Some may read my title, scratch their head and think, what the heck is she talking about! How can writing be anything like buying a horse? Well, it can. If you stick around and keep reading, I’ll explain how. But—buyers beware.
I became familiar with that term at an early age. Buyer beware. It means the seller of the animal is not going to volunteer everything there is to know about said horse. You have to dig to find out what said nature is really like. If you’re a savvy buyer, and have been through the process several times before, you’ll know and even jump at the chance to have several other knowledgeable equestrians, not just friends who fancy themselves knowledgeable about horses, take said horse out for a ride. And then, if you like what you’ve seen so far, you’ll get a vet check to see if said animal is really sound.
If you’re still with me, let me break it down further.
As the author of the story, you are both seller and buyer of your novel. As the seller, you love your story, think it’s the next New York Times Bestseller, and don’t want to change a single word of it. On the other hoof, as the buyer, you must analyze every chapter, every paragraph and even every sentence that the seller (you) is trying to slip past in order to make the sale.
After you’ve spent many hours with your prospect, fine-tuning and re-writing, you go the next step. Just as a horse buyer seeks out the help of other equestrian professionals or even trainers, you ask the assistance of your writing colleagues and critique partners. These are people who’ll agree to give your “mount” a ride and offer an honest appraisal of him. They’ll point out if “your horse” has a nasty habit of biting or is sporting a big roman nose. They’ll let you know if he’s so boring no one is going to stick with him past page five. All this may be hard to hear, yes, but you’d rather hear it now, when problems can be fixed, than later, from a barrage of readers.
If your horse makes it past the gauntlet of critique partners, it’s time for a vet check—in other words, a read from a professional editor, whether that’s from your publisher’s editing team or a freelancer. Without a vet check you’re sure to be sorry. We can’t see the faults of our own beloved animal. We love him; we worship the ground he trots on. But…if you really love him, you’ll send him out for inspection.
After the deal has been struck and your horse—er, book, is in print, then you’ll have all the time in the world to pet him and give him carrots, blab to tell everyone about him and haul him around to horse shows, (chapter contests), where perhaps someday he’ll win the world renown AQHA Quarter Horse World Show in Fort Worth—aka, The Rita!
Hey, it could happen….
This is the way I go about writing and buying. Do you have another valuable way you can share? One lucky commenter will win my latest release, TEXAS TWILIGHT!
Here’s my “new mount”, TEXAS TWILIGHT. Let me know what you think of him…
TEXAS TWILIGHT – Book Two in The McCutcheon Family Series
Fresh out of medical school, John McCutcheon finds his stagecoach under attack by brutal outlaws. With the help of a feisty acquaintance, Lily Anthony, he manages to fend off the assault. Lily is attracted to the charming cowboy-doctor, with his chiseled good looks and teasing ways, then heartbroken to learn he’s engaged to be married.
“I laughed. I cried. I didn’t want Texas Twilight to end.”
– Theresa Ragan, author of Return of the Rose
– Theresa Ragan, author of Return of the Rose
Once settled in Rio Wells, Texas, John tries to ignore the fact that his cousin has taken a shine to Lily. When a bounty hunter shows up looking for a priceless jewel that Lily has found stashed away in her aunt’s belongings, Lily fears her dreams of owning her own shop--and of finding true love--are about to go up in flames...or, could that just be the glow of a beautiful … Texas Twilight?
Caroline Fyffe grew up in the little town of El Dorado, CA, the youngest of five girls and whose main interest was the family’s horses. An equine photographer for over twenty years now, she has worked throughout the United States and Germany. Long days in the arenas present plenty of opportunity to dream up all sorts of stories. Her love of horses and the Old West is the inspiration behind her books. Her debut book, WHERE THE WIND BLOWS, was the recipient of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and also the Wisconsin RWA’s Write Touch Readers’ Award. MONTANA DAWN, Book One of the McCutcheon Family Series, was a Maggie Finalist, Gayle Wilson Finalist and winner of the Laurel Wreath. TEXAS TWILIGHT, Book Two of the McCutcheon Family Series, is newly published. Watch for SOURDOUGH CREEK.
Married for many years, Caroline’s most cherished achievements are her two grown sons.
Visit Caroline at www.carolinefyffe.com
Tweet with Caroline at https://twitter.com/#!/CarolineFyffe
See her photographs at www.carolinefyffephoto.com
Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’d love to hear from you!
Winner of Caroline's latest release, Texas Twilight a romantic historical western ebook, will be announced in the Weekend Edition.