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, May 15, 2008

Cut That Line, That Paragraph, That Page!

One of the reasons I got in trouble with my scenes is because I wanted to keep a fun little line/additional payoff of a joke regarding Alexa & Bastien.

Too bad. So sad.

I'm ready to do that professional technique of smooshing, and the paragraphs Must Go. Yes, there are lines and paragraphs and pages and scenes that I've absolutely loved but that had to go because they distracted the reader from the main story of the book. This is always a problem with Alexa, since she is an over-the-top character. I have to keep my eye on her (and her toys) every minute.

I spent some time yesterday and the day before mulling over the scenes -- was it really time for this particular event to happen? What if I backed off on it and did only a precursor? What about the follow up? What was coming next?

So once I knew I had to cut the line, the timeline got clearer for me. That can be a BIG clue. If you love a line and you're having a hard time writing around it, what happens if you take it out? Do things flow more smoothly? If so, the line, etc., doesn't belong in there.

AND I GUARANTEE THAT YOU **MUST** LEARN TO DITCH YOUR WRITING WHEN IT NEEDS TO BE DONE. I think that one of the marks of an amateur writer is that "they'll never let anyone change their work." If you're wedded to your words, it's going to be hard to really work in this business.

So those are my tips for the day.
May you be pleased with your work today,


Blogger Lady Niko said...


Oh, please, can someone explain this to a certain Mary Sue writing vampire "professional" author that has totally and completely gone off the sanity rails these days? To the point they are telling readers all the details of their (imagined) sex life... yuck.

I couldn't agree with you more. I may be nothing more than a fanfic writer at the moment (trying to get a massage practice going first!), but I never put stuff out without running it through beta readers who certainly know more on the intricacies of the English language than I do. :) As one friend put it - English is a Germanic based language stuffed in a Latin rule base - it just doesn't work. It's like square peg round hole.

I look forward to the next books... as soon as i start to get some money in, I will be buying more! :)

3:48 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Lady Niko,

Keep believing in yourself and it will happen!


7:16 AM  

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