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, December 31, 2007

Writing and Life Again

I should be downstairs working. I've worked about 10 minutes this morning, cutting a crucial scene from where I'd added it yesterday because that's where it should go chronologically. But it set a completely wrong tone for the next scene which is more humorous and I spent some time yesterday writing transitions that still didn't work. So I'm backing up and inserting it into a previous chapter where I think it will read well.

I will be totalling most of my wordcount today, but I've been sloppy with keeping records despite my wonderful engagement calendar. I'll count the rough draft of Keepers of the Flame before I cut 60 pages and my editor cut 20, and I'll count the current page length of Heart Fate and the Scenes I've written but aren't in the book yet. But this doesn't take into account any of the scenes I've written and cut and didn't make it into either book. So my wordcount will be off, and I don't even know by how much.

Yesterday we had Freehold Christmas with friends and one of my friends has completed her first full manuscript. She looked at me oddly when I told her I hadn't finished Heart Fate. I knew that look. That was the same look I'd get on my face when my full-time writing friends would tell me they hadn't worked on a book when they had ALL DAY EVERY DAY to write. I was very condemnatory in my mind, though I'd make supportive noises/statements.

I've also been getting "write faster" emails.

All I can say is that it's harder than it looks to come up with story, especially if something is bothering me about a scene.

This year I think mostly that the hard work on re-envisioning Keepers of the Flame and Seamistress (which will never come out), writing Keepers of the Flame, cutting it, then the production fiasco with it, literally wiped me out for a couple of months. Several weeks were in the limbo of "is this the day I'll get the final edits and have to turn them around in hours and am I able to do that?" (I may go back and count them). Then I think my brain went numb for at least 3 weeks.

There's this blog and promotion and the website and the business side, too. Cover copy, ad copy, art work description, conferences, etc. Revising proposals that I thought were fine (that's coming up as soon as I finish Heart Fate and get some direction for the last Luna). Hideous plot/synopsis work which always takes me a long time...

I also had a major house disaster which did not help.

So, those are my rationalizations.

I will post the yearly word count and my goals from last year as told to my critique group over the next couple of days.

Today, as well as writing, I need to go to the bank, do bills, a tax form thing, and some cross-town errands. It's going to be cold and it's still snowy. Already I've fed the cat and put out food for birds/ferals (no food for myself yet) and gotten the recycling together and dragged through the snow in the back yard and out.

And this blog, long as it is, and written/revised as I go, has taken me about 45 minutes. I am not a fast typist Mistral has been screaming at me for the last couple of minutes which is not conducive to writing ANYTHING. I haven't figured out how to stop this new only-cat habit.

Now back downstairs to the laptop without internet and that scene. The sun is coming through this office window, but I've gotten into the habit of writing on the laptop for the moment. No email or other blog temptation, either.

May you look back on 2007 and be pleased.


Blogger talia pente said...

I'm not a fast typist, either. Sigh.

And I may never forgive Luna for denying me a whole book of Faucon.

Double sigh.

Bring on '08.


2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with Talia. Why did Luna not want six books for the series? I would love to have been able to read SeaMistress fleshed out.

I love the cover for Keepers of the Flame though I would liked to have seen some purple streaks in Bris' hair. Don't the artists have to read the books in order to draw for a cover?

I thoroughly enjoy reading your work and eagerly look forward to all of your works to come in the near and far future.

Cudos to you and well deserved.


3:59 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks Talia and Tine,

I was only offered a 2 book contract and not a 3, no reason given. Since the deadline was short and I'd already started Keepers of the Flame and I'd already set up that a Singer would be needed for the last book, I took Sea Mistress off the table (though my editor liked the concept). Maybe after the series is done I'll post the full synopsis on my website. I may have a few pages of the story, too.

I DO like how I worked the Raine story in, though. But Keepers of the Flame is (as Publishers Weekly put it) overcrowded.

Tine, I asked about Bri's purple streaks and was told that the art department tried to do it and that it came out terrible.

Thanks again!

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Robin,

Sorry to hear about the "type faster" emails. I can understand people who like your books being impatient, but I for one would rather wait longer for a better book than have you feel rushed. I'll reread the others while I'm waiting.... Glad that you are still working on the Heart series!

12:30 AM  

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