Thursday, 17 July 2014

Is it just me or does writing advice dumbs down books?

Maybe it's just me but when I read writing advice like "cut it short so that the reader's attention doesn't drift" and "make it simple" and "show don't tell" it all sounds to me like "readers are so stupid - you have to spell it out for them or they won't understand". It's like we have to dumb down our books for readers to get them. But isn't it a bit insulting? Don't we underestimate the readers when we do it? And what's wrong with adverbs, anyway? Can't people paint their own picture in their mind of what the character is doing if we use them instead of spelling out everything? They're not stupid. If anything, I think we should make it more challenging. I, for one, love a book that challenges me. I like adverbs. I like passive voice. I like long, complicated sentences. My favourite (world-famous, best-selling, loved, admired, worshipped) authors love them too and their readers and legions of fans don't have problems with any of it, because, in the end, it's The. Story. That. Counts.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Revision progress report

I was on a roll last week. I revised a very big piece and added a number of new pieces too. In fact, I'd written so much I couldn't read out the whole thing to my CP, because we ran out of time. I did stumble eventually at one particular part that I have reservations about, though I was quite happy with it upon writing it. But there's something off about it and I'll have to work on it to find out what exactly, because I can't put my finger on it at the moment, and make it right. A couple of days ago I had a sudden itch to start querying agents with my fantasy novel and the only thing that managed to stop me from rushing unprepared headlong into the process was the necessity to compose a synopsis as it is required by one of the agents on my list I want to query first. Thankfully. I promised myself that I wouldn't rush into anything with this book. This is it. The real thing and I want it to work. I want to make it right. But I do get occasionally fidgety and itchy, because I just want to give it a shot and see how it goes. Will it work? Will it at happen at last? Will I get an agent? Funnily enough, you almost believe in the possibility until you open your mailbox, skim through the email and feel your heart drop to your feet when you see that they will just have to pass on. The good thing is that I did write a synopsis! But my first attempt was quite deplorable and I didn't dare send it off for fear of ruining my chances.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Revision progress report

I'm quite happy with my revision progress this week. I've completed revising the second part of the book and I have a much smaller portion left. At the moment I'm writing a completely new scene that I decided to add. I've also decided that my YA Fantasy project will most probably be a trilogy. I have definite titles for the other two books and a number of ideas that I would love to explore, delving deeper into the world that I've created and bringing out the best and the worst. I'm also looking through a list of agents at AgentQuery and I'm astonished by the number of agents who still won't accept email queries. What are the chances of finding an agent? What are the chances of making it big?

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Revision progress report

Last week was very productive. I revised more than twenty pages, which is quite a lot for me, going deeper and deeper into the story in more ways than one. So I knew that this week would be slower. I'm also quite busy reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) and I find it hard to put the book down. I think I like it even better than the first one. However, I'm almost finished watching Friends, so soon I'll have one distraction less. We're having a very cold summer this year. I don't want to jinx it, because I don't like heat all that much, but I've closed the window and I'm actually sitting here in a warm cardigan that my mom knitted for me some years ago and that I had no occasion to wear until now! It's awfully grey and windy today and it doesn't look much like Odessa anymore... I also spent the best part of the morning today looking through literary agents on Twitter now that I once again want to try and find representation for Margaret's Rematch.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Revision progress report

I'm back to work on my revision, while it's not too hot and my brain doesn't melt. In fact, I've been working quite a lot these days, changing things, shifting them back and forth and making tons of corrections.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Revision progress report

I had a good writing day yesterday and that's all. How very lame. But I've noticed that my writing blocks always coincide with increasing heat, which, in its turn, quite often coincides with my obsessing over something new. Last May I was sucked into the world of Star Trek. This May I started watching Friends. I've never actually watched all the seasons - just a few episodes here and there. In fact, there are so many TV-shows that I want to re-watch. Oh, and I've watched Maleficent today. It was great. I love this version of the story much better. Angelina Jolie was amazing. I loved her horns and wings and lipstick and her smile and her ring and the whole thing.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Revision progress report

It's moving along, though not as swiftly as last week. Still, I've revised a big piece and added several new pieces. I always add something new (or correct or throw something out) each time I reread the same piece. I can't be trusted with polishing my MS because I will most likely polish it within an inch of its life and there will be nothing left.