I’ve been meaning for a while to write an article about the Battle of Stony Point, which took place July 15-16, 1779. I live about 5 miles from the battlefield site and I am there all the time (lots of pokestops and two gyms). i was hoping to get it up before the anniversary, but that ship has sailed.
Fine, whatever. It gives me time to go deeper detail.
Yes, I know that it’s not NYC history (Stony Point is in what’s now the city suburbs, as am I) but it’s nearby, a cool story, and I saw that they tried to recreate it on Turn: Washington’s Spies and got some details wrong for the sake of the show.
I know that it’s very tempting to use real people in your books, and if it’s veiled well enough, there’s no problem with it. But when you include real names of friends, family, or fans that you want to reward…don’t…just don’t
Most of the time it’s not veiled, and this is where the problem is.
It’s been far too long between books. My editor got bogged down with other projects, and I wouldn’t think of using anyone else. As a result, the book release for Cold Iron is tentatively pushed back to next year. I hate having to do that. I’ve lost a lot of momentum, but it’s more important to make it good than fast.
A lot of other writers need to learn this.
Did you know that once a book is accepted by a publishing house, it still goes through revisions and edits? For Song of Simon, it went through three rounds of editing after I signed the contract. I’m not even talking about proofreading. I mean full edits. Major publishing houses do even more than that. The Watchmage of Old New York went through tons of edits, from it’s original short story form, to the contract with Jukepop Serials, to it’s dalliance with Skyhorse Publishing, and finally to the first novel when I got the publishing rights back. A friend of mine has a contract with Random House. They’ve been passing edits back and forth for a year now. That doesn’t include the edits her agent recommended.
Short cuts lead to crap, and they give the entire indie community a bad name. A lot of other indie writers think that I’m elitist about this, but there’s nothing elitist about hard work. What’s elitist is releasing a book without several rounds of edits, thinking that your work is golden straight out of the box. It’s unprofessional, lazy, and self-indulgent. Do the work!!
That said, my editor made some significant comments that I agree with. Unfortunately it will require significant changes to the story. This is why I do so many drafts. It’s vital for a good book.
So screw momentum. I’m going to put out the best book I can, no matter how long it takes. Ten years from now it won’t matter how fast I put the books out, only how good they are.
Earlier in the month I talked about how my doctor recommended cutting down on my coffee intake and increasing non-caffeinated fluids into order to regain my scattered concentration. I did it. I cut down to 20-30 oz a day, and increased my other fluids to close to a half gallon.
To my surprise, it worked. Of course this could be that I was in a minor manic cycle and I’ve come out of it. Or it could be that my coffee intake increased my anxiety, triggering the manic cycle. I honestly don’t know.
The title won’t make sense until the second half of the post…except for the rambling part 😉
So, I guess I went missing online for a little while, at least of the blog. I’ve been pretty busy working on my new novel and also some short stories.
I also started a new job, which I’m very excited about. As some of you know, I am a former special ed teacher that had to drop down to a substitute because of chronic illness. Subbing is not nearly as satisfying as actual teaching. You’re just a warm body in the classroom to keep the kids from (sometimes literally, depending on the type of class) killing each other. I miss teaching.
I am on my couch, looking out my window. The snow comes down, sometimes hard, sometimes soft, like the sky and ground tumbling together in white sheets. Just outside the window stands a mammoth, gray, gnarled oak that wraps the smaller trees in its limbs. One dead leaf clings to a small branch.