Issues

I haven’t posted much lately due to issues in life. Both technical and of a personal nature. Been spending time putting things back in order. And editing. Definitely editing a lot more now that I’ve solved my lack of mobile solution problem.

I’m getting really excited for my book. I’ll of course post more information once I get closer to publication. Also getting super excited for NaNoWriMo coming up and getting book 2 written. A couple of the characters keep fighting and I’m hoping once I write it down they’ll ease up at least.

The personal issues… I don’t want to get into detail about. Mostly for the parties involved. I will say that it was eye opening and I’m still working out how to deal with a particular individual. For those of you that know the details, please don’t post anything here. It isn’t fair to the other party involved.

So much to talk about and not much time as I squeeze this in during my daughter’s dance class. Not to mention my tablet’s keyboard went kaput recently and I’m not a fan of on screen keyboards and long posts.

Wrong path? #IWSG

Got close to missing #IWSG today due to a packed morning with the little one.

I haven’t really edited my book much lately since I’m still waiting for one more beta reader. However, that doesn’t stop me from looking at the business side of the publishing world and further fret about previous decisions (and work on the never-ending short story). The big one is to self-publish or to try and go the traditional route.

On the self-publishing side, obviously I have to handle everything somehow. Creating a new business, marketing, cover art, interior… It’s a lot of work. When it comes to the marketing in particular, I want to run for cover. Who do I partner with to make it all possible? What pitfalls do I need to watch out for? Where do I start?

The traditional end comes with its own set of questions: agent or directly deal with a publisher? Will I be forced to make changes to my book that go against my grand plan? Will I get stuck in some ridiculous contract? As it is, I’m watching a friend of mine go through her rounds with trying to find an agent. Her optimism in the face of rejection letters is something I can admire.

But, the real question that it all boils down to is which path is really the right one for me? I’ve been trying to gear up towards a self-publishing path, but I’ve been wondering if maybe I’m wrong. I’d have to extend my book by a lot to make it viable for traditional. I looked at one publisher’s demands that fantasy be at 100K words and cried. I thought about sending to agents to see if there was even any interest, but, well, you can imagine all the wonderful problems that could come from that.

While I debate the issue, I’ll keep plugging away at projects and keep formulating an idea for my next book. Got to have something to write for NaNoWriMo.

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Proofreading?

I just finished reading two completely different articles from two vastly different websites. One of those, I can go from reading an article about a video game to something more politically based without batting an eye. Both had spelling and grammatical errors in them. What happened to proofreading or at least an editor reading over the piece before it is published?

Neither one was a lengthy article. I finished each one in under a minute even with a pause at each error. Longer works, heaven only knows how often I’ve read and reread the same parts of my book and still missed them because my brain fixes it automatically. Still try to find them though.

I just find it hard to take articles seriously that have blatant errors like the ones in the articles I read. It was the same reason I stopped reading The Legend of Drizzt series I forget how many books in. After a while, the errors just drove me mad.

Something new

Oooh, look, 2 days and 2 posts. Scary.

Getting back on topic, I’m giving something new a try. So far I’ve kept my notes and whatnot in Scrivener. Good spot, easy access… you get the idea.

However, given that I’m still impatiently waiting the release of an iOS version of Scrivener, and copying all of those notes from one project to another as I continue in this world… I’m starting to see the signs that I’ve outgrown that particular function. A friend of mine was talking about a personal Wiki she keeps on her computer for her world and had to inquire further. Especially after coming up short on my searches.

She uses WikidPad and from what little I researched before downloading and installing, it sounded good. Toying with it a bit, I soon came to realize the limitations that I would personally encounter. For someone that has access to a laptop that can be mobile or doesn’t mind being tied to one machine, it would be great. My mobile option is my iPad… not so friendly with Windows programs. I haven’t uninstalled the software, but I’m not actively pursuing using it at the moment. Still contemplating the “just get a damn laptop” option for down the road as I don’t like being stuck in my office.

Especially not with a very active 3 year old free in the house.

My search turned up an alternative that may work: OneNote. Has an iOS app. Dropbox compatible. Sounds like a good deal? Except I heard it can be a lot more work to try and keep organized. I’ve been toying with it for a little bit and so far seems fairly straight forward. Snagged some tips from this Reddit post. Let the experiment begin. I’m hoping this will turn out to be a wonderful tool to use to keep my world organized.

Does size matter? #IWSG

Of the many things I’ve fretted over as I near the point of publishing is the size of the book. That all important word count.

Fantasy has a rather high word count according to my Google searches with a large range. I have met other local fantasy and science fiction authors who have 120K+ projects that they are working on that don’t seem to have a problem reaching those numbers. But then I look at my little 66K word count and wonder if I shouldn’t be looking into somehow making that larger.

I’ve told the story I wanted to tell. Any additions I have planned for once I hear back from the last couple of beta readers won’t bring that count much higher. It concerns me that people will somehow see this little word count and think it isn’t worth their time.

Even once I made the choice to go the self publishing route because of small size (what traditional publishing house is going to want to try and push something that small for fantasy?), it hadn’t settled that concern. The feedback so far from beta readers hasn’t pointed at the size being an issue. I should be comfortable having something that works well, right?

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When fear sets in

Suddenly I’m not so sure about my tentative month of release for my book. And it all started with a simple curious search and a husband that is far more versed in the area than I realized.

