In Which I Get You Guys to Do All the Work

Monday night I typed those glorious words “The End” on the first draft of my WIP. Now, I’ll admit,  this is a true first draft, meaning that, as it stands now, my new opus blows like a tranny hooker  during Fleet Week. But I can already see ways to make  it better. I can even see ways that it might even achieve awesomeness, if I can pull it off.

For the moment, however, I’m taking Our Alex’s advice to put it aside for at least a week, after which  I’m going to print out heblog post on re-writing, tape it up above my desk, and get back to work. 

In the meantime I see that  it’s my Wednesday to blog here at Murderati. Only problem is, my brain is burned. All the bearings on the magnificent machine that is my mind are  smoking and squealing like the  brakes on an 18 wheeler headed down out of the Rockies. I’ve also been so buried in this book, not to mention life and the  day job, that once I surfaced, I felt like I’d been asleep for the last month or so. I’m having  a hard time even figuring out  what’s been happening, much less commenting on it. So  I’m asking our loyal readership to fill me in on what’s going on, discuss it, and, not to put too fine a point on it,  write this post for me.

Ready? Let’s begin:  

  • Why are people mad at Jonathan Franzen this time? 
  • Apparently, the Wylie Agency and Random House have  “struck a truce”.  I didn’t even know they were at war. Can someone fill me in on this? Who should I have been  pulling for? 
  • So, this new Kindle. Why is it only 139 bucks? Is it because you can only download stuff if you’re in a WiFi hotspot? This wouldn’t really be a problem for me, even living in the sticks like I do, but is there some other feature that you give up for that price that I need to know about? In your opinion, is 139 dollars the tipping point that will make the Kindle 3 as ubiquitous as the Mp3 player? 
  • A six year old got a multi-book contract? WTF? 

Lay some wisdom on me, cats n’ kittens.

Bonus question: Was the movie version of WINTER’S BONE freakin’ awesome, or what? I mean, if Jennifer Stewart and John Hawke don’t get Oscar nominations, there is something seriously wrong with the process, am I right?


24 thoughts on “In Which I Get You Guys to Do All the Work

  1. Jim Winter

    I don't think there's a real reason to be mad at Franzen other than he left a bad aftertaste from his whiny Oprah debacle a few years back. It was a book I couldn't even start. (11 pages before he even got to the point.)

  2. Jake Nantz

    I'm betting the new Kindle is going to absolutely rock. Wish I had the spare change, that's fo sho.

    One other newsworthy item you might have missed there, Van Winkle, is that Mavin Austin has apparently discovered Twitter…not sure you'll be happy about it though.

    Carolina Football – The "Tutor" Dynasty!!!


  3. Ellis Vidler

    Winter's Bone was one of the best movies I've seen. Superb acting. You're right–if Stewart and Hawke don't get Oscar nominations, something's seriously wrong, I'm reading the book now. It's beautifully written, and so far, the movie follows it.

  4. Karen in Ohio

    I don't get all the hype about Franzen, although the blue bird photo on the cover? Taken by my brother-in-law, and purchased by the publisher from my husband's company as a stock photo.

    I think they lowered the price on the Kindle because there is so much more competition now, and since the Kindle uses a proprietary book format it's not as useful as say the Nook, or the iPad, et al. It was a self-defensive move.

    What six-year old?

  5. Shizuka

    Winter's Bone was so powerful it made me stop whinging about
    the non-life threatening, niggling problems I have.

    IMHO, Franzen's getting bashed because he writes boring books and gets tons of critical acclaim for them. There's jealousy involved, but also the sense that the hoopla is undeserved.

  6. tess gerritsen

    I don't think people are mad at Franzen; they're just mad that reviewers give him so much attention and ignore everyone else. Franzen appears to be the inadvertent combatant in all this, his only crime being that he took a decade to write a book that, by all accounts, is a splendid one. And it's become the Big Thing.

  7. JD Rhoades

    Oh, I occasionally fuss that someone else's book is getting what I consider to be undeserved attention.

    I just do it to myself or among a few close friends.

    (I know nothing about Franzen's book, so I have no opinion on whether the attention is deserved or not).

    Jake: 😛

  8. pari noskin taichert

    Man, I don't have answers to ANY of our questions . . . and I'm not close to finishing my WIP. Guess that makes me a sleep walker.

