Wednesday, January 6, 2021

IWSG: To Correct and Serve!


Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for the New Year is: Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?

Like most writers, I’m a bookaholic! My TBR list is longer than the days I have left to read (and that’s a long, long time!). I read everything across the board: Thrillers, regencies, YAs, best sellers, romances, mysteries, westerns/historicals, even cereal boxes! As a writer, I’m just finishing the first draft of what will be my 71st published (hopefully!)book. I’m a frequent volunteer to judge published and unpublished contests (please don’t immediately contact me to judge – I am writing!). I find nothing sexier than a well-crafted paragraph (except maybe that Duke in Bridgerton!).

As a reader and a writer, I used to feel it was my obligation to finish what I started, both with manuscripts and with books I started reading. I’d make excuses: It’ll get better, I paid good money for it, someone thought it was good enough to publish so it must be! But when I started working fulltime once my boys were in higher grades, my time grew more valuable and wasting it on something I didn’t enjoy was something I could no longer afford.

My biggest pet peeve: Books that aren’t properly edited. Even the best story can go into my DNF pile if I’m continually pulled out of it by poor grammar, bad formatting, continual typos, and WTFudge! moves by the characters. BETA readers and a professional editor are the final polish ANY manuscript needs before going into the eager hands of readers. 


Of course even the best book can have errors that are out of the author’s hands. Example – my FIRST book on one of the first pages had the word “shirt” with the “r” left out if it! Mind you, this was through a NY publisher!

Throwing an unprepared, unvetted book out into the hands of the public is the biggest mistake an author can make, because once burned, even the most voracious reader is unlikely to return for seconds. And that next great book is what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? 


Hope all my IWSG friends are enjoying a less stressful New Year both on the home front and at the keyboard!!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the January 6th posting of the IWSG will be Ronel Janse van Vuuren, J Lenni Dorner, Gwen GardnerSandra Cox, and Louise - Fundy Blue!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

15 comments:

  1. Shirt without the r - now that's funny.
    I no longer feel obligated to finish a book. Time is too precious.
    The next IWSG Anthology Contest might interest you...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I used to feel obligated to finish a book too but not anymore. I put it down if it doesn't grab me by page 50. That's awesome that you're getting ready to publish another book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a ways off yet but yes, feeling the awesomeness!

      Delete
  3. Your 71st? WOW! Can't wait to read it. Love the grammar police graphic. LOL Happy New Year and best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really enjoying working on it!! 2021 called for a change of pace.

      Delete
  4. Wow, Nancy. 71. Did you starting writing when you were two? Heh.
    I hate writing errors, especially when they are mine:)
    Love the meme. Purrfect.
    Wishing you much success on your latest and a wonderful-writing 2021.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! When I had a baby and preschooler at home! Man, talk about being forced to use discipline in your writing time!

      Delete
    2. You were/are a brave, brave woman:)

      Delete
  5. No shirt?! LOL.

    I agree that bad editing and typos will cause me to put down a book. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I had it repubbed I almost kept that original error just for nostalgia sake.

      Delete
  6. I love your spirit, Nancy! I plan to live a long time too, partly because my TBR stack threatens to collapse my bedroom floor. And I read cereal boxes in French when I'm desperate (like when I'm on a trip home and finish the books I packed too soon). Did I read seventy-first book? You are amazing. Wishing you lots of productive writing in 2021!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Books are part of the architecture of my living spaces!

      Delete
  7. Wow! 71 books? Impressive. I'm going to check these out. Yes, I'm with you on books that hit the DNF pile. I find it more easy to let some stories go, though sometimes I'm disappointed because I really, really wanted that story to sing. Good advice for writers woven throughout! Have a very good 2021.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even worse than setting it aside is struggling to the very end to discover it never got any better! I have found a few worth the initial reluctance that turned into good reads.

      Delete