FenCon10 notes

Editors—some good, some bad
Usually the edits the editors ask for are necessary to make your book more marketable.
Recommendations almost always beneficial.

Rosen line edits on every line.
Sometimes questioning sentence structure.

Muenzler—does this sound right?

Keep rewriting, but let it go.
Cheney—rewrite and then let it go.

Critique groups and writing groups will/may
take you out of your book,
encourage you to write more on things they like (but not nec good to write on).
The pace is often a problem when folks say, “I would like to know more about x.”

Writers have enough editors in their heads. Don’t give it to someone else before it is finished.

First writers sometimes won’t finish a book because they revise too much.
Rosen doesn’t revise until whole book is written.
One author wrote draft; then rewrote the whole book from the beginning. That works for her.

Don’t get bogged down in the mechanics.

Before revision, let it sit (longer than 2 months).
Work on something else.
Have a really smart 14-year-old read it.
Maybe read through and write notes on your own reactions.

Put pages on the wall. Step a distance away. See if there is a mix of dialogue and exposition.
Can do that even when you can’t read it yet.

Maybe move on to another idea (keep notes about things) but work on another topic.

Getting published:
Don’t write what is popular. Current trends change.
Write about what you want.

5 years from sending to publishing a book.
2 years from sending to publishing a short story.

Only thing that you have that is different is your voice.
The way you tell a story, that’s your voice.

Nielsen-Hayden works for Tor.
She has a greater variety of authors.

New writers, publishable v. rejection.
Don’t keep count. There’s no odds on being published.

Logic—story that is interesting, engaging, and people want to read then it will get published.
If you have written a book that “doesn’t do it,” then we will say no.

Big difference between Tor (Nielsen-Hayden) and small press (Rosen).
Small press doesn’t have to deal with authors who won’t revise.

Do you read during the writing process?
Early on, no.
Kathleen Cheney can’t read genre lit while writing because the editor stays on.
Muenzler—mostly read short stories when I’m writing novels. I am an avid reader. Read an hour or so each night.

Style/voice bleed over?
Some obvious. Some not.
ArmadilloCon–artists borrow images from other artists, but in every other art from you attempt to copy the style of the masters.

For example, Scalzi has great paragraph transitions.

Writing practice = creating stories in the style of X.

But don’t just follow/copy.
Don’t soak up indiscriminately.

Muenzler—stylistic issues. Will look at several authors who do that well and then work on it.

Some good authors have rejected the style or books of another author.

“Language is a virus from outer space.”

When reading, stay in genre or not?
Muenzler—stay in
Rosen—read esoteric stuff, usually out
Cheney—don’t read genre fiction while writing, will go out of genre and re-read books.
for study, look at any or all genres

spiral of revision
quality matters
All of us believe our children are the best… What do you do when your best work is rejected?

Got to be good. Got to be entertaining. Also, dumb luck.

You finish novel. Send it out. (disassociate self)
Be working on the next novel.
Kick child out of the house and concentrate on the baby.

Rejection is just rejection.
We don’t remember rejections.

After accepting a book:
long editorial letter
Brust came to the house and edited the book in 14 hours.
Then editorial passes it to production.
There are books out there on this.

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