Nano update

The nano project is halfway complete, sitting at 40k. IfI can do 2 5k days I can call nano done and just focus on finishing the book itself. Then I will take about a month or two just to focus on playing with covers. Seeing as it looks like we may be moving sometime between Feb 1st and March 30th I don’t want to get too deep into another project. So I’ll probably be editing E1 and playing with digi art.

 

Here is a nano snip; hope you are all staying safe today.

 

“We think she was able to do what you did, are doing. Your abilities are suppressing your illness. If that could be… channeled, what an interesting thing that would be.” She leaned forward, the lite clatter sound from her armor as she moved seemed very loud. “Something changed, when you hauled Hayner up. We want to see if we can help you control this ability.”

“In return?” Zander glanced at Lord Merdoc.

“You would join the Sarukai. And all the…. fun that entails.” Lady Nyhavi said with a tight smile.

“There is a possibility that by using your abilities for other matters, beside suppressing the Wasting could bring an early onset of symptoms. We saw that with your mother.” Lord Merdoc cautioned. “It could bring you to an earlier grave. The choice is yours.”

Zander looked back down at the disk, not seeing the wood, the charring or the slight imperfections in the carving. He saw possibilities. “I’m a dead man either way.” He closed his fingers around the disk, feeling the sides of it digging into his palm. He met Lady Nyhavi’s cool gaze. “I’ll do it.”

“It is not an easy path. Death by Zarconis or the Dark Immortals is a very real possibility”  She nodded, made a slight gesture at Lord Merdoc who inclined his head and left.

“Everyone dies.” He said. “Even the gods”

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RIP Anne McCaffery 1926 – 2011

For many of us there is someone in our life that so strongly influences us that we change the direction we are going in because of that person. For me it was Anne McCaffery. I never got to meet her. Never got to tell her “thank you” for her stories. I wanted too, oh man i wanted to see the Lady herself. But it never seemed to work out. Something always came up.

You see, when I was about 7, I “borrowed” a book off of my dad. It was a big hardback edition of Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon. I read it in a week and from that point on I was hooked. Anne McCaffery was my hero. I played dragons in the backyard. Pretending i had somehow made Earth into Pern. I don’t remember the logistics of the game but it involved a lot of running around the backyard with the dogs (big firelizards) and playing on the swing (fighting thread).

I read everything from her I could find. And i joined a pern fan club. Back before the internet when everything was snail mail. I wrote fanfic, and that is what got me started. You could, I suppose, say that Anne was responsible for me deciding to write. I discovered the world of reading, of writing, all because I crawled behind my couch with a flashlight and that big white book and was transported to another world.

She was my escape during High School. She was my hero. I wanted to be a writer. Just Like Anne.

My world is richer because of her writing.

I am thankful for having the opportunity to read her work, I am thankful for her stories. I am thankful she chose the path she did.

Good-bye Anne, thank you for your dragons. Thank you for your worlds.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Bookcountry and other thoughts.

I have had an account over at Bookcountry.com which is a place for writers to go, a writer community if you will. I had one of my stories up over there for peer review, and I got some awesome feedback!

However with the limits on my time I decided to withdraw that particular story from sight (I didn’t delete it cause the comments and reviews were just wonderful and those folks were so kind in giving me feedback I felt it would be rude to just delete it all) and I am debating closing the account.

Bookcountry seems to be a good concept, and I have heard some very great things about it. I just don’t have the time to spare.

If anyone reading this is one of those folks who gave me such great feedback on the harp story, thank you so much. I may not have agreed with everything suggested but there was some really good input, and I appreciate the time you took to give me your honest and well thought out reviews and suggestions.

#

I have published a new short story; Playing for the Dead  which was called The Harp at one point…

Available at Amazon (clicking the pic will take you there), Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and Xin Xii (which is a European ebook distributor.
A hundred years after a catastrophe changed the order of things, Lizbae is sent to take her turn to play a magic harp to soothe the restless souls of the departed. To protect her village, and stay alive, Lizbae must find the courage to face the night.

