Monday, August 24, 2020

And Now It's Done

In case you don't follow The Writing Spectacle (and why not, I might ask - I'm there Tues, Thurs, Sat, & Sun... sheesh), I finished Cinder Ugly's first draft Saturday night.

This book has been a slog...  Stepping into the wayback machine, I see the first time I emailed myself a copy of the work I was doing on this book was July 19th, 2019.  I also see I restarted it on January 3rd.  I fiddled with it some in February, March, and May, then I fell down.  The rest of it was written this month, during the inaugural AuGoWriMo.

And now it's done.  59789 words of occasional awesomeness and occasional dreck.  I like what I wound up doing with the ending.  I'll fix the dreck in the middle during edits.  I have an idea for a new beginning that I'll play with, too.

I took yesterday off of writing.  My first day off in 23 days.  I hope it doesn't become a habit.  Writing every day is good for me. 

Anyway, I'd like to have this out into the world by the end of October, but that depends on editing speed, potential issues, other people's schedules, and the world in general.  I'll be working toward that goal, and that's the best I can tell you right now.

Thanks for all your support through this and everything else.  :hugs:

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Too Many Choices

I'm close enough to the end of Cinder Ugly now that I'm wondering what I'm going to do next.  Sure, there won't be much of AuGoWriMo left, but who's to say I have to stop when September 1st hits?  September Write Your Ass Off... SeWriYoAO?  ROFL... or something.

Earlier this morning, I opened my untitled YA fantasy and posted a snippet to Silver's blog for her Wednesday words post.  And I got to thinking that I should probably finish that one of these days.

Then I've got this modern day, urban/dark thing with Arthurian mythology I was working on years ago.

And of course, there's always a third Dennis Haggarty book and a fourth SCIU book I could work on.

Or that genie Christmas short I started.

Too many choices. 

Ever throw more than one toy up in the air for the dog to catch?  The utter chaos of them trying to decide which one to go after... that's where I could easily find myself. 

Probably when it comes time, I'll pluck one out of the air.  Right this second, I'm leaning toward the YA fantasy thing.  We'll see what I come up with when the time comes.  Who knows, I could still be working on Cinder Ugly right up to the end of August.  It keeps throwing twists at me. 

What do you do when it comes time to decide what project to work on next?  Especially when you have a lot of things you could choose from? 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Opinion Piece

A while back I saw something on Facebook that is worth mentioning.  A bestselling author had posted a screen capture of a message she'd received from a reader and her reply to it.  The reader said that because of the author's politicizing things in their stories, the reader would no longer be buying her books.  The author's reply?  Basically it amounted to 'tough shit, I don't write for readers'. 

To be honest, I've let enough time go by on this that I don't remember the author's name.  I only know that it was someone whose name was easily recognizable to anyone who hasn't lived in a cave for the past ten, twenty years. 

Anyway, I suppose it's easy enough to say 'I don't care what readers think' when you're already a bestseller, a known name, who's made a boatload off the sales to readers you don't write for.  :shrug:  So what if a few people stop buying her books?  Millions of others will keep her flush.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not disagreeing with her.  I guess I don't write for readers either.  If I sat here thinking about what stories were going to garner me the most sales, I probably wouldn't be writing what I'm writing.  Or I'd be selling a hell of a lot more books than I am now.  Of course, it would be easier if I had a Big Five (or is it Three now?) marketing department behind me, putting my name in front of millions of readers.  But that'll never happen.

I guess I'm disagreeing with the way she went about addressing this.  Making it public for one thing.  Shaming the reader who disagreed with her politics in a format for the world to see.  If I remember right, the reader's name was even on the post.  Might've been just the first name as the author addressed her personally.  Something along the lines of 'just so you know, B, I don't write for your approval'.  Umm, not just no, but hell no.  You don't DO that.

Like I said, I don't remember which author this was*.  I remember thinking that I'd read something of hers and didn't like it, so I obviously wouldn't be inclined to read her again anyway, but this put a nail in the coffin.  Publicly spitting in the face of a reader isn't good for sales, nor should it be.

Lord knows I've DNF'd enough books because the opinions and the philosophies woven into the stories rubbed me the wrong way.  Of course, I would never contact the author.  And I don't review those books.   My opinions are not going to change theirs and one lost sale isn't going to either.  Especially when the publishing industry is on-board with the ideas being espoused. 

