Oct
2011

A Moment in the life of a writer

Also could be called writer fail, or maybe tech fail. Last night, as I was working on the outline, I gripped the corner of my laptop to scoot it up my legs. It blue screened. I threw my handsup, reading the warning wondering wtf I did, then it restarted. I was a bit pissed a bit upset and all the while wondering if I squeezed the computer too hard and cause a hardware malfunction.

It is at this point this conversation between me and my amused hubby occured:

Him: What did you do to it?
Me: I swear I don’t know!
Him: You are hard on computers!
Me: **explains the moving and squeezing the corner theory as the computer boots up normal**
Him: You go through computers like everyone else goes through toilet paper.
Me:…..

at which point I got the giggles, because it isn’t far off the mark.   I assured myself that the outline file worked and that I hadn’t lost stuff then headed to bed. Still giggling.

As a writer I am constantly on the computer, I am always making backups. I AM hard on the computers I own.

Today I plan on working on the outline. If I can rally the kids to clean.

Oh, and for those wondering, here is the link to the BBC program Lost Kingdoms of Africa. It is offered trough Netflix streaming and you can purchase it at Amazon.com for about $50.00 here. I am going to invest in this one, I think it is totally worth having.

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Oct
2011

Dusting off things

Those who have followed my livejournals for the past few years probably remember me starting and stopping the Zander/Avaria series. I would start, go gung ho,then ram into a wall and flounder before determining that I needed to set it aside and let it marinate. On and off, repeatedly. I have written the book Bastard Prince two or three times, and its sequel Crossroads at least twice. Both times they lacked something. Between my insecurity and frustrations at what agents/editors wanted (UF overload anyone?) I didn’t write the story I wanted, rather the story I thought I might sell.

About a week ago, as I was beating my head against a wall trying to figure out why I am having issues with Elemental Truth, I took a break and watched this four part series on the Forgotten Kingdoms of Africa. I was floored, I didn’t know about these kingdoms, I didn’t realize the rich and vast culture and history that was simply ignored by school-teachers. As I was watching,I began to have inklings of worldbuilding ideas. But not for E1, no these ideas had to do with the Avaria series, with the world that my cracktastic character Damien Zander lives in.

I fought it, which was about as successful as trying to get a brick to dance. But finally decided that maybe a way to get a handle on that story was to try to write up an outline. Now I have done outlines, I have gotten bogged down doing them and never fully finished an outline. So I wasn’t too optimistic. Breaking it all down into chapters and scenes… So overwhelming.

So I started to list of the scenes. Not chapters. and then I went back and expanded those a little here and a little there and I found myself sittingon a 12 page outline of Bastard Prince outlined from beginning to end. The whole damn thing. I was shocked and very proud of myself. I am still adding and fixing things, finding innaccuracies and plot holes and I am finding something even more amazing; outlines can be a very useful tool.

Outlines are a tool. For those who can write them, who use them, they can help you pick up on the things that will possibly give you issues. I thought I couldn’t do outlines. But I had to find out how to write it effectively for ME. I don’t know how others outline. But I know if I try to do chapters then scenes I get hung up. But going scene by scene works very well.

**shrugs** not everyone does outlines, I don’t know how well the writing of Bastard Prince  will turn out until I get to it, but we’ll see. NaNo starts Tues and I am stoked!

I had thought I would do CoB and E2 (was E3) for NaNo, but no, I think I am going to write out Bastard Prince for NaNo. Aiming for double (or possibly triple) NaNo with this beast.

I feel ready. I feel like maybe I am there. there are other stories in this series that I want to write, but I can’t because Zander’s story is the foundation for all those other ones.

So where does this leave my elemental stories? For right now, E1 is set aside. I will focus on BP, then possibly dec or Jan I’ll pull it back out and have some space to see what needs to be fixed.

I do have a short story I need to sit down and format and put up.

