On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Publishing - Editing - Writing Buddies/Critique Groups

Still thinking about Harry Potter. I would say that Ms. Rowling is not having much editing done for her at her publishing house. They trust her. And that's a lovely place to be in, but I've seen several authors who are trusted, in my opinion, too much and NEED editing. I'm not sure when writing buddies/critique groups started, but I DO know that if I'd have tried to have used the sketchy motivation that Rowling did in one of my books, my editors (and my friends so it might not have reached my editors) would have nailed me for it.

And since Rowling writes fantasy, she could have worked her way around the motivation with a fantasy fix like an Unbreakable Vow -- or how I used my broken Vows of Honor. Since Heart Duel, I've had a household living under a couple who have broken their solumn Vows of Honor -- their health is deteriorating, they are aging at a more rapid rate, the morale of the whole family is low...and I am thinking it causes even more pain and anxiety in Heart Quest. These sort of things can be done in fantasy. Writing fantasy, you must stick to your Rules of Magic -- whatever you set up in the beginning -- still, I think that the Rules of Magic always deepen and grow with every book, and if you have a mind flexible enough, you can write yourself out of a corner.

I also think that what Ms. Rowling has set up to be done -- if it must be done by Harry alone -- is impossible to wrap up in one book -- or it would be for me, so seeing how she'll do this will be interesting.

Love to all,


Blogger moonhart said...


I agree that there are some authors out there who should have some editing. I am not really sure where this "hands off" mentality comes from. Probably the sales figures. But I wonder if readers give these authors more leeway, too.

Personally, I don't. I am plunking down my hard-earned money. I want my money's worth. And I don't want to throw the book across the room because the heroine uses the hero's name fifty million times. My eyes start bleeding. It's ugly, I tell you.

And motivation? That just kills me because it zaps me straight out of the story. Once the logic is gone, the trust between me and the author is broken. The book doesn't get read, and the author is prolly not purchased again. NYT bestseller or not.

There are plenty of mid-list writers and new comers who know their craft. I would rather throw my support to them.


7:45 AM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

I was sorely disappointed in book five--not the story but just because of editing. For one thing, it's a huge tome that takes quite a lot of time for me to get through-- and I'm a quick read. I can't imagine facing it down if you were a 10 year old.

Scholastic very definitely dumbed down the UK aspects in the first books of the series, and then all the sudden in book five the quidditch fields became pitches and everyone was ending their sentences with "have done." I expect this was in an effort to get the books out quicker, and with less money spent. I liked the English aspects, but the story needed trimming, to be sure.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

We're talking about editing on another loop and an excellent point was made -- the BEST editors ask questions when something puzzles them -- Why did s/he do this? That allows the author to figure out (and take the story in a different direction) why and not just fix it the way the editor would.


12:17 PM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

Right. Every scene must have a point. Sometimes for us "pantzers" as you call us, these points can be elusive. But I remind myself continually, what is happening here that is important to the story? And if I can't bear to part with the scene, how can I make it more intrinsic to the plot?

I wonder if I could go through book 5 of HP and find scenes with no point? I just started 6-- looking forward to it, actually. I love the stories, even if they do go on...

8:20 PM  

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