    Congrats on finishing the first draft. That's got to feel wonderful. I hope to be singing about the same thing by the end of this month or the middle of next.

  9. JJ Dennis

    Thank you J.D. for giving me a new way to describe my first draft…and second draft…. I want to make it into a poster for my office. You just made my writing day! Congrats on finishing your WIP!

  10. Karen in Ohio

    Dusty, I think the difference between the lower-priced Kindle and the higher-priced one is the level of Wi-Fi access. The more expensive Kindle includes Plus 3G, according to this article, which also discusses the iPad and the Nook:

    However, the article was written before the new versions were out, so you might want to search for a more recent article.

    I'm resisting. Instead, I bought a $300 netbook (Acer) to take with me on trips, and to read all kinds of different e-books, including the Kindle versions. It's tiny enough to fit in my purse, plus I can read email, go online, and even write with it, should the urge strike. For my purposes, it's a much better use of the money. And the screen is large enough to read, unlike an iPhone. Why would anyone want to read an entire book on that tiny screen, I wonder?

    When I was in South American in April I really wished I'd had the netbook. It would have meant I didn't have to take as many books with me (six, and I read all of them before the end of the two-week trip), and could have used the Wi-Fi at the various hotels instead of trying to figure out how to use international keyboards, and pay for Internet access. The iPad would have worked, too, but it's much more fragile, I think.

    You mileage may vary, of course. 🙂

  11. Judy Wirzberger

    Congrats on the WIP. Three letter words like The and End go so well together.

    News flash – it has been reported that the world is still round. Welcome back to it.

  12. Grace

    Thanks for sharing how to review the manuscript – I will defintely print off my WIP – $'s or not!!
    Enjoyed your post.

  13. Robert Gregory Browne

    This alone pisses me off about Franzen. One of his "rules" of writing:

    "It's doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction."

    So I have to ask, a) what's "good" fiction?; and b) I care what you think why?

    I think he has managed to insult several truly wonderful fiction writers with that statement.

    Of course, I'm probably as guilty of saying the same type of nonsense, in that same know-it-all way. But at least in my case nobody's listening.

  14. Allison Davis

    Karen, I'm shopping for netbooks so please tell us how it goes. You can read ebooks on it? I was thinking of getting it AND the Kindle. Be good if I didn't have both pieces of hardware to carry around. I have been using a netbook prototype at the office. Law firms are switching to them or to iPads for the road warriors. The iPad doesn't work for word processing and the netbook fits much better on a tray in an airplane (my favorite office).

    As for the news, I'm workiong on draft #2 and haven't finished that but clueless about the "news items." Oh well, glad I tuned in.

  15. Nancy Laughlin

    The new Kindle does have 3G and WiFi, and it's supposed to have the sharpest display of all ebook readers, right now. That's all I know about it. I don't own one.

    Congrats on finishing your first draft! Woohoo!

  16. Robert Gregory Browne

    Allison, you can read Kindle books on any computer or even your iPhone or iPad. Amazon has a free app you can download that will allow you to purchase books straight from Amazon and automatically send them to the device or devices of your choosing.

  17. Zoë Sharp

    Congrats on finishing the first draft of the WIP, Dusty!

    Apart from the story about the six-year-old, I hadn't heard anything about ANY of these, so what does that make me? (Besides uninformed.)

  18. Karen in Ohio

    Allison, I love my netbook! And yes, you can read Kindle docs on any computer. Just go to Amazon and download the program, for free.

  19. Doug Riddle

    The new Kindle's big selling point is the price. The only real difference is they dropped the 3G from the cheaper version, but it is still available on the the pricer model……I think it is like $189. I agree that either the Kindle or one of the readers from Borders or BnN will be $99 by Christmas, which won't really matter when the ton of PADs start getting released around the same time.. Then it will be a waiting game for their prices to come down.

    The problem with Franzen is that The Corrections SUCKEDDDDDD!!!!!!! I actually made $20 on a bet that I wouldn't finish it or toss it out the window. Now I don't really blame Franzen for The Corrections sucking, but his editor should have to repay his salary, but only after anyone who read this over indulgent piece of crap gets to take a copy to the back of his head………….But the high point is……..the friend who bet me, the friend who "doesn't read crime novels" had to read a Connelly novel as well as give up the 20…..and guess who is now Michael Connelly's biggest fan….lol (Converting snobs one Connelly at a time)

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