Tag Archives: writing

The art of writing and the pitfalls.

There happens to be a lot of work between having a bright, shiny new idea and a finished product getting loaded onto platforms, all ready to sell. Whether a writer outlines a story, or is an organic writer, (pantzer), the process is, or should be much the same. There are various drafts, and this can be anywhere between three and fifty. Every time the author decides to alter something, there is a knock on effect and the the whole manuscript has to be reread to check everything is still in place and behaving how it is intended to behave. Of course, as the drafts edge towards a finished product, it is necessary to check and recheck the mechanics. Mundane little things like commas, semicolons, spelling, spacing, etc. Yes, my publishing house has the best editorial department EVER, but it is still a matter of professionalism to turn in the very best and very cleanest manuscript I can achieve.

All this goes on behind the scenes and yes, the story is thoroughly edited by the publisher. A writer can get blind to errs and accidently miss the odd one or two, or not have the correct usage on something or the other. Whatever, the now finished product is returned to the author to check over for the final time. It is now squeaky clean and fit to be distributed. Unfortunately, this takes an unexpected toll on the writer.

My personal pleasure reading has now become a lot more limited. The problem lies in error identification while I am reading to the point where the mistakes will leap off a page and do a samba on my eyeballs. This totally destroys my ability to suspend disbelief and immerse myself in the story, should the tome in question have failed to undergo editing. Sometimes, when the errs are few, it is possible to continue. Sometimes it is not and this is often, unfortunately, the case of books offered on free promo.

I was forced to give up reading a book last night as the punctuation was out of this world. The analogy I can give is that if commas represented money, then the this was a novice gambler playing with someone else’s unlimited supply of chips. Had this been a printed book and not an ebook, then the extra ink on all the wrong commas would probably have been sufficient to fill a bathtub. Bemused, and catapulted out of the story, I wondered if this was a clever play on pictures and if I stared at the page I would see a picture form from the commas. Maybe a face, or a flower, or even Mr Stay-puffed Marshmallow Man, but no, not a trace of a pattern.

This is very disappointing as the story did look interesting from the blurb, which I assume was written by someone else who didn’t have a penchant to overpopulate prose with punctuation. I am left to wonder why someone would let a precious baby out into the world in this deplorable state? So disappointed.

Worldbuilding

I am currently working on the construction of a religion. It actually has to be believable to the characters or they won’t look plausible doing what they do in the name of this.

Needful is the manufacture of metaphysical state caused by imposing the juxtapositions of esoteric and unprovable statements that cause detrimental hardships in the day to day existence by instigating stringent and often contradictory clauses to behavior modes. I haven’t quite decided who the whipping boys are going to be, and there will have to be a people/race/set of alternative beliefs that will have to be persecuted at full intensity by my characters. They have to feel sanctimonious in order to appreciate the ritual deprivations on themselves designed to generate obedience, awe and fear. After all, one of the clauses will be ‘be good followers/worshipers or I will destroy the world like I did before’. There also has to be some sort of nebulous reward system, such as the imagined life after death, or why go through all the deprivations and grovelling?  Now this will depend very much on the general character of the type of people involved in the entrapment as to what is important to them in how they perceive the next emanation. 

It might also be amusing to have a reverse bigotry going on and stick women above men. Given most of the current religions in our world, and a goodly many of the past ones, held men in esteem and women as chattel something slightly beneath an ass or an ox, then it would be a change. Of course, all this might be subject to alteration as the story progresses. I can never stick to any sort of restriction, however loose the outline might be. 

 

Joyful day coming up.

I get to spend the day with my delightful grandson while my daughter goes to a spa with a friend. He is such a happy little camper and she will leave me with multiple bottles of milk. This is not going to be a problem, as little Georgie already took his first bottle of milk from me. I love that I can give my daughter some quality time and a break. I also love that I will be spending quality time with my little guy. 

What to take with me? I am debating between my laptop and a ring binder and pen. I won’t be on the web, but Georgie will be sleeping some of this time, so maybe I can still work when he does this? I don’t anticipate getting much done. Babies take priority always. And then I will have a to do list to accomplish for my dear daughter. That particular day is my husband’s birthday and my daughter is hosting a supper for us and other family. I volunteered for prep, which will get priority over writing, when Georgie is not awake. 

I am thinking Nana is going to be busier than she is used to being. Loving it. 

Why is setting important?

The characters provide the motive for the story, but without a cohesive setting it doesn’t come to life for the reader in my opinion. So what is it about setting? For me, I have to be able to look through the character’s eyes and see what they are seeing. This has to be real and that involves research. Yep, that is right, down to the flower that will be in bloom in that season.

How to accomplish this? Each season has a certain feel about it. Think fall, when the smell of overripe fruit permeates the air and the drone of bees made sluggish by the chill of night fills the morning air. This is the season where everything is closing down for the winter sleep. Why is this important? It gives a marker in time that allows the reader to progress. Without this marker, the time is static.

That dreadful moment when …

The horrendous moment when I realized I had deleted a synopsis that I now want. No, it is not in my recycle bin. I don’t even have to go look. I deleted it from my old laptop before it crashed and the saved data therefore does not contain it. This means I will have to write the wretched thing from scratch. Wails.

Any author will know that writing one of these is comparable to going to the dentist for a root canal or two. I had a decent two page synopsis and I trashed it. Yes, there are working notes. No, I don’t like them. I guess I will have to start over. Face palm.