Yesterday, something wonderful happened. I completed the manuscript for Under the Darkened Moon.
It’s been a wonderful journey, considering that it is the first novel I have been able to completed in darn near twenty years of attempting to write a novel. I’ve gone through a whole range of emotions from joy (at having done it), to sorrow (at realizing my characters, my children, are all grown up), to fear (at realizing that now the hard part begins as I search for an agent and publisher).
The whole experience of writing this story began last year on July 18th and has spanned, officially, 517 days (44,668,800 seconds) of my life. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve spent over 2,000 hours either directly working on this story or thinking about it. That’s a lot of time.
I see a lot of authors (generally those who are self-publishing) dismiss bad reviews of their books. Google the topic and there is no end to the number of budding authors explaining why they don’t care if someone gives their book a bad review. Or, even worse, why they don’t even read what other people say about their book.
Well, I say that’s a bad attitude. I think it is a dangerous stance to take where you choose to shelter yourself from criticism. This is especially true, I believe, for indy, self-published authors. I think you SHOULD care about bad reviews.
Look, unless you are Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, and going to sell books no matter what you write, then not caring about criticism only hurts you. Face it, only once you are at a point in your career where you actually don’t have to worry about the critics, because you’ve proven yourself as someone who knows how to write and sell books, should you even remotely consider no longer worrying about the critics. Frankly, most my fellow authors out there whom I have seen state they don’t care about their critics are not at this point in their careers yet. In fact, most of them are FAR, FAR, FAR from that point. (more…)
Every day I get asked the same question, “Why are you still editing that novel of yours?”
I don’t think the answer is that complicated. I simply want to produce a quality story in the end. And, while I and others who have read Under the Darkened Moon think that the story is good, I personally don’t think it is good enough quite yet. Although, I do think it is quickly getting there.
For me, there is no rush. I’ve been writing off and on for over twenty years. My very first novel, which I started back in high school, had three years invested into it and never got even half way done. For Under the Darkened Moon, I opened the file (started writing the story) on June 18th of last year. It is now October, nearly November a year later. I could have pushed this work out there six months ago, at least according to some opinions, but certainly not my own. As one person in my review group said, “It’s already better than 95% of what is self-published on Amazon and other sites like that.” (more…)
I encourage people to say what they really think whenever they are reading my work in progress (Under the Darkened Moon). I haven’t had it in a formal review setting since I started the live read and final draft process. But, prior to that, I got a lot of feedback from a variety of sources including: my standard review group, writer friends of mine (published and unpublished), and people who I know and who like to read fantasy.
I’m not someone who isn’t willing to let people, whether they liked the book or not, have their say. Here is a sampling of the good and the bad that I got as feedback: (more…)
Lots of writers make a very deadly decision in that they do not get multiple opinions on their work. Instead, they write something and have one trusted source review their work. If they even do that at all. Many authors never seek opinions on what they have written.
The “trusted” source many authors turn to is usually a spouse, girl/boy friend, close friends or some other such person they feel comfortable with. Usually, the result of such forays is a comment like, “It’s great! Don’t change anything!”
If you are one of the lucky ones that actually do get good quality feedback from your single, trusted confidant, you are still short changing yourself. Even if you get comments that point out problems with your prose, plot, character development, etc., getting other opinions doesn’t hurt. (more…)