Is anyone interested in my progress with Zander’s story?
During NaNo would anyone be interested in seeing shinys?
Or just in general does anyone want to see snips here?
Ticky?

=P

 

Take care all, be good and Happy Samhein/Halloween!

 

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Oct
2011

Quick update

About a week or so I had a computer malfunction issue. I had to reset my computer to factory settings.

Luckily I have everything backed up, didn’t lose any  writing, but it along with other RL issues have made me have to re-evaluate my deadlines. Oh the joys of self pubbing! 😀

That said, I am trying to re-organize my time and get myself back into a routine. I have a story almost ready to publish but there is something not right about it and I haven’t had the time to sit down and figure out WHY.

It is probably going to be something silly and obvious and when I finally **see** I will facepalm mightily, but until then…

Anyways. Deadline changes:

Elemental Truth was originally slated for release in Nov. However it is not going to be ready. I won’t release it prematurely. There are plot issues, characterization issues and I am certain some grammar things to fix before I can release it in good conscious.

Elemental Storm has been moved in the overall timeline (and is now E5) and Elemental Flame (this year’s NaNo project) has been dubbed E2. As if anyone besides me was keeping track of that!

Anyways, I am outlining CoB and E2 which are my double nano projects and doing the mom/housewife thing.

Hope you are all doing well.

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Oct
2011

NaNo thoughts

So the new site is finally launched, with the usual bugs. hehe It doesn’t really bother me for some reason, I guess that’s because bugs go with the territory when we are talking nano.

To be honest I love nano. I love the energy that spikes among my writer friends. I love seeing the friends from nanos past show up, dust off their writing to go at it, before getting sucked into the mawing black hole of real life.

There is motion, movement. There is a comradeship. Someone who doesn’t do nano, for whatever reason, or doesn’t enjoy the madcapness of it, won’t get it. It moves you on a near spiritual level. It is NaNo and that is all you have to say, people nod gravely.

So what is NaNo?

NaNo is a push to get people writing. To push out 50,000 words in 30 days. Some people love to bitch about how it is all shitty writing… uhm have they ever really looked at a first draft? It is all shitty. That’s what the edits are for. It is to get people to get words down. To get the story from brain to computer/paper. You can go back and fix the mistakes. You can go and tighten prose. Sometimes you have to scrap and redo the whole thing, but knowing you did it to begin with helps when you sit down to try it again.

NaNo is about the first draft. I have friends that prepare months in advance with outlining and what have you. Others dive in with a vauge idea and go from there. I have done both, I find my success rate is higher if I have an outline/planned out scenes.

I finished my first WIP thanks to NaNo. I have participated since ’04, have won about 50/50 of the time, but for me it isn’t about the word count, about the brownie points for hitting 50k (I know I can, no biggie really) but I participate because of the energy, the movement and for the fun of it.

Because for me, NaNo is fun. Someday it might not be, but for now, I’m doing nano and I encourage everyone who is debating it, to give it a try. If you don’t thats ok, just cheer us nutcases on. 🙂

Here is a book NaNo For the New and Insane which is a free download, and contains some great advice for new nanoers. Check it out if you are interested in doing nano.

 

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Oct
2011

Betas

This post brought to you thanks to Sue’spost over here: http://suelder.livejournal.com/62299.html

Beta readers are, imo, essential to a good story. It is great to have a fresh pair of eyes to pick up things that we have gone blind over, because we are so close to the story. Here are a few questions and my answers.

Why have beta/first readers? Because no work is perfect. Plotholes, characterization issues and all sorts of things happen. What a first reader can do is help find those things and often give input on how to fix it. Sometimes they are spot on. Sometimes they can come up with ways to fix the problems, methods to straighten out issues. Beta readers are awesome to have around to bounce ideas off of at a later date. Because they know your style and your storyline, they can better see where you are going with the idea. Sometimes they see it better than you do too!

