The Joys Of Being Dyslexic…

My particular form of dyslexia manifests itself in transpositions, combining words from two different sentences, and occasionally missing important bits of sentences.

For instance, I may go read the excerpt for I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills and miss two words and one of the commas setting off the appositive in the opening sentence and nearly call someone in the middle of the night.

What I initially read:

BROTHER EZEKIEL Frost surveyed the knot of new journeymen awaiting assignment with a decided lack of enthusiasm, which of them was to be his new assistant.

I decided I would reread it very slowly and carefully to make sure that I had my facts straight before I went off to calmly scream at someone about it.

What it actually said:

BROTHER EZEKIEL Frost surveyed the knot of new journeymen awaiting assignment and wondered, with a decided lack of enthusiasm, which of them was to be his new assistant.

Needless to say, I was utterly relieved to discover that it was just me not paying attention and not some sort of bizarre error in the actual manuscript.

By the way, it’s November third. That means you can get your copy of ILUMETTH now! Also, I’ll be hanging out at Dreamspinner’s blog from 11 AM to 9 PM Eastern, talking about some of the stuff that went into the making of the story.

The Sequence Alt I M Is Your Best Friend While Editing.

So DSP has this editing policy: absolutely no in-line comments. All comments are to be made using the ‘insert comment’ feature of Word. I was happy enough to comply, since it was less confusing for me all the way around… But the report of Anthony Horowitz’s in-line comments getting published in some ARCs highlights just why DSP makes that demand.

I work hard to make sure that my editors and I aren’t at odds, so I doubt that having my/our comments would really be all that exciting, but I’m just as glad that the issue is unlikely to arise.

Pot Luck 4: Edits, Sequels, Books

Edits: The master document for First Flight is in the DONE pile. All I need now is cover art and a release date and I’m set.

Sequels: For the first time ever, I have a plot and a title for the next Chris-and-Jesse story. I’m trying very, very diligently NOT to work on it before the start of November. I have no idea if I’ll manage any NaNo writing this year, but I’m going to try — even if it means locking myself in my room.

Books: All I wanted to do was buy some books. Thanks to random passwords that I can never remember and a lack of PayPal, I wasn’t able to buy them from the publisher’s site — but I managed to get them through All Romance eBooks. I even earned myself a free book, thanks to their ‘buy ten titles, get one free’ promo; on top of that, I had about $7 in ebook-bucks, so I ended up with even more books than I intended to get. (And my to-buy pile is STILL huge. Sigh.)

Dear Companies: you exist to make money. When you sell something I want (like books full of Awesome Story, written by people I know and/or am a fan of), you make it easy for me to want to give you money. The second half of that equation is, of course, making it easy for me to give you that money. Making it easy for money to flow from me to you nets you a profit, which you can then share with the people who will then write you more Awesome Stories, which in turn brings me back to give you more money. It’s truly a win-win-win all the way around. When you make it difficult for me to give you money, it makes me crabby and less likely to sing your praises. This is not good, to put it mildly.

Please make it easy for me to give you money,

love,

Connor W., book fiend

What do you mean, “That’s not what we meant”?

Why saying what you mean is vital.

So I was poking around on the Kohl’s website and ended up at the Homecoming landing page. In addition to the rather…interesting…photoshop job on the girls at the top of the picture, the bottom of the page presented me with the above. It says “Shop teen guys”, and there’s a picture of a Timberlake-esque blond guy who looks like he’s about 24 (but I’m terrible with estimating ages; I have no idea how old he actually is).

When writing ad copy, it’s vitally important to eliminate as much ambiguity as possible, as well as to say what you mean. Yes, most people will properly add “clothing” to ‘Shop teen guys’; but the rest of us smartasses are making jokes about complaining that they don’t carry the dude we’re looking for.

Semicolons!

And ellipses. This time around, I have too many semicolons — and in some instances, they actually are superfluous. Instead of having too many ellipses, there have been instances in which ellipses have been added.

So far, this round of edits is pretty interesting.

It’s like Christmas, only nerve-wracking.

Got the first round of edits back on First Flight. I downloaded them, but I haven’t opened the doc, yet — I’m waiting for my nerves to settle.

I’ve done this before, so I know it’s going to be fine. I’ve probably already fixed a fair amount of stuff that’s going to get flagged, too. (I may have even removed some of the ellipses that I didn’t get rid of the first time around, heh.)

Okay. Deep breaths and a pointy stick, to prod Small Mind back into its cave.

Note To Self:

Remember that one of the subgenres that you write in often has capitalization quirks. Running a search-and-replace on the commonly-capitalized word(s) before submitting your story will make your future editor(s)–and by extension, you–much, much happier.

Also, remember that just because you think something is clear as the contents of your average bottle of Gerolsteiner doesn’t mean someone else won’t find it clear as mud. (Or: your writing: clear it ain’t. Watch your turns of phrase for opacity.)

Also also, writing Arthur Knox apparently affects the rest of your life, given the above. Oops.

Reviews and reactions

This is all inspired by the rather spectacular self-immolation of one Jacqueline Howett, who objected to a two-star review of The Greek Seaman. It’s too bad, too, since the premise sounds interesting.

I don’t have too many reviews of my work floating around. There are basically two for Aduniad, written under the pen-name of Celyn Lleuad*, and one for Totally Choice. All of the reviews for Aduniad can be found at Amazon; Goodreads has the review of Totally Choice.

I have to admit that I was kind of disappointed by the reviews of Aduniad. On the other hand, I can see exactly what the reviewers mean, when they say that it’s too talky, confusing, unarousing, and focuses too much on the buildup rather than the sex. That’s all my fault, though — Max and Trev’s first foray into domination is full of dailogue, and the actual penetrative sex is limited to about two and a half paragraphs. Do I blame the people who read it for not “getting” the genius that is Max and Trev? No.

I don’t blame them because I took a chance when I submitted Aduniad. D/s isn’t everyone’s cuppa. Neither is spanking, the word ‘slut’, or the three of them in conjunction. I know that, and if a reviewer doesn’t like it because they’re not into kink (or whatever), then it doesn’t bother me. I also know that not everyone is going to automatically adore Max and Trev, or even see them/their relationship in the same way I do.

I took away a couple of important points from those reviews, though. One of them is that Aduniad isn’t a good introduction to Max and Trev’s relationship. There’s too much talk, too, and not enough action; there’s a difference between ‘buildup’ and ‘foreplay’ for some people. These are all good things to know (and I’m not being sarcastic, just so we’re clear on that point).

I’m sure that there will be people who will be annoyed and disappointed by Tobias’ Own, too, and will tell the world about it. When that happens, I hope I’ll be able to learn something from what they have to say and take it with me to the next story I write.

* It’s Welsh. No, I don’t know what I was thinking, either.

Win some, lose some.

The edits went pretty well, despite the fact that I completely overreacted all over anyone that would hold still long enough. Now I’m just waiting to see the second round.

Also, I got a note back on Steady: thanks, but no. It didn’t say one way or the other if it was Phil’s voice that led to the rejection, or if they had waaaaay too many stories just like it. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was why, really– It’s the easiest first-time scenario, after all. Now I regret not writing The First Time Jesse Swanson Turned Into A Bird…

Taking deep breaths still makes me cough.

I just got my first edit of Tobias’ Own back. I haven’t even looked at it, yet. They want it back by Friday, so I have to open it up…

I can’t think of anything pithy/cute/smirk-inducing to say about how it’s my first time with a new editor. *Girds loins* Okay, here I go, off to see how my story can be bettered.