Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Review and a Giveaway at "A Tale of Many Reviews"

Not only another review of Hiram Grange & The Chosen One but also a giveaway of a signed copy over at "A Tale of Many Reviews".  All you gotta do is read the review, comment at the end about something the review said about Hiram that appealed to you, and you'll be entered.  As always, one of my favorite little bits:

"The action starts right from the beginning and gets you hooked into the mystery.  It doesn't slow down much from there, only occasionally stopping for the reader to catch their breath before the next event occurs."

As writers we're not supposed to pay too much attention to reviews, (and unfortunately as a newbie I've been gleefully ignoring that rule), but one consistent comment I've been very gratified to receive is about its pacing, because that's something I struggled with very badly at first.

You see, I'd never attempted a novella before. Had always tinkered around with the longer, novel-length manuscripts.  So, my first several drafts of Hiram were way too long, (I won't say HOW long), and included too many unnecessary scenes and plot tangents. 

I've got to give ultimate credit for the pacing over to two folks: Tim Deal of Shroud and one of my former students.   Tim's advice on how to pace a novella - thinking of it in terms as scene cuts in a screenplay - chopped out tons of chaff.  

Also, one of my former students inadvertently influenced me when he entered my classroom  one day commenting on a book he was reading - I forget the title - that had very short chapters.  He remarked that the substance of the story hadn't been sacrificed for speed, because the chapters were short and getting through them so quickly created a "sense of accomplishment" that kept pulling him through.

And then I thought: "Hmm.  Short chapters, you say?"

Anyway. Nice to see another review.  If I remember right, there are only a few these left out there, (one or two that were supposed to go live months ago), and then it'll be time to let Hiram go and move on to something else.  So then I can work on not reading about myself, put my nose to the grindstone and work on other stuff.

Until then, of course...