On Writing… edits

As I’ve mentioned before, my latest novel, The Ebb of Time, is now available over on Amazon and I’m getting fairly strong interest in it… at least insofar as people are reading it -usually in what appears to be one sitting!- and that, in turn, encourages me to think that perhaps I’ve written another book that those who take on get into and want to see what comes next…

I hesitate to use the term ”page turner” but that’s indeed what’s usually in the back of my mind when I write these works. I want people to be ”hooked” onto the novel and its presence and hopefully get so into it they read it all the way through and indeed in that one sitting.

I’ve mentioned before, perhaps too many times now, that I find Elmore Leonard’s writing advice quite fascinating and, of the items he lists, this is my favorite:

Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

What he’s saying is that your novel/story should be a lean and focused work, one that doesn’t waste the reader’s time with elements which don’t add to the story in any significant way.

There are many, many, many works out there that I’ve tried to read but have stopped simply because the author does indeed go off on tangents, perhaps over-describing what characters wear or getting a little too detailed about silly stuff like what they eat (This, interestingly enough, is something I see far too often: Detailed descriptions of what a character is eating and/or orders at a restaurant).

Anyway, for me getting a good first or second draft of a book is inevitably only the first major step in getting it ready to be released. I wind up spending many hours going over the work, revising it and adding -at first anyway- elements that I feel might be needed or, conversely, removing things that are either repetitious or don’t really add much to the story proper.

The repetitious thing is a real head-scratcher for me. I don’t know why but sometimes I repeat story elements and its not until I get to the editing phase that I realize there are these repeated beats/concepts. No major literary crime, mind you, but an annoying thing I do without meaning to. Often I’ll consider these repeated beats and compress them together into one and choose where best they belong.

But even when you’re completely done with your work, it pays to have someone read it after the fact.

My wife did this with The Ebb of Time and she found, much to my shame, at least a half dozen minor errors I made which somehow made it through my editing process.

Most were silly things. I would call a character a different name. On one specific page, the main character was called -twice!- by a different name and for the life of me I don’t know how a) I made that error and b) didn’t discover it before giving my wife the book to read.

There was one paragraph, a small one thankfully, that was almost incomprehensible as written. Another oddity that it made it through so many drafts without me noticing it! My best guess as to how it made it there was that maybe I did some revision on that paragraph at the very end and simply got distracted and didn’t add in all the words I needed to.

Again, though, we’re talking about very minor stuff. The name changing truly was the biggest issue but it was limited to problems here and there. The one paragraph was a relatively small one halfway through the novel and easily fixable, and I believe there were also something like two very minor edits of improper works/tenses.

Regardless, I’m thankful to those out there who are checking the novel out.

As is often the case with me, I’ve taken a few days to relax… and focus on some rather serious things I’m about to deal with regarding the loss of my parents in Champlain Towers… but am already thinking about my next work.

As is always the case, it’s something I’ve wanted to work on for a while, a general premise that should allow for expansion into a hopefully suspenseful action/adventure/horror book.

We’ll see!

This n’ that…

Been a very, very busy couple of weeks. Not only have I just finished off and released The Ebb of Time, my latest novel and that’s just the first of a seemingly endless amount of things I’ve been up to.

First, though, and I know I already posted it before, the paperback cover/backcover of The Ebb of Time.

I like it a lot!

What else has happened?

Welp, I traveled to my daughter’s new home again and spent a week getting stuff fixed up there. Getting a new home and fixing it up is serious business and my wife just spent 2 weeks -longer than she intended- dealing with the various handymen/plumbers/what-have-you.

I told my daughter before we embarked on this that she would grow to hate pretty much all the people we hire to fix things and, for the most part, that seems to have happened.

Not to everyone, though, and that was a relief.

But you get people who promise to be at the house on certain days and they don’t show… multiple times. We had one person whose company was supposed to specialize in renovating stairs and it’s safe to say the guy didn’t seem to know the first thing about his so-called business.

