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.
Today I'm following up on a topic I brought up in a previous entry where I talked about having started all over on "The Door". Originally this story was meant to be the 3rd novel in our Para-Earth Series, only I kept hitting one wall after another with "The Door" and not getting much farther with the story. It got so bad I realized way too much time was passing without a new book being released, so Helen and I went to work on "The Vampyre Blogs" books because we had a clearer vision of those stories.
But even during that interim, I'd go back to "The Door" and new progress would be made, but then another wall or distraction would come along. That is until recently when I've gone back to it with a vengeance and have been making some serious progress. The story is moving along nicely but there have been a few bumps in the road. Most of those difficulties I've been encountering lately have come from new shapes and directions the story is heading in. But there were a number of scenes I had already written or planned that I couldn't seem to let go of. I thought the story couldn't work without them and kept trying to make them fit. Only to wind up finding myself hitting another of those damn walls.
So what was the problem?
I was trying to stuff those 'precious' scenes into the story, even though they weren't needed anymore. It's not that the scenes weren't any good. Some of them were quite tense, exciting, and even funny. But there were problems with a number of them. For instance, one of my bugaboos when it comes to writing is that events or actions by the characters have to make sense. If one of them starts acting really stupid without a good reason, it drives me crazy. And as things were going, I was having a number of them behave in ways that made no sense. Oh I did try to rework the scene again and again to try and make it fit, but in the end the idea/scene really didn't belong anymore. And in the end, all I'd wound up doing was wasting a lot of time and energy without making any really progress with the story. So it was time to do the unthinkable...
I cut them out. As soon as I did, real progress started happening once more. Admittedly some those scenes that got cut had some good drama to them, but I already had a slew of good scenes that not only come together well but flow so perfectly. Furthermore, those scenes I removed will not really be missed. Especially, since I'm planning on building short stories around them instead.
Remember my golden rule, just because you remove it doesn't mean you trash it. Always save those scenes, you never know when they might be perfect for another project..
However I will tell you right now, it's not always easy to let an idea go. As I said earlier, I've been working on this book for over 4 years. I know the characters and I know where I want things to lead to, but in between there is so much that needs to happen. Unfortunately, I was trying to throw in too much.
So I've been taking several steps back with "The Door". I've been really thinking about behaviors, actions and making sure everything makes sense. For instance, Alex has been out of action in the hospital for a month after the battle in "The Bridge" (the first book in our series). But what has been happening with Veronica and her fellow police officers in that time period?
Originally I had an idea involving PTSD and Alex coming to everyone's the rescue after he got released from the hospital. But upon giving it some serious thought I asked myself "Does this really make sense? A whole month passing and no one tried to help the police? Why didn't Veronica do something about it, these are her coworkers and she's smart? Plus she recently met people in the first book who'd helped Alex with his PTSD as a result of a horrifying paranormal experience. She's smart. Wouldn't she reach out to those folks to help her friends/coworkers" The answer of course was HELL YES! So that's exactly what I'm doing.
And guess what? It's working.
Plus, there's still plenty of action and mysteries that Alex is still badly needed to help with. For one thing the police need to be sure that the creature and its protector, Cyrus Graham, didn't leave any other nasty surprises behind. And Alex is the only one the spirits of past victims are willing to reach out to.
But delving into those mysteries will lead to questions regarding to Cassandra's family history and another threat that has stalked her throughout the second book "The Ship". There are also revelations that will be uncovered that will link all these people to our vampyre Nathan (from "The Vampyre Blogs" portion of our series) creating new questions slowly bringing all the characters together for future tales.
However, most of this could not have happened had I not been willing to let go of scenes/ideas I didn't think the story could live without. Sometimes you have to make those tough choices for the good of not only the story you're working on but future ones as well.
It's a tough balancing act deciding what to keep and what to let go, but if you find yourself hitting wall after wall it may be time to make those tough calls.
Have any of you had similar experiences? How did you deal with it? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.
Well, my wife Helen and I have finally finished moving into our new place. I'll be posting some more videos from my Vlog about that shortly, but I wanted to focus on another subject today. Hobbies, talents, things people do for adventure, enjoyment and relaxation. Now in creating characters that seem real to the audience I've found that the more real and reachable the characters are (i. e. they're like people you know or might meet) they're the ones that the readers seem to really relate to and even come to love. Now one method I've used to make my characters seem more human and real is to give them traits that are familiar, and even somewhat odd but intriguing. I've given characters hobbies or activities I've tried. When they are finished with what I've written, some have even gone and done research of their own on the activity. Some have even taken it up and made it a part of their lives. But how did that happen? Simple, whether it's pla
Okay, yesterday was a big day for me. My novel "THE BRIDGE" is now available in two 'brick-and-mortar' bookstores. How did I make this happen? Are sales jumping through the roof? Is my name out there so much that fans are demanding it be available everywhere? Two words.... I WISH! No, the simple truth is when you're an Indie Author (someone who has published through Createspace or other means to make a printed copy of your book), you have to do a lot of things yourself. One of them is marketing and getting your book into stores. Now, if you've done a good job marketing and your sales on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites are going really well, you might land up in bookstores. Some chains look to those sites to see what's the hottest sellers going and is it available in print form. They don't want to be left out of the loop and fall behind. But you have to have great sales for that to happen. But if you're just starting out and are
The last 7 days have kept me busy. I mean REALLY busy. And the sad thing about it all is that some of this could have been avoided....up to a point. Now I'm talking about re-editing my first novel AFTER it had already come out. Why would I do that? Because in spite of the combined efforts of myself and 2-3 other people checking the novel over for grammatical errors, a number of them got past all of us. From day one, I was determined to try and put out as good a product as I possibly could. And when I found out I'd failed, I felt obligated to go back and fix things. Now, I'm sure a number of you are wondering to yourselves, "Is he saying he never got it professionally edited?" The answer is, "I did not." Now, this is not because I was so arrogant in my own writing abilities, nor was it because I was being cheap and didn't want to put the money out. The truth is... my wife and I have applied for Food Stamps and have been getting aid from my