Growing as an author

Salryc's Search

In 2013, I wrote the first three books of the Rise of the Iliri series.  Since thing, I’ve managed to churn out a few more in various states of completion.  It helped me grow as an author, and I’ve learned a lot.  Going back to edit some of my early work  (Like the third iliri book) I can clearly see just how much!

I think this book only has a handful of sentences that haven’t been improved.  Words were cut, words were added, and characters were made more realistic.  For me, writing romances allows me to delve into characterization (because that’s such a huge aspect of the genre) and I try to bring that into my science fiction/fantasy works.  I’ve also learned to read my work out loud.  (Seriously, if you’re an author, just do it.  Preferably with someone listening!  First off, it’s a fun way to share your book.  Secondly, it makes you hyper aware of how stiff and cliche some lines are.)

But while I’ve improved so many aspects of my writing, I still have far to go.  One of the things that keeps coming up is the world building.  My preference as a reader is to have a vague outline of the book’s universe.  Something I can fill in with my own mind.  From the comments and questions my readers send in, though, I get the feeling most people want more.  So I’m trying.  It’s a precarious line to walk.

fantasy-snow-scene-wallpaperOn one hand, nothing is more tedious to read than page after page of description.  Does it really matter what color the curtains are?  Who cares that the guy in the third row has blue eyes?  Is the hero sexier if I describe every single line on his body, or is a roman nose not as beautiful to you as it is to me?

On the other, my readers are curious.  Granted, in Rise of the Iliri, I can’t give it all away.  Sorry, folks.  Some of your questions will be answered in time, but that time is not now.  Yes, there are deer, bear, and dogs.  No, this planet is not earth.  Why can’t I explain this clearly?  Because the narrators (usually Sal) don’t know.  Often, they don’t even know to ask.  So giving some “basic” information would be breaking the fourth wall – and ruin a few plot lines.

But, I’m trying to paint a more vivid picture without killing the magic of mystery.  I think I’m finally to the stage in my craft where I can try this without making it into a complete travesty.  I think that a bit of detail can bring the world alive while maintaining the pace of the story.  Keyword: bit.

wall paperSo wish me luck.  Writing second world fantasy (with a strong science twist) is very different from contemporary romance.  It’s nothing at all like paranormal fantasy.  I hope to hone my skills in all of those genres, as well as science fiction.  My goal is to make each successive series of novels better than the last.

And while FLAWED is due out in just a few more days, Iliri 3 is expected to be ready in July.  I’m slowly sliding down my release schedule, but I am hoping that my readers understand.  A book a month was optimistic at best, and so far I’ve technically kept up.  I can’t promise to do this forever, but I want to make it through the year.  I figure this is like deep immersion training as an author.

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