anghara: (Default)
(inspired by reading this)

Am I in a very minor minority here?

First, let me make the dreaded confession - yes, I HAVE pre-judged a book by a cover - we ALL do it - it's that visual thang that's hardwired into the human brain. The cover is the first thing we see on a book, and come on, be honest, if a cover leaves you absolutely cold would YOU hold out any hopes that the book underneath it would enthrall you? Didn't think so. Dreaded confession two - I've been surprised and astonished any number of times when, being persuaded to read a book whose cover did not appeal, I actually found the book itself not only acceptable but often absorbing.

Yes, I can be shallow that way.

From under the author's hat, I await the book covers on my own books with anxious trepidation because I know first-hand of reactions much like the one I have described above. Some people who might have loved the book will never pick it up because the cover doesn't trigger their "pick me up" impulse. A recent reviewer of "Spellspam" bemoaned the cover because to her it would have meant that she would never have picked up that book if she had had the choosing of it - and she thought the cover was bad. There are people close to me who agree with her. There are other people who adore that cover. Personally, I think that the three books makes a nice set, cover-wise. But there you have it - there's at least one person out there who WOULD NOT HAVE PICKED IT UP if she had tripped over it in a bookstore.

Another case in point - "Secrets of Jin Shei" was written and conceptualised in my own head as high-concept alternate history or historical fantasy book, along the lines of Guy Gavriel Kay's "Tigana" - but it was marketed as mainstream, and given a mainstream-y cover. What did that mean - well - it meant that I was sliced by the double-edged sword of having potentially higher exposure (the book was shelved in the mainstream section, and while fantasy readers WILL be seen in the mainstream section mainstream readers would not be seen DEAD crossing the other way) but by the same token those people who would have picked it up and loved it as what it was originally intended to be may have never heard of it or seen it and might never have picked it up judging it by its mainstream-y cover, and those people who did pick it up based on its bookstore placement and its mainstream-y cover might have been deeply disappointed and even annoyed by the fantasy elements in what they believed to be a mainstream historical novel.

So. Slapping it on the counter and staring at it. Book covers. How do you judge books? Do book covers make a difference? To simplify the thing completely, the same book was published with a pink cover and a blue cover would it matter to you which?

Do unmet expectations, as based on what you were led to expect from a cover, ever sour your opinion on the author - who had nothing whatsoever to do with what sort of cover got slapped on his or her book...?
anghara: (book and glasses)
- mainly because I don't have ONE of the chapters with me in its final form and I think the wordcount is different from the version that I've got here with me - but I wrote the epilogue last night, and I snatched an hour out of my convention weekend to finish up the Author's Note which needs to go along with the whole package. As I say, I'll post the stamped and sealed official wordcount from home, but let's just leave it at this for now.

The Author's Note is about 1000 words long (damn, I can't even write short Author's Notes...)

NOT counting that, to the best of my current ability to swear to it, the wordcount of the novel itself stands at... 199 500.

I'm about two pages shy of 200K. I think I'm proud of myself [grin]

Ladies and gentlemen of the writing group, from the point at which you left our two protagonists - who had, remember, Just Met - you're in for one helluva rollecoaster ride from there. And I do so look forward to sharing it with you.

But the first draft of the finished novel, as it currently stands... leaves for New York on Sunday night. It will be on my agent's desk on Monday. After that... que sera sera.

I feel quite, quite, quite giddy.
anghara: (book and glasses)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
196,288 / 200,000

I have the Epilogue to do. The way I envisage it, it's going to be considerably shorter than an average chapter, and it'll bring it all to a conclusion - maybe 3000 words or so, not much more than that.

And I'm done.

And I'm about to head off for a convention where my head is going to be in quite a different place. But I'm taking my laptop with me and maybe by the time I get home... it will be complete.

And this thing... packs a punch.


Off to gather up my chattels now, and go to the next con. Onwards and upwards. Another story... is told.
anghara: (book and glasses)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
182,343 / 200,000

Yes, I finished a chapter while travelling. I updated and fixed and brought it to a first-draft-final conclusion today, when I could sit down and pull it all together and correct all the infelicities that might have crept in during the less-than-ideal conditions of concentration and execution that prevail when one is writing a vastly complex piece of a work in progress from a sheaf of hastily photocopies notes brought along for reference purposes, in a noisy airport waiting area or snatching a few free moments here and there at a conference that is constantly keeping one's head full of other and completely unrelated stuff.

