Watch Your Language: Write Out Those Inconsistencies

inappropriate phraseOne thing that’s kind of fun, and kind of annoying, about being a writer is spotting slip-ups in traditionally published books.

I’m currently reading a well-known trad-pubbed epic fantasy. This trilogy has garnered critical acclaim. It was optioned for a movie (although the option has run out). A video game has been set in the world of this series. The author was even hired to finish another author’s fantasy series after the original author of that series died. (Bonus points if you can name both authors.)

In short, people love these books. But I’ve found inconsistencies in the story. Continue reading “Watch Your Language: Write Out Those Inconsistencies”

Serving the Story – Part 2

Sycamore tree by Melissa BowersockIn an earlier post, I talked about how the ending — indeed, every part — must serve the story. It may not be obvious, but we writers may actually have several forces tugging at us, and they often don’t agree in either intent or methodology. We have the story, of course. The story is what drives us; it’s what inhabits us until we get it down. In most cases, I would say that the story is outside of us, even though it’s inside of us. What I mean is that it’s not ours — it doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to the characters; it belongs to the theme. All we are doing is writing it down. Continue reading “Serving the Story – Part 2”

What Reviewers Want (Part 3)

What do you people want?

[This is a golden oldie—it ran on Indies Unlimited back on October 13, 2011.]

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed what reviewers do and do not want to see from books they review. In Part 2, we covered the etiquette of the relationship between an author and a reviewer before and after a review. In this segment, we find out how reviewers feel indie authors stack up against the traditionally published authors, and where there may be room for growth and improvement.

Reviewers are certainly as diverse a group as authors. Each has his or her own style, preferences, and ethos. Add to this the fact that while these reviewers may have read some of the same titles and same authors, the overlap in the titles they read is likely small, potentially leaving each with an entirely different impression of the quality of indie writing. One could reasonably expect to see some variance of opinion on the quality of indie authors. Continue reading “What Reviewers Want (Part 3)”

What Reviewers Want (Part 2)

Artist's conception of a book reviewer

[This is a golden oldie—it ran on Indies Unlimited back on October 10, 2011.]

In part 1 of this series, we discussed what reviewers want to see (and do not want to see) from authors as regards actual writing. All that stuff is what constitutes the middle of the relationship between an author and a reviewer. There is something more to the relationship on either end.

The relationship begins with the submission of your magnum opus to the reviewer. Next you wait. You keep waiting. You check their website and still don’t see anything. Over an hour has passed, and you are starting to get nervous. My advice (and it really is mine alone—all the reviewers I interviewed were too polite to bring this up), is to keep waiting. Do not call. Do not e-mail. Do not fax. Do not “check in” to see how they like it so far.  Find something else to occupy your mind and your time, because it may take a while. Continue reading “What Reviewers Want (Part 2)”

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