A blog about our adventures becoming a published Indie Authors. Here you will find advice, humor, and stories about what we've learned on our journey, along with books reviews, as well as great advice from other authors we've met on our journey. It's a long road, but the things you'll see and experience along the way can be very interesting.
As many of you know I've been working on "The Door" for the last four years. And looking back on that sentence I'm wishing I'd phrased it differently, because it makes me sound like someone who is the lamest handyman in creation. Hmm... there might be another blog post in that. I can see it now "Choosing Your Words Carefully"...
Anyway, getting back to today's topic, yes I've been working on that novel all this time and it still isn't finished. In fact the closest I've gotten is halfway. Why? See below...
But seriously, I was trying to put too much material and characters into the story. I had forgotten one of the cardinal rules I try to write by, which is "Keep It Simple Stupid". When you have a story that already has a number of twists and turns built into it, DON'T MAKE IT MORE COMPLICATED! Secondly, if you are building a series you don't have to introduce every bloody person who's going to appear in it all at once! In fact, when you're working on the first draft get the main story down on paper first. Then go back, read it, re-read it and then start a second draft. But above all get that 1st draft finished! All the extra layers and details you want to put to make things more real can come later.
In my case, I was cluttering the story with scenes I thought were cool and would make people laugh or gasp. Plus I was bringing back secondary characters from the first two books, adding new ones I'd been dying to introduce, plot twists, you name it I was throwing it in. And time after time, the story kept getting too heavy and complicated for even me to follow.
So finally, instead of simply going back and trying to simply remove scenes or fix things little by little (like I'd done a dozen times already) I found myself simply starting over and practically rewriting the book from the beginning. And guess what? It's working.
I've dropped God knows how many scenes I thought the story couldn't live without, only to realize I was the only one who thought like that. I had to remind myself that as the storyteller I already knew exactly where things were going, but what about the readers?
I was forgetting just how important it is to stop and take a look at what you've done and try to see it through the eyes of a reader. Every story is a new journey to them. Oh you might be giving the readers familiar characters to follow on this new adventure, but it's still your job is to keep this journey interesting. Do not overwhelm them with so much new stuff that they feel overwhelmed, especially when you have an ongoing series where there's still so many stories that lie ahead. You have plenty of time to use a great many of those ideas bouncing around inside your head.
So as I said earlier, I wound up removing a bunch of scenes from the plan and saved them on one of my many memory sticks. And I know I'm about to repeat myself, but we all need a reminder some days "Whatever you don't use in your current story may be just perfect for another book down the road."
Now, getting back to the rewrite, the story has been trimmed down yet is still going to be exciting. Plus I'm making sure events in the previous books are still being felt, like having some of the cast who faced the nightmarish creature from "The Bridge" having troubles with PTSD. There really is so much already in store for the readers with this book that scaling things down has allowed me to really get the book back on track. Plus I'm finding it that much easier to write. I'm already over 50 pages into the story and on a roll.
So if you're finding yourself getting stuck time and again while working on just one story, taking a few steps back may be what you need to do to move forward. It's not an easy thing to do, trust me on this. But it can sometimes make all the difference in the world to what you bring to your readers.
Recently there's been a lot of discussion of Amazon Kindle's latest program... "Kindle Unlimited". Now for those of you have heard but don't know a lot about it, here's a quick recap in a nutshell. *Remember: this is only a brief overview and not an in-depth piece. I understand there are still some details to be ironed out* With Kindle Unlimited, you pay $9.99 a month to have unlimited access to Kindle books through Amazon. You don't have to 'buy' the books, you simply have access to them. Sort of like a private library that you pay a monthly fee to have access to. Now considering there are literally thousands of books on Kindle this is a pretty good deal for consumers. You can sample and read any the books and decide if you actually want to purchase a copy for yourself in e-book or maybe go for an actual print copy, without wondering whether or not the book is to your taste. So on the surface, this sounds pretty good right? So how do
Hello everyone. I had been planning and hoping to start out this blog post with me being all... But then Monday happened, and I wound up feeling like... Here's what's been happening around here for the last few months (well more like for the last year). You see, part of the reason (well a very big reason actually) why I haven't been posting a lot in the last year is because I developed some health issues. Nothing life-threatening, mind you, but life altering. Keeping a long story short, as of May I had to leave my job at the county of Santa Cruz and take Disability Retirement. Now this whole process has been ongoing since September of last year and now it's officially a year later, come to think of it. But throughout that time, I had a lot of doctor appointments, as well as dealing with a lot of stressful paperwork, which included short-term disability (which will be coming to an end this month). During my last meeting with my doctor, she noted my condition that led t
Me this morning when I opened this blog. We had hit over... Honestly, when this blog started back in 2010, I really had no idea what the hell I was doing. I only had the smallest inkling of what I wanted to say about books, writing, characters, voices, point of views, plot, setting, etc. But thanks to all of you and your continued support, I found my way. And after Helen joined me on the blog, things really took off thanks to her and all of you. And now, here we are at a number I never dreamed possible. Honestly, I'm so giddy right now I don't know what to do... Good advice. Thanks Loki. In the meantime, I want to say that I know I haven't been as active this year, mostly due to health and family issues. And unfortunately, those health issues are still ongoing. But I will try to bring you all more content soon, as well as a major announcement or two hopefully coming in the next two months. So, please bear with me, and continue to visit us. We love seeing you and hearing f