Although readers are generally interested in a writer’s final product, it can be interesting to see the early process. Drafts can be funny, surprising, and illuminating. For example…
Joseph Conrad’s preface to Victory:
Conrad had trouble deciding on the right wording to convey his meaning in this preface. He was hesitant about using the word “victory” in relation to World War 1, and he couldn’t decide whether he was worried about “misleading,” “deceiving” or another word I can’t make out (any guesses?) the public.
Sylvia Plath’s outline for The Bell Jar:
This outline was written two years before The Bell Jar was published. Since no copy of the manuscript draft survives, this outline is the only evidence of Plath’s original intentions for the book. Apparently Plath had planned a “coda” of two extra chapters at the end of the book. There are also smaller changes, such as the character of Joan starting out as Jane.
Marcel Proust’s draft of Remembrance of Things Past:
Shirley Hazzard’s draft for The Great Fire:
Both Proust and Hazzard show that, no matter the time period, the first draft is never the final draft. How either could even decipher their edits is a mystery.
Mark Twain’s notebook:
Twain, pondering the concept of a doctor writing a play, jotted down several potential character names, including Siphillis Briggs, Asphyxia Beedle, and Typhoid Billings.
Would you want to see your favourite author’s early drafts and notes? Share in the comments…
A series. Standalone books can be unsatisfying, but I can happily read a good series for as long as the author is willing to keep putting out books. With a series you can also go back to the beginning and rediscover things you’d forgotten, or notice something new (technically you can also do that with a standalone, but a series gives you so much more to work with).
2. Rather read a book whose main character is male or female?
Female. I’m tired of the male perspective, which has really had a disproportionate amount of emphasis put on it for far too long. I’d also rather read female authors–they usually can write all characters with depth, not just the half they personally relate to.
3. Rather shop only at Barnes & Noble (or other actual bookstore) or Amazon?
I’d rather shop online. I’m an introvert and crowds make me uncomfortable. Also, shopping online doesn’t require pants. (Most “actual” bookstores have websites too–you can see a whole list of the ones that carry my books here–just scroll to the bottom.)
4. Rather all books become movies or TV shows?
I’ll have to go with TV because that format offers the chance to fully explore a story. The Harry Potter series would have been so much better if they’d made it into a TV show instead of movies, with one or two seasons per book.
5. Rather read 5 pages per day or read 5 books per week?
This is a tough one. I like to savour books, but 5 pages a day doesn’t give you much. Still, 5 books a week sounds like it would become a chore rather than a pleasure, so I guess I’d rather get 5 pages a day and fully enjoy them.
6. Rather be a professional book reviewer or an author?
Author. Done and done. 🙂
7. Rather read only the same 20 books over and over or get to read a new book every 6 months?
If I can still re-read books I’ve already read, then I’ll take a new book every 6 months. If I can read only one new book every 6 months, I think I’d prefer the same 20 on repeat (if I get to pick them).
8. Rather be a librarian or own a book store?
I’ve thought about doing both, but I still sometimes dream about owning a bookstore, so I’ll go with that.
9. Rather read only your favorite genre or your favorite author?
Genre. Authors can stop writing, but there will always be something new to read within a genre.
10. Rather read only physical books or eBooks?
Physical books. They aren’t always as convenient to cart around, but I find them more enjoyable to read (and screens are bad for your eyes).
What do you think–do you prefer series or standalone books? Physical or ebooks? Share your answers in the comments below (and let me know if you do the whole thing and post it).
PS: Have you stopped by my book tour yet? Find out about my books, read excerpts and guest posts, ask a question, and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a sweet custom Love Lies Bleeding travel mug filled with goodies (including a little something handmade by me)!
My book tour has started! Click here for details, excerpts of my books, a guest post by me, the tour schedule, and details on how to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a custom Love Lies Bleeding travel mug (made by The Spider and Fly) filled with goodies–including a little something handmade by me
Click here to find out how you can enter the giveaway for a chance to win this custom travel mug filled with goodies!
I’m happy to finally reveal the cover and details for my upcoming short story “Blood Magic.” You don’t need to have read my novel Love Lies Bleeding to enjoy “Blood Magic,” but for those of you who have (thanks!) it’s set within Love Lies Bleeding, and features a side adventure for Mara.
The Big Reveal:
“No one said magic was pretty. It tricks and it transforms. It tests you. Sometimes it punishes the wicked and sometimes it devours the innocent. And it is never boring.”
“Blood Magic” a new FREE short story by Aspasía S. Bissas. Available mid-April 2018.
What do you think? For those of you keeping track, the image was taken at the Louvre in Paris.
If you’d like to be notified when “Blood Magic” is available, please click on the “Sign Me Up” button on the top right of this page; otherwise, keep checking back here or on my Facebook Page for news.