Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My Life as a Writer: It's the Rewriting That Gets You

The Burning of Hugo is in re-writes.

I reviewed what I wrote. I turned my eye to that of someone wanting to sell a book to a reader. That's when the clunking became audible to my inner ear, the one I use to listen for malfunctioning writing. In short, I did my best to find the same sorts of bad writing that I criticized with Jedi Princess Rey.

I found those errors. I struck those errors. Now I'm fixing those errors, making certain that I don't make those characterization mistakes. I can't use fame, reputation, a far-too-forgiving fanbase (which is woefully mis-educated and ignorant regarding both writing and mythology), or a massive marketing machine to cover my ass like Abrams can. No, I have to put in the work, and even then I can only rely on the fact that I will screw up something else that I won't catch in time.

So, I re-write.

It's the details that get you. That's what re-writing is, for me and for many others I've talked with about it, dealing with the details. It's the dotting of "i"s and crossing of "t"s, obeying the fullness of procedure and not cutting corners, in order to give the thing that the reader wants: an entertaining, engaging, and enthralling story that they want to revisit time and again.

In short, it's in the re-writing that a story conforms to the requirements of a commercially-viable product. (Something that too many professionals somehow forget, to my dismay.) And yes, when you bring a story to market and expect to sell it that is what you're doing: producing a product. This is part of the deal, like it or not.

So, when I finish with The Burning of Hugo, I will produce the best product of genre fiction storytelling that I can at this time. Then, once I finish the other parts--the cover, the launch, etc.--I will go on, take what I learned, and apply it forward to the next project.

And so it goes.

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