Having extra eyes to help you fix your work and make it worthy of your readers is important. You want to give people (whatever your goals are) your best side, betas and first readers can help you achieve that.

Where to find those first readers & betas?  Writing communities online are a great place to start. However, you should always begin by offering to crit/read over other people’s work before asking for someone to read yours. There ARE sites where you can upload your work and recieve crits for it based on a point system. The more you crit the more you can post:

Online Writer’s Workshop and Critique Circle are two point based ones that I have used with great success, though I haven’t been active at either in a long time. OWW has a huge list of writers who have used their site who have gone on to great things. I think Critique Circle does too, but it has been a long time since I was over there and I am not too sure.

Over at Forward Motion for Writers, a free forum for writers that started in ’98 by Holly Lisle and currently kept going by Lazette Gifford, is a roving crit board where you can post a short piece and get immediate feedback on your work and can crit others. There is also a chat room which allows for insta interaction between writers. I have made dear friends in that chat.

Absolute Write is another free forum which is very large and full of good info, though they have in the past been negative towards self pubbed authors, there are crit areas, advice areas and a large database of publishers and agents. I would highly recommend using their info before sending your work off to an agent or publisher. I have made several awesome friends and found a beta reader from frequenting this site, though, again, I haven’t been cruising forums much lately.

So what do I look for in beta readers? Firstly I look for people who read what I write. Sending a fantasy to a person who prefers true crime might not work well. Another thing is asking yourself what kind of input do I want? Some folks are great with the technical stuff and not the plot, character, worldbuilding, some folks prefer to give a reader’s opinion, while others love to do the red pen dance all over the story. It can all balance out (I have a couple folks who give the reader’s opinion and a couple who are more in depth which usually give a good overall view of my work), and often if you have all your betas having an issue with the same thing, chances are you need to fix it.

Some betas can be over-zealous, and not understand that the goal is not to rewrite the story based on how they would do it, but to make it closer to how you want it. Just as a word of warning. Carefully weigh what betas say with your vision of your story.

One beta picked out, within a page or so, the reason I was having trouble with a certain story. She was right, painfully so, and though I cringed mightily, I know what what I need to do to fix that issue. Her input has been priceless.

That brings me to another mention; thick skin. Getting the blunt truth back about one’s work can be uncomfortable. It is flawed, it is always flawed. There are always ways to fix it. Understanding and accepting this gracefully is important. How many times have we heard of an author who flips out on a negative reviewer? How unprofessional of the author!

When you hand your work to a beta you are asking them to pick apart the story, to look for problems, and to hand it back with a list and sometimes recommended ways to fix said problems. Flying off the handle at them when they point out that they find your main character a wimp, is not a good response, to put it mildly. Remember you ASKED for it. It doesn’t mean you have to take their advice, but if you get the same issue cropping up with more than one beta chances are you need to do something to fix your work.

When I recieve a crit or response from a beta I have a moment which I center myself, take a deep breath then plow through it. Yes, it can be uncomfortable, it can be tear inducing, but in the long run looking at a beta’s pov can benefit your story and your level of professionalism.

When you hand your work out to an agent, a publisher or self pub, you are putting it out for the public, and the public is not exactly kind if there are flaws and mistakes (or if they perceive things that they consider flaws and mistakes). And they will let you know how awful they think it is, often in a very unkind and condescending manner. To maintain a level of professionalism, keeping a clear head is probably the best idea. Thicken the skin, expect to get your stuff shredded sooner than later. 😉

Back to betas, be nice to your betas. Do for them what you hope they will do for you. Open the ears and listen to their input. It can greatly help your story in the long run.

And as a open message to my betas; thank you so much for pointing out when I messed up. 😀

 

Take care all, be good, be safe.

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Oct
2011

Happy October!

