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Posts tagged ‘agent’

Introducing Unfamiliar Races to Readers

I’ve been working hard on the new series (Sizael). I’m happy to say I’ve got a beginning I like and a direction that works. However, one thing I did find myself having difficulty with was introducing a race that is unique (at least in name and culture) to this series’ world. That of the Jateri. Essentially, they are horned humans, and are considered relatives to humans.  I’ve been writing for Sizael since 2008, so the Jateri and the other race I have created for them is nothing new to me, yet writing the first book of a series is proving to be interesting because I’m having to approach these races and other unique elements with the idea of introducing them to the audience for the first time.

 

In the end, the first Jateri was referred to as a, “horned Jateri” until two paragraphs later when my assassin character (the main protagonist) could take a moment to absorb what the Jateri looked like. It’s then that the race is explained in the narrative. It’s interesting returning to a world you started to create years before and writing books for it with the intention of sharing them with others, just due to the challenges that comes with introducing elements specific to your series’ world.

Have you ever had this experience before? How did you deal with it? Share in the comments and you’ll be put into a draw for a special blog interview!

A Visible Shift in Energy & a Potential Change

Hi guys!

Since my last article, in which I decided what my writing goals are, I’ve noticed a positive influence on my writing habits, including returning to writing daily. The goal in particular that is helping me is the daily goal of one thousand words a day (which I only count if they’re in something I’m writing for my books or one of the pieces I do set between them for fun and exploration). I think this is in part because I am a fairly competitive person, and I like beating myself too!

One thing that has caught my attention though is the possible change to my main series. When I set the goals on the 27th of this month, I started writing a piece for fun and to give myself something to flex the skills on before committing to any of the books and series I’ve already worked on or have at least a basic idea for. This piece of miscellaneous as I call them, is set late in the main series around the same year as book twelve. It feels almost like it could be the beginning of the series, as crazy as it sounds. The potential change is interesting, but I do not want to just ignore the books that came before it. I know book two has always had a potential for being scrapped completely, but the others? I like them, and others like them. The downside to toying with this idea and continuing to write this piece of miscellaneous as if it were the start of the series and not just a piece I started for fun and practise, is that there is a lot of ‘telling’, explaining in the narrative of the back stories of each character. For my books before, this was utilised when acceptable in case somebody ever picked up a book without reading the others (thereby making it possible to start reading wherever you liked in the series). Now there seems to be too much.

As a result, I’ve been considering my writing goals. One of those was to looking into self-publishing as a viable option, and to ask self-published authors lots of questions on the subject, at the same time, I recently read an article on Kristen Lamb’s blog about the power of three and freebies. Admittedly it wasn’t the sole subject of the blog post – it is titled as, ‘Five Mistakes KILLING Self-Published Authors’ (link is below).  It struck a chord with me though. Perhaps, what I could do, was provide some of the books before it for free.

I was at my parents’ this Christmas, and I decided to try out Google’s Play Books  whilst there – it is available on my Android Phone and Samsung Tab 3 for free, and is actually one of those apps that you cannot uninstall that comes already installed on the Android devices. I downloaded a few of the free books and have enjoyed reading them on both devices. I am still a lover of paperbacks – they don’t need electricity to run and it’s more comfortable and fun to snuggle up to a corner of the sofa with a paperback, but it was nice having a decent few books for free on my phone. Due to my being intrigued by the idea of ebooks being available on my phone and tablet, I then downloaded the Kobo app onto both and have multiple samples to read through. Though I can’t seem to find the free books on Kobo that it is supposed to have (perhaps because I am only using apps to read their publications), the idea appeals to me to do the same; to offer the earlier books for free, but to make sure there are other books available for purchase or free download as well.

This has resulted in some changes to my plan. The first in the series is going to be re-read by myself, without being able to edit it (another of the goals) during that time like I normally do. If I still enjoy reading it, I then have to make the decision whether I want to edit it or to keep it as it is (as I am worried about one element of the series’ world that does not feature as strongly in the other books of the series). After that, I will prepare various copies of the manuscript as per various publishers that allow self-published writers to submit their works to them (like Kobo or Amazon’s Kindle for example). At that point though, I won’t be publishing yet. I’ll then jump over to book two and do the same with that as I did the first. Both will be free to download, with the third book I publish being sold.

As a result, in a round-about way, this miscellaneous piece that I did because of my goals has helped me prepare a rough plan of action. It’s nice having one! Before, when I was intent only on publishing through traditional means, there was no master plan, just this:

  1. Get an agent.
  2. Get a publisher hooked.
  3. Use all of royalty to promote the first book.
  4. Keep writing.

It is strange to think that through reading Kristen Lamb’s blog article and writing this piece because of one of my goals, that I now have a solid plan as a writer, but the goals haven’t just done that. I’m treating my writing more like a career path again, like I did when I was in college. Though I won’t be quitting my office job any time soon (and neither the web hosting and online services I provide), it feels good to be in this mindset again – to be taking my own writing seriously again. I suspect that the miscellaneous piece won’t be the first in the series with this new plan of mine, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep writing it!

Are you a writer? Have you had any experiences similar to this? Please share in the comments!

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The link to Kristen Lamb’s blog post mentioned above.

Hope for the Beginning of the Series

Firstly, I’d love to thank: oneanna65, The Commonzense of Saint James and weaklyshortstories for the likes for my last entry, and to Angela’s World of Writing for following me.

It’s been nearly a month since I found myself concerned for if my main series has the audience it would seek if I were to get it published (mostly the first manuscript). During that time, I have made some edits to the manuscript, but haven’t progressed as far as I would have liked since then due to the regular work hours and the other bits and pieces on the side I do for clients (website and forum design, along with custom artwork).

However, two nights ago, I spoke with a friend over email about my series. I spoke at length about the books as a whole and the two main characters. He believed it sounded good and was positive about it all (though of course there is always the possibility he is just saying that because he is a friend). He was also asking a lot about the characters and the storylines in the series which displayed the possibility that he was genuinely interested.

As I continued to speak with him about them, I brought up my concerns of the audience and then went on to talk about how it comes a lot from my worries about the first book in the series. His argument against my worries was, “Fifty Shades of Grey got published and that’s utter crap that needs spellchecker too.” He also commented that on a writing RPG forum I run, members openly say without prompts that they love my writing and the original world I have given my WRPG.

During that conversation though, though there was a moment when I was worried for the audience of the first four books in the series (including the first), I gained something positive out of it – it has been a while since I spoke to another about my stories other than one person who just didn’t care too much and preferred fanfiction (this the Negative Nancy frenemy I have finally unshackled myself from, but that is another story). As I was able to discuss freely about my writing, with another whom showed interest and discussed it, without saying down-putting comments but rather optimistic hopeful ones, I had this fantastic surge of positivity towards my own writing.

So I now have a more hopeful outlook for my main series despite my concerns, thanks in large part to my friend. Though there is a chance I’ll revisit the manuscripts for the other stories in the series near the beginning, I would have done that anyway! With hard work, I can find my series’ audience when I need to if I manage to get them published (and we all know with that, persistence is key).

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