(The picture on the left? It's supposed to snow tonight. Then snow some more tomorrow. We're tired of snow.)
Following last week’s blog, we received a couple of emails – y’know, you don’t have to write, it’s okay to use the Comments Section on this thing – and we scored about 50/50 in that limited response. One person agreed with us and, we’re pleased to say, she’s absolutely right to do so. The other person disagreed just in general, believing Robert Heinlein > Renée Harrell, and also believing that only weak writers do a rewrite of their work. Arguing that speed triumphs persnickety-ism and leaves the material fresh and exciting. In so many words, the Other Person told us, it’s better to get your work out in the marketplace and fast, rather than spend hours doing rewrites and editorial changes. More product = more sales and more sales = more royalties.
Continuing to follow that line of reasoning, more royalties = a bigger bank account,
a bigger bank account = financial opportunities never before explored,
financial opportunities never before explored = an appointment with the plastic surgeon,
plastic surgery = no more wrinkles,
no more wrinkles = younger boyfriend,
younger, hot, loves-you-only-for-your-royalties fab-tastic boyfriend = no more sour-faced Harrell in the morning,
no more sour-faced Harrell in the morning = well, nothing good for Harrell, I’ll tell you that.
We responded that quality will out (Harrell was stating this vehemently), but our new friend had a compelling argument against our theory. O.P. directed us toward another writer, one that produces a new 300-page novel about eight times a year. We're lucky to put out one piece a year.
So we scurried over to the writer’s blogsite (which is very nicely laid out, and much more interesting than what we offer here – so, fat chance we’ll give you a link) and, yes, this guy is doing well. In terms of sales, every single one of his novels is ranked above anything we have on Amazon. Looking at his publication dates, and reading his comments, he’s popping out a new manuscript every six weeks or so.
He’s doing well and one of us is jealous. (No, not that one. The other one.) Since our new literary hero had recently put out a new book – great covers, too, did we mention this? – we downloaded a sample. The first chapter wasn’t bad. It had a great hook, the characterization was interesting, the dialogue...okay, so maybe it wasn’t all perfect. The dialogue went along something like this:
Detective Oates turned to look at me. “I don’t care what you think. You’re not safe.”
“I have a gun,” I told him.
“And you think that will help? A gun? This creature can’t be stopped by bullets.”
“What do you mean, this creature?”
“It’s not human.”
“Bullets bounce off of it. It’s skin is like metal.”
“And it’s super fast. Super strong.”
“And it lives on blood. Human blood.”
I felt faint. “Human blood?”
“And it’s name is Joey Joe-Joe Junior Shabadoo.....”
The name thing? Not in there at all. Damn, we used to love The Simpsons.
But, in our brief view of the master’s manuscript, we couldn't ignore the long stretch of dialogue where the lead character tended to repeat whatever was said to him. It went on for almost two Kindle pages, which probably equals one full page of a paperback book. After a very short while, this became distracting. Throughout the sample, we also found many too many sentences starting with “And”...as in, And this is a first draft and I don’t have time to get this thing edited.
Still, there’s no arguing with Amazon rankings. (Or reviews. The people that like this kind of thing, really like it. Or hate it: the one-star reviews seemed astonished that anyone else was on board this train.) Clearly, if we want to be mega bucks successful, we need a new approach to our writing.
We're just trying to decide if the mega bucks would be worth it.