Sept was a slow, dragging month. So much RL stuff that dragged me away from writing I felt very lost at times. HOWEVER, this is a new month, one of my family’s favorites. I have a couple of stories I want to get put up for sale this month and next month is NaNo!  **squees**

I was hoping to have Elemental Truth ready to go for Nov, but I don’t think that is going to happen just yet. It isn’t right. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for perfect, but there are basic plot issues that MUST be addressed.

Lets see, last months sales were ever so slightly underwhelming. But I refuse to stress on it. I didn’t do much in the way of marketing due to above mentioned real life stuff.

This month I have two, possibly 3 stories I want to get up or ready to get up, and a slew of projects to organize for Nano and next year.

There was something else, but now i don’t remember.

Oh, well.

 

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Sep
2011

Formatting and other thoughts

I apologize, I have been very caught up with RL. Haven’t had a chance to really get over here to post.

 

Writing ground to a temporary halt while I deal with some very real, very urgent issues in RL. Today, as I tried to get my brain to refocus, i started skimming through some of my links. One of which is a great tutorial for using .html to format your ebooks. I got to thinking and pulled up my files to look over my stories in the various formats. And decided to re-format my files.

Here is the link to the tutorial. The comments are as educational as the tutorial itself, I highly recommend taking the time to learn it.  http://guidohenkel.com/2010/12/take-pride-in-your-ebook-formatting/

NaNo is right around the corner and I am excited and thrilled to say that I am, yet again, going to hop on the crazy train. Naysayers go away. My participating in NaNo isn’t going to damage your delicate little tail-feathers. Here Is Lazette Gifford’s take on NaNo. I have to say I agree.

You don’t like it, don’t do it. Stop wasting YOUR time bitching about us who ARE going to do it; and go slave away at your own WIPs.

After all, if you spent all that energy on writing instead of bitching, you might just get somewhere with your own work. I sometimes wonder if the naysayers are so because of jealousy. After all there is a lot of motivation and movement and people progress writing wise. Perhaps the bitterness is because those who are bitter have no forward motion in their writing… 😉  Something to ponder, eh?

speaking of work, time to get back to it.

Take care all.

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Sep
2011

Technical difficulties and a bit o a rant

We are having a few.

It kinda keeps me a bit busy.

I have been a bit quiet over here for a number of reasons. Health, kids, and other real life challenges.

 

There is  a lot going on in the pubbing world. At the moment, I am just watching and seeing how things will play out as I write my stories and self pub. There is a mini rant inside my head right now about contracts and the attitude people have of dismissing your concerns. Of people dismissing your desire to have control over your intellectual property.

I need some time to articulate it and need to do a bit of research to back up my opinions. But it boils down to this;

I want control of MY work. It is not a bad thing, it is a good thing. I enjoy having total control.

I know, for a fact, that not everyone can do the multitasking required to self publish. It is a hell of a lot of work, stress, headache, and time.

FOR ME, the correct choice, at this point in time, is self publishing. It might change later. Berating me for deciding to self publish, putting me down because I decided that I want to make damn sure what is happening on the business side of my writing is not going to make me look too kindly towards the traditional writing community.

Furthermore, here is a bit of an open letter to people;

I respect my fellow writers who have gone the traditional route. My hats off to you, you have done a hell of a job and I am excited and thrilled to hear about your accomplishments and future plans

My friends who are planning on going the traditional route, I will cheer you the whole way! I wish you all the success. Please feel free to share your plans and dreams of getting an agent and having a trad publishing co publish you. I will remind you of other options but I won’t, nor do I intend to push you towards self pubbing. If you feel I’m being pushy tell me, I am a big girl I can take it. 😛 (Seriously I get excited with self pubbing, I don’t mean to be pushy, I openly apologize if I have been)

Fellow self pubbers/indi writers; for fucks sake be nice! I have seen this trend towards being insulting towards agents, editors, trad published writers. Just knock it off! Yes I know, we have been put down and kicked around because we choose to take our future into our own hands, but all this negative energy directed towards the traditional methods of publication are taking out of your writing time and feeding a fire that doesn’t need to be fed. The negativity is a cancer which will kill your creativity if you don’t get it under control. We can play nice together people.