I've broken 90%. Whooo! I think what I have left is either one LONG chapter or two relatively shorter ones - depending if and when there is a break in what has to happen next. That, and the epilogue.

Just one more corner to turn. And then I'm home. And another novel is written, another story told.

I love my life.
anghara: (travel icon)
I'm off again - off to the Kidlitosphere '08 conference -

Will be taking computer with, this time, so blogging shall probably occur - as will writing, since I've got a while on planes etc. which can be put to good use. I aim to at least finish the initial version of chapter 30 while on the road. After that, there's two more chapters at the most of story left to do, plus a shorter epiloguey type end-bracket. I'm figuring - including #30 when it's finally done - maybe 15000- 20000 more words.

Which makes it come in under 200K. So THERE [grin] (Hey, [ profile] csinman, if come in under 200k do *I* get chocolate?...)

20000 words. It's a doddle. It's three days' work, tops.

Of course, then I have to go back and go over the whole thing again and neaten up any straggly loose ends, which will likely take me another week or so. But it's SOOOOO nearly done.

I'm getting the first bands of end-of-novel antsiness already, like an approaching hurricane.


Off to do some last minute packing. Flying out tomorrow morning. Portland here I come (again).

(Note to self. When the kilitters go on the outing to Powell's, *leave wallet at home*...)
anghara: (book and glasses)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
171,858 / 200,000

I am, I think, about 4 chapters from the end now (shut UP, [ profile] debtaber, I can hear what you are thinking).

The trouble is they are all exceedingly complex chapters. I am capable, in full flight, of doing a chapter a day - 5000 words worth a day - but these babies, they will need some coddling. And I have a conference this weekend, and a convention the weekend after.

Hmm. It might take me closer to two weeks.

But I can see the end from here. Almost done. AAAAAALMOST done.


Make that

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
177,294 / 200,000

Chapter 29 down.

Chapter 30 coming up. One of the most important chapters in the book. This one is going to need a little bit of time and TLC to achieve its full potential.

But I managed another full chapter today.

I am pleased.
anghara: (book and glasses)
Some time ago Joshua Palmatier ran the Plot Synopsis Project I, where authors shared a synopsis of a bookd which sold and shed light on a process as arcane as casting spells. I'd wanted to participate back then but the timing was inauspicious - so I said I'd do it this time - and I STILL managed to be one day late. You can find more about the current project here, including a list of participants and links to their posts on the subject.

So here, as promised, is mine... )
anghara: (book and glasses)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
160,640 / 200,000

Yes, I know. I upped the final number of words. I am working on what I KNOW still has to happen in this book and the minimum number of words I figure I will need to cover that material. I'll try very hard to come in UNDER that 200 000 ceiling, but no promises, no promises at all...

This also means that I have finished with Part II of the book, and the very next chapter begins the third and final part of the novel. I am - oh - maybe eight or nine chapters away from the end, here (but do remember, my chapters average 5000-6000 words...) I am close, so close. I can SMELL the end from here.

And I think there are moments of real raw power in here.

(Well, REALLY raw, in a lot of ways. Once I'm done with the whole thing I'll have to print out the whole entire current version and file off the rough edges - and I am now on page 531 of the manuscript, so it's going to be a ream of paper, here, or at least half a ream given that I'm printing out double sided for the editing purposes, no point in wasting more paper than I need to.)

But I'm aaaaaaaalmost there. Just one more major corner to turn. (Of course this is the most intensely "political" and complex part of the book. It's one more major corner, to be sure, but heaven alone knows how much the road leading to that corner is going to twist and turn before I get there...
anghara: (book and glasses)
I just finished another chapter, 7500 words of chapter. I won't keep them all, probably, because looking at it even I can see that there are words that need to be not kept, and [ profile] rdeck has promised to look through it tomorrow and see what he can see. But most of the words will stay in some form or another, or else some of the stuff to be cut will have to be replaced with a more appropriate word graft, and I'll probably still end up with a chapter that's between 6000 and 7000 words long. But still - it's a good chapter, a good day's work. And it's a complex chapter. It's one of the pivotal chapters in this book, in fact. It's a chapter where I have to work very hard because my protagonist does something very cold, but for wholly understandable reasons - but those reasons have been set up and foreshadowed throughout her development as a character in the entire book so far, and this is a test of faith, the reader's, because if I can keep the eye of sympathy on her - if I've done my homework well so far - this is going to be a shattering chapter in so many ways...

