Fiction writing…quality or quantity?

Kristine is the winner of my giveaway! Congrats, Kristine. If you’ll contact me (misty@readmistyevans.com) and tell me your preference for the giveaway, I’ll get the prize sent to you.

Word of the Day (from my friend Michelle Miles’ Page-A-Day calendar): fictioneer (n) one who writes fiction especially in quantity and without high standards.

I’m a fictioneer…although I do have standards. High ones. I write quick and dirty, but I spend a lot of time creating outlines for my books so their plotlines are tight and characterizations are unique. I take workshops, read manuals on writing, and constantly work on growing my writing chops.

Once a story is finished, I send it to critique partners, beta readers and paid editors. Some of my novels are published through well-established houses and receive a good deal of attention from editors and other professionals on staff. The rest I self-publish, but again, I take this business seriously and outsource the editing, formatting and cover art. Those aren’t my areas of expertise.

Thing is, standards are different for everyone. My high standards may still be your boy-does-she-suck standards. Just like each of us has a preference for certain types of stories, we each have different standards of I-can’t-wait-to-read-this vs. yucko-no-thanks variety.

What I AM an expert at is writing fun, engaging stories. Especially those that deal with good vs. evil plots. Lucifer, witches, demons and vampires. I’ve got ’em all!

Sweet Soldier, Kali Sweet, Book 3The third book in my Kali Sweet Series releases today. I take the gloves off when I write Kali. Her stories are the only ones I don’t outline ahead of time. I just write – and have a blast seeing how the story unfolds. Kali is a no-holes-barred, in-your-face vengeance demon. “Kick-ass” readers call her. Probably why I enjoy writing her so much.

In this latest story, Sweet Soldier, she breaks down and apologizes to her boyfriend, Rad. This is no small event – in three hundred years, she’s never told him she’s sorry about anything. You could say Rad is mildly stunned:

He arched a brow, moved back a little. “Did you just apologize?”

Using my hold on his hair, I shifted him forward and lowered his head again, encouraging him to resume his torturous seduction. “Yeah. So?”

He licked my skin, paused on his journey to the spot between my thighs. “This may be a first. Forgive me if I take a moment to enjoy it.”

Non si preoccupi. It won’t happen again.”

The Kali books usually top 100,000 words each and they’ve garnered some loyal fans in the urban fantasy genre: “If you love Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series, the Mercy Thompson series, Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock, and Kate Daniels series then you will def enjoy Kali Sweet. Great female lead with a unique fantasy world set in modern day.” ~LovesDance, reviewer.

I initially planned for Sweet Soldier to be the last in the series. Three books make a nice boxed set. I like the number three. My publishing career is going in a different direction this year, focusing on my Super Agent romantic suspense series again.

But after reading the latest set of reviews for Sweet Chaos (Kali Sweet, Book 2), I’m Sweet Chaos 2x3 72dpirethinking this.  If Sweet Soldier garners an equal amount of positive reviews and has enough readers asking for more, I’ll keep the series going. After all, there are characters in Kali’s world who need closure. And with Sweet Soldier, I included the main characters from my Witches Anonymous series in the plot line. Maybe the thing to do is combine both series for a final book…

As a fictioneer, I can write as much or as little as I want. Jump genres. Blend series. Kill off characters and resurrect them. One of my sons recently told me I’m too controlling as a mother. In his words, I’m “the puppet master”. While I deny being anything but a good mother to him, in fiction, I admit I am the puppet master. I love creating new worlds, new characters and interesting plotlines. I enjoy brainstorming and wondering what if? My characters suffer…but they also satisfy readers.

Nothing is perfect, but my standards are high. In my book – pun intended – the true definition of a fictioneer is one who writes fiction that keeps her fans happy.

What do you think? Do you follow authors who write a lot and share entertaining stories or do you prefer authors who write “quality” fiction? Can the two be the same?

Commenters will be entered to win their choice of my books or a $10 Amazon/B&N gift card!

 

 

About Misty Evans

USA Today Bestselling Author Misty Evans writes the award-winning Super Agent series, as well as urban fantasy and paranormal romance. She likes her coffee black, her conspiracy theories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When her muse lets her on the internet to play, she’s on Facebook and Twitter.
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20 Responses to Fiction writing…quality or quantity?

  1. Amy R says:

    Happy Release Day, Misty! I can’t wait to share Kali’s interview tomorrow on my blog. I love Kali and Rad in Sweet Soldier. Quality vs. Quantity – I think the two can be the same because I follow authors that write a lot of books but they are all good, too! You write a lot of quality books as does Cynthia Eden, Katie Reus, etc. I am amazed at how fast some authors publish books. I think it depends on each author. Some write fast, some not so fast. When you follow enough authors you are never disappointed because someone always has a book coming out!
    Amy R`s last blog was …Review and Giveaway: Breaking Her Rules by Katie Reus

    • Misty Evans says:

      Amy, you were instrumental in writing this third Kali book. I always value your input and ideas! Kali’s looking forward to her visit at your blog tomorrow – and so is Rad. She made him promise not to heckle her. :razz:

  2. Nana Malone says:

    Happy Release Day! I’m so excited for this next installment! I know how hard you worked on this series and I’m thrilled for you. Happy Sales today.

