Friday, September 25, 2015

Seven Writing Links -- Volume 95

To all those who stopped by this week to read my Wednesday post, I apologize for the lack of posts. This last week has been a roller coaster ride as far as my personal life goes, so I've had little time for anything writing related.  The good news is that everything has worked itself out and things should go back to normal again.

Thank goodness!  

Have a relaxing weekend.  That's what I plan to do.


Indie Author Marketing Guide: A Primer to Social Media

Audience Building Via Contests & Giveaways

How to Market Your Book to a Niche Audience

So You Want to Publish a Book

How to Edit Fiction: Watch Me Correct My Own Story in Real Time

How to Evaluate a Small Publisher

Criticism & Reviews: How Do You Handle Feedback?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Seven Writing Links -- Volume 94

Other than some job related issues, it's been a pretty good week.  Last Saturday, I attended the Michigan Writing Workshop, a one day conference run by Chuck Sambuchino.  I had a great time and learned a lot.  Now all I need to do is to put that information to use.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the links.


Back to Basics: Writing a Novel Synopsis

Does Paid Marketing Work for Authors?

Explore the Layers of Conflict in Your Story

I swear every word of this is true Short, but funny!

TV Series Binge Watching–A Study in Character Development

Prune those branches: Making the hard cuts in editing

How To Write Your Book Sales Description

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Typical Week In My Writing Life

Today, I thought I’d give you an inside look into my writing routine. This does not include any chapters I’m critiquing or manuscripts I’m beta-reading at the time.

Monday – I wake up ready for a new week of writing, usually depressed over how little writing I managed to accomplish over the weekend. Partway through the day I remember my Wednesday blog post is due in two days. Rats! Now every time I have a chance to work on my story, my mind refuses to focus on anything other than dreaming up a topic for my blog post. If I’m lucky, I’ll come up with a idea quickly enough that I'll be able to spend the rest of the day concentrating on my story.

Tuesday – If I thought up a good blog topic on Monday, I alternate between writing the blog post and working on my story. This can lead to a very productive day of writing. If I haven’t come up with a topic, however, then all work on the story ceases until the blog post is finished. Assuming I finish…

Wednesday – If I finished the post on Tuesday, then I upload it to the blog early in the morning and feel free to spend the rest of the day on my story. Yay! If not, I frantically write it during lunch, which means everyone who has already stopped by my blog to read my scheduled Wednesday post has left in a huff. At least I have the rest of the day to work on my story.

Thursday – Assuming I don’t obsess too much over the gathering of writing links for Friday’s blog post, or how late my Wednesday post was, I work exclusively on my story. Thursday is often my most productive writing day of the week.

Friday – Oops! The writing links aren’t done yet, so I scramble to gather them together and post them. I’ll work some on my story, but I’m often so relieved that my next blog post won’t be due for another five days, it’s hard to keep my mind on the story. But I don’t let Friday’s lack of progress bother me, because I’m absolutely certain I’ll do a ton of writing over the weekend.

So what’s your writing week like?


Friday, September 11, 2015

Seven Writing Links -- Volume 93

It's been doom and gloom around our house this week.  At least as far as the kids are concerned.  School started on Tuesday and they're already wishing it were over.  Me? I'm looking forward to all the extra writing time I'll have now that they're busy with homework.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the writing links!


Why Change Your Book Cover Artwork?

The Writer Unboxed / BookBub Interview, Pt 1

The Legal Side of Writing for Anthologies (Part 1)

Manuscript to Ebook: A Cleaning Guide

Let Toy Story Show You the Key to Subtle Character

Editing Mistakes: How Forgiving of a Reader Are You?

How to Let Your Characters Move The Story Forward

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Being A Slow Writer in This Day and Age

I’ve whined posted before on the topic of being a slow writer, but lately my plodding ways have left me more and more worried. Not because my goal was to have fifty books under my belt by the time my writing days are over, but because, based on everything I read, my chances of being a successful writer may be compromised.

For almost a year now, I’ve read about the strategies authors should use for maximizing their income. Not everyone agrees on all the details, of course, but one rule seems to stand out. The more books you publish, the better off you’ll be. On the surface, this seems pretty obvious. The more books you have for sale, the more books you can sell. But the rule isn’t about the total number of books you publish; it’s about how quickly you can pump them out.

If a reader tries your book and likes it, then it’s in your best interest to have more books ready for immediate purchase. In fact, some writers will tell you that if you’re writing a series, there’s no point in spending time or money on marketing until you have at least two or three books finished and up for sale. Yowsa! At the rate I write, that’ll be another ten years from now.

Even worse, I hear it’s important to minimize the time between books. One book a year is now considered too slow, because readers who love your current book may forget about you in a year. For this reason, some writers don’t bother publishing any of the books in a series until they’re all written. 

I know my speed will improve with practice, but less than a year for a book? Right now, the only way that’s going to happen is if I lose my day job and my wife lets me write all day. And that’s not a possibility I wish to explore any time soon.

So what’s a slow writer like me to do?

Hmmm... I probably should have saved this topic for my next IWSG post. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll come up with a new insecurity before October rolls around.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Seven Writing Links -- Volume 92

It was a surprisingly busy week for me, so my time to write dwindled to only a few minutes here and there. I understand life gets in the way of writing sometimes, but I look at the calendar and all I can see are rapidly approaching (self-imposed) deadlines.  I've already given up hope that I might actually make them and have moved on to just-how-badly-am-I-going-to-miss-them mode.

And as if I don't have enough on my plate, I find myself actually considering entering the Insecure Writer's Support Group Anthology Competition.  I've never written a short story before, and I haven't finished either of my regular length novels yet, so I can only assume I'm going insane.

Or maybe writing is slowly sapping away all my wisdom points.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the links


Opinion: What’s the point of an author website?

How I Hit #1 on Wattpad If you're at all interested in finding out how Wattpad might be useful to you, check out this link

Indie Publishing Paths: What’s Your Distribution Plan? Part One

How to Typeset a Novel in Microsoft Word

Your Book-Signing Cheat Sheet (or: How To Stay Sane While Everyone Seems To Ignore You)

Reviewing a Friend’s Book on Amazon?

When Should You Release a New Book?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Insecure Writer and Character Troubles

Today is September's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Why am I an Insecure Writer this month? 

Because of my characters.

Some writers need to know their characters inside and out before they begin writing, but that's not how it works for me. I’m a plot-first kind of guy, which means I’d rather tailor my characters to fit the plot then tailor the plot to fit the characters. So my characters start out as blank slates, their personalities and traits slowly coming to me over the course of the story as I learn which attributes would best accentuate the plot.

But even when I have my characters all figured out, I apparently have a problem portraying them. I received feedback from one of my critique partners this past week, and the thing that surprised me most was how much he disliked one of my main characters. Even though I was trying to portray the character as whimsical and funny, my CP thought the character was mean and a little creepy. Yikes!

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time one of my readers has come back with a perception of my character that was completely opposite of what I intended, and it's beginning to worry me. Part of the problem may be that I don't add enough internal thoughts to help guide the reader. Maybe it has to do with my whimsical writing style. Perhaps I just have no clue what I'm doing.

The very first time a CP didn't like my character (many years ago), I was able to fix the problem by changing only a single word. These days, I think it's going to take more work than that.

Has anyone ever misunderstood one of your characters?