Sunday, April 19, 2015

Conquering the Fear of Editing

Like most writers, I used to cringe at the very thought of editing one of my manuscripts. But now, it's my happy place. Out of the entire process from inspiration to finish, editing is the part I love the best. The writers among you in particular may wonder how I reached this magical place. I used to be a pantser: one who writes by the seat of their pants, letting inspiration guide them in whatever direction it chose. That can be a fun way to write, but it is a nightmare to edit such a book. And I say 'can be a fun way to write', because it can also be a headache. I used to get stumped all the time, lose forward momentum, get turned around, and all manner of other snares. It generally took me a year to write a book that way, and almost as long to edit it.

Then I attended a writer's retreat under the tutelage of the fabulous William Bernhardt (bestselling thriller author). Bill made me write an outline on a book I had already completed. It seemed silly until I finished it and realized all the plots holes and issues the outline revealed. And just like that, I went from a pantser to a plotter.

These days I write an outline before starting a new book. I follow it loosely, allowing the story to grow organically. Now, it takes me three to four months to write a book and only a month to edit it. Not only does outlining help me write faster, better, it takes the fear out of editing.

Monday, April 6, 2015

HarperCollins Battles Amazon

Last year two super powers in books went head to head over a contract for selling books online: Amazon and Hachette. I never thought I'd say that about a site that sells everything, including kitchen sinks, but that is what Amazon has become. During this battle Amazon suspended sales of all the books published by the Hachette group, which hurt a lot of authors. Many blamed Hachette for not compromising because Amazon waved the idea that they only wanted to lower eBook prices. But let's face it, Amazon was just as wrong for suspending book sales.

Now, HarperCollins and Amazon are going head to head over the same deal as their contract has just come up for renewal. Already I've seen comments online of people who said they just won't buy HarperCollins books. That breaks my heart. I don't want to see great authors hurt in this fight, which is why I will go to other sites to buy their books. For the sake of authors, and the love of great books, I hope you'll do the same. First you'll need to download an eReader app for your Kindle to be able to read other eBook formats (Yes, that's really possible. Don't be afraid to break those chains that tie you to one retailer!). No worries, detailed, easy-to-follow instructions on how to get the app on your Kindle & working can be found at this link. Once you do, here are some great websites where you can purchase eBooks (and they don't sell kitchen sinks ;)