Uh, hello, editors? . . .

And I thought I was terrible at revising my work. Now I feel a little bit of delight as well as utter fear.

What might be the single most scary thing for a published author I wonder? Maybe that nobody likes the book. Or worse, maybe nobody is even interested in the book. That wouldn't be good.

I can't speak for any other aspiring authors, but I want the sales. I want the enjoyment people get from my stories. I want that mysterious number you need to hit before your book can be a national bestseller, whatever that means.

Here's another one. How about reading your newly published novel and finding not one mistake, but several. I would be mortified if I ever saw this in one of my novels.

But now I'm wondering how picky can editors and publishers really be when sifting through the thousands of potential novels that pass by their desks. Of course you do need a good story. Obviously you can't blame the author for having a misprint published, that's the editors and/or the publishers job isn't it?

So I just recently came across this very thing. I started reading a very popular book series that is eventually being made into a movie, with the fourth book about to be released this August. I found several misprinted passages during the last few chapters - at the climax. In a published book. A massively successful published book that is currently part of a huge best-selling series.

I guess we can all take a small bit of comfort in knowing that the pros do make mistakes as well. Too bad it makes the authors look like hacks, but what can you do. The author of the above best-selling series is millionaire so I don't think she cares too much. Still, it hurts the pride a bit I'm sure.

Stay tuned next week. I'll go through my top 5 requirements for writing a novel. It's really what helped me get off my butt and finally get at it! See you then.



I'm just like Tolkien, Hemingway, and King...

. . . Well maybe not quite. But at least I've found out that my writing brothers and I are not so different after all.

Last week I attended the 87th annual CAA Writers Conference in Edmonton. It was definitely a pleasant eye opener for me. Going into it I was feeling very intimidated and also a little worried. From some of the focus activities and lectures that were going to be presented and from some pictures posted on their website from previous conferences, I thought #1, I was going to be the pathetic wannabe in the group, and #2, I was going to be the only male attending.

Well luckily I wasn't the greenest one there and thankfully I was one of seven guys who attended. Hey, being outnumbered 30:1, women to men, really isn't that terrible to deal with.

What really resonated the most in me, was that all writers are, or have been scared at some point. One way or another everyone of us - aspiring or not - have had doubts and fears and questioned our abilities and at some point were afraid of even writing at all, because of baseless worries that our stories wouldn't be good enough.

I should probably amend my title above, as I haven't actually spoken to Tolkien, Hemingway, or King lately to confirm whether or not they indeed felt this way. The conference was a Canadian conference and only focused on well known Canadian authors. But I would have to assume that all authors around the world must have - at some point - had many doubts of some kind.

So what did I get out of the conference in the end? I guess it would be to 'Just Write'. If it's something you want to do or explore, then you have to start somewhere. The keynote speaker - who himself has had 14 of his books published - said he knew several friends that were much better writers than he, who were bankers and dentists and teachers, but who never had anything published. Why? Because they never had the courage to put their ideas down on paper. Period.

So let's not worry so much and just write, okay. What's the worst that can happen? Well, not having anyone like our stories I guess, but don't think about that! If you love them and your family loves them, then your golden.

And to the comment regarding my little excerpt from my story I recently posted, no it was not based on a personal experience. It's all imagination. I hope I never experience anything like that ever. The cool thing is what appears to have happened to the boy isn't exactly what has really happened. Maybe you'll get another piece of the puzzle later. Maybe.