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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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Flat writing -- Rereading Your Work

I reread Heart Quest for the copy edits and I've figured out why I don't care to reread my own work...I've worked on it so hard that any of the subtle emotions that the book may call forth to me as a reader are gone. The writing seems flat (I can only hope it isn't). I can analyze the writing technically, but small events and gestures and dialogue that I've worked hard on just don't bring any response to me.

Which may be why I've liked rereading Guardian of Honor. I thought it was because the book was relatively easy to write, but it's also one that I've painted more in broad strokes than small nuances. Alexa is a warrior, a fighter, a survivor and can be over the top (even now, I find writing Alexa easier than my other characters).

So I read and hope the writing isn't as flat as it seems and that others read and reread my stories and treasure the little surprises and small amusements I try and include. I do rejoice, however, when the BIG events move me, because then I'm reassured that I might have done something right.

And, yes, this whole blog is full of qualifiers, but that's how most writers think about their work...and talk about it so it isn't jinxed and/or someone out there doesn't think you're a pompous and full of crap.

May you experience all the emotions of your work and of fulfilling your creativity today.


Blogger Jeri said...

I love Alexa. She's a very vivid character. But Marian is more subtle and ultimately perhaps more interesting because of it. They're both strong personalities, just in different ways.

I agree: there's nothing like reading and dissecting the minutiae of a work to take all the joy out of it. By the copyedit stage, you just have to trust the instincts that put the words there in the first place. Someone reading it for the first time will experience the same magic.

And you couldn't be pompous or full of crap if your life depended on it, Robin. :-)

4:57 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks Jeri, I worry about the pompous, I know it all stuff.

The thing is, with my favorite books, there can be tiny lines, little twists and situations (mostly with Jayne Ann Krentz) that are small but I anticipate every time I read the book and enjoy every time I come to them.

It just doesn't work with my own stuff, usually.

I think I still like the bit with the flowers in HeartMate (I had to reread that for Heart Quest), and sometimees the cat comments still make me smile, but any other turn of phrase or slight amusement is lost.


9:01 PM  

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