Pet Peeves of an Author

I’ve been tagged by the lovely Debbie McGowan to write about what peeves me in my writing adventures. First, if you haven’t read any of Debbie’s work, grab one/several of her books immediately. I can highly recommend When Skies Have Fallen and also the Seeds of Tyrone series, written with another of my favourite authors, Raine O’Tierney.

Anyway, peeves. What peeves me?

Not having enough time

I’m sure many fellow writers will identify with this one. You sit down with your laptop, get stuck into your WIP, knowing you have at least an hour before it’s time to: walk the dog/get ready for work/make breakfast… (insert your own interruption here). Your characters are talking to you, the scene is rolling out on the screen in front of you, and you’re frantically hammering the keyboard to get it all down. And then… where did that hour go? Surely only ten minutes have passed. But no. The hour you set aside for your writing really has gone in ten minutes and you’re right in the middle of the best scene ever, but you have to switch off and leave it for later. How irritating! That happens to me frequently. Well, not recently as I’ve had a bit of a writing hiatus the past few weeks, but you get the picture.

Editing

Anybody actually like editing? I don’t mind it, but sometimes (a lot of the time) it can be extremely frustrating. If you work with a publisher and have two (or more) rounds of edits, how frustrated do you feel when you’ve completed Round 1, and then Round 2 comes in. No 2 Editor suggests you change several bits of your story – putting them right back to how they were before No 1 Editor got his/her hands on it. A couple of times I have been soooo tempted to add a comment: “make your minds up!” Of course I don’t. But yes, it’s a big peeve.

Self-publishing? So you have to choose your own editor, or if you can’t afford this, as many can’t, you do it yourself. Over, and over, and over, in determination to not let that one little error slip through the net. And yet it still does. I read and rewrite, read and tweak, read and tweak again, read it out loud to somebody else. Reading out loud highlights lots of little wrong words, duplicated words, the same word used three times in one paragraph, and so on and so forth. Plot holes too, when your listener suddenly says, “hey, I thought MC had brown eyes/blond hair/worked as a barber” etc. All good. So you upload the finished product to your reading device to check your formatting is okay, and there it is. Glaringly obvious. A mistake! How did you miss that? So, back to the MS to change it, another check over the whole thing and it’s ready to go. Big sigh of relief. You upload it, release it, and all is good. The reviews start to roll in, and then a reviewer points out a mistake you missed. Yes, another one! You check, and there it is, in black and white, practically jumping up and down in its eagerness to draw attention to itself. Understandably, you are peeved.

Finding a cover star

If you work closely with the person designing your cover, sometimes it might be up to you to find your cover star. After all, you know what he looks like; you created him. You spend hours trawling through thousands of photos on Shutterstock, or whichever site you prefer to get your photos from. How annoying. Your MC doesn’t exist anywhere. Not even close.  So you go with the nearest thing there is and hope a bit of photoshopping will do the trick. No such luck. One of your reviewers points out that Mr. Cover Star has short hair (your man in the book has long hair), Mr. Cover Star has blue eyes (your man in the book has green orbs). And so on. One way to get around this, is of course, to trawl Shutterstock first for a sexy leading man, and THEN describe his physical attributes in your story. Anybody done that? I must confess to writing Favorite Toy after I’d already selected my model for character Casper Mancuso. It was so much easier!

Anyway, those are my main peeves. I’m sure I’ll come across a few more sooner or later.

I hope you enjoyed reading. I unfortunately don’t have any volunteers to tag to carry on the blog hop, so if you fancy writing about your peeves, please go for it, and tag me in. I’d love to read your authorly complaints.


3 thoughts on “Pet Peeves of an Author

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