Sunday, September 14, 2014

As I was saying...

I was plummeting toward the finish line of THE BOY WITH THE PAINFUL TATTOO last week, and found myself unable to stop the train long enough to come up with a blog. That's actually what it feels like once you reach those final chapters. Like you would have to jump in front of a speeding train, Superman style -- to try and slow -- let alone stop -- that hurtle towards completion (or annihilation -- I can never tell at this point).

Anyway, the manuscript has gone to its final round of edits. There is still a bit of tidying up to do -- I woke up this morning and remembered I'd left out a conversation between Kit and J.X. -- and I skimped one of the sex scenes because the important thing that happens there is their dialog, but still! It's not JUST the dialog!

So now I have a couple of days to frantically try and catch up the last month and a half ton of email I've basically just had to ignore.  So much to catch up on. Oh! But I want to share this bit of good news for those who don't follow Goodreads, Facebook or Twitter. Kevin R. Free has signed on again to do the 3rd H&M book. The audio for BWTPT should be out about mid-November. If everything stays on track.

And also BWTPT will be regularly priced at $6.99. It's 72Kish in length. A full novel. But if you preorder you get it at $4.99. So...you decide.

Meanwhile, I was looking for some good writing quotes this morning, and I came across this one by Chandler, who I love. I love him because he drank too much and he was irascible and he was brilliant. He shaped his genre. I like that in  a writer.

I don't entirely agree with this though:

Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder… The moment a man begins to talk about technique that’s proof that he is fresh out of ideas.

I mean, yes. True. We see it all the time in zee brave new world of publishing. Writers who have been published all of fifteen minutes blogging earnestly about the use of adjectives or whatever. Lord God in heaven grant us mercy.  I don't know that it's that they're out of ideas, exactly, so much as they don't know what else to talk about. And they are shy about talking to readers, so they focus on their fellow writers. Also given the diary-like nature of blogging, a lot of this is just figuring out for themselves the kind of writer they want to be when they grow up.

I like talking about craft and technique, but I also recognize in myself the fanatic. And I also know that style is a wonderful thing, but story is ultimately what matters to readers. You can be successful without style. But you cannot be successful without story.

And that's this week's thought.

26 comments:

  1. Looking forward to a new H&M book. :D

    And IMO any sex scenes you can leave out, you should leave out. I know a lot of folks disagree, but that's me, so I'm fine with you just putting in the conversation you forgot and leaving the sex scenes as they are. :)

    Very true about story. You can be a lousy craftsman but an awesome storyteller, and a good copyeditor will let you produce an awesome story. An awesome craftsman who can't tell a story worth beans is hopeless. (And might want to think about becoming a copyeditor to help out the first group.)

    Angie

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    1. Oh yeah, no worries there. :-) But this conversation probably doesn't make sense without the actual sex. Getting a little too cerebral even for me!

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  2. LOL It appears I can only pre-order if I have a Nook or a Kindle, hopefully somewhere will offer good old fashioned .pdf on Oct. 5th

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    1. It will be available at All Romance Ebooks before the go-live date. I just need the final file before I can list it there.

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  3. Yay! I love Kevin R. Free's narration! Of course, I've already pre-ordered because I'm too impatient to wait for the audiobook :D And thank you for tidying up - I will take as many dialog/lurrrv scenes as I can get! ;)

    I'm so freaking excited!!

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  4. First things first: I. Can. Not. Wait.
    Now, onwards and upwards about technique/style/story/whatever. I am one of those anal people about grammar, spelling, punctuation (yes, I was using my little red marker while reading your blog), it is so hard to turn that off and insert story. Actually I love proofreading, and I would have loved being an editor but I read so darn slow being a wee bit dyslexic sooooo, yeah, probably not a good career move. Any old who, I was thinking that when we all get our books on October 5, we should all meet back here (or at a local pub) to insert your missing dialog/sex scene in an interactive session. Like a webinar. With diagrams. And pictures. (Sentence fragments)
    I should start my own blog, 'cause I sure like to ramble.
    PS Read this first: You do not need to read this comment. It is a waste of time.

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    1. Well, I admit I just write and post the blogs, but the books are all edited and copyedited. And I agree that a poorly edited book is a distraction.

