Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday, Sunny, ROW

First, I cracked 50,000!  Aeris is now at 52,570.  Didn't write this morning, though.  Day of Rest and all that. :)  I'm really happy with where Aeris is at this point in time.  I've got about 2 character sections left before part one of the book is finally finished. (Barring Edits, of course!)  Then I'm sending that section off to my beta readers for notes, critiques, and general hardcore bashing.  After which I'll save the notes for later.
While that is progressing, I'll keep writing on the second part.  I still can't believe how long this book is ending up.  I feel like I truly understand the several authors who ended up telling a longer story than they planned.  My only worry is adding stuff that doesn't have to be there.  I'd rather be like Rowling and Goblet of Fire than Paolini and Brisingr.  (Sorry, I know, but I STILL can't get over the Dwarf wedding.)
So, one of my readers over at goodreads pretty much told me, in so many nicer words, that I'm a whiny ranter who should edit books rather than read them, as I'm so very picky. hahaha  This was in regards to my last entry, where I basically talk about how upsetting I found The Strange Case of Finley Jayne.
It's hard not to get defensive, because even though there are some things that really bother me as a reader, I'm a pretty generous reader over all.  The vast majority of my ratings are 4 or 5 stars and a paltry 8% of them have been two stars or less.  And even though there were some factors about the story I didn't agree with, I still gave it a 3 star, which is what I consider average on the "I loved it!" scale.
I did think about being an editor once upon a time.  Back when I was a naive reader in college, taking English classes, and creative writing and loving every second of it.  I thought, "I could be one of those editors and then move on to writing later."  I was going to be an English major and maybe even go on to get my masters.  Then I ran into the English teacher from hell.  As college students, we've all run into the teacher who is writing her own book/textbook haven't we?  The teacher who knows everything, is hypercritical and has a proven "method" that every single student in the class must follow.
No, this is not the C or D student making excuses for herself.  I'm an A student, baby.  I committed myself to every class, determined to learn all that I could and be the best I could be.  My previous English class had been tough, but I had made it out with an A and a teacher who I'd come to appreciate deeply, even though I didn't appreciate most of the books she'd chosen.  This new teacher, however, made me hate English, even though she chose a bunch of books that I loved.
The saddest part of it was, I ended up with the highest grade in the class, (barely an A) and because of her, I left English behind forever.  Instead, I chose the objectivity and order of computer science.  A big switch I realize, but this is all to say, I decided that editing (and writing) were not for me.  I never looked back.  I didn't write for years.  I don't blame her for that, I think I just got too busy with coding to think about writing stories.  It wasn't until I was almost graduated that I thought about writing stories again.
Maybe I am too nitpicky in some ways about writing.  It's true that I probably hold traditionally published books to a higher standard than indies.  Why?  Because they cost more, first of all.  I think that's supposed to be the point: they cost more because they put in all the extra stuff that indies don't usually.  They have artists, editors, proof readers, marketers, etc.  and indies are lucky if they have a good editor and cover.  But indies are cheap, and if carefully vetted, usually a good read.  Traditionally published books also have a better reputation, so I tend to expect them to uphold it.  So when they disappoint me, they do it big time.
As I mentioned before, I still have yet to read The Girl in the Steel Corset, so I could end up having some great things to say.  I certainly have lower expectations at this point in time! :)

Also, I posted a review of Leviathan over at goodreads.  LOVED IT!!!  One of my favorite YA books of the year.  Worth reading, if you like YA fiction.

Happy Reading!


C.Farrell said...

That's hard to comment on. LOL.

The thing is that most readers are more capable of enjoying books for the fun experience they are. They're getting the storytelling from it.

Most writers can't do that because they're looking at the mechanics of it too. For me 3 stars is good. 5 stars is Jane Eyre and nothing else. There is no other book that I'll reread so many times and know I'll love. I need a ten star rating system; the 5 stars lump too many books in together, if that makes sense.

I'm finding it so hard to truly enjoy books anymore. I keep getting distracted by the editor hat that I can't seem to keep on when I'm working on my own stuff. :)

Cate Morgan said...

I know exactly what you guys are saying. Once you reach a certain level of craft in your own writing, you begin the notice the craft (or lack thereof) in others'. To me, a truly five star book on Goodreads is one that makes me forget about mechanics or flaws enough to enjoy the story. (Lawdy knows I've got enough of my own mechanic issues and flaws to worry about!)

And don't worry about that teacher, fellow Kate. Everything happens for a reason and a separate path from what we originally intended often helps us gain perspective.

Robin M said...

Ditto what claire and cate said. Congrats on passing 50k.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on hitting 50,000!

alberta ross said...

I belong to 2 book groups and I have found writing my own has made me more critical of flaws not necessarily to the detriment - However I can never give top marks to a book however good it is because I truely beleive no book is perfect - To Kill a Mockingbird to the Fellowship of the Rings (books I have re-read over twenty times )i would not give full marks too - it's just a me thing!!!

Nadja Notariani said...

I like tough standards. I'd rather have someone who I know sets the bar high give me three stars than another who doesn't give me five.
Five stars should be reserved for only those novels that shine above and beyond.....
I like G.A. Henty's books for YA (I enjoy them even still as an adult). My son still talks about 'Beric The Briton' & 'A Knight of the White Cross'. Another five star YA novel is 'The Light in the Forest' by Conrad Richter.
P.S. I think we may have had the same English professor..ha! ~ Nadja