Writer Wednesday

I’m going to start this with another “help me choose the cover” like I’ve done in the past. You met Samantha on Sunday. Even if she’s not the protagonist of the body switch, she’s the one who did it, as you have noticed from the excerpt, so I decided she could have the cover spotlight even if she’s not the main character. Hence two attempts:

Which one, left or right? How about I cut out the head altogether and leave the body and tarot deck (well Unicorn cards, actually, but she’s a witch and not from this planet, LOL)?

The book is now with The Editor and will come out as soon as she’s done and I revise it one last time. Sunday I worked on the final draft and discovered some formatting was screwed – the Spanish n of “senor” had become a square that ate also the “o” and all m-dashes and ellipses had disappeared! So I had to work them all back in.

After the novella (it’s less than 25k, I doubt it qualifies as a novel), I added one version of the original short story and in there not only the m-dashes/ellipses were gone, but also the space between the words (which made it easier to find them as the spellchecker underlined the united words)! 😦 Mysteries of OpenOffice, I guess.

I also struggled with formatting the Italian novel coming out this week. The original document is from 2004, I think I still had Word instead of Open Office. I put it through the Nuclear Option suggested by Smashwords (save as TXT and reformat), but the HTML file for Kindle was all screwed anyway. Had to save it as PDF, put through Calibre, generate a mobi file and upload that to KDP. Not happy with how the file came out, I decided to try again today… I downloaded Mobicreator and will try it. And I haven’t tried the Smashwords meatgrinder yet. Yikes.

Anyway, I had to shuffle things to write around a little and interrupt the sci-fi piece to start writing CVE4 while editors and betas take a look at CVE3 – the sci-fi title won’t be out until December anyway, but it will be done by July, so if you’d like to volunteer… yeah, I’m always looking for betas! πŸ™‚

In case you missed it, on Fictorian EraΒ  Dean Wesley Smith told the secret of his success… yeah, that’s what I’m doing, that’s why you don’t see me marketing my books. I’m too busy writing (or rewriting from my backlist, as some of those ideas only need some revamping to be put out there) to bother with marketing. He’s right, your best marketing tool is your next book. And I’m going to keep writing old and new stories, hoping to find my audience soon.

I won’t throw away those thousands and thousands of words. They were useful to learn the craft. And, like Dean, I’m still learning. Those I’m not too happy with them anymore because that’s not the kind of story I would write today? Polish and publish. Those that were only writing exercises? Keep the notebook and cherish it. Those that had something that deserves to be rewritten? Here we go!

CVE3 was originally written in 1993. I keep shuffling chapters around, taking out useless secondary characters or putting back in adventures that looked superfluous, but it’s still a good novel, so I’m rewriting it. OK, I’ve rewritten it, and will send it out to betas soon! πŸ™‚

Anyway, I might sound like I’m in a hurry. I’m not. I’m prolific and I have dozens of stories that are almost ready for public consumption – they need to be translated, mostly. The Italian stories, I’m putting them out almost as they are (I keep finding typos, grrrr!!). But I’d like to remind you (or let know to the new blog subscribers who might not be aware of this *waves at them*) that I’ve been writing stories since 1978. So I’m not really a beginner story-teller…

Like a friend (much younger than me and who hasn’t managed to finish a longer work yet and is stuck to a handful of short stories) said, “Writing is a muscle”. Just keep writing, and you’ll get better. Don’t ever get stuck in rewriting hell. Don’t ever waste years on one novel. Pour the story out, let it rest, adjust, and query/publish it. You can’t please all your readers anyway, so… move on! πŸ™‚ Your next story will be better, I promise! πŸ˜‰

A couple of posts for you: Colleen Doran on struggling artists and bad contracts re: Before Watchmen. Valid for artists AND writers – especially beginners. Then go to J.A.Konrath’s blog and see how Harelquin screws its writers… Romance writers, forget a deal with them! 😦 And good advice from a “beginner” (Terry Compton – who seem to follow the same blogs I do, tee-hee! – guest at SPAL): write short stories and publish them on Smashwords, it will help you hone your crafts and create your backlist without spending years on a novel! πŸ™‚

Finally, because the original post has the comments closed, here’s on genre and pen-names from SPAL again. Personally, I have a publisher account at Smashwords – yeah, if you read the web address it’s “barbaragtarn”, but when you open the page it’s Unicorn Productions. My pen-names are not secret and the books come out correctly as different authors: Barbara G.Tarn, Barbara Sangiorgio and B.G.Hope, writing in different genres and different languages. I will update the links on Unicorn Productions whenever I set up a static web page for the imprint, but I’ll leave this blog for now.

Payments go to my Paypal account under my real name anyway. On Amazon I use my real name account to upload on KDP and have opened the 3 Author Central profiles with the 3 pen-names again with my real-name account. Mostly for payment reasons: checks should go to my real name, not any pen-name I might use because of language or genre.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I opened the account with Smashwords (to read, not to publish), I hadn’t considered putting up a small imprint to publish my pen-names! πŸ™‚ And having dozens of different accounts… ouch! Can’t keep up! Even on Goodreads I joined only as Barbara G.Tarn! 😦 It works for my non-existent marketing skills, LOL!

Happy writing and have a great week!

UPDATE: cover second attempt following Rich’s suggestions… what do you think? Gee, can’t choose! 😦

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  1. what about picking one tarot card that’s very important to the story? take a picture of that. or, what about an out of focus crystal ball? have it backlit at night.


    • Mumble mumble… I have a collection of Tarot decks and other cards (I love the drawings, LOL), I could set up her table without her…
      Thanks, Rich, I’ll try that! πŸ˜€


      • maybe her hand holding the deck, shown from above. or her hand holding the deck and someone picking a card – or not because with tarot you don’t really pick cards.


      • Mumble mumble… will have to move to Desktop (don’t have Photoshop on Laptop yet) and try a couple of things… stay tuned! πŸ˜‰
        And thanks a lot for the suggestions!


  2. Steven L. Campbell

     /  11/05/2012

    I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see your decision. My vote, btw, was the second photo of the second set. But using a card will be more design related and will allow you to use color to your advantage.


    • Thank you for your vote… final decision made, stay tuned for release! πŸ™‚


  3. I like the pose in the second photo pf the first set BUT bring the table and cards up more like they are in the first photo :p – helpful, huh? LOL!


  4. I’m learning towards to first pic in the updated pair with the hand on the card. Places the emphasis on the card, if that’s what you want to achieve.


  5. Not sure which Jo is voting for, but yes, JC, that’s my final choice! πŸ™‚ As pointed out on Goodreads comments to this post, the shape of the body looks better that the next one (which is a cropped version of top left pic).


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