Monday, February 28, 2022

Done da done done, DONE

 After 34 days, 33 of which I worked, I am done with this round of edits on Song of Storm and Shroud.  

I know I said only yesterday that I was going to do another read through, but at this point, I'm not sure I can read the thing again any time soon.  Especially with my brain going 'You're done? Hey, cool... Now, write THIS!  And THAT!'  So, if you're ready to beta read SONG, let me know.  It shouldn't need more than proofing at this point.

At this time, I should really spend some time on blurbing.  (You know, the exercise in trying to take a 110K manuscript and squeeze it into a diamond that will attract buyers.)  Except my brain isn't braining right now.  I need a coffee IV.  And a time machine to go back to when the world wasn't all crazypants.

And I need to clean my house.  And I need a shower.  And I need to go to Wallyworld.  I've been remiss in all three.  (Okay, I've taken showers since I last cleaned or shopped, but still... yuck.)

Anyway... SONG or S3 or SoSaS or whatever nickname I use, is a big, beautiful, chonky book.  Chock full of excitement and adventure.  With a bunch of mages.  And a dragon.  Good versus evil.  Magic abounds.  It was fun to write and I hope it'll be fun for you to read.  It's a whole book without a real cliffhanger, but there are seeds laid for another book.  Not sure exactly where to start that one, but it'll come to me.  (Maybe that'll be a post for Wednesday.)

Have a great day!

Monday, February 14, 2022

This Edit Round is Deep, Man

I am deep in editing.  This particular round involves me reading the book on my Kindle and making notes in a big 5-subject notebook.  Once I get a page of notes or so, I enter them into the manuscript.  (As opposed to the round when I waited until I was done with the whole book to enter the notes.)  :shrug:  It's my process.  

I use a 5-subject notebook because it's thick enough to be stable on the arm of my recliner.  And college-ruled, so I can fit as much on one page as possible.  But I only write on one side of the page.  

The other day, a writer friend of mine expressed that my way of doing this would drive her nuts.  And that's okay.  Everyone has their own process.  And the process might not necessarily be set in stone.  As I've said before, I'm big on letting people do what they do.  I'm just talking about what works for me.

So, here I am, reading my own book, looking for anything that makes me stumble as a reader - typos, wrong-words, crutch words - as well as taking note of anything that makes me wonder 'WTF?'  Like inconsistencies in the world or the writing or what have you.  There's a whole place where a character's pent-up anger bites him in the ass and afterward they're all wondering whether the same thing is going to happen to any of them, but I hadn't delved into the MC's considerable load of pent-up anger making him a prime candidate for this particular ass-biting event.  So, I was all like WTF? and then I addressed it.  Voila.  

I think all of this work is making a better book.  I hope.  We'll see.  Actually, it is making it a better book.  The question is whether the 'better book than it was' is better than other books on the market.  That's what we'll have to see about.

Anyway, I'm usually hitting this first thing in the morning, after my coffee and web-surfing.  Then throughout the day.  Then after dinner.  Seeing as it takes me about an hour to make a page of notes and then another hour to enter those notes, I'm only 154 pages into what is now a 371 pages book.  It's not a fast process by any means.  It is what it is.  

Now, back to your regularly scheduled and me back to work.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Tangled in Ideas

The brain is a wonderful and terrible thing.  It gives us all these ideas to write.  Then again, it gives us all these ideas to write.

LOL, I know.  That looks weird.  But it's true.  We have all these wonderful and glorious ideas that we can write, but also can have too many ideas of what to write and how to write it.  So many ideas that sometimes we can get tangled up in them all.  

Case in point:  I've written a fantasy novel.  I'm damn near done editing it.  In fact, I'd say I'm less than two months away from it being publishable.  And my brain comes along and says 'what if we expanded on certain things and in certain areas and instead of one book, we turn this into three books?'  Silly brain.

Shut up, silly brain.  I know what you're doing.  You're afraid of sending this out into the world and having it flop, so you're throwing landmines in the way of publication.  

If I listened to my silly brain, I would spend the next few months writing more words and editing more stuff, and still maybe not have a solid thing to show for it.  I have a solid thing NOW.  It's a good book.  The more I read it, the more convinced I am that it is a good book.  Sure, I could expand on stuff, but that's not what this book needs.  It is what it is without further futzing around.  

Sure, I could delve deeper into the whole 'school for mages' aspect, but that isn't what this is about.  This isn't Harry Potter, for pitysakes.  This is about a bunch of kids - teenagers, really - thrown into training to protect the Shroudlands because there is no one else to do it.  And they don't exactly have a lot of time because, like I said, they're it.  Evil stuff is coming out of the shrouds and they need to handle it, whether they're trained or not.  

So, no, I will not be expanding this one book into three.  The book is done.  I'm editing it.  I'm looking ahead to what will happen in the next book.  I have some ideas.  My silly brain needs to focus on that and drop the damn idea of reworking this book.  

Okay, now that I've smacked my silly brain a bit, maybe I can get down to getting it done.  Finish the damn book and let what comes come.

Do you ever have so many ideas you're getting tangled up in them?  

Friday, February 4, 2022

I'm No Ninja

I read a post this morning that said something to the effect of 'Ninja writers pre-sell books'.  Umm... yeah... about that...

I don't pre-sell books.

I had my first book up for pre-order.  For like ten days.  It was finished and could've gone live as soon as I uploaded it.  But I'd heard pre-orders were a thing, so I tried it.  I didn't like it.  I got a few orders that way, but not enough to warrant the waiting.  This post was talking about putting it up for pre-order before you even have the cover or the book finished.  


Just the thought of doing that sends me into paroxysms of fear and doubt.  What if I don't get the book finished?  What if I have to delay the release due to reasons and because of stuffs?  What if I do get a bunch of pre-orders and I have to let those readers down?  

The author of the post even went so far as to suggest taking money for books that haven't been printed and offering a discount to those people.  Actual cash in hand for a product that doesn't exist.  :panics at the thought:

Nope, nope, nope.  If you lay down money for one of my books, you will have the book in your hot little hands, inside whatever time it takes to deliver the book to you - immediate for ebooks and however long ship times are for print.  

Perhaps if I was the kind of author who planned her books, this would be closer to possible.  I'd have a general idea of how long a book was and when I'd get the damn thing done, so I could maybe put up a pre-order.  Even then, I'd still be all spastic about it.  What if I break an arm?  What if my arthritic wrists decide not to comply?  Hell, what if my beta-readers/editors are jammed up and can't work me into their schedules?  Or they break an arm?  There are too many variables.  I don't like variables.

Now, if the post-author had been talking about pre-selling in terms of marketing before the book is ready to go, that I can do.  To a certain extent.  I mean, I have a cover.  And I have a general idea of what the book is about now that it's finished (not edited, but written), so I can talk about it.  But to take actual orders?  Ut-uh.  I can whet your appetite with snips and stuff, and let you hunger to buy it when it's available.  But that's it.  

I can hardly even give you a firm date for release until I am way closer to finished than I am now.  I'm shooting for before April Fool's Day, but I'm not promising anything.  I don't like making promises I'm not certain I can keep.  And a pre-sale is a promise.  

So if that means I'm not a Ninja Writer, well, I guess I'm okay with that.  I hope you are, too.

What about you?  Do you pre-sell your books?  If you're a reader, do you do pre-orders?  (I don't do those either, but that's me and a whole 'nother post.)