Sometimes you write magic. And sometimes you write… a potato.
Potatoes aren’t all that entertaining. They sit on the table, blinking their freaky eyes at you. Sometimes they sprout. That’s… fantastic. But they’re not going to go on adventures. Potatoes just sit there.
But that’s why you need a good editor.
I’m convinced that Madelyn of the Sky is magic. I love that story. Just going through it again, I’m surprised that I was able to write something that good. That is no potato!
But now I’ve begun working on the next series of edits for my next series, Cade and the Last Starship. My editor took a look. She loves books one and six in particular. But… as she consider its story, its characters, its plots… It looks more like a potato than something magic.
Ah, but that’s why every author needs a good editor.
I just finished watching a presentation given by Kevin J. Anderson. He’s a huge author. If you’re into speculative fiction, you’ve likely at least run across some of his books. He did scads of Star Wars, Dune, various comics, and original novels. In fact, he’s written well over 100 books.
And the talk was about the need to be able to be flexible and diversify. See, his Star Wars books dried up when he asked for more than a 2% royalty. Suddenly these books he’d been writing for years… well, he got no more contracts after that. He wrote media tie-ins… but when’s the last time you saw the novelization of a current movie? Over and over again he had to change what he was doing.
And then I look at what I do… as a writer, I need to diversify. If my writing is going to support my family, I need to do more than just write. I need to use my writing and skills to find numerous ways to support us.
Guys, it’s so awesome to be excited about something I’m writing.
So for the last two years or so, the only things I’ve written are things that were to be published. Now, it wasn’t some sort of cash grab or anything. I am insanely proud of Madelyn of the Sky and I think it’s a great story. Book five comes out this week, and that ending is a gut punch. I can’t wait for book six to come out! Cade and the Last Starship is getting hammered into shape, and I also think it’s going to be great.
These were good projects I’m proud of. I don’t regret doing them, and I hope they bring joy to anyone who reads them. They were work, though. Good work, but still work.
But the book I’m working on right now is just… it’s just fun.
Since the new year, I’ve written so very little. Part was depression. Part may have been being a bit burnt out. I think honestly part of it was that we were in the middle of releasing Madelyn and gearing up for Cade, so my brain was so thick in those two stories that when I sat down to try to write something else, my brain said, “Nope! Full! No memory left!”
Now Madelyn is almost done for the behind-the-scenes work. (The writing’s been done for quite a while!) That means I can close that mental tab.
But don’t just read. Think about what you’re reading. What works? What doesn’t? What connects with you, personally? What plot points annoy you, and what others thrill you? Does the plot work? What about the setting intrigues you? What characters do you want to spend more time with?
Taking time asking these questions will help with your writing! And that’s one of the reasons I read… along with just loving reading in general!
I’ve been able to connect with one of my favorite authors, Kendra Merritt. She wrote the fantastic Mishap’s Heroes series. She gave me the great opportunity to read her upcoming novel, Surviving Daybreak.