M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Writerly Goals

Goals:  Someday I want to join James Mitchner's niche.
[No, not on the best seller lists.]

"I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent re-writer."
-James Michener

Lessons from My Reading:
If you are one of those organized people who outline, have you ever wondered who'll complete your draft?  If you're a writer like me -- a minnow swimming in the shoals -- it's probably a dumb question.  If you're a much published author with a couple of popular series under your keyboard, it's probably a major headache for your estate when you die.  So, if you're aiming for your writing career to land over the fence, you might consider what's in your files.

More than a friend's death raised this question in my mind.  I also discovered a copy of Hastur Lord on the grocery store shelves.  The book sported the co-authorship of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross.  Now, I've been a fan of Darkover since discovering a couple thin books back in the 1970s. [I still have some of the Ace books I bought at the time.]  When I saw the new book, I had to read the story of Regis Hastur's life after his grandfather's death.  I'm sure many other fans grabbed the book as quickly as I did.  It fills in an important gap in the life of a major character.

Was it a good book?  I'd say it was good enough.  I enjoyed it.  I'll keep it ... just because it illuminates in an important part of Darkover history. At the same time, this book didn't engross me as the latter books, time wise, in the series had.  I won't say Ross did a bad job, but the plot lines just didn't seem as elaborate as I had expected.  But then, not everyone has the vision of a master when rewriting, ie. I suspect Bradley would have come up with some telling phrase that'd create greater depth to the scene at hand. 

For the record, I don't think I'll have to worry about who completes any of my outlines after I croak.  I write by the seat of my pants.

Web Promotion & Writing Craft Stuff:
So, I'm been dithering on the age level of my manuscript: THERE BE DEMONS.  Michelle Schusterman  at the YA Highway recently wrote a helpful blog about five distinctions between middle grade and young adult books.  I thought the distinctions very useful even though I'm trying to figure out the differences between young adult and adult when your human characters are young teens.  I know I write fantasy.  But, where the blazes does it land in the marketplace?

Before you say, "have an agent tell you", my submissions of this book have exhausted the major agents who specialize in younger fantasy.

Again on YA and Middle Grade.  Mandy Hubbord of the D4EO Agency blogged about The Epic Trends (YA & MG).  Granted I'm up to my ears in revising rather than writing, but I think trends in one reading level wash over into other age groupings.  --  Bunnicula, anyone?

Thinking of self-publishing?  While chasing links, I found Alan Ringler's blog at Books Unbound. While he discusses reasons for author's to get back the rights to their back list, he also gives links to some useful places self-publishing authors need.

Progress:
I'm getting too accustomed to getting next to nothing done.  Oh, I spend a hell of a lot of time dithering around, but I'm not accomplishing what I want to do.  Write.  Creaing something new.  Getting excited about what I'm doing. 

This week I messed around trying to get the links to "Taking Vengeance" properly up so people could buy my books from the blog and from my website.  Notice: the cover to the right and text below.  I won't whine about how long it took me to get the links up here and on my website. --   Next step up is getting some author's pages going.

Do have Cavern Between Worlds in the process of being converted [aka formatted] for e-publication plus a cover.  Not a back list item, but at least it'll give me two publications on my author's page when it's up -- maybe in a couple of weeks.

[Hey, if anyone bought the book or buys it, I'd appreciate a review.  Hint.  Hint. :).]

Trivia:
When it rains, it pours.  After four to five months of drought, we're getting enough rain to bring us up to average precipitation for the year in 18 days.  With our heavy snowpack, I'll probably soon be moaning about floods.

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