Monthly Archives: May 2016
This past week has been full of stops, starts, and shifting of gears. On one note, my short story is finally coming together. Hopefully, I’ll be writing the final chapters in the next week or so. Whether or not this turns into a new series remains to be seen.
I’ve been having some interesting chats and phone conversations with the beta reader that just finished reading Eternal Embrace. She had an interesting idea about moving one of the scenes closer to the beginning of the story. While moving the scene would allow one character more leeway, it would also leave gaping holes in a lot of other areas. I had to really think on this one. While I could see the plausibility of what she was talking about, I would have to rewrite a good bit of the book. After a lot of tossing the idea back and forth, I opted to leave the scenes as they were.
It wasn’t only the amount of work that was daunting. It was the fact that she told me the first half of the book had ‘meat’, but was lacking the ‘potatoes’. She said the second half was great. But she could tell where I had hit my stride and the words started to flow. Apparently, this book has a slow start; and I need to fix it. Back to the drawing board …
This is the kind of feedback I need. I value the opinions of my beta readers, and take their advice and comments seriously. Beta readers and editors are vital to an author, and crucial to the finished polish of their books. Without them, our stories would be grammatical messes with plot holes large enough to sink into to. I’m doing my best to avoid most of that. My job now is to tear apart Eternal Embrace paragraph by paragraph. I’m going to put some potatoes alongside the meat and make a complete meal.
I hope you enjoy your holiday weekend. Please don’t forget the reason behind the extra day off. Remember to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. We owe them our freedom.
Until next week,
Step 1 – Determine Your Role
Last week I started the intro to this series. Plan With Me. So let’s get right to it.
You can be the author, you can be the writer, or you can be both.
Before answering consider the following:
- Do you have any experience writing a full-length novel? An answer of no does not mean that you can’t do something new.
- Do you have the time to write a manuscript? Most of us are pressed for time already and the additional demands of writing would increase our stress levels.
- Do you have the money to pay a writer? Don’t laugh at this. There is nothing wrong with writing an outline and then paying a ghostwriter for their time and efforts. Some of the big names have done this. James Patterson has made no bones about the fact that he hires ghost writers to write his stories. As a creative, I wouldn’t feel right putting my name on something that someone else actually wrote, but that’s just me.
If you are interested in hiring a ghostwriter, you can Google ‘help writing a book’. Fivver has a place to hire ghost writers as well.
Some people are more interested in having their name on a book than in the actual process of writing the book. There is no shame in either way.
As the writer, you are exchanging time for money eventually. As the author, you are exchanging money for someone else’s time. As both author and writer, you are spending your time and money to write a book.
Are you OK with spending your time isolated and focused on writing? We each have the same 24 hours a day. Decide what you want to spend your time doing and own it.
Consider the avenues that are available to you and the end goal that you are shooting for. Once you have decided what your role is, then the next steps will fall into place.
‘Til next time
My journey to becoming an author is still full of discoveries. I’ve recently learned that I need to master the art of multitasking. Now, we’re talking full blown OCD here. I KNOW how to multitask. Yeah, right. I thought I did. I was wrong.
I am in the midst of putting together several local book signings. I am still working on revisions of my second book. I’m also midway through a short story. Add to the mix, I’m now working on another pet project. And that’s not counting the day to day promos and teasers that I put out on Phoenix Rising, trying to entice interest and ultimately, sales. Yes, my head is spinning. Because that doesn’t even enter into my normal daily routine, that’s just the writer part.
But I’m still enjoying every moment, so it’s all good. I did come to a crashing halt on my short story, however. I needed something climactic to bring my two main characters together. Had a great idea. Realized I needed information to make sure the scenes would be realistic. I called my sister (she knows everything)
Me: Do we know a fireman?
Me: Neil’s (her son) friend, Andre?
Me: Is he full time or a volunteer?
Her: He’s full time, a captain.
Me: Excellent, I need to talk to him.
Her: Okay. What about?
Me: I’m going to burn down a hotel. I need some pointers.
Me: *laughs* It’s for a book
I love this part about being a writer 😉 So while I’m waiting for my interview with the Captain of the Fire Dept., I’m working on revisions of book two. I let one of my beta readers get a sneak peek and so far, she’s been very helpful about spotting a few glitches I need to work on.
I’m also working on my website. I’m not planning on it going live until December, but it doesn’t hurt to get a head start and figure out how I want to set it up. I’ve also scheduled times in December for the cover art and editing of book two. Eternal Embrace is set to be published in the Spring of 2017. I’ve learned quickly that time flies and it will be here before I know it.
So, my days are full and to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will always be grateful to those two friends of mine that persuaded me to give it a chance. No matter what happens, I will never regret this path.
Enjoy a good book. Relish the scenes; you never know to what lengths the author went to get those details. 😉
Till next week,
I am living in a state of suspended disbelief. The world around me is no longer driven by the wants and needs of my body and soul, but those of the people around me who are all barely registering on the functioning chart. We’ve rushed repeatedly at the call, believing once again “this was it” only to find out that it was a false alarm.
I am convinced that the eventual final twilight will be surreal and unbelievable for all the cries of ‘wolf’ by the shepherd boy. That there is none among my circle who want to be wrong on that front, the race between places continues while no one plans too much, just in case. It has been over two and a half years now of this and I’m tired. This is not living. This is a state of limbo that has wiped out dreams and adventures, vacations and opportunities. Perhaps one day it will be more again. For now, it is not.
Most of the writers within Eclectic bard are pantsers. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. I have three unfinished manuscripts that I “pantsed” and will require some major editing and revision to make them publishable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing pantsers. There is a certain fascination that it holds for me because I utterly failed at pantsing.
Several years ago during NaNoWriMo, I pantsed Kiss of the Dragon (copyright Ellie Mack 2013). I amassed a large volume of words, exceeding the goal by more than double. The word count for NaNo is 50000. Kiss of the Dragon came in at 128,000. Overachiever much? Why, yes I am.
My pantsing produced a manuscript that had so many rabbit trails in it, it was difficult to follow, numerous scenes that didn’t add to the overall story, and in the end led to three more subplots that needed to be tied at the end. It was a nightmare and it still sits in my files because I am painfully aware of the amount of work that it still needs in revision.
My methods are not like the others in the house. My methods are my own and therefore no one but me takes the blame for incongruent stories. I’d like to think that I’ve improved over the years. Anyway, . . . planning.
From concept to finished product requires a plan. Whether that includes an outline is up to the individual. It’s been my experience that failing to plan is in fact planning to fail. We can make all sorts of excuses, blame life’s demands, other people’s demands on us, our own habits or whatever it may be that we revert to as our default answer of why X isn’t finished.
Over the next few weeks, on my posts I will share the key elements of a successful plan that will cut the time nearly in half from initial concept to finished book in hand.
I don’t know about you, but I could use some time-saving tips.
‘Til next time