Ratholes…

Are the bane of a writer…

If it isn’t a research rathole, it’s a question that prompts another thousand words, or a what if that causes a rethink of an entire chapter. Or the muse gets a wild hair…

Simple search for separating cows and calves let to over four hours of reading and I now know more than I want about the different options, weight loss/gain metrics, and potential long range issues with calves. And it’s going to be about three sentences in the book… sigh.

And reading historical monographs from the west is both enlightening and time consuming. You make notes, add questions as to how things get done, and hope to hell the muse can make something out of that mess later!

Rimworld- JACE is back out to readers after the additional 6K words answering the questions/comebacks from the first round of readers, so it’s gone from a ‘long’ short story to a ‘short’ novella.

There is always a question in a short story as to when to stop it, and how much ‘backstory’ you can shove in. Obviously, I didn’t do enough… Or I did too much…

And we’re doing an actual formal book signing this weekend at the local library, so I’ve got to prep for that, find enough copies of books, and hope to hell the weather is good and folks actually show up with money in their pockets.

Speaking of book signings, many thanks to Larry Correia for mentioning me when he was in OKC in February. That got me a 20 sales bump, which may not seem like much, but for us starving writers, that’s a BIG help!

Read three different folks work as either an alpha or beta reader in the last two weeks, and hopefully gave them some good feedback. The way I look at it, it’s the least I can do for the help readers give me. And I DO give honest feedback.

Speaking of which, I consider the reader’s feedback/criticism as a major contributor to my limited success. I don’t take it personal, I look at it as helping me to craft a better story, and the nice thing is that different folks catch different things. The ‘fun’ part is making one fix, then having to go figure out if THAT fix impacts other parts of the story.

Hopefully, Rimworld- JACE will go to press late this month or early next month. It will only be on Kindle, due to being a novella.

 


Comments

Ratholes… — 9 Comments

  1. We appreciate the backstory behind the backstory. Also appreciate your use of public and private reader suggestions, which often help the story. It’s a fine example of the agenda item “For the Good of the Squadron”. We’ll keep buying good stories, because that muse sure is thirsty.

  2. I appreciate an author who sweats the details. Once closed and stopped reading a book by a famous author who had a character, a former Army Corpsman, briefly appear.

  3. WSF- Yep, the ‘little’ details may not mean much to some people, but others smile when they see them done right. And I try!

  4. The good thing about ratholes and learning new stuff is even if you don’t use everything you learned in this book, it may work in another story. Especially as you do seem to write stories about the West, ranching, and managing cattle. Understanding how it used to be done vs how they do it these days…that could be something to put in a story some other place. Just saying…

    So far as length goes… I like stories. I like longer stories as they last longer. But you do what you (or the Muse) want, I will be checking it out. 🙂

  5. OldNFO, are you a member of 20booksto50K? Is it exclusively SciFi writers? My wife is working on her first novel (and nearly there) and is planning on self-publishing. I saw something about the group on The Federalist (I think) linked from AOSHQ.

  6. Suz- Point! 🙂 Sometimes it’s three or four books later before something actually shows up…sigh

    Bill- Nope. I’m pure Indie. I would be happy to answer any questions she has.

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