- by Elaine Isaak
One of the things I’ve been working on these days is the issue of my literary estate. So far, it’s not large, but I keep adding to it, at the rate of a novel or two a year and any number of short stories and articles, published and not. And so, someday, other people will need to know what to do with the rights for all of these things.
There are lots of useful models for how to establish a literary legacy, from the Phillip K. Dick Award to the Heinlein Society blood drives, to the various Tolkien properties. I understand this last group has seen some wrangling in recent years about how, exactly, to handle their father and grandfather’s great works.
I’d like to take some inspiration from the first two, and establish a means of giving back to my genre and my fellow authors, as the Dick award does, or to the larger society, as the Heinlein group does, and I don’t mind offering some benefit to my children and their children, and so on.
- by Suzanne Johnson
I have a new book out today under my Susannah Sandlin pen name, sort of. But not really.
Welcome to the world of serial novels, where the processes we become accustomed to as authors no longer apply.
When one of my publishers responded to a new book proposal in February with “Great! Let’s do it as a Kindle Serial!” I thought, well, why not? I mean, a serial novel is still a novel, right? And it might be fun to try something new. Authors are just beginning to explore the “new” Kindle Serial program (because the idea of a serial novel is not at all new, of course).
My usual process for writing a novel probably doesn’t look very different from anyone else’s. For a couple of weeks after I’ve mentally committed to a novel, I plot and plan and outline, getting the major plot points sorted out in my mind. Then comes six-to-eight weeks of torture as I push through the first draft. My first drafts tend to be short, fast, and ugly. Then I go back through it, layering in emotion and description and smoothing out any rough plot points. Finally, if schedule allows, I’ll continue to refine the language and edit up until the moment the manuscript is due.
A serial novel is simply a novel released in pieces, I thought. Turns out, that’s not true–or at least it shouldn’t be. Here’s how the process worked, and how it differed:
- by E. C. Ambrose
In a little less than a month, Elisha Barber will be published. It’s a historical fantasy novel, based on my reading too many medieval history books, and way too many books on the history of medicine. If you’re curious, you’ll find the bibliography on my website. I also attended the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo for a couple of years, and heard unpublished papers and spoke with front-line researchers who work will take time to be recognized. I was tempted, as I wrote, to include footnotes, and I may soon be sorry that I didn’t.
Allow me to admit it, right here, in advance, I have made mistakes in this book, but at the moment, I have no idea what they are. If I had known them at the time, I would have corrected them. You see, there are so many ways to be wrong, especially when you’re writing historical fiction. And soon, readers all over the world will have the chance to tell me so. And they will. Read more…
- by Dianne Drake
I’m reading a really bad book right now. Probably the worst book I’ve laid eyes on in the past couple of years. The writing is bad, grammar is wrong in too many places, the historical facts are way off, the historical liberties taken reach way too far for comfort, and we’re not talking by just a little bit. The writer obviously didn’t do his homework. Either that, or he totally underestimated his reader’s knowledge.
Yet, in spite of the glaring errors, which seems to be about every other page, and in spite of the fact that I vow I won’t read on, I do anyway.
Why haven’t I just put it down and moved on to something else? I honestly don’t know. The farther I get into the story the more this book promises to frustrate me. Judging from what I’ve read so far I truly don’t believe the author is skilled enough to carry out a decent ending, and I can pretty much predict the corner he’s going to write himself into. But I’m a third of the way through, still threatening to quit and still reading.
So, why don’t I quit?