Featuring information for independent authors looking for guidance on marketing, editing and publishing their works; including tips on how best to use free resources and maintain motivation as you take your writing from hobby to profession.
In the beginning I started out using a few books on the art and craft of writing novels and tried to follow along – often deviating about a third of the way through their recommended process as I got the hang of their method, made changes to suit my own style and my novel’s needs. Most of those craft books aren’t really geared towards writing series either so, even in the best of times, after the first novel was finished the books were pretty much useless to me and I had to find my own way.
Now my process is a culmination of techniques I’ve used before, utilizing software that I’ve found helpful (more about that later I hope) and my own preferences. Here’s a brief rundown of the process, hopefully I’ll explain and expand on each of the sections in blog posts of their own later.
Wallow in the world of my series (done simultaneously with the next step)
Write the damn thing (scene by scene)
Rewrite, reorder, re-outline (as needed)
Continuity check/Read through/Notes
Send off for review/professional edits
You might notice that cover design and title choice aren’t on the list, those tend to happen at various times that I haven’t really finalized yet. I try to decide the title and finish the cover as soon as possible, it helps with advertising and getting readers excited about an upcoming release.
Another thing you won’t notice on the list is an estimate on how long the novel will take or when it will be released, they vary too much. I have yet to be absolutely certain of a release date more than a week or two in advance – mostly because the second a novel is done, I put it up for sale. I can’t stand making readers wait for a release that could be out sooner but if I set a date in advance based on how things are going at the time – it’s pretty much guaranteed that it will put a hex on the works.
While I was stuck in bed away from my working computer and basically miserable, I couldn’t help but think of writing. Specifically synopsis and what really makes a good one. One that’s interesting, draws you right in but though it doesn’t lie and clearly mentions key point’s also doesn’t give anything away. Brief without feeling like an ad, in short: nothing if not distilled awesome.
In my head if it’s got to be short, sweet and sassy it’s got to be this brief description of the classic film, The Wizard of Oz.
Written Rick Polito for a 1998 TV Guide, this little gem has made the rounds of the internet meme scene for years and it’s entirely true and ridiculously intriguing for a modern audience (on the off chance that there’s someone alive who hasn’t seen the Wizard of Oz) all within the scope of one sentence.
In my fevered state of course I had to try my hand at a few similar snippets for one of my books as well.
Ash of Ambitions
Innocent woman gets caught up in the sinister machinations of a murderous family’s plots.
Sweet loner has unwanted guests suddenly heaped upon her. Body count rises.
Well that was fun. Got any sassy little blurbs of your own to share? Go ahead and post ‘em in the comments.
Ah weather. Last week there were ice storms bad enough to knock the power down in my area for three days of frozen hell and today it’s scheduled to be in the 80′s. That’s going to be hell on my herb garden.
Anywho, enough of my domestic misery – I’ve got a present to make up for all the downtime! On Friday, I’ll be giving away copies of my first novel, “The Uncertainty of Death,” for free on Amazon.
Death… it is the most frightening unknown to us all. For centuries people have personified and anticipated the horror and majesty of this unavoidable reality. We even invent legends to avoid it.
Unfortunately, sheis someone we cannot escape.
No one expects a harried, overworked, and socially awkward business woman to become the deliverer of their fate. Death has never been good at games of skill or chance and is keenly self-conscious, always going the extra mile to make others comfortable. But in The Uncertainty of Death, two mortals, Leo Kaylor and Jules Harper are about to meet Death for the first time, and she is not what they imagined in. Together, Leo and Jules embark upon a chaotic journey that will test the very meaning of life and friendship in the first of this apocalyptic Four Horsemen series.
I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do with it or if it really has anything to do with my writing and should therefore be brought up here. Probably not. Though I did notice a lot of villain love going on on Tumblr, which is why I made the account (all of my characters could be called villains, even the nice ones, no really) but I’m not sure what to do with it beyond that except enjoy basking in the love of really questionable men and women with my people.
If you’ve got a villain related Tumblr feel free to post in the comments! I’m desperately looking for more villainy to follow. Especially female villains. So far my Tumblr is almost entirely Hannibal, not that the well mannered cannibal isn’t an awesome villain – I just live for variety.
Tomorrow I’m giving away free copies of “Toxic Ash” on Amazon. It’s a rare chance to nab copies of the second novel of the series for freeso I hope you jump on the chance
When you dance with the Devil – there’s Hell to pay…
Somehow Ash survived Nevada but now it’s time to clean up the mess she made in the process. Her contract is up for review and if she wants to avoid a fatal cancellation, she’s going to have to do something to prove her usefulness to The Company and delve deeper into a world of madness in the process.
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I’ve decided to shake my posting schedule up a bit and was thinking of posting story excerpts on Mondays.These lovely little writing samples can range from a sentence to a page and will be from novels and shorts, sometimes with pictures but probably far more often without. Just a little taste for the readers of my blog who are, well, readers and not interested in all the blech and blargle of being an novelist. Luckily for me, this idea also happened to coincide with my birthday and a lovely bit of fan art from one of my readers!
So I’ll be kicking the Monday Bon Mots off with an extra special bang.
As she slipped into sleep that last image, something she had not seen but somehow had, seemed to color her dreams. If ‘dream’ was even the word for the terrible lucid journey she seemed thrown into.
Only a moment seemed to pass from the memory of the shadow and then Ash was rising from her bed, wearing not the usual comfy shirt but some far more lengthy nightgown. Slipping forth on bare feet, Ash rushed from her rooms – not into the half familiar hallway but into another room entirely. Onward her feet carried her, slipping not from room to hallway but from room to room, some of them tucked into the others in odd ways only reachable through doorways hidden in plain view; this one was behind a large oil painting, to get to that one Ash had to open a giant grandfather clock and dodge the pendulum, and the next was simply a wall with a hidden catch that swung open on a pivot and revealed not one other room but two…