Actually, it really started over laughing about a post he found online of a Navy Chaplain with combat ribbons with following comments about the Navy using Paladins. No, I cannot seem to find the post and he wouldn’t send me the original link.

Getting back to my book, I wouldn’t have a lot to adjust. Really just a rank, but then I start thinking about my overall world building and wonder if I’m missing something. Then there were battleships and magic and it just plain got weird. And I really wasn’t planning on using the military of my world that often.

I still need to lay off using the keyboard too much with the injuries to my hands so I’m at a bit of a standstill in editing. Plus it’s still out with a couple of beta readers.

There’s also the whole process that will take months of getting everything set up so I can self-publish and the confusion of where to start. I’m trying not to back down, but there is just so much to do and learn. I realize that I’ve only told a few people my plans on when I would like to release my first book, but even with months to go, I wonder if I’ll make it. On top of mentally planning for and then participating in NaNoWriMo again. I plan on working on the second book in the series for the challenge, but I’m not sure where I’m going anymore.

I’m lost and afraid.

Would do it again

I participated in my first Goldilocks ride this weekend and completed the 20 mile course with my sister-in-law. It was fun, tough, and rewarding.

Unfortunately, I also kind of did a number on my hands. It makes typing hard and painful. So that project I was working on for Camp NaNoWriMo is now on hold more or less. Mostly because I’m stubborn and will continue to try to keep getting at least a little done here and there.

Despite the damage to my hands, I am planning on doing the ride again next year. Probably attempt the 40 mile route. Yes, it’s depressing that I cannot write like I want to or really play FFXIV, but the ride was fun. I probably need a much better bike though. I’ll get there some day. For now I’ll go start training for the 40 and keep mentally trying to figure out where I’m going in the next book. At least I can catch up on my reading.

Proofreading

This is a bit of a rant that has been coming.

Recently, I’ve been in contact with a couple of different people who have used one excuse or another for their lack of proofreading. The last one was an email with important information about an upcoming event. It hurt to read the whole thing written out in ALL CAPS. I’m still sure I missed information in there despite reading through it more than once.

No, I don’t expect people to be excellent in formatting and whatnot, but for the love of other people’s eyes, proofread. I may not be the best at it and still miss things, but I put in the effort of trying to put out the best quality I can. Don’t just type in all caps because you’re not a typist. Don’t just look for a beta reader because you can’t be bothered to look over your own work before posting it for the world to see.

GAH!

Now, in game, my fellow FC mates will jump on me when I screw something up (usually because I’m trying to respond quickly while fighting something) because they know how I usually type in chat. But for our forum posts, I still make sure that I proofread and check the formatting before posting. Why? Because I’ve learned to do that all the time. It has become a habit, and a good one at that.

So please, help make the internet a better place and proofread! (Okay, I’ll admit, it’s early and that was corny.)

That blogging thing

I fear I am not good at this blogging thing. Most of the time I feel like I have nothing worth sharing.

But the real problem was that rarely read blogs. Recently I began reading through a local author’s blog (who was super kind and sweet to beta read my book) and realize that blogging held the same as when trying to work on a story. I can’t just wait for the right idea to hit me.

I still fear having written something that is worthless and no one will read, or worse, everyone will love to hate. And I just went through that same fear when I released my book to my beta readers. But I took a deep breath, remembered that I had been receiving feedback from my critique group one chapter at a time (they had only made it to chapter 6) and I had been implementing all the amazing things about writing that I’ve learned from them throughout the whole project.

Okay, really it was a close eyes, hit send, and then pray.

Blogging is a lot more immediate. I am going to make an attempt to be better about it. However, I don’t want to create a specific schedule – I learned to keep myself flexible with my 3-year-old. Or rather need to.

I’ll end with an update about my book: it has been out to my beta readers for roughly a week now. I’ve gotten some great feedback so far and have decided to go ahead and start planning for a December release (maybe November if I can finish NaNoWriMo really early). Now starts the panic about everything that goes into publishing a book.

In “Killing your Babies”

I should start with that I am not a big time author who has had years upon years of experience with writing. I may have been writing for years, but alas, I am still working on my first novel.

With that said, I would like to share a late night epiphany. I have browsed many articles on the subject of writing and becoming an author and there was always the comment about being willing to kill your babies. With so many takes on what that meant, I felt lost as I waded into the sea of editing.

Now, for this particular book, I had first written it on half an idea during 2013’s NaNoWriMo and struggled with it afterwards despite that I loved my story. Put it aside, thought about tossing it, but I always ended up coming back to it. I ended up rewriting the whole thing for 2014’s NaNoWriMo and used the previous year an outline. I came out with something that I loved even more and set upon the daunting task of editing once more.

The thought of killing babies again came to mind and I worried for my world. My critique group has been absolutely wonderful in helping me clean up my early chapters and it wasn’t until this last round with chapter 2 that it hit me. As I looked over the critiques and remembered the discussions, I sadly dragged my chapter down into the scratch folder in Scrivener and started over, feeling that only a fresh start would make the flow right. And I sat there at the end of it, much more pleased with it.

This may have been a long lesson for me to learn, and this is only my interpretation of the concept. I’ve ruthlessly cut other things, added, changed, but it is all for the uncovering of the beauty that lay beneath. I’ve found editing to be rather fun now that I know the rewards that wait me at the end.