Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Red Ink

Well, the MS in chugging along nicely. I'm about a 1/3 of the way through now and sitting on close to 27,000 words. I'm really pleased with how it's going.

Sue came round today and read most of it. She was engrossed (mostly) while I sat there trying not to chew my nails to the quick. It is totally different to anything I have ever written before - fast paced, mythical adventure. She loved it which was really exciting.

But I'm tired after writing really hard out for two days so I haven't added to it today, instead I've noted the next steps of the journey so I know exactly where they (the characters) are going and what is going to happen at each stage. I can relax now. I know what is going to happen next.

In other news, my dear husband managed to get our printer (which never seems to want to go when I ask it at the mo) to spit out the first five chapters of my Princess MS. This afternoon I got out my inky red pen (my editorial scalpel) and began slicing ugly "over written" and "authorial" type bits out of it. I'm having a blast! It felt so good.

I think my kids thought I was slightly nuts as I shouted; "Got ya." "Oh, that's terrible!" "I can't believe that was in there!" "How could I have missed that?" and other such things as I wielded my pen like a sword, slashing wildly at the page.

Still it amazes me that I've edited this MS no less that 10 x and still it needs so much work.
It is awful!!!!

Well, it's not that bad - but really how do we miss so much?

I can happily say I have learned so much (hat tip to Nicola Morgan and Natalie Whipple for their wonderful blogs) and my writing has improved phenomenally - the spelling not so much - over the last few years and in leaps and bounds over the last 6 months, if I do say so myself. Now I'm SEEING much more clearly when it comes to tightening up my work and cutting out the fat.

The improvement is quite evident when I compare my two MSs.

PRINCESS OF THE PIGSTY (historical fiction) is quite pudgy and warm and cozy (and "over written"!), where my YA fantasy is trim, sharp and fast paced.

I always loved Jane Austen's books. Jane Eyre and The Scarlett Pimpernel and Anne of Greengables were among my favourite books and my voice echoed this older style of writing. Of course, it is harder to sell the more literary, lovely wordy prose these days.
My Princess MS feels a little like these.
My YA is nothing like this!

It's an interesting experience to be a writer of two such contrasting pieces of fiction. Apparently, so I've read, this isn't an uncommon experience in new writers trying to find their voice.

So now what I am wondering is, do I want to submit PRINCESS OF THE PIGSTY to be published first? Is this the book I want to build my brand on? Is this how I want to "come out"?
I'm not sure. Perhaps I should let my YA fantasy lead the way.

Advice anyone?

Have you ever change genre or writing style? Tell us about it.

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