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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RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Proposal Synopses

I think I've been whining too much lately and should get back to Writing and Publishing info.

Anyway, I was working on sewing up my chron chapters to the farthest I have them in sequence (I think about the middle, but I have lots of other bits and pieces after that, including a large chunk of before the battle, a little during the last battle, quite a bit after the battle, and three endings I have to either meld together or decide which is the best).

Some scene threads I had in chapter two have been moved and I'm ready to pay off a set up that I've had since Guardian of Honor, so I was reading early editions of chapter two...including my proposal.

There is a subplot in my proposal that I didn't include in the book. In the proposal, I had the man who'd attacked Raine get away and stir up others like him (who had innate repulsions to people from our world) to form a group and attack Raine and the other Exotiques and disrupt the invasion force, or something.

That doesn't happen.

In my ms. the attacker is literally put on a ship sailing away to distant lands, probably never to be heard of again.

I wanted Raine to have security, know that that particular problem was gone forever -- and the reader, too.

Why did I change this?

Because I have plenty of other things going on, thank you very much. I have Raine and her tasks (3) and love story with Faucon. I have Jikata and her learning of Lladrana and lessons with the Singer. I have the invasion task force forming and Luthan and his issues with other people. And, soon, Jikata and Luthan's love story.

In my proposals -- esp. the Luna fantasies -- I tend to put more plot in than I need. Probably because I don't have the book totally formed in my head since I'm not writing it yet. So a proposal is "this is what I think will happen, and trust me, baby, the main plot/conflict, will remain the same."

So far the worst has been Protector of the Flight. I had a little subplot with the Singer that didn't get in there. I had 1/3 more story (in a different direction) than I actually wrote, which would have made it a completely different story, and I think it's a better story the way it is.

Maybe, someday, I'll put the proposal synopses up on my website, but the problem with that is some people who haven't read the books will read the synopses, say, "Oh, I don't think I want to read this." And, again, trust me baby, I need all the readers I can get.

May the threads of your life be golden today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading of the trials and tribulations, emotional and personal ups and downs an author goes through while plying their trade is very educational for those of us dreaming of someday following in their footsteps (no matter the genre being written). This kind of insight into the pitfalls that can be expected leaves us with a lot to think about.

Personally, I've found it quite enjoyable to read the things that never made it (for various reasons) into a manuscript. It's something to savor; something on par with the blooper outtakes or 'the making of' extras included in modern DVD's. IMHO, I think that if a reader likes an author's work, those little extras are not something that will put them off, but more like chocolate ice cream being offered along side a chocolate pudding cake! The more chocolate the merrier. OTOH, if someone is looking at them before reading the book(s), I would think they would be more of a tease and lure than a hindrance or something to put them off.

Suggestion - why not write all the alternate endings and let each reader decide which of the endings he/she believes is the right one for them. If this isn't possible, choose the one you want and then post the others.

All in all, to me, you're doing just fine. Keep up the good work.

Suzane in VT

8:31 AM  
Blogger Tannun said...

I wonder how you are going to explain the changes you've been forced to make? You've said you needed seven Exotique's to defeat the evil, and unless my count is off you are going to be short. Unless you plan on using Koz?

It has to be frustrating when real world contractual obligations interfere with story threads and plot, but I absolutely hate books that just ignore their previous books. They've created a world, and granted it's fantasy, and the rules are different, but once the rules are established, they should be followed.

It's why I can't wait to see how you get Tinne out of his marriage. You've stated plainly that divorce is very rare on Celta, and NEVER happens in the first families.

I wonder which bother an author more, breaking a truth of their world because they didn't for-see they would need too, or changing the rules because their editors/contracts require them too.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Tannun said...

Kelly Armstrong posted a novella a year on her website, releasing it in weekly installments, and after four or five of these had been created, her editor had her remove them from the site and released them in book format.

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller did something similar. Their contracts for their Korval universe had not been renewed, so they would, based on subscriptions post a chapter a week on a new book. They asked for donations, and released installments as long as donation goals where met. 1000 was the ceiling for each book, but this was broken down into chapters, and if enough donations had been generated to post a chapter it went up.

They met their goal and finished book one, and have almost done the same for the second. AND the books where then bought and will be released in hard copy.

Part of the promise they had made was if the books where ever commercially released they would ask for their upfront share to be in book copies, and those people who had donated would then get a copy sent to them from the author.

My point after all of that! Posting short stories/novellas to your website may be one of the best ways to generate more interest.

And I still think there has to be a way to get you in some anthologies. Even in today's over-glutted vampire/werewolf market.

When you really look at it, Trina was attacked by a gang of flair vampires!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Valerie said...

I love Tannun's idea of a blog story. Several authors that i follow release some short stories on their blogs or yahoo group sites. A couple of hundred words a week or one chapter per month depending on how much they are writing on other books. It's a lot of fun and keeps people going back to their blogs or yahoo groups depending on where they are released. It's along the same lines as the way you released Marwey's story.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Excellent points, all. And I'll take a look at my contracts...in a while.

Right now I have more on my plate than I can handle. The Luna deadline, the two book proposal for the Heart series, another two book proposal, a trilogy darkish fantasy with the same characters, and a recent stand-alone-maybe-lead-into-something else came to me. The opening line and the germ of an idea, but...

Tannun, your count is off. There are six Exotiques needed for the final spell, optimum, but for suspense reasons I backed off of that a little so Raine can vacillate (all right, maybe very little suspense).

As for changes...I think I can be solid in saying that changes an author makes to a story to give it a different direction, or make it better are much easier than changes an editor requires that have very little to do with the story. An excellent editor that sees holes or is bothered by motivation...those changes are always worthwhile.

As for rules...I think if an author gets in a pinch, they can figure out exceptions (ok, and for me the magic rules are more solid than the societal rules), and I'm pretty sure I handled this well in Heart Fate. I'll definitely hear about it if I haven't, but none of my beta readers have complained, nor did my editor. It satisfies ME, so I hope it will do the same for others. And it is a matter of showing clashing POVs, I think. That's all I'll say on it.

Thanks for the comments!

7:41 PM  

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