  3. Edie Ramer says:

    Happy release day! I think your Kali Sweet books rock! Love that you’re having Lucifer in this one. :twisted: I think it’s a wise decision to write another book in this series. Go for it!

    • Misty Evans says:

      Edie, you know I love my Lucifer! He’s always a great character to write and putting him and Kali at odds was highly entertaining! Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Barbara Elness says:

    I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed both Revenge is Sweet and Sweet Chaos so I’m definitely all for your style of writing. :D I certainly didn’t see a lack of “quality” in your stories, so just keep doing what your doing, and I’ll keep reading ‘em. :twisted:

  5. Misty, firstly, happy release day!

    I think there are some writers who can really write fast, and I wish I was one of them, I think I fall into the medium to slow category :), but I don’t like reading books that have a lot of potential but clearly have plot problems, editing problems and grammar and spelling problems.

    I think in these cases it isn’t the time it has taken to write the book that’s the problem, but the time it has taken to edit, rework and scrutinize the book to make sure it is polished. I think putting something out that could use a week or two on the back burner, so you can come at it again with fresh eyes, something that could have used an extra pair of eyes (or two! or three!) but which the author didn’t bother with because it was easier to just slap it up, is disrespectful to the reader.

    And I KNOW you don’t fall into that category.
    Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Virtual Book Tour for Daughter of the Sky

    • Misty Evans says:

      Michelle, you hit the nail on the head. Every writer needs critique partners, professional editors and a few beta readers – the more eyes the better. I learn so much from my editors, I can’t imagine not having one (or two or three). Same for my cps and betas.

      Your books require a lot of research and in-depth storytelling because of the historical characters and plots. Some books/genres require the author to take their time and get it right and you know just how to do that. :smile:

  6. YAY, Misty!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Congrats on your release day and here’s wishing you a gazillion sales — they’re well deserved!! I’ve read and loved several of your novels in more than one series, and whatever method you use to plot and draft works for me, as one of your readers ;).

    And, yes, I do think writing fiction readers want and writing quality stories are not at all mutually exclusive. I believe there are some books that begin as a personal challenge — stories we just need to write to push ourselves as authors and to tell a tale that is very uniquely ours. But I also think, once an author develops a fan base, there are types of stories that are written almost as a way to have a conversation between that author and her readers — it’s a mutual journey with those characters helping to begin the dialogue. And the input we receive from devoted fans in that situation is priceless and can inspire novels that are wonderful and original, too.

    • Misty Evans says:

      Marilyn, I love the idea that authors produce books that help them have a conversation with readers. I have that with some of my fans, especially with the Witches Anonymous series. That series hits a lot of buttons with readers – mostly good ones – and inspires them to contact me. I think we’re all a little bit evil inside and we long to embrace it. :twisted:

      Your contemporary romances are some of my favorites – especially the ones with food in the plotline. LOL.

  7. flchen1 says:

    Happy new release, Misty! Looking forward to catching up with this series! As for quality vs. quantity, I do think that they can be the same, but with some writers, the quality can seem to suffer if the volume is pushed instead. If that’s the case, I definitely prefer the quality, no matter how impatient I get for a new release :)

    • Misty Evans says:

      Me, too, Fedora. One of my favorite author’s latest books had a glaring error on page 1. Page 1! I couldn’t help myself – I wanted to send her editor and copy editor a note. That story was in hardback and cost $25. I still read the whole book and enjoyed it, but there were even more typos and errors after that first one that annoyed me a bit. I wanted to offer to proofread for them!

  8. Kristine Radgman says:

    Happy Release Day Misty I prefer quality of a book over quantity any day I don’t think they can be the same less mutually exclusive. I am looking forward to reading your latest Kali Sweet novel. Some authors’ stories start out so well but as you progress into the story you feel that they are rushing to make a deadline. Some have bad editing as the characters move from one scene to the other and you have no idea how they got there.

    • Misty Evans says:

      Hi Kristine! I agree, quality over quantity. Seems like publishers are pushing authors to throw out books pretty fast these days, and some indie authors don’t take time to make sure their books are polished. I don’t feel right putting out a story that hasn’t been edited and polished a dozen times over. I can’t please every reader but I sure don’t want to disappoint the fans I have!

      • Kristine Radgman says:

        That is why I like to read authors like you and others who make sure their books are properly edited.

  9. Amy Atwell says:

    Happy release day, Misty! Love the sound of the series. I hear you on wanting to move in a different direction, but seriously, you grabbed my attention with the idea of a Kali Sweet – Witches Anonymous combo book. I love character crossovers!
    Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Favorite Christmas Stories

    • Misty Evans says:

      Amy, I love character cross-overs too. In books, in the TV series I watch (i.e. NCIS, NCIS LA, etc.) and the idea of merging my two series into one has a lot of appeal. I know these characters so well and they blend nicely in their ongoing good vs. evil efforts. Thanks for voting yes!

  10. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Misty,

    I’m late to the party as usual! Major congrats on the new release! I adore the term fictioneer! I right fast, but then get help to make it the best it can be. I don’t outline. All my books are written the way you write Kali’s books.

    It can be quite a ride! :)
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Sian’s Solution – now live!

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