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What with one thing and another, I’ve just started my reread of the original version of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

So far, I’m enjoying it. It’s too early to say if it will re-ignite my enthusiasm for this story, but I’m hopeful. It’s a good story.

Yes, it will need some rewrite/revision. But this time I’m going to focus more on just making the story what it really wants to be rather than trying to impose a whole new structure on it. And I’m not even going to start the rewrite until I’ve finished my read through.

It sounds strange to admit that I didn’t do this when I started the rewrite before. In retrospect, it really is the obvious first step. Yes, of course I know how the story goes. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to go back for some of the nuances.

And nothing says I can’t make a few notes about what needs to be changed when I do start the rewrite again.

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Okay, this writer’s block has lasted more than long enough. If taking a break was going to help, it would have by now. Time to, as my grandmother would have said, take the bull by the horns.

The first thing I’m going to do is read through the original version of MAGE STORM and try to remember what it was that excited me about that story in the first place.

Mage Storm

While I do that, I’m going to also rethink a couple of things.

Mage Storm needs a rewrite. What it doesn’t need, perhaps, is me trying to shoehorn it into a mold that worked before. It doesn’t have to grow into a 100,000-word epic–unless it wants to, of course. Maybe that’s the realization I needed to make.

I also needed to confront something else that may have been–all right, probably was and is–affecting my motivation generally.

I never really expected to make a lot of money writing–very few writers do. I don’t do this to pay the bills. (Some months, that’s a very, very good thing.) That’s not why I write.

Still, my Dual Magics series did pretty well.

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And, the thing about that is: I don’t know why. I didn’t do any marketing at the beginning, not even on social media. And, really, whatever marketing I’ve attempted has pretty much fizzled. But that series did well, anyway. Who know why?

And I tried to replicate that with the Become Series, only this time a very, very tiny bit better at promotion. And fell flat.

BecomeHeader

I completed the series in January and so far I haven’t even made back what I spent on covers–and I do my own covers–and marketing around the release of the final book. What makes it harder is that I think this series is my best writing so far. I don’t even know what readers think because I’m still waiting for the first review on either of the full-length books.

That’s disappointing, though I know that publishing, especially indie publishing, moves on and what worked a couple of years ago–even if I knew what that was–probably wouldn’t work now. Like I said, I didn’t go into this expecting to make a lot of money, but nobody likes to think they’re just talking to themselves.

But, the thing is, if that’s going to bother me now, when it didn’t before, because my first few books before the Dual Magics series didn’t do any better, then I’d better start figuring out what does work.

And, if I’m not ever going to be a marketing wizard–I can get better at it than I am, but let’s not expect miracles–then I should look around at some of my fellow indie authors and see what’s working for them in their writing. Fortunate for me the indie authors, on the whole, like to lift each other up, not tear each other down.

One thing I’ve notices, contrary to what some “experts” say, sometimes shorter books with quicker turn around do better than longer ones published farther apart.

Worth a try.

 

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It occurred to me that one way to break out of a rut is to learn something new. So, I’ve signed up for the Great Courses Plus–a subscription streaming service of the Great Courses.

I’ve started with “The Celtic World”. Who knows what little factoid will spark a new idea and the creative fire to go with it. The worst that can happen is that I’ll learn something. And, knowing how these things work, that something–or a version of it–might turn up in a future story.

Win Win.

That, and discovering that Sadie loves to play in the hose are enough to make today a good day.

Wet Sadie

Sadie before getting towel dried. Happy and very, very wet.

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I did write yesterday. I have not written anything–yet–today. I still might.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it is just–or, at least, mostly–that I’m still finding my way into this story. A story that is not the one I had expected or prepared to be writing at this time. There are things I just need to figure out, still. And, since I don’t have any momentum built up yet, it’s hard to visualize the next scene so that I can write it. That will change with progress–and time spent just thinking about the story. Which I have done today.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is a first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect–or even good. It just has to get the story out where I can fix it.

I may decide to skip ahead–something I don’t usually like to do–to write a scene or two with characters from the first books–characters I already know–in order to get things moving along better. We’ll see.

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I’m late posting this again today. But this time it was intentional–well, I didn’t mean for it to be this late, but . . . .

I’d set aside time to write this afternoon and I did plan to write this post afterward, so it was intentional to that extent. It didn’t end up being hours of uninterrupted writing. That would likely have been too much to hope for. But I did write. I finished the scene I was working on. And I’m pleased with that level of progress for now.

One step at a time. Forward.

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I’m late getting this posted. Another habit I need to work on. In my defense, now that things are finally drying out, there’s an awful lot of yard work to be done.

Bad habits may be hard to break, but good habits are just as hard to re-establish. Prioritizing my writing will be a process, but I am writing.

I know I’ve said before that I only really get ideas when I’m writing. Bit of a Catch-22, that. But I proved it again today, when I had an idea about what may be at the root of at least some of the writer’s block on MAGE STORM

Mage Storm

I’d been trying to just expand on the story I already had written, but I’m very much afraid that’s not going to work. I think part, at least, of what’s been bothering me is that my characters–Rell, who was the only POV character in the earlier versions of MAGE STORM and Katria, whose getting almost equal POV in this one–aren’t matching up the way they should, based on where the story is going to go.

Katria is way more mature than Rell. In part, that’s okay. She’s the oldest girl in her family and, when we first meet her, has the responsibility of looking after her younger siblings. And Rell is the youngest in his family. So some disparity at the beginning is all right. But . . . yeah, I think I’m going to have to really do a rewrite, not just a very heavy revision. Just, start with a clean page–allowing myself to go back and look at what I already wrote, of course, but doing it fresh.

Well, DAUGHTER OF THE REBEL MAGE is on deck, now. And I need to just keep working, rebuilding those writing habits.

 

 

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Not much progress to report. Partly, that’s because I’ve had other things that needed to be done. But, partly, it’s because over the course of this writer’s block, I’ve lost the habits of prioritizing my writing.

However, recognizing the problem is the first step. So . . . forward.

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