Monday, January 31, 2011

Focus is a Good Thing

I recently finished reading Jean Auel's THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES, which continues the story of Cave Wonder Woman Ayla and her Hunk Muffin Mate. 755 pages. 300 could've been edited out and done the book no harm whatsoever, in my opinion.

The core problem? Failure to focus. Storytelling is a lovely pastime, but it cannot amble down every last tangential path. Some novelists seem to enjoy rabbiting away down this side route or that narrow opening into who-knows-where.

Not my thing. I'm still working on the first draft of PEACEWEAVER, my 974 Wales romance, and my biggest challenge is to stay on target. Stay focused. Tell the story I'm meant to tell and not follow these characters down too many cattle-paths. It's tempting. I know. I've been there. My books are better when I can dwell on one conflict, one main plot, one set of characters, and not wander all over the landscape, attractive as that is.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Shot to the Foot

You who drop into my blog with your "reader" hat on can cheerfully ignore the following. 'Fraid it's not for you, but for the rest of us, and in the nature of a rant.

I'm grieved to report that, once again, an otherwise well-meaning writers' group has shot itself in the foot. Ergo, all of a sudden, and with no prior warning, e-publishers have been deleted from an "Approved Publisher" list.

Now, before you think, "Oh, she must be talking about the RWA!" be assured I'm not.

I might as well be.

If you go back a few years in the RWA, you'll recall how some e-publishers fought to have their books recognized as "real" books, and their authors as real authors, and those authors' sales as real sales. What went down? You guessed right. Once several of these publishers came close to meeting the criteria, the criteria were arbitrarily changed to make it more difficult.

One envisions the Big Names in romance at the time breathing a sigh of relief. After all, those nasty little e-books were not going to compete with the real books! Le sigh...

Now another organization has followed suit.

Why should I care? you as a reader ask. You're right -- this infighting is among authors and publishers, basically a cupboard storm and not interesting to the readers. However, from where I sit it seems that whenever a voluntary group acts to the detriment of a subsection of its members, it has repercussions down the line.

What, then, must we do?

My stance at present is to let this simmer down a bit. I considered opting out of the organization, but then (for all its foibles) I will not be in a position to work gently for positive change. That's my choice, for now. It may not be later.

Meanwhile, let me state that I'm honored that Desert Breeze Publishing considers my work worthy of attention. They've just agreed to reissue my 2002 title, POWERLINE, and I couldn't be happier, regardless of what certain small minded writers' groups think of that.