Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Fun Side of Writing

We writers spend so much of our time, working away in a back room somewhere for years to produce the books we love. Then comes the day when we get a contract and ... gosh ... a cover!

Here's a sneak preview of one of the covers for The Outcast Chronicles. The is the front and back of a bookmark I'm producing (with my publisher's approval). I sent the proofs to the printer on Thursday. I've seen the cover art for the three books and I'm just waiting for the text to go on and permission from my publisher to show the world. Very exciting!

I'm still neck-deep in the clean up of the trilogy, which I must send to the publisher by the end of May. I've been through book one and there were moments when I got shivers.

The books are long (about 700 pages each) and I've been writing them for ages. The first draft when off to my ROR critique group in 2007 but the books were written in pieces over the last 10 years, so it has been a challenge to pull them all together. And this means that sometimes as I turn the page to edit, I don't remember what's coming next. I get the same surprise a reader would. This is a funny position for the author to find themselves in.

It also means that the big rewrite I've done over the last year has been a real challenge because I've had to unify the pacing and the tone of the story. I threw out whole scenes or completely rewrote them from a different perspective. In some ways it is harder to rewrite an old piece than to write something fresh. There's been a lot of work gone into these books.

Which brings me back to the Fun Side of Writing, when all that work pays off and you see the covers and start producing the bookmarks! (I plan to give these way at Supanova).

As writers how do you keep yourself motivated during the long hard slog, before the fun stuff happens?

And here's an update. My new Blog Banner for The Outcast Chronicles page.


Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Hello? No body out there?

I'll make a comment.

I find the story and characters keep me coming back. I feel like I have to know what happens to them.

I worry about them. LOL

Louise Curtis said...

Hi. My slog has been longer and harder than most (I'm at the bad end of the bell curve) but I definitely agree - story and characters all the way. That, and godlike powers.

Louise Curtis

Chris L said...

Hi Rowena,

I haven't seeen the fun side yet. My philosophy about work is that if you are enjoying it, you're not doing it right.

MataPam said...

I haven't seen *that* fun side yet either. I suspect it may give me ulsers.

I'd much rather be whipping through first drafts and living inside new ideas.

Dave Freer said...

I don't think the picture of you and Marianne do you justice. You both have far more expressive faces... ;-)... oh. It's the new book cover.

Keeping going is not an issue for me. It's getting going. I am the worlds worst avoider of starting. But I finish what I start, out of sheer stupid obstinacy I think.

Stephen Simmons said...

There is a song that came out here in teh States a couple years ago called "Breathe". The third verse goes:
"3 AM and I'm still awake writing this song.
If I get it all down on paper it's no long-
-er inside of me threatening the life it belongs to ..."

That's how some of the stories have been, for me. The SF series in particular. They're *there*, and anything that gets in the way of them coming out is in danger of getting trampled ...

For me, the Fun Part is meeting the Characters who come fountaining forth from somewhere in my hindbrain, getting to know them, building stories with their "help" ... of course, once I do see things published somewhere other than an e-zine, that may well change ...

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Lol, Louise.

Once you can write it is determination that takes you to publication!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...


That is so sad. I once read that if you are a full time writer, you never have to work another day in your life!

Obviously they hadn't had to do copy edits!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Mata Pam,

When I sold my first trilogy I was terrified. Suddenly, all the dreaming and writing was real. And people were going to read it.

And what if they didn't like it? Arrrgh ....

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

LOL Dave, you really are very cheeky.

I find the hard part is getting patches of time to concentrate. I'll just get started and there'll be an interruption. This is particularly frustrating on first drafts.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...


I don't think that part of it ever changes. It's one of the intrinsic rewards of writing!