Monday, 25 May 2009

The Five Stages of an Authonomite's Life

Jemstone posted this on the Authonomy forum, I love it, haha. I think it can be applied to writing communities in general.

Original thread here.

1) Denial:
Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling that it is only a matter of time before the discovery of his/her wonderful book is generally replaced with heightened awareness of the fact that nobody is reading his/her book.
Example - "My book is good."; "This can't be happening, not to my book."

2) Anger:
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the author can be very horsey to deal with due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual whose book is moving rapidly upward is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.
Example - "What's wrong with my book? It's not fair!"; "How can people ignore my work of art?"; "Who is to blame?"; "It's a personality contest."; "That other person uses sock puppets."; I'm not in the clique."

3) Bargaining:
The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow learn the secrets of getting his/her book to rise in the charts. Usually, the negotiation is for read-swaps or even shelf-swaps. Often there is blatant advertising, even outside of the normal forums. Psychologically, the person is saying, "I understand I have to work for success here, but somebody please read my book."
Example - "Please read my book, I promise to read yours in return."; "I'll humiliate myself for a shelving."; "I will read until my eyeballs fall out for a chance at the ED.""

4) Depression:
During the fourth stage, the author begins to understand the certainty of never being successful with that particular book. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse to visit the forums and spend much of the time crying and grieving. He/she may tell people he/she is leaving Authonomy. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer an individual up that is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.
Example - "My book is going nowhere, why bother with anything?"; "I only get one read a week . . . What's the point?"; "I could be doing something constructive with my life, why go on with this?"

5) Acceptance:
This final stage comes with peace and understanding of the true value of Authonomy. It is a good way to spend some time at the office instead of working on those calculations and projects.
Example - "It's going to be okay, I'm having some laughs."; "I'm getting some occasional good suggestions for edits."; "Who knows, maybe an agent will stumble upon my book."; "After all, it's free."

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Dammit, get back in there!

I've been struggling with my book recently. Not in writing, or editing, but in a decision I made to remove a character, in order to reduce my word count.

I'm going to just copy-paste a thread I started on authonomy, to save typing the whole thing out again. The bold parts are my posts:


Those of you who have read several chapters of my book will know I have several storylines interweaving and overlapping throughout. I took one storyline out in order to cut my word count - new writer, long MS, costs blah blah blah - but I'm finding it very difficult to take the other threads anywhere without leaving a hole in the blanket.

I'm unsure how to progress. Do I keep ploughing on without said character and hopefully arrive at my destination (but risk a weaker MS), or stick him back in and end up with a manuscript that's potentially 20k over budget?


Can the story be split into two volumes rather than one?


I considered that, but there was no way to split it satisfactorily, grrr.


I don't know any of the details of the character you've taken out or why. I can only answer how it would be for me; which is that if I cut something out and had to make an effort to *keep* it out when what I *really* wanted to do was to let it back in, then it'll happen anyway, *or* the whole thing may come across as a bit disjointed or stunted.

Take yourself off somewhere and listen to your inner instinct. Do you *really* want to cut out this character? Or are you just doing it because it seems logical? Not everything that's right seems logical.

Probably makes no sense whatsoever, I guess I'm just suggesting that you already know the answer really, if you listen to it.


So true! Every time I come to a point in the plot where he WAS, I have to think, "Ok, how do I get these guys to that place/event/emotion without using him?" and in times when I do manage it, I still don't think it flows as well as originally. He's basically the antithesis of Wolf, thus creates a dilemma for Luna, whereas without him, her dilemma is removed, and thus I need to scrabble for another threat to the relationship.

My inner voice is screaming "Put him back! Put him back!" but I don't want the book to become unpublishable, simply because it's too freakin' long, haha.

Your post makes a lot of sense. I just wonder how rigid MS lengths are. For the style I am going for, I think the publishers representing similar authors (Jackie Collins, Louise & Tilly Bagshawe, Belinda Jones, Lauren Weisberger etc) are asking for 150k words. If I put him back in, I risk taking the book up to 170k.

However, I managed to strip 20k out editing the first half of the MS, so maybe with the right editor, I could have him in AND get my word count down to an acceptable amount.


Then I'd say listen to that screaming inner voice. Better to have a great MS worthy of publishing at 170k words - (and 10-20k would be easy to lose I reckon, with extra tightening), than to have a crap MS that isn't worthy of publishing at 150k words.

Not that I'm saying it'd be cr*ap - I'm just using that as an extreme.

The unconscious *always* wins the argument.


Dammit, you're right. I'm putting him back in!

Sexy Noo Yoik artist, Guy, welcome back into the fold!!!

Woo, am I glad I save everything!


Stick him back in. Edit words down later. R


Keep the character -- cut the Word count in a more difficult, painstaking, line by line sort of way.


yeah, i want to see this guy too!


How sad am I - all excited, feeling like I'm raising a real person from the dead for a second chance, hahaha

I'm so happy he's back! Thanks, guys


So Mr Guy Waterhouse, New York artist and gallery owner, is making a return to the Swallow manuscript. To read it, please visit my page on Authonomy (and back the book by putting it on your virtual shelf!)

Have a great evening!

SWALLOW by ILYRIA MOON (click the link below to read)