Royal(ty) advice

December 5, 2009 at 18:32 (1)

Edited some more of the first Mr Crepsley book today. I also started writing a fresh chapter, near the end, in response to a query my editor raised. I don’t normally like adding new material at this stage of the editing process (I’m on the 6th draft), but when it needs to be done, there’s no point griping — you just have to stick your head down and get on with it. I’d left out a very important plot arc, which was important not just to this series, but to The Saga of Darren Shan as well, explaining why Mr Crepsley was still so concerned about the people in his home city by the time of Tunnels of Blood. It wasn’t something I’d thought about a lot when writing these books, as it didn’t seem crucial to what was going on here, but my editor caught it, pointed it out, and when I thought about it a bit, I realised she was right — an explanation WAS required. So I’ve come up with one and now all that remains is to write the scene — which is the easy part. The ideas are always the hardest part of the writing process — once you know what you need to do with a story, and have the experience to do it, it’s a breeze. The difficulties set in when you don’t know where to go with a story, or if you’ve taken it somewhere but it isn’t working. A little knowledge might be a dangerous thing in most areas of life, but in books it’s the key to moving forward and knocking a story into shape. You get an idea, you work on it, you see where it takes you, you think about what you have, get a few new ideas, play around with them, and so on.

Now — moving away from ideas to a more practical part of a writer’s lot… Although I advise young writers to focus on the quality of their work first and foremost, since your primary goal as an author should be to write the best stories you can, I know that lots of you wonder about the actual money-making process and how it all works. My best advice, as always, is to read The Writers and Artists Yearbook or Writers Market. They contain all the practical advice you will ever need, and go into the specifics of all those sorts of queries. But a fan called Jenny (hi, Jenny!!!!) sent me a link to a writer’s site in which he discusses how royalty payments work, and it’s pretty well laid out and explained. So if you’re a wannabe writer, or just curious about how people like me get paid, CLICK HERE and read on.

1 Comment

  1. Robbie said,

    Great blog there Darren Shan. Look forward to seeing why Mister Crepsley cared about that city in the novel and manga of Tunnels Of Blood. Please keep up what I view as good work by writing more soon please!!!

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