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Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Book, New Goals, Less Time to Edit

February is the shortest month of the year, maybe that's why it's the bussiest.

I have one book up for review with my critique group online. And I must say I love online critique groups, they let me rant and write and don't think I'm crazy for trying to work space ships into everything. I appreciate that.

And, well actually one book is a lie, I have one and a half up. The second should be up but it's the dreaded "learner book". I wrote the silly thing in high school, which was ages ago, and pulled it out and transfered to computer last year. The word count is 185,000, and 85,000 to long for a debut novel. I'm working on trimming it down but I stalled out and quite. Now I need to edit and put it back up. I have some good people looking at it, if they say it has no potential I'll believe them. If they give it a green light, or evena cautious yellow, I'll keep the project viable and keep editing.

It won't be the first thing I show and editor though. There are to many characters I love and to much potential for a series. I'd hate to waste that on a poor query and picky agents.

The book I'm writing this month is a lot easier to write than previous pieces for two reasons.
1) It's set on modern day Earth. If I need a map, Google Earth provides. It's a beautiful thing. I ca use proper nouns and not describe them. Pine tree, hibiscus, Southern Florida.... all of these already have meaning to the reader.
2) This will be my fourth completed novel. Not polished, just finished. And I've learned some things between draft one of novel one and draft one of novel four. I've learned about outlines, pacing, and character building. What took me 15,000 words to say in book one I can say in 5.

I'm hoping this will cut back on editing time. It probably won't. I'm a perfectionist at heart and art can never be perfect. I'll never be able to get the light on the leaf just right (See Leaf by Niggle written by J.R.R. Tolkein). It will always bother me. But I've seen some of the dross in print, those dreaded Pink books that bolster my firewood supply. And I know I can write better than that.

It doesn't take talent. I know four-year-olds who write better than that. You write better than that if your characters name doesn't change during an important scene for no known reason. Books like that make me twitch. It's worse when they aren't vanity press or POD but printed by real paying companies. Ewwww!

When I see basic errors like that I run for the safety of Miss Snark and beg to borrow the cluegun and Killer Yapp. And if you don't get that joke you need to go to the links on this blog, find Miss Snark, read the snarkives. It will save you a world of pain later.

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