Writer Wednesday


Sunday I had one of those “dumb writer” moments. In the afternoon I opened the document for “Lost Son”,  changed the title, deleted the whole short story, and started typing “Half-blood”. I do that often to keep the document formatting identical for stories that go together. Except usually the first thing I do after changing the title and deleting the document, is “save as” with the new title. The dumb moment means that I forgot, and simply hit save” when I was done typing. So when after dinner I went back to the doc, it was still called Lost Son, but the actual short story was gone. All of it. YIKES!

Enter Dropbox. By now I have all my documents on Dropbox since Dear Techie Bro invited me to it. All I had to do to solve the Dumb Writer Mistake was to go to the site, select the document, look at its history, and recover the version from Sunday morning, which was indeed Lost Son. All this after renaming the wrong document Half-blood like I should have done at the very beginning of the afternoon… So the story was recovered and saved from oblivion. Well, I could have gathered the printed version – which I had already recycled – retype it and lose an hour or two in the process. While it was all solved in minutes.

I also tend to forget I don’t really need to save the different versions with different names, since Dropbox keeps the history of the documents… but old habits are hard to die! ;) Anyway, if you’d like to try this cloud-based archive – accessible from anywhere, so even if you’re traveling and you don’t have your laptop but you meet an agent/editor/producer who is interested in your work, you can go online and share a link to the document with him/her – let me know, and I’ll send you an invite. Or you can just log in to the site and get your 2GB of free storage…

I’ve sent the body switch to editors after a final pass – had to wait for my male betas to give me their impressions even if they’re not my target audience. I really appreciated them reading something that wasn’t really meant for them, but badly needed their input since I’m not a man! ;) And I’ve completed 5 Snippets – 3 more to go. The bodysuit Mya wears in my drawing is not that baggy in reality (I guess I’ll have to describe it somehow – it probably looks more like Maela’s outfit than how I drew it) but then, my drawing skills are quite bad when it comes to sci-fi and technology – that’s why my graphic novels are all fantasy, LOL!

What I enjoy of writing the Snippets is that I get to rewrite some scenes that are in Star Minds from somebody else’s point of view. I use mostly third person limited, so you don’t know what’s actually going on in, say, M’aera S’iva’s head – well you will know when Half-blood comes out! ;) Or even what is behind Lin-sun’s wedding to Ker-ris or S’lyss’s governorship of Gaia/Earth. I tried not to repeat the scenes – if, for example, in Technological Angel I had a dialog between Kol-ian and M’aera S’iva, in Half-blood I have a summary of the dialog with M’aera S’iva’s thoughts.

Writing World has an excellent article on POVs. So if you’re still confused about third person limited and omniscient, please check Victoria Grossack’s article – it’s a part 1, so you should subscribe to the whole newsletter, so you can read the rest. And then you can take the test – 10 signs that you’re a writer. I score very high on points 4, 6, 7 and 10, a little less on the rest.

Now if I had some strength to do some intercontinental travel, I’d love to try a 3-month residency – except with DayJob I can’t really take 3 months off – since applications for 2014-2015 are now open. M Writer’s Residencies are either in India or China – can you guess which one I’d choose if I could take those 3 months off? ;)

An interesting interview on self-publishing and restarting a series – Q&A with Delilah Maryelle. Don’t you love this brand new world of publishing? Heck, she’s almost got me interested in the 1800s, although this history buff is more for the Middle Ages… but her series sounds really intriguing… I’ll add it on Goodreads then who knows when I’ll actually be able to read it, sigh! :(

More authors crossing the self-publishing line: Alex Sokoloff guest on Joe Konrath’s blog. Don’t fall into the author exploitation business (BTW let’s boicot Penguin – as readers first, and then authors. Except we’d need a list of all its imprints. Damn) – yes, it’s not fun being a businessperson, but it’s still better than being scammed out of your money!

Back in my early days of blogging (read 3 years ago – seems like a lifetime, or another century) I read many agents blogs, trying to figure out how to query and get published. My blogroll of pro was half agents and half freelance editors. Then I stumbled on a blog that Killed all the Sacred Cows of Publishing… and the indie revolution began. And yesterday on an indie author list I was pointed to Passive Guy’s blog (I tried to follow him but he’s too prolific, LOL!) and the name emerged from the mists of the past – Rachelle Gardner. Heck, she was on my blogroll with Nathan Bransford and Jessica Faust and… So, so glad I never went with any of them!

