Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's in the details

This week has been all about the details. For me, both as a writer and a reader, details are important. When I was writing my Finding Anna Series, I spent eight hours via Skype with a Dom going over a single conversation. It was a pivotal point in the story and it needed to be done just right, so for me the time spent was worth it. I also spent countless hours over the course of the series sending emails back and forth trying to get it right.

Currently I'm working on the first book in my new Serpent's Kiss Series. The hero of this book is a firefighter with the St. Louis Fire Department. Sure I could have made the character a generic firefighter and not cared about the details, but that's not my style. But making sure everything gels with the SLFD has taken a considerable amount of time.

Some of the obstacles I've encountered have been finding out that the SLFD doesn't have lieutenants. Another big issue I discovered was that they work on a nine day rotation. While at the onset that might not sound all that difficult, but the reality has been rather challenging. I have to keep a calendar with my character's work schedule so that I know when writing a scene whether or not he's working or off that day.

Although I know not every author does this, it's always been important to me, even before I began writing. One can usually tell when an author has made the extra effort. This applies both to content as well as editing. Unfortunately this takes time, effort, and also money.

Speeding through the process means things are more likely to get missed. I've read books where the hero or heroine's name has been misspelled, or even listed as an entirely different character not in the scene. And this doesn't only happen with indie novels. I've seen it happen plenty of times in books published by the bigger publishers as well. It doesn't matter the who behind it. What matters is that the time and attention that's needed is given.

Let's be honest. Publishing takes money. How much money varies, but both covers and editors...good ones anyway...don't typically work for free. They are the extra set of eyes that can make an authors words the best they can be.

All of this comes down to details. Details in research. Details in content. Details in editing.

How much value to you place on the details? As a reader, do details in a book matter to you? Do you care if a heroine's hair color changes halfway through the book? Does good or bad editing effect your enjoyment of the story?

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