Super Critical trad published writers/editors/agents: You be nice too! Yes there are issues with many self pubbed writers, but not all of us are idiots, not all of us put out nothing but crap. Take a moment and give the ones who are working hard to put out our best work the credit we deserve. You know why I have only 4 shorts up? I have about 15 projects I could, I suppose, toss up. But I won’t. Because I am working hard to ensure that what I put up is worth what I will ask people to pay for it. I could toss up E1 right now, but, as it is, it is crap. I want it to be better, so I edit, I am working on it. I hope it will be ready before Christmas, but I won’t put it up until I am certain it is worth my readers time.

This is my choice, and I am happy with it. Please respect my decision, I will respect yours.

ok I have a bunch of housework that needs to be done. Play nice, be good or at least be safe 😉

 

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Sep
2011

I went to the library…

I went to the library to pick up the 3 books on hold. I thought, hell since I am here I might as well look at the books on religion. I am doing worldbuilding for the Epic thing. OMG, for a small library they had a good selection. Books on mythology, a couple on Buddhism, a couple on what Muslams really believe, which I thought would be enlightening considering the Islamaphobia in our country. Taoism, Shinto, Egyptian mythology, a book on Russian Myths and legends…

 

Plotbunny fodder!! 😀

 

Religion in Fantasy seems a bit limited. I have noticed in many fantasy books there seems to be one main religion and no other.

Not so in my Epic-thing, I am working on a minimum of five religions, getting ideas from religious practices here.

Some story random:

I know that the villain will be part of some sort of death cult or something. Working on the details here.

The FMC will be part of a group that is nature oriented, I keep thinking/envisioning something either Druidic or Celtic like. Some more research is needed though. but I know that it is nature based.

I know there are two types of strictish organized religion, think Catholic/Latter-Day Saint type of belief structure.

The final religion is inspired by Shinto, the? Japanese religion which I am going to have to read more about before I can give a good rundown. I have an image in my head, of the characters passing through a town where they are holding a festival. The villagers are carrying around figurines of their household gods so they can be part of the festival too. It was inspired in chat when a friend related an actual experience like that when visiting a town in Japan (if I understood it correctly, it was busy in chat).

I am excited about this project and am trying to decide if I should work on it for NaNo this year. I was going to work on E3, but E3 can’t be written until E2 is, and E2 is on hold while I figure out some stuff with the heroine.

 

Now another thing, lately I have noticed a trend of people coming back to the realization that writing for themselves, instead of others, makes for a happier writing experiance. **pssst I told ya! :P**

One of my pals over in Livejournal land has setup a community called 16weeksofjoy which is geared towards setting personal goals and writing at YOUR pace. If you have a livejournal you might want to look into it, or set up a livejournal so you can participate.

Now I need to get some more headache meds, light some incense, and get to work while I can.

 

Be good folks, or at least be careful. 🙂

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Sep
2011

Aug Sales – Small beginning

August Stats

 

4 stories up at Smashwords, Kindle, B&N and Xin Xii

Smashwords

The Shiny – 2
Redshirts – 1
The Magic Maker – 1
Playing For The Dead   –  0

Smashwords Total – 4

Kindle

The Shiny – 1
Redshirts – 0
The Magic Maker – 1
Playing For The Dead   –  1

Kindle Total – 3

 

Barnes and Noble

The Shiny – 0
Redshirts – 0
The Magic Maker – 0
Playing For The Dead   –  0

B&N Total – 0

 

Xin Xii

The Shiny – 0
Redshirts – 0
The Magic Maker – 0
Playing For The Dead   –  0

Xin Xii Total – 0

 

Grand Total – 7 sales

 

What does this mean?

**shrugs** I dunno, just thought some of you might find it useful. I am writing, editing, revising, and being a full time mom. I started mid Aug of a very difficult Aug, right in the middle of the summer slump.