Thankfully, the incompetents proved the exception rather than the rule and -even more thankfully- we spotted them quick and let them go.

After returning home, I was met with another wave of stuff to do. As I’ve mentioned before, my parents perished in the collapse of Champlain Towers South. The wrongful death lawsuits are coming to their end and it was time for me to go over the paperwork needed to send in regarding this. Included in the wrongful death form was a narrative I and my sisters wrote regarding the loss of our parents and…

It’s not an easy thing to do.

Emotions run high and, soon enough, we’re going to go before the judge overseeing this case and talk about our loss. I anticipate yet another very emotional series of hours.

Anyway, for those who have picked up and read The Ebb of Time or any of the novels I’ve released, my thanks. I hope they proved entertaining and thought provoking.

The Ebb Of Time, part deux

Yesterday I received what I’m hoping is the final cover material for the paperback version of The Ebb of Time, my latest novel, and it’s been sent in and, if all checks out, I should order a proof, receive it soon after, and either accept the material -after which time it will become available to be bought- or need to make some (probably very minor) modifications.

Anyway, the full cover image:

Frankly, I love this. Easily my favorite cover/back cover combo so far!

Again, if all is good on the printer’s end I’ll order a proof copy and once I see it in my hands and it does indeed look good, then off we go!

If you can’t wait, the book is available now digitally via Amazon Kindle. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you may “borrow” the book and read it as well!

Here’s the link:

Amazon.com: The Ebb of Time eBook : Torre, E. R.: Kindle Store

Just wanted to say…

…sorry for the dearth of posts of late.

It’s been a very busy week for me and, frankly, so many things are going on of late and so many deadlines and problems to face that it’s gotten me down.

But, I’m hoping, the worst of it may be nearly over and I will hopefully get back on track with the regular grind.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, perhaps too many times, but it’s been a rough year to say the least. In large part it’s been the tragedy of Champlain Towers South’s collapse and the loss of my parents and all the events that have followed that one. I’ve also been working hard on my latest novel and dealing with issues regarding a home fix up which have driven me to the brink of insanity.

There was a time I enjoyed watching all those HGTV shows about how they rehabilitate a home and everything seems to go so very, very well and how the biggest problem winds up being our hosts butting heads about which subway tile to use in their renovated bathroom.

These shows, and most “reality” shows, alas, present viewers with a condensed, easily digestible version of what is real.

The other day a comic book artist friend of mine presented me this video from the (yes) reality show Shark Tank and said the people presenting their book got really lucky…

After watching this piece, however, I was left with a lot of questions and some really strong doubts about the overall legitimacy of this presentation.

To begin with, it seemed not one of the panelists actually opened and looked at any of the books they were supposedly there to invest in. Further, the sales figures the creators were citing sounded rather… incredible, frankly. I’m not saying it’s impossible to achieve these lofty sales numbers, but as someone with more than a cursory interest in the comic book field, it’s strange I haven’t heard about these people at all and especially given their very strong sales numbers.

Their promo video was ok, I thought, but not all that spectacular (this is, of course, a matter of personal taste and nothing more… I found the promo reel only ok) and yet based on those very few minutes these people presented their ideas they get offered $500,000?!?!

Again, at least in the above clip it seemed no one opened even one of the books. No one read any of the material within any of the books. Yet based on a sizzle promo reel and sales figures which, again, I wonder about, they were willing to drop a half a million dollars on their venture?

I dunno.

I told my friend that I suspected there was more to this story than was presented here. That the hosts had to have been more aware of what this company was doing and, at the least, someone had to have read these books.

Thus, I told my friend, it wouldn’t surprise me if this segment was totally staged, that Kevin Hart and company already had a much more solid idea of what these publishers and their books were like and this segment was more fiction than reality, that a deal was already probably made and this was a summation for the cameras of that deal.

The “story” presented in this segment is a very positive one and one always roots for creators to have success in their ventures, but like too many reality shows, I wonder where the reality actually is.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be back ’round these parts a little bit more in the following days!