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Posts Tagged ‘All Sorts’

Goodreads Choice Awards 2012

December 9, 2012 Leave a comment

In case you missed it, this past week Goodreads.com announced the winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards for 2012.  The winners are chosen by popular vote among Goodreads members.  There are 20 categories ranging from just general fiction and nonfiction to all sorts of sub genres for fantasy, etc.

This year, 1,156,852 votes were cast and the winners are in. Read more…

The TARDIS Principle for Writing

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

One thing that I dislike, but that seems to be rampant in the genres of fantasy and science-fiction, is over description.  Unless it is necessary, don’t tell me what color the tiles of the castle’s roof is.  If it’s Autumn, a short description of the color of the leaves is good, but a long, multi-paragraph description of all sorts of minutia that tells me it is Autumn is overkill.  Yes, occasional delving into literary prose is fine.  But fantasy and science-fiction authors do way, way, way too much of it at times in my humble opinion.

Those of us who read these sorts of stories do have imaginations after all.  Let us use them.  We can easily envision what the countryside our heroic knight is traveling through might look like.  So, again, unless it is necessary to the story, there is no need to go into great detail.  Besides, as I have already learned, great detail can lead to great problems with continuity.  The more detail you put in, the more you had better make sure that you remember it later on when you write the next scene where that detail comes up. Read more…

Are You Really An “Award Winning Author”?

July 13, 2012 2 comments

The other day I was introduced to an “Award Winning” author. Really? I though, how interesting. But I knew, as the friend who introduced us immediately turned a face when this “Award Winning” author introduced herself as such, that something was not right.

It took a while, but I was eventually able to broach the subject in the course of conversation. “So,” I asked, “what award did you win?”

The author beamed. “I took second place in my writers group awards for poetry last year,” she informed me.

“Oh?” I said, “That sounds wonderful. So happy for you. You must be thrilled with the recognition.”

“I am,” she grinned, “the other girl I was up against -” Read more…

Adding Heft And Garbage To Stories At Publisher’s Insistence

March 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Almost every novel I read seems to have segments where bulk has been added needlessly. Whether it is myriads of little details getting heaped on top of other, little details that will never be played out beyond their introduction, or sidetracks from the main story that seem to have little significance to what is going on an that painfully drag on, I used to think that these sorts of things were authors just babbling and trying to maintain a rigid, dictatorial grip over ever aspect of every leaf on every tree in “their story”.

But, in talking to authors it has lead me to realize that many times, not all however, these sorts of things are put in to appeal to publishers who demand a story be of a certain length or a certain concept within the book be further explored. One friend of mine, currently going through the process of getting his first book published, is adding nearly 30,000 words to his novel because the publisher demanded a longer book after accepting to publish said book. Last night he told me of the horror he was going through to stretch out his story. In some places he gripped about having to “over describe” scenes to the point where reading them nauseated him. He has also added an entire chapter early in the book to included some “action” where the publisher said the book was dragging. But now, with the addition of that chapter, he is finding all sorts of contradictions that need cleaned up elsewhere and changing other aspects of the story. He wants published so he is doing all this grudgingly.

To an extent, we all hope that anyone putting the time and effort in to publishing a book for us as authors knows what they are doing. Sometimes though, based on experience as a reader I do have to wonder. When it comes to a choice between publication or trash bin I think we all, with a few exceptions, choose publication. But in the back of my mind I do have to wonder how much of the things that I find distasteful about so many books I read were not by the author’s hand but rather from the publisher’s ardent insistence.