hence the above masterpiece.

This awkward title is apropos because yesterday was officially my very first, "Ok, leading a double life as an editor and a writer is pretty strange." On the writer side, I got my edited manuscript back from my editor, which I've been eagerly awaiting so I can get to work making THE MARK the best book it can be. Not to mention that book 2 is due in January, and I want to get this one finished before getting down to business on the next.

Reading my editor's comments, I was astounded by how many things I'd missed, despite going through at least six drafts. Small, stupid continuity errors, a couple silly logic gaps, and word and phrases that looked plain pitiful. Am I being too harsh? Maybe. But it'll only make the book better. In all I agreed with 95% of her comments (the other 5%, well, I'm ready for battle). I felt energized, powerful, and once again got that buzz any writer will recognize. I can't stress how important feedback is for an author, whether it's from an actual editor, your wife or husband, mother or father, or some guy you met in the park. Because you WILL miss things. You WILL screw up. And if you're smart, you WILL listen to constructive criticism (And you WILL send me money. Just wanted to see if you're paying attention).

On the flip side, yesterday I read a novel on submission with the most exciting, breathtaking opening chapter I think I've ever seen. Just terrific writing and storytelling all around. And even better, the author kept it up. I'm hoping the editorial staff responds in kind, and I get the green light to make an offer.

This particular author first began posting his WIP on his website a few years ago, and the response was tremendous. He was signed up by a respected independent press, and the book was one of their top sellers. Now he's looking for better distribution that can help his books can find a larger audience.

So take this to heart, fellow internet floggers. Words you think are being read only by friends and family might be perused by professionals aching for talent, searching for a diamond in the electronic rough. Now hopefully I can make that offer...

And coming Monday, Chapter 4 of THE REAL LIFE OF JOHN GILLIS will be up. I've realized that posting a chapter a week is just silly, since readers need that momentum, so from now on I'll be posting a new chapter every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It's an early Chrismukkah present from me to you.


Blogger Jason Pinter said...

Oh wow, that's pretty insane. Though I bet it's a big hit in the prison system. I bet Dr. Schwartzball has had to fight off publishers with a stick.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Bernita said...

Only SIX drafts?
Of course, I have further to go...

7:28 AM  
Blogger Jason Pinter said...

At some point I'll probably just start reusing old post titles, or ones that make no sense whatsoever. And if I can't think of anything interesting to write about, I can always discuss what I had for breakfast.

And Bernita, there's no right or wrong amount of drafts. I believe the final total for THE MARK was six or seven. Too many writers write one draft, congratulate themselves, and go looking for an agent and publisher. Smart writers will keep polishing their book until it can't possibly be any more polished. And even then, there are inevitable things you missed that others will pick up on.

A wise man (ok, it's from "Finding Forrester") said, "The first draft you write with your heart. The second you write with your head." He didn't mention the next 6-10 drafts, but you get the idea.

12:07 PM  
Blogger gugon said...

I just found your blog via J.A. Konrath. I'm still new to the blogosphere - and I'm a little technologically disfunctional. Believe it or not, it took me a while to find other blogs that are actually relevant to what I'm doing.

There's still so much I have to learn. I appreciate that there are people like you out there willing to share information.

And I love reading your perspective as both writer and editor.

Keep posting and I'll keep coming back.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Allison Brennan said...

Now you see how the other half lives . . . seriously, though, I love my editor. She has made me a much, much better writer. Not because my writing was bad, but she sees things I missed, not just in the details. I think a good editor can read the book and see the big picture as well as the little things that just don't work as well as they could.

Good editors tell their writers where the problems are. Great editors show writers their potential and let them solve the problems their own way.

10:47 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home