A Few 'Adjustments' Make Happy Readers...........And A Satisfied Writer....
The first feedback on my novel is coming in, and all in all, it's encouraging. I had been worried that the beginning of my story moved along slowly when compared to the rest of the novel, and it seems that my perceptions proved true, at least in part. My critique partner thinks I can tighten up the first fifty pages to move the romance along, and I agree. My first beta reader thinks the story moves along fine, but after I shared my concerns, she capitulated, agreeing that I could edit some description. But she does not want any of the MMA scenes shortened at all, as she feels they add 'substance' to the storyline that should not be sacrificed. Her thoughts focused on an entirely different matter - my heroine, Grace's speech. I hadn't noticed until it was pointed out to me, but I have her speaking quite formally. Within the storyline, it doesn't work as well as it should. So, I will be substituting contractions where I can, and adding a more casual feel to the dialogue between Grace and those close to her.
Therein, I realized, is my problem. I think formally, and it translates into the written word. I'm not much for slang, or shorthand speaking. I tend to communicate in a clear, proper way. I've got to relax that in my writing when the character/setting/circumstance calls for it. Maybe that is why I tend to be drawn to novels set in long ago times. I like the way they speak. It's not a problem in my novella....it's set in 1640! But Claiming The Prize is set in the present, and therefore, I've got to add present day speaking habits.
Thank goodness there's an easy fix. But I'll have to keep that in mind when I write.
I have to admit, I like that my characters take their time before diving head first into a romance. It's hard to accept when I read stories where boy meets girl/ - boy flashes his smile/girl gets hard nipples - boy shows girl his mighty love staff/girl hands over virginity and achieves orgasm on first try - boy and girl live happily ever after once boy saves girl's life/girl returns after running away/boy experiences the magic "hoo-hoo" (A term borrowed from the 'Smart Bitches')/boy overcomes girl's previous sexual hang ups in less time than it takes me to shower.......Oy Vey! Double Oy Vey!
But writing, in addition to making me happy, is done (at least from my perspective) to make readers happy. And romance readers want....well, romance. I can't say as I blame them. So, it's editing time. Wish me luck. I've determined to cut what I think can go without sacrificing story, for writing is all about creating a good story. Sure, I've written a romance. But I've written a story with a romance in it....not a romance that happens to have a dash of story thrown in on the side. Sharpening....that's what I'm going to term it.
I received the cover proof for Her Dark Baron over the weekend, and after some 'tweaking', it's finished. Wow! I am quite happy with this cover.......
Elaina Lee has done it again! And as for my Baron......who says Dark Baron better than Jimmy Thomas? I'm sure I don't know. By the way......congratulations to Jimmy, who hit 1500 covers!
Chapter five is complete in Her Dark Baron, and I've written a few pages in chapter six. This is fantastic, as I have about five or six chapters remaining. I should have the novel completed in time for my October publishing goal. That makes me smile. This novella (I know I've said it a thousand times...but what's one more?) is just so great to write. (And thanks...for letting me say it again.....really) I don't know if it's because my hero, Gervase Daltrey, is dark and dangerous - and I am finding that 'bad-guys' are easier to write - or if it's because of the time period the story is set in, but this story just flows out much easier than my first novel ever did. (Except for fight scenes, sex scenes, and my bad boy, Carson....see what I mean about those bad-boy/bad-ass characters....they speak to me...ha!) Anyway, I'm glad to be on track with my goals.
Do you have an easier time writing one type of character over others? What character 'speaks' to you best?
Checking in with other ROW80 participants will be on my agenda today, and I'm sure to find any number of topics that encourage, inform, or just plain make me laugh. Last check in, Matt Hofferth posted on a problem he encountered with uploading/format issues between differing e-reader publishing results. Curious, I asked him to explain, and he graciously did so. Below, I've added his comment. If it helps anyone...it's worth it.
Matt Hofferth on ......The Frustrations And Fun To Be Had In Self-Publishing 101/Part 1 (of ohhh....I don't know...maybe 1345654456645455 fantastic/fearsome/filth-&-fouled up possibilities)
Take it away, Matt...........
Um, long info dump as requested from the comment over at my site. Feel free to copy/paste/repost this as you see fit and let me know if you have any question. This is related to the issue I encountered with Nook pagination and how it relates to a TOC:
I didn't do a manual TOC... So long as you make use of headings in your conversion, the formats do it for you. Thus, the TOC issue was separate from the pagination. The chapter headings weren't all showing up, so we just had to clean up the hierarchy formatting in the source file. There was no pagination attached to them, since you just tell your ereader to "jump to." That all works just fine now.
If you're going the ebook route, I would suggest not doing a TOC and just letting the ereader do it for you. If you use a POD service for print books, you can constrain the pagination in your source file so that you could pop in a TOC in that version if you wanted. The pages in the PDF source reflect what will actually be printed, unlike an ebook where pagination is malleable according to the reader/settings.
The smaller-but-no-less-annoying issue is that the page numbers that a Nook displays just don't relate to actual clicks. I was displaying a lot of text on screen in my novel (We chose to go with pretty narrow side margins to try to maximize screen usage, figuring folks might like fewer clicks per word, but it's a minor thing). The end result is that we sometimes get where a "background page cut" happens twice on one "click page." So the Nook goes from like 7 to 9. On a Kindle it's not an issue because it's percent and "locations."
As of now, I know of no fix for the Nook issue as changing font settings on the user end means that what's displayed on screen per click can vary widely. It becomes a bit of an issue in non-fiction since how do you cite an excerpt for reference? In fiction, it shouldn't be an issue unless you're doing like a chose-your-own adventure book or something (Remember those? I loved them!)