Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is “Choosing your freedom – Traditional or Self-Publishing?” We’ve been asked which freedom we picked: the freedom to write without getting into the business side or the freedom to control it all? I bet you know what my answer is…
We had a lovely warm day on Saturday, and I got out the lounge chair to do a bit of sunbathing. Jackson elected to go with the package deal: sunbathing AND affection. He leads a pretty good life. Good thing I’m not concerned about my tan lines!
Otherwise I’m deep into revising THE FIERY CITADEL, sequel to THE ORCHID THRONE, the first two books in my Forgotten Empires trilogy. This is the series – totally new world and characters! – that I’m doing with St. Martin’s Press. I turned in the draft of book 2 in April and my editor, Jennie Conway, sent developmental edits back to me while I was at Nebula Conference. She’s a terrifically insightful editor and gave me great feedback on tweaking the story. That’s a primary reason to go with traditional publishing, if all goes right (and some of this depends on having a good agent and serendipity), then you get to work with a fantastic editor who really brings out the best in your work and helps you to grow and move the story into the next level.
But… you know what they say: growth is painful.
I’m one of those writers who loves drafting. I used to say I hated revising – and I did – but now my feelings aren’t so strong. I don’t love it as much as the freefall rush of drafting, but it feels like good, necessary work now. Some of that is working with a good editor.
I used to have a critique partner who was the opposite of me: she *loved* revising. She called it “God’s work.” For me, revising always felt like fixing the mistakes I shouldn’t have made the first time. I’d tell her she had the wrong deity.
What’s funny is, now that I’m writing full-time – and theoretically have more bandwidth, hours, and concentration for my stories – I’ve become less demanding of myself that way. I no longer regard revising as “fixing mistakes,” but as part of the process. If we compare sculpting to writing, then my first drafts now are the rough of the figure with the surrounding marble chiseled away. The figure is recognizable, perhaps even showable, depending on your standards. In the revision stage, however, is when I bring out the shadows and highlights, when I polish the features so they have the perfect expression. I layer in the surrounding details, giving the figure context and deeper meaning.
Huh. Kind of does sound like God’s work.
That’s Jeffe’s robin in the photo. If you zoom in, you can kind of see the mutant beak. I’ll try for a better pic.
The last of the light on the longest day of the year – on a hot and still summer evening.
Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is the pros and cons of traditional publishing versus self-publishing. I feel pretty well positioned to compare and contrast the two methods (broadly – there are a lot of subsets and gray areas) of publishing books because I’m solidly hybrid. In 2016, my income was 40%/60% traditional/self-publishing; in 2017, it was the reverse proportion. Come on over to find out more!
A panorama of Santa Rosa Lake, New Mexico (and surrounds).
Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is Trend Change: What shifts in the world of writing are you noticing? (Craft, Sales, Publishing, Tech, etc.) Come on over for my five!