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, October 24, 2005

Doing a Reading

I've read my work aloud before and learned some things and yesterday I learned even more -- mostly from the other one scheduled to read (who shall remain nameless and who WASN'T Christie Golden if you happened to be curious to look at the Mile Hi Con schedule posted online. Christie has been writing and reading her work for a long time and is WONDERFUL at it).

I read from Sorceress of Faith, which was a mistake. I DON'T have that many people panting to hear me that they would have read Guardian of Honor, and I didn't have anyone there in the audience that had heard my Guardian of Honor reading, and Guardian of Honor is OUT and was available at the con, whereas Sorceress can be a dim memory by February.

I read Jaquar's scene, http://www.robindowens.com/reads/sorceress_of_faith.htm
, which has a lot of heavy-duty set up, and I wonder about that...then we discussed openings and I read Marian's dream, THE HOOK (see last week's blog) and got a lot of good reaction.

Then I listened to my companion read and confirmed a couple of things I knew. She read a passage from the middle of her book (not necessarily bad, but you need to explain, but I had to do that, too), and there were a lot of undefined monster terms and history of the world, which we, as readers reading along, would have picked up during the story. It wasn't BAD, it was just unnecessarily confusing...

So, advice for the day -- unless you are very big and people have probably already bought everything you've ever written, stick to a book that's out. Know your audience -- I DIDN'T read any of the Heart series at the sf con (though I had them on book displays), and last year I read the opening of Guardian of Honor because it's set on Lladrana and people READ fantasy at cons. For other audiences, I started with Alexa's scene.

And pick a passage that is easy for the audience to identify with and understand.

Finally, mechanics. It's best if you've practiced (I didn't), and WHEN you practice take the book and mark where you stumble (I call these Author Reading Copies). I usually circle words, if I need to slow, I write that in the margin. If I need to change a word or two, I do that, too.

Love to all,
Robin

2 Comments:

Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

I read one of my favorite scenes (a torture scene) at a large workshop recently. I was told by several in the audience that all was deathly still while I read; they were hanging on every word.

Too bad I was so distracted by nerves that I didn't notice. That would have been cool.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Yay! Sounds excellent. I'm a little better reading now...or maybe it was just Sunday I was very exhausted, but I wasn't as nervous as usual. I saw Harry Squires read at Archon (H R Knight) and he did a good job, very professional and he said he was very nervous.

Robin

7:13 AM  

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