Thursday, May 1, 2014

Anna Todd's AFTER or "Will Proofreading and Editing Really Ruin My Manuscript?"

I've mentioned Jenny Trout (or as she is known in the Erotica Fiction world, Abigail Barnette) and her blog here before. I've also recommended check out her recaps of Fifty Shades of Grey if you wanted a good laugh. When Fifty Shades was released, it was one of those phenomenons (much like its predecessor, Twilight) people either loved, hated, or loved to hate.
When the Twilight books were being released, many were discussing the writing and saying how it couldn't get any worse. Apparently, they spoke too soon, because soon after came along Fifty Shades of Grey, and everyone was having a good ol' time sporking the hell out of it (to the EXTREME dismay of E.L. James's rabid fanbase). Now, there seems to be something new on the horizon called After which is now a HUGE hit on Wattpad and as she did with Fifty Shades, Jenny is doing one of her hilarious recaps.

If you don't know what After is, it is a Fifty Shades fanfic that uses the boys from the musical act One Direction, therefore also making it a RPF (Real Person Fic). Basically, as E.L. James wrote Fifty Shades as Twilight fan fiction, Anna Todd is doing the same thing with writing After as a Fifty Shades fic. So it's basically fan fiction of a fan fiction piece. While using Harry Styles of One Direction as the "Christian Grey-esque" character.

NOTE: Anna Todd's After on Wattpad

             Jenny Trout's Recaps of Fifty Shades and After   (I can't say enough good things about these, and they've given me many laugh out loud moments)

One other thing that Anna Todd boasts about is her lack of editing, because she doesn't want to ruin the story with overthinking things and she just did it for fun (*big facepalm*). So she's basically releasing the entire thing without at least proofreading it before putting it up.
Now, I those of you who have been with this blog since I began posting chapters from the first draft of Descent (before it was even called Descent) probably know that I have nothing against posting part of or an entire draft as a way of showing your writing process or gauging out what kind of interest the storyline may get. I do that a little here and on my own Wattpad page as I enjoy showing the writing process, giving readers a hint of what to expect, and even getting some feedback. In fact, I know some other authors who do things like that for the same reasons, though some are against that. And that's fine, to each his/her own. But those of us who do post first draft excerpts also make it clear that it is a first draft (or second, or third, etc) and we have every intention of putting it through proofreads, revisions, edits, etc until we feel it's ready for an official release.

Now, am I saying shame on Ms. Todd for doing something she enjoys and thought would be fun to do? Of course not. If she wants to write, let her write. If she wants to learn from this ordeal so she could write something better next time, then by all means DO IT. Whether you write on a blog, fanfiction.net, Wattpad, your hard drive, whatever, do it. And serialized fiction can be a good way to keep your audience coming back. But unless you're Oscar Wilde, I don't think you need to worry about proofreads and edits ruining your story. I know Descent definitely improved after a few edits (note: I said a FEW edits), and with each edit, it gets better, the characters become more developed, the story becomes more developed, plot holes are filled, grammar errors are corrected, repetitive and clumsy sentences are fixed or eliminated, etc. So based on my experience and other writers I know, I don't understand how one can be so worried about proofreads and edits ruining their writing, though limited to no editing does seem to be a troubling growing trend as of late. I'll bet even the great Oscar Wilde himself had editors, or at least beta readers.

Well, in my next post I'll be filling you in on releasing and what's happening here. Also, there will be new Bygone Era and Night Terrors posts (I know it's been forever), the conclusion of my Romancing Elena flashfic, and a couple new interviews and book reviews. :)

Also, don't forget you can still download my newest short, Dusk to Dawn for free from Smashwords until May 9:

Dusk to Dawn on Smashwords
Use the coupon code XW45M at checkout. :)


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My stories, "The Cemetery by the Lake" and "Dusk to Dawn" are available at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK. More retailers will follow, but Smashwords is pretty compatible with most e-reader and PC formats.
and Amazon
"The Cemetery by the Lake" at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
"Dusk to Dawn" at Smashwords
Tiffany on Goodreads
My music is also available at CDBaby
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