Everyone Desperately needs a Dan


So after I published the The Fall of House Nemeni as I was awaiting feedback one of the readers kept sending me notes.  They included what he liked, but also included the points that were confusing, or he felt defused tension to early, etc.  Ie they were an honest critique not of the copy/line editing variety but of a how the readers see and comprehend the story.

When I knew I would make a revision of the story to help pare down the typos/grammar issues I realized I had an opportunity to make the story tighter too.  He was the first one that made me realize Chapter 3 had to go, and other various small issues were cleared up or made more hidden depending upon the topic.  If you bought the book after June 30th, this is the version of the book you have, and I am still working with amazon to make the newer revision available for readers who bought the earlier edition of the book.  You can definitely thank Dan G. for the tighter version of the book (this is not the Dan thanked in the book), without whom those changes would not have happened.

I think every self-published writer needs a Dan.  I know this is one function of  editors, but most self-published authors are lucky to have grammar nazi friends copy/line edit for them.  Most of the time if it’s a friend or relative they are not going to tell you, “Seriously, get rid of that entire chapter” or “WTF happened here?”  As an author, if they did and they were a non-writing friend you would be likely to ignore that anyway, since it’s your book.  If you did take the advice you would probably take it in the form that changes your book the least.  It’s important to have that person who is not only going to tell it like they see it, but then back it up with a logical reason or why they think it makes things better and not just a vague “I don’t like it.”

At the same time, you do not have to follow everything they say either.  They are not writing the book, they are not the “editor” who decides if it gets published.  There will be times that your style, and how you choose to frame the narrative will be different than their preferences.  In that case as a self-published writer you need to go with your vision of what the book needs to be over any one specific reader.  At the same time it’s great to have that one constant voice questioning what you are doing so you can make it stronger.

I am around the 30% mark or so on the second Allmother’s Fire book, and just handed it to Dan before the copy and line editing are started on that. It would be such a waste for those poor editors to make it be grammatically correct and then I re-write the whole chapter.  As for the name of that second book of the Allmother’s Fire, I’m almost definite now it will be Rise From the Sun Below.  More than a few people who did not answer the poll told me that was their preference (of course I prefer if people record things in the polls it makes it easier for me : ) )

Speaking of book names, time for today’s Poll!

This is meant to be the final naming Poll for the new epic novel, formerly known as Nimoa.  I have pared it down to two choices, one the top poll pick from the large list, and the other a really great sounding suggestion given.

The New Epic Novel Fantasy Thriller should be called:

1)The Labyrinth Conspiracy

2)Mandatory Paradise

Upcoming on the blog this month you should be seeing an interview with one of the other Genre Underground writers, some world information about the new Epic, and the typical posts about writing and e-publishing.

For today’s world info we will stick with the Allmother’s Fire series.

An interesting tid bit is although their main religion has a God like analogue with the Allmother, there is definitely no specific Satan like analogue, even though much of this church is similar to the Catholic church.  There are said to be a race of creature’s called the “Firesouls” however that come up from the Sun Below.  They are said to be able to either burn people or even take over their body and souls if they are not blessed by the Allmother.

The best way to be free of the influence of the Firesouls so to go to the Questionary weekly.  This means not only sing the songs and the formal worship, but then later be with a Priestess inside a Questionary and admit your sins before the Allmother.  You are then anointed with the sacred oil and drinking her holy drink made of specific herbs that only the Priestess’ know of, and then the Firesouls will not be able to reach into your heart and soul, at least for a little while.

It is grumbled by some that this means the Church has an inordinate amount of power, since it knows everyone secrets. The Church  always responds it will never use that power lightly, and only cares about saving the souls of everyone on all the Islands.

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About mdkenning

E-book clockpunk fantasy author View all posts by mdkenning

4 responses to “Everyone Desperately needs a Dan

  • Andrew Toynbee

    When I found that a work colleague’s wife had a degree in English, was a former editor and read fantasy and romance novels constantly, I hedged that maybe she might sort of be interested in having a little look at my novel. She seemed delighted and promised to read it upon completion of her current vampire novel.
    So I duly forwarded the completed manuscript to – let’s call her Elaine – with high hopes.
    As I waited with baited breath, the colleague changed jobs, moved on but we kept in touch, discussing various subjects. I never quite dared to ask the question that was aching to explode past my lips; ‘has she read it yet?’
    Six months later, I cracked and politely enquired, mopping my fevered brow and subtly wiping the tears from my eyes.
    ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘I’ll ask her.
    A few days later he told me that she’d read some of it, but thought there might be ‘too much dialogue’.
    That was it.
    Six Months.
    Former editor.
    English Degree.
    Fan of the genre.
    Nuts.

    Does Dan have a brother?

    • mdkenning

      Wow, that really is a let down. I think that is one of the tougher things as a writer. We our everything into the novel, and then it sometimes seems impossible to get that feedback, good or bad! I have absolutely no idea if Dan has a brother, but I am glad he found things to both like and dislike!

    • Dan G.

      While I do have a brother, he doesn’t read much. Unless it’s Non-Fiction. Which, truly, I’ve never really understood.

      However, I work cheap. 🙂

  • amkenning

    my title made it to the poll? woot. 😀

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