Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Writing Wednesdays & IWSG: 10 signs you're a writing/publishing veteran!

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for an update! Since last week, I've been revising my YA post-apocalyptic superhero story, Indestructible. I received extensive notes from my editor last week and I've been working to fix all the problems.

My lesson of the week is that big editing changes can sometimes be solved by only changing a few lines. I was reminded of it when I read this post from Jami Gold about the same thing. You can change the entire impression a reader has of a scene just by switching out a handful of sentences. One of the issues I have that always comes up in edits is character motivations/reactions. I'm a plot-driven writer, so sometimes I forget to add in the internalisation which makes it clear to the reader why a character is acting/reacting in that way. It's a simple change, sometimes only adding a couple of sentences to a scene, but can make a huge difference to whether a reader connects with your character or not. I like writing characters with strong convictions who aren't conventionally likeable, but the reader hopefully still gets why they act the way they do. That's the goal, anyway!


It's also the first Wednesday of the month, so it's time for IWSG! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the creation of Ninja Captain Alex, and is a great way for writers to share their worries, support and encouragement.

I have another book coming out in two days! So naturally, I'm on that old rollercoaster of excitement and sudden inconvenient confidence drops. I'm also in the editing cave with an old manuscript, so I'm currently convinced I'm a fraud and want to apologise to my beta readers and editors for inflicting my crappy drafts on them. The life of a writer. :')

Spoiler: intense edits and promoting a new release do not go well together. I really ought to know this by now...

So naturally, instead of editing, I'm writing such blog posts as this: 10 signs you're a writing/publishing veteran:
  1. You expect the worst and are pleasantly surprised when anything goes right.
  2. You get suspicious when you manage to complete edits on your twentieth book in less than a week, because you're convinced you missed something.
  3. You get doubly suspicious when it takes months to edit a different book, because you're convinced your brain is broken.
  4. You have a mental list of sarcastic responses to the inevitable questions you face at family gatherings, social events, and from the optician/doctor/hairdresser/dentist - "How are your books selling?" "Are they in bookshops?" "Are you planning to write a real book soon?" "How do you write so fast?"...
  5. You hope no one ever finds your computer and goes through your files and bookmarked pages, because you have several years' worth of dubious research material saved there.
  6. You no longer flip out when a much-better-known author favourites one of your tweets. (Well... okay. Maybe a little.)
  7. A 2-star review kills your book's rating on release day, and you just laugh at it.
  8. You spend time writing posts like this instead of editing, because you have procrastination down to a fine art.
  9. Whenever you get a ten-page edit letter detailing everything wrong with your book, or a long, scathing review, you despair over your writing career for exactly ten seconds before remembering the two years' worth of nice reviews and feedback and readers waiting for your next release. That many people can't be wrong, right? ... Right?
  10. You wonder when you'll ever stop feeling like a fraud. But occasionally,  you remember you kept every old journal since you were ten, and in every single one, in answer to the question "What will your job be in ten years' time?", you put "writer."
So hey, you're doing the job you've always dreamed of. You're writing books, publishing them, and getting paid for it. And that's pretty awesome. :D


  1. Great post - and a huge congrats on the new book!

  2. Yes, yes, yes! I was cheering and fist-pumping the whole way through the first part of your post. It often only takes a few lines.

    And LOL on the 10-things list. :D

    IWSG #119 until Alex culls the list again.

  3. Amen to #3. LOL!

    I'm stoked about your release. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

  4. Convinced your brain is broken - funny!
    Congratulations on your upcoming release.
    And I tend to create unlikeable main characters and then pray people understand why.

  5. Love this post! Those are ten things that I go through with every release. Congratulations on your newest release and have fun on your trip! :)

  6. Great Post!! And Congrats on your release!!!

  7. I really enjoyed your list and think it's so cute you wanted to be a writer for so long! Not all things on the list applied to me, but I confess to wondering on numerous occasions if my brain was broken and the more I edit, the more convinced I am that I've missed something. :P Good luck on your edits and your release! I wish you huge success!!!!

  8. Hi,
    Congratulations on your release and I like your list. I experience some of those points now and I haven't had my first book published yet.
    Have a nice time in Italy. I love Italy. It is a beautiful country to relax in and get away from it all.
    Pat Garcia

  9. I tend to have the same problem being a plot driver writer myself. A beta reader actually tipped me off to the lack of emotion and physical response for my heroine so that is something I am trying to remedy as I write and edit other stories.

    I loved #10 on your list. That was definitely me.

    Thank you for signing up for my newsletter! :)

  10. I certainly not a veteran, but still, I can identify with some of these, particularly #2 and #2!

  11. I'm a plot driven writer too. When I started my urban fantasy, I deliberately cut back on the MC's internal thoughts, thinking that perhaps I was doing too much telling. My CPs became so confused about what's going on, I had to go back and rewrite the whole scene, adding in lots of internal thoughts.

  12. Hahaha! Great list! I'm not a veteran yet, but I do relate to a lot of those!

  13. Oh, I have a long mental list of responses.