So, writing progress! The weekend before the writing rant I spent mostly on Star Minds Snippets, rewriting Shooting Star (it’s now 15k, so double of the first draft) and asking for advice on a couple of scenes, set in India in the 1950s. A description of Delhi I found here, but for the rest I had based my research on Wikipedia entries and Bollywood movies. And The Householder – which is not Bollywood and it’s set in the 1960s, but I guess Delhi hadn’t changed much in those ten years and it’s a fairly good portrait of a young Indian couple of the time. When my expert checked, I was glad to discover I had gotten things right – yes, one of my favorite Agneepath songs is the Ganesha festival in Bombay (although not of 1954, more of 2012, but well… it hasn’t changed much, I suppose! I’m not Indian in this life, but maybe I was in a previous one!), yay!
Then I went to work on Half-blood – again with some help from Indians of both descents (India and First Nations or Native Americans). A “study” of Garuda (yep, only Wikipedia again, although I could add the Encyclopedia Mythica as well…!) helped me define my Carians (the bird people) and Caroids (half-blood of the title, the offspring of Carian and Humanoid). And then the problems of mixed blood children (red/white), if and how they fit with both worlds. I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for 2 years now… so glad I started it, although I’m not writing that historical novel I had in mind when I got it!
I also decided to cut the opening, since the whole thing was too impersonal – for a reason, but it didn’t come through, so I started rewriting it almost from scratch, with a new outline. The couple of betas won’t recognize the final version of either! Then I went to work on The Rogue Years, “recycling” deleted scenes from the original Technological Angel (in Italian) and a short story that seemed to fit the characters – and realized while writing that I was telling a story. So I pondered again – but I promise this ramble will be shorter.
My screenwriter card said “A story is told, a new world is born”, then a fellow screenwriter told me “That’s passive!” so the new card for the author (writer/artist) says “Tell a story, create a world”. See how I got rid of the passive voice? But mostly, see the first world? I’m a storyTELLER, not a storySHOWER! While writing the Snippets, I was fully aware I was telling a story and not showing it, but I wrote it down as it came to me anyway. I f I can come up with a neat way of showing it, fine, if not… well, I’m an old-fashioned storyteller, sorry.
My writing has evolved in 30+ years – and not only with the language switch. I did experiment in genres I don’t read, therefore can’t write them. I’ve experimented with prose, poetry, stream of consciousness (yikes!), screenplays, plays, whatever came to mind. I’ve come up with my own way of telling stories, and since I’ve started getting feedback (from friends, since my readers haven’t written to me yet), I’ve evolved even further. I know I’ll keep learning and evolving, and sometimes I consciously break the rule of “show don’t tell”.
As long as I write what I want to read and have fun doing it, I’m fine. Writing is a chore for you? Check Dean’s post on how to have fun while writing. I’ve been having fun again after I stopped rewriting and started publishing. Trust me, it’s liberating! And I’m still having those popcorn kittens bouncing in my head, that’s why I try to alternate old stories with brand new (Amazon Sisters is an old story that I’m rewriting, Star Minds Snippets is mostly brand new, albeit based on an existing story). Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check Kris Rusch’s attack of the popcorn kittens!
I will never be a bestseller like any of them, but as long as I find my readers, I’m fine. I’m writing, publishing and having fun. Eventually I’ll live off my royalties – like I said, it’s a 5-to-10-year plan. If I get laid off from DayJob (you never know, these days!), I’m not worried, since I know I’ll be able to keep myself busy with writing, formatting, doing covers, and maybe even translating, for myself – and others for a small fee.
Star Minds Omnibus is finally live everywhere and you can see the combined edition (Kindle/paperback) on Amazon – courtesy of the sweet people at Author Central who kindly combined the editions. Here’s the link to the US i-bookstore that wasn’t present two weeks ago. And now a batch of links for your shiny careers!
Smashwords introduces pre-order distribution! If you want to launch your book as event, you might want to use that! Personally, I don’t do “book as events” and I go direct to Kobo – and use D2D to go to Apple and B&N now. But at least I know that if I ever want to put out some title with a pre-order, I can always go back to Smashwords!
Advice on how to target your readers! Personaly, I’m like Stephannie, I’d rather be writing the next book. That’s why you don’t see me marketing like crazy, neither here or on Facebook or Goodreads. I am my first reader and fan, and I’m sure there are other people like me who like the kind of stories I write. And they will find me eventually!
Thinking about legal questions – all those doubts solved. Sort of. I’ve added the blog to the blogroll, along with other interesting blogs. Terrific essay from Stephen King on Voice – whatever that is. Not to be confused with Style and Tone, apparently. I think I have my voice, but somehow someone is trying to change it. Sigh. I’ll keep writing what I want to write the way I want to write it, or I’ll stop having fun and quit – so it’s not going to happen, uh-uh, no way. You don’t like my voice/style/whatever? I don’t care. I’m having fun, LOL!
Last – another David Gaughran post on Author Solutions’ long arms. Spread it as much as you can, it’s true they still thrive because many authors don’t do their research, but also because nobody seems to want to tell the truth. Beware of Author Solutions. Don’t go near them, not even if they promise to publish you with Penguin Random House. Scam scam scam. And did I mention it’s a scam? Right. Have a great week!
QUICK UPDATE: One last thing on how not to market. Dear authors: If I want your newsletter, I can click “subscribe” myself. And that’s why I added the widget on the sidebar. Not that it has been used yet, but eventually…