Writing group guys?... you're about six chapters away from this one [grin]

But just remember, on Sunday, They Meet. Don't miss the party.

There may be champagne.

Update -

Aug. 25th, 2008 09:31 pm
anghara: (book and glasses)
- make that FOUR chapters of Part the Second, just finished tweaking another chapter, I wrote and polished up a WHOLE CHAPTER today, damn near 5500 words. And it's a pretty pivotal chapter, and it works.

Am pleased.

Can sleep well tonight. Did a good day's worth of work.

(Oh, and apropos of nothing my pair of kittehs just double-teamed, cornered, and *ate* a very large spider which had found its way into my study. Good cats. Treats and rewards upstairs in a moment, both of you.)
anghara: (coffee beans) fo the search phrases that has led people to my website appears to be "cartoon goldfish".


Uh, yeah. Okay.

In other news, three chapters into Part the Second, the entire work currently standing at approximately 120 000 words. If I am correct in my estimate, the things I need to fit into this section will require a minimum of five further chapters to contain them - quite possibly six or seven, depending on how things pan out. That would mean that I still have, oh, 25 000 to 35 000 words or so to go - IN THIS SECTION - which would bring the book to roughly 140 000 - 150 000 words.

And then there's Part the Third to come.


Work to do. Excuse me. Another chapter or even two will come home to roost this week. Off to get more coffee, and then back to the story...
anghara: (book and glasses)
I just realised how much needs to happen in this part of the book.

190 000 may be optimistic.

We shall see where this goes...
anghara: (book and glasses)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
104,393 / 190,000

Part the First is now DONE. Please do take into account that the final word count is at this stage very much an estimate of the final product, and is likely to change as I continue to write - but just as a ballpark figure, here we are, this is where I'm at right now.

One. Hundred. Thousand. Words.

And yes. They met. [ profile] debtaber and [ profile] csinman know whereof I speak.
anghara: (book and glasses)
Okay, officially past the 100 000 word mark on the WIP now. The New Project is officially a doorstop (seeing as I am just about to tie up Part the First, and there's still at least as much story to come...)

And yes, [ profile] debtaber, They Are Just About To Meet.

I don't want to rush the scene tonight so it will get written tomorrow. But it is about to get written.

Don't faint. [grin]
anghara: (book and glasses)
Finished a requested rewrite of one story. Just submitted another.

Wrote half a chapter more in the WIP. With a bit of luck the rest of the chapter will fall in line by the end of the week.

Still things on the To Do list which date from before LaunchPad (including - oh joy - a date with the dentist. Can't wait.)

September is going to be here before I know it and September will be hellish - I'll be at various conventions, conferences and events for a LOT of September, much travelling, much to-and-fro-ing, much planing and deplaning, much sleeping in hotels, argh.

October, another convention.

November, trip to California, another convention.

Then it's December. Christmas. Silly season.

And I SWORE I would have half this book at least written by the end of the year. Unh huh.

Lots of work to do. Gotta go. See you.
anghara: (Default)
Well, now. There's a review of "Embers of Heaven" by yours truly on this site

The reviewer calls the book "beautifully written" and "absorbing", and highly recommends it.

She gets the name of my heroine right, and even spells it correctly.

However, we then run into a lot of trouble almost immediately. )

Don't get me wrong. I love getting my work praised.

But not when it's *someone else's book*...

We can haz Japan...? Or China? Or a mystical land called Syai?

anghara: (book and glasses)

Responses? Suggestions? Urges to refute? Accolades?...

(I think #50 sums it up, really [grin])


Jul. 9th, 2008 12:52 pm
anghara: (Default)
Ever wondered what it means to call yourself a writer? Go read this.

May 2009

3 4 5 6 7 89
1011 12 13141516


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags