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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Thursday, September 21, 2006


Ever read the back cover copy or an ad for a book and wait MONTHS to read the book, and all the while, you thought how interesting it would be and spun stories in your head, and, of course, it wasn’t like you thought it would be at all?

Of course it wasn’t. What you were telling yourself was the story YOU would make from the same premise, which, unless your world-idea matches the author’s closely, didn’t happen.

Sometimes the story can be better, surprising you, delighting you.

Or maybe you read a premise and you think, well, this will be like another author’s book I like. (I read a light vampire book last week that was fun but didn’t grab me – AND WE WRITERS ALWAYS HATE THAT PHRASE “DIDN’T GRAB ME,” “DIDN’T **LOVE** IT” I shouldn’t say it, but I am mentioning no names, so the author won’t writhe should she happen to see this blog, which she probably won’t). Anyway this book fell flat, and I decided that the author’s voice just wasn’t developed enough to be unique. Have we talked about voice?

Anyway I believe the above instances are two of the reasons for poor reviews/ratings on amazon.com and other readers’ sites. This is one of my rationalizations. The book didn’t live up to expectations.

So that’s something you have to deal with – other’s expectations of your work – always.

And like children, books should not be judged solely on the readers’ expectations. (I hope I don’t ignite a web-firestorm here, but I don’t think this blog is big enough to do that). I KNOW MY READERS, KNOW MANY OF THEIR EXPECTATIONS AND WILL NEVER VIOLATE SOME OF THE UNBROKEN RULES – KILLING A FAM ANIMAL COMPANION AT ANY POINT (though that would have made writing Heart Quest easier and more suspenseful had I done it off stage in the backstory). I WILL NEVER BETRAY MY ROMANCE READERS WITH AN UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER STORY.

But I hope to grow, and hope to change – some. I’ll always be a romantic, so happily ever after comes easy for me. In most cases.

So let yourself grow, experiment – in other genres if need be – to keep yourself and your muse happy.

May you have an excellent twist in your story today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You for the reassurances that Xanth, et al are safe!! Now if someone could get that opinion through to Rowling, the world could breath easier :)

10:25 AM  
Blogger Jacki Bentley said...

Hi Robin, as always, I loved Heart Quest and am a bit sad I flew through it so fast. I suppose I could've lived with a fam death off stage. :-) I'm willing to go along with your vision; you haven't disappointed me yet. But, I really felt it added enjoyment and depth that Black Ilex could gain info from the surviving fams. I had so much reader sympathy for them it added to the tragedy of the loss of their people more.

Interesting to me, I went right from your book to reading the latest in the edgy J.R. Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood vamp books. She's a new fave author for me. Wow, the worlds, hers and yours ,felt so different, both spectacular and fun in their own way and voice, but so different. I don't know what that kind of feeling is, almost a taste. And both with the happy ending I must have.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

More, please. :-) :-) If you could write like a book a month, I could give up writing myself and just read. LOL

4:21 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks Anon and Jacki, messages like this are excellent for a writer struggling through the next work.


7:35 AM  

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