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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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Choreography, Choreography, Choreography

Before you turn in your manuscript to an editor or agent make sure that you have beta readers. This advice is for EVERYONE, unpublished to NY Times Bestsellers.

I recently read two books from NY Times bestselling authors with choreography problems that I'm certain the authors/editors/publishers thought they caught -- but they didn't. One was a large payoff of an action...the other had a significant bottle roll under a cabinet. The first made the ending puzzling to me when it paid off something that didn't happen, the second had me wondering throughout the rest of the book when the bottle would be discovered...and it wasn't.

I've done the same. Probably missed some choreography in every book, then caught it later. Only two times have I missed a large thing...both in the Heart series. One I fudged later (the age of Second Passage), saying different people would experience it at different times. The other error I corrected in the next version of the book, but still heard about it....

Check your work and have others do so, too.
May you enjoy your creativity today.
Robin

4 Comments:

Blogger Janice said...

That's really good advice, Robin.

LKH made a mistake on one of her Anita Blake novels. Anita's car was totaled and completely undrivable, and then in the next chapter she was driving it.

Was she driving a rental?

Could be, but she forgot to write it in. But a car being undriveable seems like an awful big mistake to me.

Janice~

2:32 AM  
Blogger FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Yes, it's very frustrating when you know one line would take care of a problem that you forgot...

Or there are multiple versions of the chapter and you include the wrong one....

Or you missed correcting a thread that changed.

I don't know if LKH cares about this stuff anymore, but most writers do. You have to learn to live with it.

Robin

5:53 PM  
Blogger Tannun said...

Laurell Hamilton has huge problems with this issue. I'm not sure if it's that she writes two series, or bad editors.

You've work on two series at once, Robin. How do you maintain continuity and chorieography?

I hate picking up the sequel to find entire plot ignored or glossed over.

7:51 AM  
Blogger FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Sometimes I make a mistake. Usually I make a note in my current ms. if I think I need to check something, then do a word search in each of my ms. to find it. For instance, I wanted another good actor name for a man who prefers to play villains. I chose Monkshood...forgetting that I'd used that name for the snotty main clerk of the Councils. I could have made them relatives, but instead I changed his name, to Galangal which I've come to like very much.

Robin

8:25 AM  

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