Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monogamous Reading and Writing

I haven’t really blogged much about writing lately which is slightly ironic since the original purpose of my blog was to talk about writing.

The truth is, I haven’t actually been writing much lately. This is a combination of wanting to take a break. I wrote ten novels in 8 years and I felt like it’d be nice to take some time off. So I did.

Also, I finished my last novel in January and it’s taken a while to deal with that. Since I published The Reluctant Demon, I’ve had several people tell me that it wasn’t edited as well as it could have been and there were typos in it. This is slightly embarrassing, I admit. However, since I just found a couple of typos in the book I’m reading, A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin that’s currently in the top ten best selling books list at the moment, I don’t feel so bad.

However, with my sequel to The Reluctant Demon, I wanted to take more time to edit and make sure it was as polished as it could have been. This is one of my excuses for not having written much lately.

Editing takes time. I’m not a fan of it. My normal process is to finish a book, go back and edit and then leave it for a few weeks/months and then edit again. It’s hard to edit something when you’ve been staring at it. It’s also hard to edit something you know so well. I find that my eyes tend to miss a lot of typos or punctuation mistakes.

This time, I decided to have others help me with the editing. I enlisted the aid of a good friend who is a ‘grammar’ queen. She was very helpful but I did discover when I got the edited manuscript back that while she had found a lot of the typos and given me a lot of constructive criticism, she’d also missed quite a few errors. My assumption is that she got sidetracked by the story and didn’t catch everything.

I was still grateful because she found a lot more stuff than I had. Still, it meant I had to go through and re-edit. It was easier this time since I hadn’t read the book in a few months. I found a lot of typos, punctuation errors and even some continuity problems.

Still, I didn’t think it was quite ready so I decided to run it through a final filter, my friend Saz. She is one of those very organized writers who is excellent at punctuation and detail. I sent her the book. She was kind enough to read it and let me know of other errors/typos she’d found.

When I got it back, I made the changes and, finally, it felt like it was done. This whole process pretty much took from January through June.

During this time, I thought about writing something new. I’ve been percolating an idea in my head but I seriously don’t feel like it’s ready to write yet. Also, the idea of writing something while trying to get Emmy ready to publish just didn’t seem like a good idea. I’m one of those people who simply can only read one book at once. By that, I don’t mean that I’m holding a book in each hand and trying to read both books at the same time. I mean that if I’m reading one book, I don’t like putting it down and picking up something else until I’ve finished the first book.

I just don’t like to do it. I am a decidedly monogamous reader and if I read two books simultaneously, it feels almost like I’m ‘cheating’ on the other book. Weird, I know, but it’s true. Also, I like sitting down and getting absorbed in the fictional world behind the pages and if I’m reading a different book, I have to jump between worlds. I like to read one, get absorbed into that world until I’m done and then move on.

You get the idea. This is why I have the same mentality when it comes to writing. I can’t write two books at the same time. I need to focus my energy and passion on one book and then move on. I can sometimes work on other things like short stories but then again, I’m ok with reading a magazine and a book at the same time. They’re like apples and oranges.

So, since I intend to publish Emmy Goes to Hell, I didn’t feel comfortable starting something new until Emmy was off my plate and completely done.

Well, Emmy is finally done. It should be up for sale on in the next week as well as through online retailers. The last step is to get it up for e-readers like the Kindle and Nook. This is not as easy as it sounds as it involves rather a lot of formatting changes in order to be converted into the many and varied formats for each type of e-reader.

I’ll be glad to be done with Emmy. It was fun to write but I’m ready for something new and different. Once the e-reader version is available, I’ll finally be able to put the book aside and move on. It’s taken a while but I’m pleased with the result. It’ll be nice to get back to actual writing again rather than the nitty gritty of publishing. Of course, there’s the marketing but…well….that’s not the same. That’s not cheating on my new book.

So, aside from this being a blog about writing, it’s a shameless plug for Emmy Goes to Hell. Please buy my book. It’s quite funny, quite dark and, as always, just wee bit twisted. I like it more than The Reluctant Demon because there’s a little more to it. Neither book is ever going to be my magnum opus but I think they’re fun reads.

Now it’s done, I can move on and write something new. I’m not quite sure what that will be but it probably won’t involve demons this time around. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks, as always for reading!

Happy Thursday!

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