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Posts Tagged ‘Beneath a Wounded Sky’

Well, that two week’s vacation went by in a blitz. It was very productive, with the last two books of the Fallen Cloud Saga hitting the streets, but boy, could I have used another week…or month.

Now that the hardcopies are available, I realize I have made a classic mistake. It’s all part-and-parcel of the difficulty in switching from my author hat to my publisher hat. The author in me just wants to get the book out there and get it into reader’s hands. The publisher (an admittedly weaker part of me) wants to get the best release, the best buzz, and the best notice which helps get the book into more readers’ hands.

So, this classic mistake is to rush “to print” at the detriment of any sort of planning and release strategy.

But all is not lost.

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I am not a procrastinator, in general, but I do indulge in what some might call “creative prioritization.” You know: the fun stuff first, the not-so-fun stuff next, the tedious and boring bits dead last. I can euphemistically refer to this as putting the “most bang for buck” items up front or go all corporate and say I’m going for “the low-hanging fruit” first, but I’m not fooling anyone, least of all myself.

I’m just delaying the inevitable, and in editing, the inevitable includes the dreaded, stupefying, and largely useless practice of Spell-check and Grammar-check. I’d skip the whole damned process if it consistently came up with nothing, but it doesn’t.

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Yesterday (okay, very early this morning) I submitted the final content for FC books IV and V to the CreateSpace “submission review” process. As I’ve mentioned before, this process finds a lot of formatting errors such as text beyond margins, low-DPI graphics, unembedded fonts, and so forth. It’s a good review process, and it encourages the author—through feedback, easy-to-follow help guides, and forum discussions—to submit the highest quality work to achieve the highest quality product.

Up ’til now, I’ve assumed this was a mechanical review process, but after the response I got today, I’m not so sure.

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Kurt R.A. GiambastianiI’ve fallen down on the job, here. My excuses are many and diverse—I’m on vacation, I caught a cold, the Giants are in the NLCS—but I can still say that I’ve kept my priorities straight. I may not have posted here each weekday (my stated goal), but I did spend time every day editing my MSS for the Fallen Cloud Saga re-release. So, there’s that, anyway.

In re-editing the MSS for FC:I-FC:IV, however, I noticed two distinct patterns.

The first pattern I noticed was an increase in my cockiness as an author. This is not a good thing as it led to stupid artifice and ill-thought-out departures from established conventions. I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten over that one, as I’m now correcting all those “artistic decisions.”

The second pattern was a decrease in editorial attention. This, also, is not a good thing. Unfortunately, the two patterns exacerbate each other—the cockier I got, the less my editor cared to work with me, and vice versa. It’s a chicken-and-egg argument, determining which came first, but I also know that by the time we got to FC:IV, the publisher had decided my numbers weren’t good enough and closed the book on the series, my editor was looking for a career change, and I was the last one to know any of it.

So, what does increased editorial disinterest look like? (more…)

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Kurt R.A. GiambastianiLast night, as I was re-editing FC:III, I came across (what I humbly consider) a good example of a narrative tailored to a limited POV. Here on this blog, and on some of the blogs I follow, we’ve talked a lot about building characters—physical appearance, how they speak, internal attitudes, believable actions and reactions, etc.—but these are all things directly connected to the character. There’s another level, more abstract, that I think bears consideration and discussion.

I’m pretty strict when I use limited omniscient POV. Some writers are more free, allowing the narration to describe a thought or a memory or a past action that is outside of the current POV character’s knowledge, but I don’t. In addition to this, though, I put limits on the narrative. This is most obvious when I’m dealing with characters from diverse backgrounds, as I do in the Fallen Cloud Saga.

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Kurt R.A. GiambastianiWhile I’m struggling with the proof process on FC:II (the errors are entirely my own; nothing to do with CreateSpace), another topic came to mind on which I have an opinion: Character Names.

I’ve seen some doozies—in print and in workshops—that left me shaking my head in wonder. Don’t these people read their own stuff? Don’t they see/can’t they hear how awful that name sounds?  Below are some of the naming practices that drive me batty.

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We have proof!

Yesterday, Brown delivered the proof for FC:I, and once again I was reminded of just how important a hardcopy proof is. For you out there who are thinking about self-publishing a hardcopy book, always get a physical proof copy of the book.

So, how was it?

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