Premature Publication

This post is a follow-up to my last post because that one was published unfinished. I’m laying the blame on SUE for that mistake (and before you smack me for not taking personal responsibility—SUE stands for stupid user error.)

For those of you unfortunate people who don’t have a WordPress blog, I’ll explain that WP takes precautions to make it hard for such an error to occur: the Preview and Save Draft buttons are well above the Publish button and are simple black text on white buttons, while the Publish button is set off in a colored bar and is brightly colored itself. So, yeah, it takes SUE to click the Publish button instead of the Save Draft button.

I had already published a post 12 hours earlier and had intended to post my rant today, Monday. I wasn’t even aware I had prematurely published that rant until I received notice that someone had commented on it. And that reader (I thought) had misunderstood my intent, so I quickly unapproved her comment and sent her an email explaining the problem. Then I re-read and made a couple edits to the original post before too many people read it … of course, those of you who subscribe by reader or email saw the unedited original. (I later added the disclaimer at the top of it.)

Besides my premature original post not making it clear that I like Elizabeth Strout’s opening paragraph, I also intended to make clear that I understand that for some genres, a paragraph like hers would be the kiss of death. If your story is action-driven, do not write an opening paragraph like Strout’s.

Another mistake I’ve made is in reading too many agent blogs and how-to manuals directed at other genres. Very confusing!

The intent of my post was a slap to my own face for mistakenly trying to apply rules for those other genres to my writing. This misunderstanding resulted in my opening undergoing several revisions, until I felt it no longer represented the tone of the novel.

Anyway, my last post was a cautionary tale: Know thy genre and be steadfast and true to it.

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4 thoughts on “Premature Publication

  1. Isn’t that the truth! “Know thy genre…” Words of wisdom.

    I think I’ve had a lot of confusion for the same reason. I’ll be far more particular in the future when seeking out the rules of the trade. These are all lessons we must learn. Better now than later!

    I guess we all make mistakes. At least I’m aware of the problem now, that’s half the battle.

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  2. “Another mistake I’ve made is in reading too many agent blogs and how-to manuals directed at other genres. Very confusing!”

    Me too. For me the big mantra is “Know thy own taste.” I can’t tell you how much time I wasted in the beginning following craft techniques from writers whose just style didn’t jibe with mine.

    You know, Kirsten, I used to be more diligent at sorting out what advice to take, but I think when I started centering more on the goal of publication, I got a little shakey. I believe it was Darksculptures who said recently she had decided to quit thinking about publication and just concentrate on writing. I should have kept to that awhile longer.

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