This story has a bit of a story itself, it was inspired by a picture I saw which was done by Linda Bergkvist. I noticed there hasn’t been activity on her deviant art page in a while **weeps** but I would love to find out how to purchase the painting she did, which inspired me to write this story in the first place.

Well I have to get back to work.
Take care readers, be good or at the very least; be safe.

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Rambling

This is a ramble, putting thoughts down as I think them. Consider yourselves warned.  That said, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my projects and the way I write and how self publishing has affected my overall output.

 

I have always thought I would publish through a big publishing co and have an agent and,…. and …. do whatever it is writers in that position would do. I wanted to see my books (series fantasy) as bestsellers, with kick ass covers and writing conferences and all that. The kick ass covers was really a big deal for me…

Things shifted in the world. Companies that seemed indestructible were suddenly just gone. The books being put out were books that made me sigh with resignation “Oh god MORE urban fantasy? eww.” But for lack of what I really wanted to see (Fantasy Romance anyone?) I went ahead and read those.

I have found some really awesome authors and discovered interesting twists to our own world, but it wasn’t what really got me.

I tried the one fantasy romance series, it looked promising, but we didn’t click, that fantasy romance series and I, and I set it aside dis interested in the characters or the world.

So that is what I wrote. A fantasy romance series that I could have my blood, guts, gore and still have the romance that moves a reader. Only mine didn’t fit the formula, the first story stretched over two books and the further you go the grittier it became. The mc doesn’t actually come face to face with the fmc until the beginning of the second book and, and…. It didn’t fit the formula.

It didn’t fit because I was telling the story the way I wanted to tell it. Now granted this particular story is not anywhere near ready to publish, but with the way things were going in the publishing arena I felt bombarded by the fact that that story, just one example of what I enjoy writing and reading, wouldn’t cut it in today’s market.

Everyone is reading super sex charged UF! At least thats what they would have you believe (that or sparkling vampires) by what is being sold.

 

I also discovered that I tend to write short. Novellas, Short stories and (this new term is getting annoying)  novelettes seem to have become my standard. And I write them in serials. So, many of my stories are interconnected.  Magic Maker  is one such story, and there are several stories set in that world. But when I told writer friends about these, I got told there simply ISN’T a market for shorts.

I decided this year to test the waters with self-publishing. I have three shorts up right now. One has already garnered some soda change :D. Those stories hung over my head for several years. And now they are out there, for good or ill, for people to love or hate or feel indifferant about.

They are published.

I feel like that weight, hanging over my head, is lightened. Not gone, I have other projects, but it isn’t as heavy as it was.

I did it!

So I am editing a project. And I struck me, as soon as I am done editing it, beta-ing it I could do one of two things, I could write up a query and start querying agents to represent me or to editors in the hopes someone will have had his or her morning cup of Java before hitting the slush pile and keep writing while it sits in limbo without even a guarantee that it will sell (and I’m not even going to mention the 7…uhmno… 9…. no….11 books that are planned for later….) and waste two years of my life or more waiting to hear from agent after agent/editor after agent/editor that no they cant buy this one because it is not UF and highly sex charged.

Or, I get send it to a freelance editor, get it edited and proofed, make the changes and then put it up for sale.

A matter of a couple of months.

vs

A few years MINIMUM

Which means I control which books I sell.

So if I want to spend the next few years just writing in that world and selling that series…

I can.

I don’t have to worry about being dropped by my publisher if book 2 doesn’t sell well.

Do you know how liberating that is?

I can write what I want and know I can get it to readers who may find it right up their alley. And you know what is REALLY cool? I have found myself writing more. Daily, because I KNOW it isn’t going to just sit on the computer wasting away it will be put up as soon as I am confident it is ready. From short stories to novels.

Will it ever be a bestseller on a grocery store shelf? Who knows. I’m not really worrying about that.

I am not in this for Fame or Fortune.

I want people to enjoy my stories. Is that so bad? I don’t think so.

 

 

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