There’s so much going on when trying to tell a good story. Some things you see, and then about a hundred more things that you don’t see, all working together to, well, make everything all work together. To make the story feel like the smooth, clean, fun rollercoaster ride it’s supposed to be, and not just look like a collection of wooden boards, a cart, and a few obvious loops that you can see from the parking lot.
And to accomplish this feat, I think everything really comes back to one critical thing.
Trust that you, the reader, can just feel safe for an hour or two and just enjoy something that is actually enjoyable. Trust that the hour or two that you’re taking out of your incredibly busy days, and incredibly omnipresent demands, is worth it. And, oh, of course, trust that you haven’t just blown your hard earned money on a couple of assholes who suck at writing.
Good luck with that one.
WORDS ARE THE ENEMY
We pay attention to every word. For every word you read, there’s about 1.3 words on the cutting room floor that didn’t make it.
Words provoke thoughts. Words invoke emotion. Words inspire, enlighten, and inform. Words are powerful. And more often than not, words get in the way of a good story.
Yeah I said it. Words are the enemy.
Or they can be, if you forget your purpose.
Just tell your story.
IN TJ WE TRUST
I don’t know what other authors are doing, but I can tell you, despite it being both Mark and I looking over every scene, every sentence, every word, it’s not perfect. We add in beta readers, and it gets a little better. We use a developmental/story editor and it gets a little better. And then there’s our last line of defense, our omega weapon, our copy editor, TJ Redig.
And yes, we did save the best for last.
TJ is a professional. Everything about him respects you, your work, your time, your vision. And he is good at what he does. Let me amend that. He is a fucking god at what he does.
He’s ruthless with his cuts – superfluous language, clarity, grammar, awkward writing, you name it. And he attacks, and yes it is like a full on planetary assault, our work with a singular mission – get to the core story, and cut everything else that will get in the way.
If this sounds a little scary for you writers out there, let me say when I say “ruthless” I should say that all his comments are merely suggestions, and he can custom his level to your needs, but…
You know what? Fuck it.
Be scared. Use him.
He will make your writing better.
He will make your story better.
If you are serious about quality, you will find no finer an editor than TJ Redig.
WORD COUNT TESTIMONIAL
In terms of a testimonial, I will put forward the word counts of our first two novellas, which chronicles our journey from bloated and bogged down storytelling to clean, amazing goodness.
24171 – 1st draft complete
23861 – before beta readers
20992 – before vikki (dev edits)
20365 – before tj redig
17910 – the final
19996 – 1st draft complete
18832 – before beta readers
17872 – before tj redig
16757 – the final
One of the many great (and scary!) things about self-publishing has been the power to control everything. Not to do everything, mind you, but to have final say over every part of the experience. And I choose that word carefully. It’s the final experience we cannot wait to share with you. It’s not just the story. It’s the cover, the layout, the inner formatting, the website, everything.
We got to choose everything. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but you know it’s from us. We chose it. We thought it was important. To the experience. To the story. To you.
Trust is something that is earned.
And that’s what I love about it.
Because I think trust is the only thing worth earning.
Well, that, and rent.
Stay tuned. Stay frosty.