7 sales, you say, how underwhelming.

I guess it depends on what your expectations are. I didn’t expect any sales in aug at all. These are short stories. My bigger projects are getting a fine tooth comb treatment and are not ready for the public yet.

My smaller projects are in the process of being written and we are looking at a possible major move here soon. It might even be Jan before I have more to put up for sale due to these issues.

Bottom line, I need to get more stuff up and write more. I am happy with things as they stand. Have I made sales this month…. I don’t think so but I could be wrong.

 

Another post being thought about.

Take care all.

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Sep
2011

CoB – An Epic Fantasy

The bottom line, hard truth to writing is that there is no one way to write. Let me repeat that; there is no one way to write. I know quite a few writers, both published traditionally and self pubbed and everything in between and not a single one does things exactly the same as any other. There are similarities, those who pre-plan, those who pantz it, and those folks who hover in between that like myself.

There are various methods involving pre-planning, worldbuilding, ways of organizing and scene order and every one of them is right. The only method that is wrong is the one that says it is the ONLY way to write.

A couple of days ago I had a twitter conversation with a writer I highly respect, Jill Myles whose livejournal I have followed for years, and we were discussing the issue of women in high fantasy always seeming to get handed a bow as if they couldn’t handle any other kind of weapon. Which led to the fact that many high fantasy books simply don’t feature females. There’s a token woman with a bow (or staff) but not the lead.

Somehow I found myself challenging myself to take a year and write a high Epic Fantasy about a group of women. One of which, I assured her, would be wielding an axe. To which she replied “Do it.”

(Thanks Jill.)

But that got my head going, and I could ‘see’ a woman carefully wiping down the blade part of a double headed axe. In this still frame in my head I can see three of her companions and a possible love interest in the background and behind it all a crown made up of bones with the center piece being a skull missing its lower jaw.

There are things I know about this story that have started to fall into place. I know who the villain is, I know who the love interest is, I know that things are going to get very very bad for the fmc. I know that there is going to be double crossing, and I know that when it all boils down they are going to have a bittersweet end.

I haven’t decided if there will be a redshirt among the companions. I know that there is not going to be a huge chance for an HEA (I really don’t see how it would be possible considering the situation). I sat down and drew a map using Holly Lisle’s methods. I wrote up a bit of a scene which might be a prologue later on (I need to finish the last half of that scene, I don’t like how I ended it) and I outlined 5 scenes.

No more than 5 for now because I just don’t see where it will go immediately after the 5th scene. When I hit that 5th scene I will probably have more unfolding in my head and will have to sit down and scribble out the next few scenes.

I’ve gotten a general idea about the three main religions of their world. And I am still trying to decide if there are going to be any non-human creatures (think Elf, dwarf, goblins & so on) right now I don’t see them being a necessity for the world but that may change as I write.

All because I challenged myself to write an Epic fantasy featuring a woman with an axe.

The pieces were there, floating around in my head, it just took one little trigger to bring it together.

That is how I work. There are those out there that would have to figure out the history of all nations involved, figure out the distance of the world from the sun and its moon/moons, figure out exactly how many ticks are in a tock and what ethnic groups populate the little islands on the other side of the world that never make it onscreen…

Then there are those who would simply start writing whatever scenes come to mind to organize it all later. (Yes wen, I am looking at you!)

And a thousand different variations to those.

In the end, if you have a book that does what you intend it to do (Chicks with axes FTW!) does it really matter HOW you got there? The point is you got there.

I leave you all with a link to a great post at The Writing Bomb, about what it takes to make a real writer over here.

Have a great week folks. 🙂

 

P.S. ohohoh I almost forgot there is a tumblr over here that features Women Fighters in Reasonable armor. Awesome site with great pictures.

