Thursday, June 28, 2007

Recycling is Hell

I'm back in the fourth story for the First Family series and my mind is made up. No more attempting to recycle the stories of my failed Australian publisher. If the two submissions I have in at the moment work, good. If they don't, too bad.

They were good stories, written for Australian readers and a time capsule of my writing style at the time, but Americanizing them and updating their style is surprisingly hard, particularly the style change. It's not just changing telling to showing, the characters themselves no longer ring true and it dates the storyline. Coming back to the present, so to speak, was such a relief and the unnamed fourth story is flowing along with only the story problems to occupy my mind.

This is the major change in my writing style. I know my characters, I know my background and I record their activities. It gives an immediacy to my writing and I experience the story as it happens, just like the reader.

As I've said before.

It's a great life.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A comedy of errors resolved

I sent off one of my WIPs yesterday. It was a rewrite, requested by a publisher, of a story first submitted in 2001 and subsequently published in 2002 as a print book in Australia by Rocky River Romance, which has subsequently closed it doors.

With the rights returned to me, I Americanized the spelling and jargon to find it another home and sent it off with a query letter to a US publisher. It came back within a week, just before we went to Sydney for our granddaughter's birthday, with a surprising run of editing suggestions and a request to see the edited version. When I opened the manuscript file, I found I'd accidentally submitted the original manuscript from 2001 and the comments related to my 2001 writing style. I'd gone to the trouble of renaming the manuscript to prevent confusion, but in the rush to finish everything before leaving for Sydney, I'd clicked on the line below and sent the wrong manuscript.

I sent an email explaining my error and that I would be away in Sydney for some time before I could respond, especially as two of the editing suggestions, still relevant to the updated manuscript, really interested me.

Back from Sydney, re-energized by the break, I put everything aside and plunged into the rewrite. It has been the most difficult writing task, I've attempted so far, and I struggled because the story had changed so much from its 2001 version that applying the editing principles contained in the publisher's suggestions was like applying them to a different language. I hope my efforts satisfy the new publisher, but I have no confidence in them. I even toyed with putting it aside for a month or two, but decided against it. Perhaps I was wrong?


Thursday, June 14, 2007

"We be Pirates, by God"

We're back from Sydney after a great time with our granddaughter (They grow up so fast!) and snatching a few moments to follow a discussion about pirates in the NCP group.

It started me thinking and I came up with a story idea about a Royal Navy Lieutenant, put on half-pay by the decommissioning of ships after the Treaty of Amiens, returning to his home in Jamaica and setting up as a trader to gather intelligence about the privateers turned pirates by the peace. 1802 lies outside the golden age of piracy, but there was a brief flurry of activity in this period which saw some quite horrific acts of piracy and it gives a lead in to the Lieutenant's family history in the trade for a possible series.

It would be nice to read a story of pirates that bore some resemblance to truth.

I've put it aside for the moment to concentrate on my two WIPs

It's a great life