As I power through to the pulse pounding conclusion of my next fiction project, I’m reminded of how fantastic everything I write sounds inside my head. And as I go back over those words with an editor’s eye, I then realize how incomprehensible some things look on the page until they are fleshed out by descriptions of my mental landscape.
It’s a common enough problem for writers attempting to “show, not tell,” in that we sometimes forget that telling is also important. The words themselves do not generate action, it’s the reader’s reception that transforms them into gripping action.
It doesn’t take a lot of words to massage a good scene into a great one. Tonight, about an hour after sending a chapter I had some doubts on over to a friend experienced in the action of action I realized how to draw in some “happy little trees” and fix the whole thing. Another 250 words slipped into the mix, adding another page overall and a much more important dimension to the piece.
It now reads better on its own merits, instead of relying on setups I’d laid in during the previous chapters. I’m still looking forward to _____’s feedback on how it all works, but I feel a lot better about it now, and I hope that someday you will as well.
Which brings us to the shameless marketing portion of this post. It’s been about a month since Hearts of Iron released, and I’ve received feedback from a vanishingly small portion of the people who’ve picked up the book so far. Since one of them is my mother, I’m understandably curious about what the rest of you (and the friends you told, and the friends THEY told) think of the action and pacing of that work.
Yes, I’m fishing for reviews. Not for vanity’s sake (I already know my mom likes it, thus validating my last 20 years of career choices), but for Quality Control ™. I really want to get it right, and your unvarnished thoughts on the matter mean a lot to me.
Especially if you didn’t like it. Or did, but also have some areas you’d have loved to love instead.
There’s a lot of different ways you can give me feedback on this particular work. My huge preference would be for a review on Amazon.com, but there are many communities out in the world (digital or analog) for sharing your thoughts, and a lot of them are in places I don’t regularly visit because I don’t know about them yet. I’m happy to discuss the book online, and have set up a facebook page for just that purpose. But I’m also just as willing to come to where you hang out and talk to your friends too.
And hey, if you’d rather talk about something else, I’m game for that as well. Here’s something that almost everybody likes, and like the books mentioned above, I hope you will too.