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Friday, March 16, 2012

Paddy Plays in Dead Mule Swamp- Chapter 20, and some thoughts on modern publishing

cover for Paddy Plays in Dead Mule Swamp cover design by Farah Evers
I've been struggling with Chapter 20 all week, and I'm still not very happy with it. However, it's time to leave it and move on to Chapter 21. Maybe when it's bracketed by parts I like I'll be able to see what's wrong with it.

The first time through, I left out an important piece, so I had to go back and weave it in. I think something more significant needs to happen, but I'm not sure at this point what that would be.

Since this chapter is likely to change, perhaps significantly, I don't think I'll include an excerpt.

Instead, I'm going to comment on a blog post made by Dougie Brimson, author of Billy's Log, at Why I love my readers (and why their reviews are so important!)

He says:
"Of course there are people who would never review a book for all kinds of reasons. The usual three being ‘I wouldn’t know what to write’,’ I’d be embarrassed’ or ‘I can’t be arsed.’ But by thinking in this way they are actually missing out on what to me is one of the most exciting elements of the ebook revolution and that’s the potential for the reader to become directly involved in the publishing process... And speaking as an author, reviews have other benefits. One of which is that they help me to decide what to write next."

I think this is one of the most interesting parts of the e-publishing revolution... the instant feedback. For example, When I wrote News from Dead Mule Swamp, I included several local people who became friends of Ana. I generally planned that those characters would continue to show up in subsequent books. However, as feedback began to come in, obviously readers loved Cora Baker.

Chatting with my husband the other day he said with some surprise, "You've changed what you are writing because of what people said?"

In response I explained that I wouldn't go quite so far as to say I changed anything, since I already had the plot of this book pretty much worked out. However, I did make sure that Cora makes more than a short appearance, and that her friendship with Ana has a chance to grow.

So, feedback has certainly had an impact on my writing. Not to mention the encouragement from people who liked the first book. Without that, I probably wouldn't have continued. What you think does make a difference!

Action item of the day: go write a review of a self-published book you've read. I'd love it if you'd review one of mine, but it will help the entire publishing industry if you review a book or two.

You can buy book 1, News from Dead Mule Swamp, for only 99¢ at Smashwords, or Amazon

1 comment:

Dougie Brimson said...

Very good article.

Thanks for quoting me! :-)