Jennifer Lyon

Monday, June 15th, 2015
Advice to Myself & Weekend Roundup

I’m reading a book that uses the term “platonic”wrong. I mean it’s just wrong…like what the characters are doing is the opposite of platonic. I even looked it up in the urban dictionary to see if the word has taken on a new meaning in certain circles. Near as I can tell…nope. Normally this would be a reason for me to DNF (do not finish) the book. But I didn’t, which is pretty amazing because lately, I’ve had zero patience in my very limited reading time. My last couple months have been non-stop rounds of editing on two different books, literally getting hammered by content editors, copy editors, line editors and proofreaders on every single little thing (as is their job–I’m explaining my mindset, not complaining). So much so, that I’ve stopped Wizard in the middle of the story with editorial comments like, “You just used a dangling participle.”

He either ignores me and goes on with his story, or if he’s feeling brave, he’ll reply with something like, “Just checking to see if you’ve learned what a dangling participle is yet.”

“Not funny.”

“Can I finish my story?”

Being magnanimous, I of course, nod for him to go on. And he does, until I stop him again. “There was no subject in that last sentence.”

He sighs dramatically. “Are you sure? Maybe we should ask your editor since she manages to find all your sentences with missing subjects. How many did you have in Caged Magic?” He hands me a glass of wine. “Are you sure you know what a subject is?”

Okay, I’d be pissed and smack him, but I don’t want to spill the wine. So I take the glass and sip it. “Here’s a subject for you — brownies.”

He perks up. “What about them?”

This is just too easy. “I’m not going to have time to make brownies for a very long time.”

His face falls and I enjoy my wine-laced victory.

But my long-winded point is that I’m deep in editing-picking-books-apart-mode. Yet this book has made a couple significant mistakes and I keep reading.


Because the sheer power of the author’s voice mixed with and engaging story keeps me reading! If a book has those elements, a couple mistakes here and there won’t ruin it for most readers.

That’s my advice to myself today :-) It’s time for me to let Caged Magic go and send it to the formatter, but I’m stressing that I’m missing something. I want this story to be good, but at this point, changing one word, or catching one overlooked mistake, won’t save a slow, boring or confusing plot or lackluster characters. Either the book has a compelling story and engaging voice, or it doesn’t.

Now we’ll see if I can actually let it go today!

I had a great weekend. We went to our friends daughter’s wedding and it was lovely!

How was your weekend?


8 comments to “Advice to Myself & Weekend Roundup”

  1. Roz Heiko
    June 15th, 2015 at 6:39 am · Link

    The hardest thing for me right now…let it go. Oy, is that gut wrenching. Yet…so free-ing.
    Thank you for your insight, Jenn.

  2. B.E. Sanderson
    June 15th, 2015 at 7:16 am · Link

    Yep, you have to reach a point where it’s enough. I haven’t had sufficient coffee yet to consider what a dangling participle is and whether I have them scattered throughout my work. I did have a reader contact me about a few boo-boos in Dying Embers. She was really sweet, said she loved the book, and wanted others to love it, too, so she sent me a list. Seven mistakes in 80K words. Not bad. Hubs’ jaw dropped, because he was absolutely sure we’d caught them all. I rolled with it, fixed them, and uploaded the fixed versions to everywhere. You do what you can do and then hope for the best. And hey, with self-publishing, you find a flaw and fix it. Easy peasy.

    So glad you had a great weekend! After spending a couple years doing weddings with my Disk Jockey fiance (at the time :shudder: he’s long gone), going to weddings gives me hives. But I like to know other people are having fun at them. =o)

    I started the edits on Wish in One Hand, received and tweaked the cover for said book, worked on marketing… then went outside and pulled weeds with a vengeance to get away from it all. Read a couple old paperbacks. Watched TV. Typical weekend here at Sanderson Acres.

  3. Silver James
    June 15th, 2015 at 8:12 am · Link

    I feel your pain. But now I’m singing “LET IT GOOOOOOO” a la “Frozen” at the top of my lungs. Thanks but no thanks! I edited/revised 125 pages this weekend and yeah…I also have conflicting reactions to the ending so I’m sort of stalling getting there. Except I REALLY need to get it finished, formatted and uploaded for a pre-order today, tomorrow at the latest, just to be sure.

    We did have a family dinner to celebrate sis-in-law’s b-day. I got to see Stormegeddon and feed him birthday cake so that made being glued to my chair all weekend okay.

    I also started reading NIGHT SHIFT. Don’t ask me why. But TYPOS!!!!! *flail* And I’d just uploaded to print and got approval. They aren’t big owwies but they bug me so I’ll fix and reupload. *headdesk*

    It’s Monday. All day. I must get off the internet and get to work. And Jen? We’re gonna love CAGED so just…

  4. Jenn
    June 15th, 2015 at 11:10 am · Link

    Roz, you said it! Both gut-wrenching and freeing :-)

  5. Jenn
    June 15th, 2015 at 11:13 am · Link

    B.e., I don’t remember any mistakes when I read Dying Embers, but I tend to read fast my brain will automatically fix small errors. But it happens in most books, so you did the right thing by not sweating it. Just fix and move on :-)

    I can imagine you had your fill of weddings after that!

    You had a productive weekend over there at Sanderson Acres (Now I’m going to have that Green Acres theme in my head!)

  6. Jenn
    June 15th, 2015 at 11:18 am · Link

    Silver, I’m going to let it go…later. I’m doing a quick check because I’m wired that way :-)

    And now…I’m going to have TWO songs in my head, the Green Acres theme song and Let It Go. My poor brain!

    Aww…feeding the boy cake!! That makes everything better!

    Ugh on finding the typos AFTER you uploaded. But it happens to all of us.

    I hope so on CM, thanks!!

  7. Viki S.
    June 15th, 2015 at 3:39 pm · Link

    You guys are so much fun. I’m glad you let it go, not to bring up the song again ;).

    So when are you going to cave and make him brownies?

    How was the wedding? Are the shoes comfortable? I hope so because they’re really nice and will look great with the dress.

    As for Green Acres, I call John Oliver all the time ;).

    I hope you’re having a great day :)!

  8. Jenn
    June 15th, 2015 at 5:04 pm · Link

    Viki, poor Wizard deserves brownies. But we had some candy we bought on Friday when we went to lunch, so I’m holding off a bit.

    The shoes worked pretty well all things considered. They wedding was pretty and very sweet. So nice to see our friend’s daughter married and happy.

    I’m going to have a better day now that I’m home from some shopping I had to do — and not the fun kind, just getting necessary stuff for the house :-) Hope you have a great evening!

    LOL on calling him Oliver!

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