      But style is really something a bit different. It pertains more to what we now call "voice," I think.

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    2. Well, I think we can all agree that we like your "voice".
      ....and about correcting your blog, I was just joshin' ...

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    3. Oh man! Everybody's a comedian now! :-P

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  5. I read this to mean that the tidying up includes things like inserting those bits of missing dialogue (and sex). Whether or not that's the case, we're looking forward to October 5.

    I want craft, story, and passion (want it all), but even though I highlight typos while reading I can forgive a bit of shaky technique in a book with story and passion. Well, to a degree, otherwise it can be painful. : )

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    1. Yep! And when I do that final run through I'm sure I'll see some last minute Oh!! spots. :-)

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  6. I am practically giddy with anticipation. We've already had SotS and Everything I Know plus all the audios. I loved both those books. And we still have two more novels and more audios yet to come! It has been a very good year. You've got story AND style. Lucky us.

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    1. Thank you!

      It did take me a while to write this one. But I *think* it was worth the wait. I mean, it was for me anyway! :-D

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  7. I can just imagine Kit's inner dialogue during a tantric sex scene. It would be hilarious. No way would he take that seriously. JX would be skeptical but once committed he'd shrug and give it a try.

    I agree, story is the important part. I've read a lot of books where technique could have been better but the story was so good it pulled you along.

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    1. I do really enjoy writing Kit. I laugh a lot writing his scenes. Probably more than any other characters or stories.

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  8. You have a beautiful voice for me. I can see your stories, they are very vivid, the people are so real for me. Kit is a special friend of mine, he could be my identical twinbrother, his inner dialog reminded me on my thoughts. He is funnier and more elaborate, but when he begin a thought I hear the end in my mind. I am so happy, that you wrote this third book.
    But I will go with your voice to distance countries, human beings and entire other stories. I am looking forward to this books.

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    1. Thank you very much, Sabine. That's lovely. :-)

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  9. Keep adding stuff to the dialogue and the sex scenes. It makes the books longer. They are never long enough. Though I suspect that if you wrote Kan Follett or George Martin Long, I'd still be complaining there must be more book when I get to the last page.

    Plus, I enjoy your sex scenes because there is always emotion there. Not all writers of m/m books get past the mechanics of the sex and into the realities of what goes on between two men. That has wrecked many a book for me. Thanks for caring enough to get it right.

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    1. Thanks, Mike. I appreciate that comment.

      If there's no real emotion, it's just exercise. In which case, you might as well play tennis. :-P

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  10. Do you have any idea how to preorder from Smashwords? The site only seems to have information for authors (ie how to set up preorders), rather than information on how to actually buy them!

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    1. ARGH. You can't buy from Smashwords until the book goes live, but you can add the book to your library and then when it goes live, buy it. I know, it's a little unwieldy. Well, very unwieldy. But it is through Smashwords that I am able to set up preorders at Kobo, B&N, etc. so I don't complain too much. :-)

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  11. I like sex.. I don't like it as page fillers; plus I too, prefer a connection between the characters. Fortunately, wtv you write brother, is great. Kevin Free is perfect for the audibles. I wish we could preorder audibles too { hah! can we? }
    I cant comment on writing techniques, I'm lucky if i remember to put punctuation in anything. I just Know what I enjoy reading. You share the top spot . Kudos looking forward to reading and listening to them . Aishen

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    1. Thank you very much!

      No preorders at Audible, as far as I know. Not for indies.

      Kevin is perfect for the H&M series, I agree!

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  12. I know this probably isn't what you intended in making this blog post, but I just want to say that I really envy and admire anyone who's free enough to literally write books on the subject of gay love. I'm 18 and so far in the closet that I practically have a coat-hanger up my ass. I kind of want to buy your book, but I'd definitely have to keep it hidden.

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    1. It's important to stay safe and move at your own pace. I know this is a culture that encourages bold and rash moves, but I think -- especially when it comes to the really personal and important stuff -- we've all got to take our time and do what feels right when it feels right. There is no rush. Not at 18.

      Happily there are libraries and there are ebooks for those who cannot bring a print book home for whatever reason. The book that I started with, that changed my life was called The Charioteer by Mary Renault. Because it is historical and literary fiction -- it is considered a classic -- it's a relatively safe book to read and possess.

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