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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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rough Drafts, Pantzer STyle, Finished Mss

Just recalled I didn't post today, so this is late, but this is it.

Today I didn't write, I reread/revised chapters 12-14 and got chapters 14-15 scenes integrated and started on chapter 16. I also put all those chapters in a Master document and expanded it and the book, of course, looks like it's running long. I've spent a lot of time on the building and powering of boats, and maybe some of that can be cut. Overlong setup makes me nervous and I start thinking of the scenes I might have to cut, but follow my own advice for once.

FINISH THE BOOK, THEN SEE WHAT MIGHT NEED CUTTING.

Maybe I won't have to take out the potato scene after all.

But I won't know how long the book is until I actually finish it, so always get the first draft done before you decide to cut or plump. I know, when you hit the end chapters you usually know if it's short or long or Too Damn Long. BUT FINISH THE BOOK, then go back. A finished piece can always be massaged. One that isn't finished is just a mess.

My advice for the day. Tomorrow I am scanning the previous chapters for the set up of a subplot I need to weave in, then will write that scene and go on. Working chronologically for the next while.

Meanwhile, I know I have a choreography problem coming up in the main battle scene. I set something up in the beginning as a magical rule that now needs a big payoff, set the subplot up in the last book. This is not Sevair's book, but his bit of the plot needs to be tied up here, in the last battle. So I'm wondering where exactly it will come and who all will be involved -- six or twelve...

So that's my tease for the day.

We're supposed to get rain tonight and rain/snow tomorrow, so I'll say may the weather that comes be some that you enjoy.
Robin

3 Comments:

Blogger Suzane in VT said...

If there's no potato scene in this book (as there has been in all the others), I just won't buy it. *crosses arms, stamps foot and puts on my most glaring look* ;)

As the undercurrent of your post is your worrying about length, my advice is listen to your gut feeling. Don't worry about it until you've finish. As you said, you can always go back and see what can go (although I'm sure your fans would take any and all of it). I'd think that limiting what you write now could stiffle your muse from giving you the best it can relating to the story and we wouldn't want that.

Question - Does your publisher put a limit on what word count is acceptable?

And regarding rain, THAT I can live with, but we've had way too much damned snow up here in New England this winter, thankyouverymuch and I for one don't want to see another snowflake until next winter. Four feet on the ground for months on end is more than enough to bear. Last of it left our front yard just last Tuesday and was so very glad to see it go.

Keep up the good work. I'm enjoying Heart Dance (about 1/2 finished) and finding it hard to put it down. Even brought it with me to work (shame on me). ;)

7:51 AM  
Blogger Catie said...

A finished piece can always be massaged. One that isn't finished is just a mess.

Amen! *laughs*

9:38 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Suzane, the potato scene is minor with only one heroine/hero and a secondary (not Exotique) character, but we'll see.

I always dither about length and I always go ahead and write, then cut. As for my publisher, Luna would like to see a 500 pg ms. rather than a 600 or 632 like they did with Keepers of the Flame. 632 was really pushing the limits.

If they ever try to make these books mass market paperback, they will be massive AND probably small print. So that's a concern.

The thing about Denver is that the snow doesn't stay. Usually it is gone in a week, no kidding. Winter of '06 was an exception.

May the snow stay far away from you.

Catie, figured you'd relate to that.
Robin

4:18 PM  

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