 

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Sep
2011

Character ramble

Many of my stories have appeared in my head by way of a character, waltzing onscreen and taking command of a scene. Those characters are ones I feel strongest about. Those are the ones I can cry with as I put them through hell. Then there are the other characters, the ones that I know I need someone here. There is little connect with them, as cool as they might be.

Elemental Storm , also known as E2, is one such story. I love the idea of the romance in it. The characters who have been through these issues that they have, to overcome. But in writing I find myself struggling to connect with the characters.

I have handed what I have to an insightful friend who is willing to read over and give me her input and see if we can’t figure out what about the story has me disconnected.

So as I sit, anxiously waiting her input, I find myself returning to another favorite story, a character who has haunted me for almost ten years now. I find myself longing to return to his story.

Characters are the story, characters are the ones whom we accompany on their journeys. I want to do it right, I want their emotions to be captured in words so the reader can feel what they feel. I think one of my biggest worries, outside the issue of grammar, is doing my characters and their stories  justice.

I may push back my release date for Elemental Truth and Elemental Storm to ensure that when they do come out, they are as good as I can get them.

There was something else I was going to say, but I totally lost track of what it was, my kids are watching Backyardagains and I am finding it very distracting.There is another post I am debating putting together, but I am debating even writing it.

Anyways, have a good weekend folks. 😀

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Aug
2011

Tuesday? Really?

Whoa, where did the weekend go? I swear I missed a day.. or three…

Am doing some website maintenance and trying to get myself in gear. Some days I wake raring to go, some days, like today, I am dragging. So I whip out the list of things to do

Website:
Make sure links are working and up to date.

Writing wise:
1k on E2 at minimum
Edit the vampire thing

RL:
Solidify kids schoolwork for next year. Our school starts after labor day.
Dining room table needs to get cleared up

and I have a TBR pile that is staring and whining at me.
Ok time to get moving.

Take care.

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Aug
2011

But how…?

“How are readers going to find your work among the millions of crappy stories out there?” Is a question I’ve received repeatedly since I announced a couple weeks ago that I was going to jump on the indi bandwagon and self publish my work.

To be perfectly honest it isn’t a concern I actually have. Let me explain why;

For years and years people have been able to find the types of stories they like among thousands, indeed millions of books at bookstores. How?

Well by critical thinking, that thing that people forget that other people actually do. When someone is looking for a new read, or even an old read, they look in that catagory. Say someone, like me, is looking online for a new read. They read Fantasy, they like romance, so they type in the search engine those two terms. And a selection of those types of books comes up.

Guess what? The reader found books to skim through, they read over the blurbs, they look at the covers and the things that catch their interest they buy.

And they didn’t need anyone to hold their hand and say “Ok dear, there’s the books you’ll like, right over there…”

They used their brains. Because, despite how it sometimes feels, everyone really does have one. And everyone is capable of searching to find what they are interested in without being told by anybody what is good and what is crap.

Though don’t get me wrong, having a friend say “Read this by ________, it is a great book!” holds greater weight than what anyone else could tell them.

But seriously, writers need to give their potential readers more credit. Is there a lot out there? There always has been. And as always, some of it is crap and some of it is gold, and to further complicate matters one man’s crap is another man’s gold. People have always been able to really find the things they are looking for, one way or another.

Kristine Rusch’s post Odds, Ends, and More Slush Pile Truths discusses this very thing, among many other things, I highly recommend you read it and think about it.

And give your potential reader some more credit. They’re big kids, they can find your work. If you have it up for sale that is, if it is sitting on your computer’s harddrive no one will be given the opportunity to love or hate it, because no one but you can see it.

So if you are hoping to bag an agent, catch an editor’s attention or self publish it yourself, don’t allow the fear of “crap books out there” or “internet noise” or “tight competition” to sway you from trying to accomplish your goals. As DWS has said “Dare to be bad.” Give a story the chance to sink or swim you might be surprised by what does and doesn’t.

And those are my thoughts. What are yours?

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