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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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Self Doubt, Panic and Readers Expectations

Yes, I am on book 18 (I think), does that mean panic and self-doubt go away? No. Does it mean the book is easier to write? No. Does it mean I'm not extremely concerned about reader expectations, heck no. More concerned than ever. Soo....

The set up: I took the opening to Heart Secret to critique group a couple of weeks ago (I have two). The first thing I was told was, "This is VERY dark."

Well, I think most of you know that I've had a dark couple of years. And I am allowed to put dark stuff in my books, of course. But I also know that most of my readers think of me as overall feel-good (and I'm completely okay with that) and I must take that into consideration. So NO Dark and Grim and Sad in Chapter 1 or 2.

In fact, recently I was recommended a very funny book by an author I enjoy. But she got up front about her heroine's flaws (and her heroine's flaws and situation were a little too much like my own). Did I read on the to funny parts? No. Did I put the book down after the first chapter? Yes. Will I go back to that book? No.

So, back to me. No Dark, Grim, and Sad in Chapters 1 or 2, which means, of course that Self Doubt and Panic lurk for me and bother me in my dreams. Am I good enough to rework Chapter 1 and 2 and still get the set up in that I want?

I can only do my best -- that is usually my mantra in this kind of situation. So there it is. I am doing the best with the resources I have.

Now I have another critique group, but since we are large today, only the first 10 manuscript pages are going to be read. And I've written a bit about the Baker St irregular cats to chapter 1 (from chapter 4)...and the very sad and grim and dark will be moved to chapter 8, about a quarter through the book.

Yes, writer/neurotic = redundant. Know this before you get into the business/the game.

And may YOU be free of Self Doubt and Panic today.
Robin

6 Comments:

Blogger Anna said...

I love dark, and like when author's mix things up in a series. It breaks up a monotonous feel. If the characters are meant to be dark then stick with it. Good luck!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Silver Phoenix said...

Write what you write. I think your fans are always willing to give you the benefit of the doubt for the first half of the book. :-)

1:06 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

So far I haven't been disappointed in any of your books (except maybe at the end, and that is only because it is OVER and I have to WAIT until the next one). I know pushing past self-doubt is what helps us grow, but I wish it could be easier sometimes.

Now, totally off topic - didn't you used to have a short episode up on your webpage where Mitchella and Straif find their second son? Because I can't find it and I want to re-read it as I am re-reading the heart series. Please?

9:14 AM  
Blogger azteclady said...

Here's wishing you a day free of self-doubt, and rich in gratification.

Plus, thank you for all the lovely moments your novels have given us. Here's raising the cup of coffee for many more to come!

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Laurence Brown said...

I really like the posting in your blog. Its nice time spending here.

6:55 AM  
Blogger FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Kris, I hope this link works for you. The bit is still there, under Worlds and Heart Quest...

http://www.robindowens.com/worlds/MitchellaGetsABaby.pdf

robin

1:14 PM  

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