The person who shared what this author had posted thought the author's reply was most excellent.  I don't remember who it was.  Not a friend friend, not even an acquaintance really, but someone on my FB friend list who is no longer on my friend list.  If she thought the author's response was a good thing, then what will her reactions be to someone like me?  Buh-bye.  Call it a preemptive strike.  Removal of potential conflict.  Whatever.  I don't need that shit in my life right now.

Jus' sayin',

*If you've heard about this and know who the author is, don't say her name in comments or I won't let your comment through.  I try to make this as anti 'personal attack' as possible.  Which, I guess, is kinda what she should've done.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

It Ain't Easy But It's Necessary

Writing every day ain't easy, lemme tell ya.  There are days when the world has had its way with you.  There are days when you're just tired.  There are days when the words just won't come out.  There are days when you spent 7 minutes kneading pizza dough earlier and now your hands/wrists/arms hurt too much to want to type.  (Oh, wait, that last one is just me.)

Previously, when any of those types of days happened, I would give myself a pass and not write that day.  I'm the CEO of this business.  I can give myself a day off. 

Except one day off leads to two days off and two days off leads to...  You get the gist.  And genuine reasons for taking a day off lead to excuses for taking a day off.  'My hands are killing me today' as a reason turns into 'I'm a little sore' as an excuse.  And the next thing you know, you haven't written a damn word for weeks... err, months. 

At least that's how it works for me.

So, this month, no matter how I feel physically or mentally, I'm writing every day.  Sure, it's not always a lot of words.  That 300-something day, oddly enough, wasn't due to anything but that the story wasn't talking to me.  I ended up forcing it to talk and got the 300+.  Right now, I'm averaging just under 950 words a day.  That seems about right, seeing as I was shooting for about 1K a day.  And more than that in a session makes my hands hurt. 

One day, I was totally not in a place where I wanted to write.  Everything was coming at me in a perfect storm for not writing, so I decided to give myself a pass.  Then, long about bedtime, the guilt hit me.  I made it perfectly clear I was going to write every day.  Not every day unless something made me not want to write.  Lucky for me, the cat helped there.  I ended up not going to bed because the cat decided she didn't want to pee at the time I wanted her to pee.  And since I was up and the house was quiet, I sat my ass down at the keyboard and wrote.  Not a lot of words and not great words, but I got words out. 

Writing every day ain't easy.  But it's necessary.  For me.  At this particular time and place.  Get the words out and get them down.  Finish the damn book that's been waiting to be finished for months now.  And I will do it.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Random Writerly Stuffs

First off, anyone who has written and/or published a book during this crap has my admiration.  All along this I've seen new releases.  Don't know how they did it, but kudos to them.  I've only just started getting back to writing and even now, some days are easier than others. 

Second, and totally unrelated to first, if you're going to market your book and use comparisons to other authors, don't just throw out a laundry list of bestseller names.  Do your damn research.  Actually read the books of the authors you're comparing yourself to.  I read an 'if you like... then you'll love me' list the other day that was obviously just someone who went down a list of bestselling urban fantasy authors and threw their names down.  I don't remember all the names now, but I remember being all like 'wait, she doesn't write anything like he does.'  Almost as bad as 'if you like Stephen King and Nora Roberts, you'll love me' kind of thing.  Don't do it.  Fans of the genre will know you're full of shit.

I have the cat to thank for last night's words.  I seriously didn't feel like writing yesterday, so I skipped it entirely.  (And felt guilty about it.)  Then at bedtime, Kira decided she did NOT want to use the litterbox.  (She's old, so we have to make sure she pees before we go to bed.)  So, I sent Hubs off to bed and I stayed up to try again later.  I used that time to write.  When I got done with the scene I was working on, I put her in the litterbox again and she did her business.  Yay.

Seven straight days of writing.  6723 words total for AuGoWriMo.  Unfortunately, I have to do some serious thinking of where I'm headed to next because last night I finished the part I'd planned and have no idea what's next.  There's a thick fog bank between here and the climax.  I'll wade in later.

