Book Release, NaNoWriMo, and Critique

Forgive the late blog post, between trying to get Dragon’s Teeth on the shelves and losing power on the storm that the media is nicknaming “Snowtober” we’ve been running a little busy over in the world of Divertir!

The first thing I’m going to mention is that our second novel is available for purchase from http://www.divertirpublishing.com, amazon.com, Barns and Noble, and many other venues. It’s a fantastic novel that I’m extremely excited to be sharing with all of you. Here’s the back cover blurb:

You can never outrun your past…

After years of war ravage the globe and decimate humanity, civilization is revitalized in the city of New Arcadia, a cybernetic playground where longevity treatments promise near immortality. Detective Cyrus, fond of fedoras and narcotics, is hired by Benji MacDowell, heir-apparent to an eugenics empire, to find MacDowell’s long-lost biological father. Employing his network of shady contacts within the underbelly of the city, Cyrus uncovers a murderous web of corporate corruption and political conspiracy with ties to the old Order, a tyrannical organization whose sole intent was perfecting the next generation of genetically engineered soldiers.

Now Cyrus knows too much and finds himself caught in the cross-hairs of super-soldier assassins while the dark secrets of his past snap at his heels, forcing him to confront the truth he’s been running from… and discover his own terrifying purpose.

The novel is a futuristic mystery that’s rife with pulse-pounding excitement and a hard-hitting emotional punch. Suzanne van Rooyen, the author, has been a wonderful partner through all of this and her writing is just superb. I suggest you all check out her website, http://suzannevanrooyen.com , and then head on over to http://www.divertirpublishing.com to pick up your copy today! You won’t regret it.

***

I’ve decided to quasi-participate in NaNoWriMo. By quasi, I mean I’ll write as much as possible given my usual crazy, but I can’t promise a novel will be finished. Hopefully, though, this’ll slaughter the writer’s block I’ve been facing. I know that NaNoWriMo can work – Dragon’s Teeth is actually a NaNoWriMo book – but my problem has been that I’ve run into kinks in the plot that need fixing and I’ve run out of ideas how.

That said, I know that after I finish writing this book, if I finish it in November, it’ll need a lot of work. While I definitely believe it is possible to put 50k words to paper in that time frame, the question becomes whether they’re 50k words worth keeping. If nothing else, they’ll need serious editing. But even if they do, I’d like to get things to paper because I haven’t written anything worthwhile in almost a year and that’s become a problem for me.

I guess the upside is that it’ll get me motivated to write again – being an editor has had me focused on other people’s writing rather than my own (not a bad thing!) and has kind of gotten me stuck in the process. I just need to get it going again and then, maybe, I’ll be able to get things flowing more fluidly.

I definitely hope so!

***

The last segment I have for this evening is regarding critique. It seems that a lot of people either don’t know what critique is, or mistake critique and editing. Critique asks questions (What did you mean here? What were you thinking? Why are there aliens?!) whereas editing starts involving grammar. If you know the various types of editing (developmental, substantive, mechanical) then consider the critique to be a developmental “edit”. You address themes, large problems, plot holes, etc. – leave word choice and grammar out of it.

However, what a critique is, isn’t the only problem. I’ve encountered many writers that are hugely defensive of their work and even when they ask for a critique they don’t really want one. While I can understand and respect a writer’s attachment to their baby, it’s a good idea to keep your mind open. You don’t have to agree with what people are saying. Not at all. You don’t have to like it, either. But that said I think the key is to take it all with a grain of salt. Be polite, be respectful, be professional about it. It’s kind of a smile and nod and then do what you want kind of situation.

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