Rebecca Day

Archive for February, 2009

Editing and Revising and the HEA

Posted by rwday on February 26, 2009

I’m trying to post here more frequently in hopes it will spur me to do more writing.  Hard to blog about my writing when I’m not doing any.

I am a fairly good editor.  I can tighten up a sentence, eliminate paragraphs here and there that don’t really contribute to the forward flow of the story, but I find true editing (in the sense of revision) very difficult.  When it comes to moving scenes around or completely rewriting sections of a text, I just sit in front of the screen, staring blankly.

Part of it is the way I conceptualize my stories – in my mind, they’re real.  Things happen the way they happen, and especially once they’re down on paper, changing them feels a bit like Winston Smith in the Ministry of Truth. I have to keep telling myself that I AM in control.  Whatever I say, goes.  If I want David to get on a tramp steamer to Argentina so he can become a flamenco dancer, I can do it.  (I won’t, but I could.) 

Being a bit more serious… (and there may be subtle spoilers for Ashes below the line) Read the rest of this entry »

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Writing Software

Posted by rwday on February 25, 2009

I was surfing through Justine Larbalestier’s blog, looking at the entries she’s done for her January Writing Advice Month, and ran across her post on the writing software program Scrivener.  I’d tried Scrivener a year or so ago, just after I got my Mac, and as I remember, I liked it, but wasn’t writing enough to really make use of all the features. 

Based on Justine’s recommendation and the video they have on the site, I’ve decided to give it a second go and have downloaded the free trial.   My history with organization software hasn’t exactly been great.

Read the rest of this entry »

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2 down…

Posted by rwday on February 24, 2009

2 chapters in the can.  I cut about 1,000 words altogether, so a reduction of about 10%.  My goal is to get the manuscript down at least 25%, so that’s not much of a start.  I comfort myself by saying that I need to keep a lot of the beginning in, as I think it’s important, when working with later books in a series, to give enough explanation so readers who haven’t read the first book can still figure what’s going on. 

It’s a fine balance, though, between the completely incomprehensible to 7 books full of ‘Harry Potter wasn’t an ordinary boy…’  Yes, Jo, we know.  By Order of the Phoenix, I’m pretty sure everybody, including hermits living at the top of impossibly high mountains in Nepal, knew that Harry Potter was a wizard.  But as I haven’t quite had the popularity of JK Rowling, I’m trying to explain things fully without being pedantic.  Not easy, especially as pedantic is my standard operating mode these days, thanks to grad school.

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Posted by rwday on February 24, 2009

I finally got around to updating my profile on my LJ – I didn’t have a couple of my sales listed, and had actually forgotten to update the listing for Thaw with the marvelous new Lethe Press edition.  It was still listed as being from the Publisher Who Must Not Be Named.  I never did get my final royalties from them, but at this point, I’m done and am moving on.  I’m much better off with Lethe, definitely.

Thaw is #15 on Amazon’s gay fiction bestseller list!  I’m sure by the time anybody reads this post it will have slipped, but still, I’m very happy about  that.  If I could figure out how to do a screenshot on this Mac, I’d preserve it for all time.  

Speaking of happy, I got an email from Edmund Schubert of IGMS asking the contributors to the forthcoming edition (including me) to contribute to the blog, and I discovered that I’m sharing a ToC with Peter S. Beagle.  It doesn’t get much better than that!  Okay, this is a bit like one time at a convention when I was on the same elevator as the guy who played Dr. Franklin on Babylon 5, a chance brush with fame, but hey, it’s as close as I’m likely to get unless I get back to writing seriously.

I have the Thaw sequel open and intend to do at least 1/2 hour’s editing.  Maybe having spent so much time away from it will give me enough distance to be able to be impartial.  I think the first step will be to just start rereading, get a feel for the story again and remind myself who these people are and what the world they live in is like.  Though I look at what’s going on in our world – climate change, corrupt governments, riots and economic collapse, etc., and think that maybe I won’t have to do too much research to get back into my post-apocalyptic vision.  Life imitating art and all that.

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Reviews!

Posted by rwday on February 6, 2009

The new edition of A Strong and Sudden Thaw has picked up a few reviews –

Well Read

Reviews by Jessewave

Erastes

These are great reviews and I’m thrilled to have them, and this gives me an opportunity to explain my ‘policy’ on reviews.  I read any review I’m made aware of, and I’m grateful for all of them, positive or not, because the very fact that someone took the time to read and then respond to my book is just incredible.  However, I generally don’t reply to reviews unless the reviewer is a personal friend, someone with whom I would communicate anyway.

The reason for this is that I don’t Google myself ever, and even if I did, I couldn’t possibly know about every review.  If I start commenting on reviews and I miss one, or two, or twenty, I don’t want those reviewers to think that I’m ticked off at them or blowing them off.  Plus, once you start responding to reviews, it’s so easy to start arguing with reviews you don’t necessarily agree with, and that road leads to Anne Rice wankery. 

I figure that reviews are not written for me.  They’re written for potential readers, to either encourage them to read or warn them off.  Book reviewers, most of whom are unpaid, do a great service to authors and I appreciate each and every one, so thank you!

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