Now feeling sorry for those authors (not writers, real writers don’t need pampering from agents or even publishers) who still want an agent so bad. This control freak, here, is so scared of those draconian trad pub contracts that she won’t be a hybrid author yet! ;) Being indie isn’t easy. I’d rather be off writing than spending hours formatting and uploading to the various distributors. But I enjoy cover design – and getting to decide when I publish and what goes on the cover… Writers AND artists should learn to manage their own careers and their own money. Take some advice from great artist Colleen Doran who knows what she’s talking about! :)

One last link – everything you’ve always wanted to know about print runs, by the always excellent Dean Wesley Smith. What, you had no idea of that was? Me neither. And honestly, I don’t care. I’m publishing in the 21st century, so that old stuff doesn’t apply to me! ;) Now I better go open that CreateSpace account and start working on some print versions… Gee, next month I have two weeks off, I’ll do it! No need to rush me! :D Have a great week!

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8 Comments

  1. Viv

     /  08/05/2013

    Ten years ago, I got an agent. When he said he would take me on, I was delighted (this was long before it was possible to self-publish without selling a kidney to fund it. he said he’d send me a contract to sign. I said, I’ll get my legal friend to go over the terms with me. The contract never turned up, never got signed and when he failed to place the book that is now Away With the Fairies after trying about 3 of his publishing cronies, things went downhill from there.
    At the time I was devastated. Now, not so much. if at all. In fact, huge relief all round.

    • can’t believe how much the world has changed in the new millennium – only 13 years in and it’s completely different from the 20th century! :)

  2. I have to get a DropBox account set up. Does it handle all types of files?

    And oh, my goodness, am I a writer. That quiz actually made me feel more normal than I usually do around here. Good to know I’m not the only one!

    • yes, Kate, it handles all types of files. I have all my indie published titles on it as well, saved in the various formats (e-pub, mobi) as well as SOME images (covers mostly, can’t have all my art on there, though, not enough space, LOL) so JPGs, PNGs GIFs, etc.
      The folders are “Documents” and “Photos”, but you can add more! :)

  3. Sorry to hear about your “dumb writer” moment. I can imagine what you must’ve felt. I’ve had the “dumb artist” moments a couple of times – I’d make a 600 dpi psd and then scale it down to 72 dpi – and overwrite! It’s just terrible. In the past couple of years, it has happened not once, because My Mac backs-up my data and I can access the previous files through the Time Machine. Windows is a money-guzzler for sure…the software’s too expensive, the wasted-hours could themselves shove you below the poverty line…well, almost! Despite the initial cost, Mac is far cheaper. It’s faster, comes pre-installed with the OS and tons of free software that meets your every requirement – and the best thing is – you don’t see the damn hour-glass!

    But don’t worry. You’ll get over it – perhaps write an even better story than the one you lost.

    I took the writer-test too. Surprisingly, I turn out to be a WRITER, I do every one of the things that are mentioned in the list. I always thought of myself as an artist.

    • I recovered the story, thanks to Dropbox.
      I did lose a story to a floppy disk (remember those?) in the last century – my sister mailed also my copy to a contest, and when I went to print it again, the floppy was empty and it wasn’t on my hard drive anymore (Word 2.0 – prehistoria! :D) and I had thrown away the original (written in the 1980s). My best friend had a copy (typed with a MANUAL TYPEWRITERA – I know, showing my age again, LOL), but a couple of chapters that I hadn’t typed yet and givent o her are completely gone Meh.
      He – we’re both CREATIVE PEOPLE in art AND writing! ;) Multitasking! :D

  4. I need to start up this DropBox thing. I’m guessing it works something like a harddrive?! But oh man, it’s my worst nightmare…. having my entire work deleted. *shudders*

    • it’s a cloud-based service – meaning it’s on an external service but you also instal it on your hard-drive, so you can always access it from you PC. If for some reason the access to Dropbox itself is blocked, it only means it won’t save the latest version… I know because at some point I had 2 PC (the dying Desktop and brand new Laptop), so I could work on any document from any PC, but if there was no connection, the latest version was saved only on the last computer where I worked. Hope it’s clear what I mean…
      Anyway, try it, it’s free! ;)

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