A writer acquaintance of mine is getting slammed with people spoofing her Facebook account.  I notified her of one the other day wherein said spoofer attempted to friend me.  She posted about another two within the past week.  Not sure what the hell, but please, if you're on FB and you get a friend request from anyone you know or know of, please pay attention.  Each of these instances were close to her name, but not quite.  Easy enough to catch if you're paying attention.  If you EVER get a friend request from me, contact me because it's probably not from me.  I haven't sent a request out in ages.  I usually wait until someone sends me a request.

And that's it for me.  Got any random writerly stuffs to talk about?

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Progress Report 8/5/20

Hello and good morning to you all.

It's the fifth of the month and I've already done 5 days of what I had originally called AugNoWriMo, but I like Silver's suggestion better, so it's now AuGoWriMo - August Go Write Month.

Here's how it's played out so far:

7/31 - 1347
8/1 - 1471
8/2 - 818
8/3 - 887
8/4 - 642

For a total of 5165 words added to Cinder Ugly.  Yay.  Remember, no judging here.  Words every day.  That's it.

And I'm not sure if what I'm laying down is any good.  Also, no judging there.  They're words assembled in some cogent form and editable later.  Not 5165 instances of VERY.  LOL  The story is moving forward toward the climax.  That's all that's important right now.  Whether they're in any shape for other humans to read can't be a consideration.

As an aside, I've heard critics of this style of fast writing (or dirty drafting, if you prefer) question the quality of the writing.  Quality sacrificed in favor of quantity.  Well, duh.  This is NOT good writing and I wouldn't want anyone to see it - not even my BWFs*.  It's supposed to be dirty and gross and messy.  That's what editing is for, silly pants people.  You can't write a book this fast and hope it will be of publication quality when you're finished.  Derp.  Books written the long, slow way still need editing, too.  Perhaps not as much, but the first draft of anything isn't perfect for anyone.

Anyway, progress is being made.  When I don't feel like writing, which has been the last three days, I do it anyway.  Those days I don't make a huge amount of progress, but I make progress. 

How are things going for you?

*Best Writing Friends

Monday, August 3, 2020

August Novel Writing Month

AugNoWriMo... it's a thing. Okay, it's not a thing for pretty much anyone but me.  But hey, any month can be a novel writing month if you make it one.  I did a HoHoWriMo in December once, because my November was busy and I still wanted to do the whole 'write 50K words in a month' thing.

So, anyway, AugNoWriMo.  It's a thing for me.  The plan is to write every day.  That's it.  No set word counts.  Just write as much as I can every day this month.  The hope is to write at least 1000 words a day, but if I don't, I'm not kicking myself.

If I can do this, I should have Cinder Ugly done all the way to THE END well before the month slides into September.  Once I get that written, I will pick something else to work on writing.  Or I'll switch to editing every day so I can get CU in reader's hands.  We'll see how I feel about things when CU has a whole first draft.

Gah, I had hoped to have CU first drafted by the end of May.  I hoped it have it in your hands by now.  But enough about that.  What wasn't done, wasn't done.  Wallowing in that won't help me move forward.

To the end of moving forward, I've added 3636 words to CU since Friday night. 

Yeah, I started early.  AugNoWriMo doesn't judge.  And there's no such thing as cheating.  I write every day, I win.  Only get 10 words out one day, cool.  As long as I move forward.

And no editing.  I'm not asking myself to make sure they're good words.  I know I wrote some crap in there.  I'll have some major work to do in editing.  At least they're words to edit.  As some famous writer - I think it was Nora Roberts - said, 'you can't edit a blank page'.  Write crap.  Crap is fixable.  Blank is fixable, too - fill the blank up with words.

Yesterday, it was hard.  I realized sometime mid-afternoon that my two favorite shows were going to be on during my usual writing time.  So, I sat my ass down right then and I wrote.  It wasn't good, but it was writing and just over 800 words worth of it, so I win.   This month, I also have Owl's birthday and her departure back to Michigan to work around.  I will set aside time each day to write, even on those days when my brain has to work on other stuff.  I may have pay job stuff to do.  And there's still 'rona stuff to contend with.  Excuses, excuses... and I won't let any of that stop me.  Write.  Every day.

Speaking of pay job stuff, I just realized I have a spreadsheet to do, so I'd better get doing. 

If you're inclined to join me for AugNoWriMo, go for it.  Feel free to drop a line in comments and then drop several more throughout the month to let me know how you're progressing.