Midweek #ROW80 Check-In

I am FINISHED with Act 3!   WOO!

Aaaaaand I need to rewrite about half of Act 4.  :headdesk:

But it’s okay!  Because this is going to be much stronger than what I had in the first draft.  I plowed through a scene and a half of the new material yesterday.  Looking over things, I have 8 and a half scenes to go.  I have 8 days until the end of the month.  Three of those scenes just need expansion.  Two of them just require some minor tweaks.  I know exactly what I’m doing with the present and next scene, which just leaves two bridge scenes I need to sort out.  If I really bust ass, I MIGHT finish by the end of the month (minus the dedicated sweeps for stupid).  :turns off phone and hides from world in revision cave:

I’ve got over 40k dumped in my scratchpad, which means I’ve fully rewritten more than 2/3rds of this book.  I’m trying not to cringe at that and to focus, instead, on the fact that while the first draft took 6 months, the second is going to take 2.  If I’m going to be writing multiple drafts, then hopefully I can speed up the first draft process to cut down on the OVERALL production time.

In other news, I’ve picked up an assortment of books from an author who’s been hella successful and super prolific.  I do that sometimes, reading through (or trying) several in order to try and sort out WHY they’re so popular.  The novella I just finished was fairly plotless.  It had a meet cute and sexy times and…that was about it.  The story was predictable, the prose unimpressive, and the hero was basically a chick in a man suit because dudes pretty well NEVER ever talk or act like that.  I started one of this author’s novels last night as well.  It’s better in terms of set up.  Still predictable.  And I’ve already wanted to kosh the hero over the head once in the first chapter.  I conclude that the popularity of this author’s work is a combination of her absolute prodigious output (feed the beast!) and complete wish fulfillment.  She’s hitting on the totally unrealistic fantasies of a majority of women, delivering predictable plots with all the fictional nutrition of a Hershey bar.  It’s book junk food.  And people are eating it up in DROVES, proving that quality and originality are evidently not necessary for a commercially successful career.

It’s the kind of thing we authors often talk about behind the scenes–conversations with bitter tones about why the hell we’re working so hard on our own stuff.  But the truth is that there’s still no secret formula, no guarantee of hitting that nerve with the broader reading public.  There’s plenty of stuff out there that meets these same criteria that never takes off.  So you have to bust your chops and put out the best book you possibly can to give your book baby a fighting chance.  And that’s the end of that.

Yesterday I got tired of not having a working title for the next book.  I’ve just been calling it by the hero and shero’s names, which doesn’t exactly have a ring to it.  So my highly scientific method of coming up with something to call it was to pull up a Squirrel Nut Zippers playlist and see what popped for me (Squirrel Nut Zippers because this next book is very Southern and they always remind me of Dixieland jazz–thank you college boyfriend Adam for introducing me to them).  Lo and behold, after some lyric browsing, one song was perfect.  So the working title of the next book is Anything But Love.  Probably it’ll end up changing but it gives me SOMETHING TO CALL IT.  I didn’t feel right coming up with something totally ludicrous like The Rabid Hamster Apocalypse of DOOOOOOM (which would totally work for me for something paranormal).

I’ve got a conference call to prep for.

2 thoughts on “Midweek #ROW80 Check-In

  1. Hello, Kait. I too will read several novels by an author, trying to figure out what makes her story successful and run through the same monologue/critique. I can’t dismiss all those competing books by saying they had a lotta sex, but I really liked your call on writing to female fantasies and/or escapist fiction for when all is done that’s pretty much what I pick up for those last 20 minutes before falling asleep. Does my own writing fit that niche? No, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing, even if I’ve been hiding in a “revision cave” the last several months. And I really like your new title: Anything for Love. Fits the genre. 🙂 Write on!

  2. Many of my indie friends write better books than some of the popular, traditionally published authors. I hate to even say this, because it’s depressing, but I’m beginning to believe it’s the luck of the draw. Sometimes a few readers will start a buzz that goes viral. That’s the only thing that can explain some of the successes. And maybe a little extra marketing….

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