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, June 07, 2007

Pages vs. Books

I was talking to the lovely Gena Showalter last night and listening to her upcoming books (which sound wonderful), and the two great realizations that blinded me the last couple of years were emphasized.

1) I am writing in a niche market with the Celta books. I love them, fans love them, but there aren't enough fans, for, say one of the huge bestselling lists.

2) I am writing many pages -- the Luna books weigh in at 600 ms pages (and I usually cut so they're that long), and the Heart books always run over 500 (and I cut to a ream of paper). That's two big books and nearly four 400 page books.

Of course, I was also working full time until lately, so that's slowed the production.

So I need to streamline my stories, not pull in a lot of characters or subplots. I know readers will notice this, but frankly, I think most would like quantity (more) over complexity.

When I started, I wasn't writing this long. I think every time I've gone to contract I've told myself these books have to be BIG and complex to sell. Which is, of course, not necessarily true. I don't need a lot of subplots going on.

I'm going to try thinking simple, or at least simpLER. Voice is voice. Style is style. If I include interesting characters and a solid plot that should be enough.

Like ALL of the advice I give here, that is easier said than done.
May you not tangle yourself up in intricacies today.


Anonymous Kaelle said...

I think the length has been just right for your stories. I've never once thought that something could be cut to make it more readable. I think that's because you keep things rolling right along.

But of course, you do what you have to do as an author. I'll still be there reading every one of them! (grin)

11:08 AM  
Anonymous a reader said...

As a reader I hate the dumbing down of books to the lowest denominator. I find that a terrible insult. However I can see that an artist might have to choose between being the best they can be, or making more money or being more famous; However they have to live with the consequences!
Hope you make the right decission!

11:10 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Me, I like big, complex books. Especially when they're spec-fic. I've always thought your books balanced very well. In fact, I'd love it if you added more complexity, more world-building, more everything. :) But that's me. I'd rather have two monster-sized books spread over the year than four or five slim volumes more frequently.

On the other hand, I can absolutely understand the reasons you'd want to write slimmer. I imagine it would make transitioning to full-time a lot more feasible, yes?

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Robin this is tough because I love stories in rich text format (LOL!) Complex world building and a cast of thousands is what I cut my teeth on and so authors who can pull that off with romance and a HEA get me every time.

For a few years now when you have referred to yourself as a niche writer, I have always gotten the impression there was an unspoken "just" in there. I am just a niche writer. When what you are is a master storyteller.

Be that as it may, if you want to write your breakout novel, build your backlist, attract more readers, there is nothing wrong with that. Writing is a business. But I, for one, will miss the cast of thousands.


8:40 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

THANKS all. I really didn't expect this amount of comment.

I like doing the big books, but sometimes feel as if I'm juggling many balls in the air and one is sure to drop!


12:03 AM  

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