Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tedious Thursday & the Indie Author

There are a lot of tedious things in life. According to dictionary.com...

te·di·ous

adjective

1. marked by tedium; long and tiresome: tedious tasks; a tedious journey.
2. wordy so as to cause weariness or boredom, as a speaker or writer.
I'm in a spot right now while writing where I know I'm going to have to rewrite big time. While I strive for those pithy comeback, holding tension, and expanding tension sometimes the words in the draft just do not come out the way I want them to. It's BORING! Now you would think with me writing espionage, horror, and suspense this could not happen, but it does. I continue writing because it needs to be done and said. It's a building block to form upon. Most first drafts are horrendous anyhow.
Remember, I'm the lover of the storytelling and words in general, which is why I write in the first place. By the same token, I'm an avid reader. Have you ever read a book and thought, "Oh, come on already. Get past this!" I have. Most of these if the story continues like this, I'll put the book down forever. It is destined for the recycle box. No, not the trash, but donations to seniors at the nearest elder care facility. I never throw away a book...maybe throw it across the room, but never the trash unless it's unreadbly damaged. One man's trash is another man's treasure.
Books are cherished and reread when good in my household which is why I actually have a library and every room in my my house has at least one bookcase. If I want military sci-fi, I'll reread my collection of Bob Mayers' books. For science fiction, it's Jack McDevitt hands down. For Suspense and/or horror, I'll grab a Childs and/or Preston, or Cussler. The list goes on and on. But I digress...
One sure fire way to find the tedious parts of your story is to read it aloud to someone. If they look like this...

You know what you've written is boring. Not only this, but you can hear it as you read. Long descriptive passages or paragraph upon paragraph of one-sided dialogue, or nothing which catches the reader's interest, or even yours. Nothing sparks and only vague attention is paid. Now, if you listener is like this normally, you might want to get another listener.  Pay keen attention to body language: shifting eyes, staring off into space, and shufflling are just some of the indicators of boredom. 

Now, if your listener looks like this...
You can bet they are not just being polite. They are engaged by what you have written. You did something right with the scene or chapter. For me, it's a grimace from my husband as he mentally sees the images my words are portraying in my horror writing. He doesn't like maiming gore.  The eyes are focused on you, they smile, laugh, and nod as you read aloud (whatever is appropriate for the piece). You've got them! They are hooked. Sometimes when you stop reading they look at you with that "Is that all?" look. You know you have gold. Now, if you did this with EVERY sentence you wrote think of the possibilities.
When rewriting or editing words like "Boring," "Too wordy," "Simplify," and "Pump up the tension" are scribbled across the page in big, capital red letters. Huge "X"s are drawn across sections.Yes, I still use colored pens and print out sections even with a computer. All those poor trees! If you, as the writer, feels it is boring or tedious, you can bet your readers will too. Stop that!

Switching hats here. I find marketing and promotion as an indie author tedious at times. It's repetitious and annoying to have to stop writing to tweet and facebook. This is coming from someone with a masters degree in marketing. Options for promotion are limited as an indie. You may try to get your novels and books into regular brick and mortar bookstore, and may even succeed. You have talked with friends and relatives (even friends of a friend of a friend) until you are blue in the face and they have started avoiding you. You join this or that site which offers a promotion avenue like Goodreads, IBC, SheWrites, and a host of others. You do the legwork and it can be exhausting. You've heard, "I'm sorry we don't carry independent authors," so many times you want to scream, but still you continue on. 

Have you found tedium in your writing? How do you fix it?

With all this being said, I'll tell you...

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

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