Thursday, May 19, 2011

Twitter Thursday: Writers

I'm a fan of the Twitter. That's no secret. I follow a lot of cool people, and as I did last time, I'd like to tell you about some of them. 

Obviously, I follow @amanda_hocking. She's the inspiration for my current self-publishing crusade. She has cute, funny tweets and retweets well.

I've mentioned @veschwab previously, but there's no harm mentioning her again. She's adorable. She's just completely adorable. I cannot wait for her first book, The Near Witch. Her excitement is contagious. It doesn't hurt that she's a Doctor Who fan.

Tim O'Rourke, @Ravenwoodgreys, wrote Black Hill Farm and Black Hill Farm: Andy's Diary. He updates his followers regularly on his book goings-on, which is nice. I'd like to see more tweets from him, but, hey, it works. 

Jason Letts, @foreverjuly, deserves to mentioned for this tweet alone: "I write because the voices in my head tell me to, and I do everything they say."

Stacey W. Benefiel, @Stacey_WB, has some cute tweets, too. I love how completely unpretentious she is. I also love that she doesn't drive a Prius.

Kerry Schafer, @KerrySchafer, is utterly entertaining. She tweets about writing a lot, which I always look forward to. It's nice to see that I'm not the only one forcing myself to write, even write badly, just to do it and get it over with so I can go back and make it pretty. 

And for my last Twitter rec today, I'm going to suggest you follow Michelle I. Brooks, @MichelleIBrooks, because she is funny and cute and has a lot to say about other authors, too. 

Don't have a Twitter account? You should get one. Twitter is fun. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

SitRep Saturday: Vampires!

Not a single blog post all week? That sounds about right. I fell off the wagon this week and fell immediately into a funky rut. It has not been fun.

I did manage to draft chapter two, which came in at a whopping 7,350 words, most of which will probably be cut when I go back to edit. In fact, I won't be the least bit surprised if chapter two and chapter three end up smashed together. I've started work on chapter three and I'm about five hundred words in. This isn't a terrible show for the week, especially considering the mood I've been in, but it's just not where I want to be.

The novel still does not have a title, a fact that makes me very nervous, and the writing part is increasingly slow going. I have been teasingly referred to as "part bulldog" for a very good reason, however, and I absolutely will persevere in this.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

SitRep Saturday: Vampires!

I did not post a sitrep last week. Shame on me. I did work the week before last; I actually had chapters four through twelve action-drafted by last Saturday. Go me.

This week, I can report that the whole novel is action-drafted, and that the first chapter has been drafted for real. The action-draft totals nearly 26,000 words and chapter one is 4,992 words as it sits now. I think 60,000 - 70,000 is a reasonable expectation for the novel's final word count.

I have been miserably sick this week, so I haven't gotten as much done as I wanted, but all in all, I don't think it's a bad week's work.

Maybe next week, I'll recover, and by next Saturday, I can report that I have the first five chapters drafted. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Self-Publishing: What I've Learned So Far

I have blogged before about the work that goes into writing. It's a lot. I could dedicate this entire blog to the work that goes into writing, and I would never run out of things to say. Ever. While I'm sure this won't be the last time I mention it, that isn't the point of the blog or the post. It's just a point I want to reiterate.

A lot of work goes into traditional publishing, too. I have a copy of last year's Writer's Market--an invaluable resource, to be sure--and what I took from it is that traditional publishing is like getting good grades and getting good performance reviews at work: it's not about you as much as it is about how you meet the expectations and desires of those in power.

It pays off. Once you cut a deal with a traditional publisher, it seems to get to focus on writing. That is why self-published success Amanda Hocking took the traditional book deal. Any author who blogs or tweets will tell you that a traditional deal doesn't mean the end of work, but it does seem to mean an easier workload. I am not professing any firsthand knowledge. I'm merely making observations based on the research I've done on publishing and self-publishing.

Self-publishing means that the author does it all. I know I am. I blog. I created a website. I got email addresses. I created professional Facebook and MySpace profiles. I got a tumblr. I tweet. I talked to a professional artist and graphic designer about a book cover. Through her, I got information on professional web design. I made the decision that, for the first book, my money is better spent on advertising (for which I plan to use Fiverr), so instead, I used Intuit's Web Builder and I searched "free royalty-free images" on Google and mocked up my own book cover. My website doesn't look awful and my book cover is legible, so I'm going with those.

In addition to all of that, I've been writing. I'm done with my action-draft, and I've started writing.

"Why am I doing this?"

Two reasons. The first: It's my dream. I've wanted to be a published author for seventeen years now. I want it. I want it so bad I can taste it. I love words, I love telling stories, and I really, really want to be able to do what I love while I work from home. The second: I have a daughter. One day, she's going to have dreams of her own, and I don't want her to give up on them. If I don't do this, if I don't follow my dreams, I won't have a leg to stand on when I tell her she can't give up on hers. I have to maintain my parental authority.

I'm lucky. I already know I'm readable; I've spent the last nine years in a few fandoms, and I'm a reasonably well-liked author. I also have the unwavering support of my family and friends. I believe in myself. My loved ones believe in me. And strangers on the Internet believe in me enough to award me for my writing (beyond merely reading and reviewing me--I've actually won peer-voted awards).

So, despite the fact that I feel like I have three full-time jobs between being a stay-at-home spouse and parent, networking and marketing, and writing, I'm going to keep doing this.

I'm going to make my dream come true.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Opening Sentences

‎"Jessica Fuller leaned forward to turn the volume down on the stereo. At the same time, her right foot found the brake pedal, and she slowed the big silver convertible to a pedestrian-friendly twenty-five miles an hour."