Tag Archives: Literature

Urgh growing as a writer

Someone emailed me some typo locations yesterday from Second Chance Romance. I cringed as I fixed them. I am so unhapy with it. I have grown so much since I wrote that book. It needs a total overhaul, but i don’t have the time or energy.

I had a long conversation with my husband about it. I wanted to delete Summer Fling, it’s my weakest book.

I’ve read author comments where they say they wish their first book would disappear or it was right to be rejected. I get that. I just don’t know what to do. I stand by the story, just not how it was told.

On the other hand:

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
— Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words)

Making mistakes means I’m doing what people are scared of. And so what if I don’t become rich, most authors do not. The only place I can go is up. I have to go write I had a terrific historical erotic idea. There are not enough of those.

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Free Second Chance Romance

Since Second Chance Romance is distributed to the world minus Amazon via Smashwords for free, Amazon said it was doing a price match.

So, Second Chance is Free on Amazon.

And I have it categorized as Erotica. Therefore, I got 10,000+ downloads yesterday. Another thousand this morning. It was #1 in Erotica, and #17 on the Kindle list.

I can’t check what it is this morning because I’m refusing to look. I’m refusing to look because I don’t know if there are new reviews. I dont’ want to read reviews. I’m more or less happy with the book. I don’t know what others will think of it. I don’t what people will think of it being listed as erotic. There are three or four sex scenes and one of those is anal.

I think that reviews will hurt me, but they do. I take them personally. I am disappointed when people say they don’t like it. And I don’t want to be one of those authors that goes crazy and starts yelling about negative reviews. So I’m not going to look.

It’s been a weird day for me. Summer Fling and Complications over Coffee are up as well. Not huge, like 20 books each, but that’s more than I usually get in a month.

I haven’t seen an uptick on blog traffic either. We will see in the next few weeks what happens.

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Letting go of what isn't working

I wrote 6,000 words on a novel.

It wasn’t working. I re-thought my character and went back to work.

I wrote 13,000 more words.

And I forced the conflict.  My characters are not meshing. I didn’t give a damn about if they got together or not.They were damp carrots in a cold plot soup.

I decided to drop the whole thing.

It was difficult. I put a lot of time and energy into those words. A lot of lost sleep and cuddle time is in there.

I’m onto my next project. There will be four Flames novels. The four original guys in Second Chance Romance. Kip Turner, Kyle McLachlan, Corey Porter and Doug Black.

The best thing is now that I’ve stopped what wasn’t working, the inspiration and excitement is back.

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On getting better

Having fun and not being the best does not mean I am happy with my current level of profiency.

I recently put Colours of the Rain up for critique at Critique Circle.

I feared putting up something on Critique Circle. I didn’t want to hear “you suck, quit writing.” I feared that was the truth.

The feedback has been good. And helpful. Overwhelmingly helpful, I’m not sure where to start. Only one thing said I didn’t agree with. Which was that the starting scene shouldnt’ be there. But it’s the tie in to the title of the story, so I can’t cut it. But I have a better way to tie it in.

The good is that I don’t tell, I do show most of the time. What I’ve not shown was written when I was working out the characters etc. Good to know and something I couldn’t see. My characters are likeable. The plot is followable and enjoyable.

The bad is that a few typos. I tend to write “your welcome” instead of “you’re (you are) welcome”. I overuse WAS. It was, there was. Was, was was. I’ve been working on things so hard that when I write first drafts I worry about my use of WAS.

Does being imperfect mean I should have kept Colours of the Rain to myself?

No. I do have moments of panic when I worry that letting my imperfect writing will wreck my chances of being read as I get better.

Y’know what? The best authors in the world with legions of fans who support their every move and will claw your eyes out if you say something bad about them, these authors have readers who HATE them. A handful, a hundred.

Sure, it will deter some people.

Just as some people don’t shop at the Dollar store.

I don’t wholly want to infer that my writing is of bad quality. It doesn’t have the benefit of a $1,000/hr editor. But, some of those books aren’t worth the price you pay for them either. So …it’s not that bad of a metaphor. 99 cent book. Maybe you do get what you pay for.

I question the assumption that every written world there must be PERFECT. How much do computer companies get to charge for their software that crashes, freezes and is less than perfect? Why do we put up with the cost?

Publishing companies have taught us to expect it because they held the gate for many years. They said was good enough and what wasn’t. now the reader can decide. And I really don’t expect people to flock to my book and heap praise upon me because it’s the best thing ever written.

I know I limit my success due to the imperfection. I’m just refusing to stay in the shadows until I reach some goal. I’m putting my shit out there and a few people are reading it and liking it.

If in five years, I find that Colours of the Rain and Second Chance Romance and the rest of the imperfections are hurting my sales. I’ll dump the name. It’s not that hard to find another one. Especially when your entire premise is that you make shit up and people pay for your made up shit.

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Complications Over Coffee

Corey has gone live.(Click those words if you are as excited as me, it’ll take you to the buy page on Smashwords).

It feels a bit anti-climactic for me, after having spent several months with him. I’m a little sad to let him go, I loved writing this book. Twice. I wrote his story, started editing, and then had a better idea.

You can grab the book  on Smashwords. Amazon takes a few days but I’ll post the link when it comes.

The short description:

Nicole received the news seven months ago: men are cheating scum. Corey has lived apart from others until he met Mandy Green, who has taken his confession for a family to heart. While Nicole struggles to finalize her divorce, find a job. Corey struggles with a hold on bachelor hood and his temper. Will Nicole and Corey keep their lives untangled? Or will they let their lives get complicated?

The long one is on Smashwords and Amazon.

I hope you all love Corey as much as I do.

Stay tuned I have ways for you to obtain a free copy (limited promotion probably the first weeks of March, 2011). 🙂 Or a free copy of a short story of after Complications.

 

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Damn Jenny Crusie

I love Jenny Crusie. I re-read Bet Me every year. I love her blog, she comes up with such great insight and she better keep them coming.

So when she wrote about Character making the book and how she watched Hitch recently and it had some issues mainly being this:

Then they got to Hitch and Sarah and knew they were in trouble because they’d created Perfect People.

I had an Uh-Oh moment when I finished reading it.

Kip and Mandy are perfect. That’s why the conflict feels contrived. That’s why the book isn’t selling very well.

There is no conflict. You go in knowing it’s going to be all right. You read the book and go “meh”.

I despair, because Ky and Serena were plotted first and written second. Kip and Mandy brought me Corey. He’s the plot in the book, he’s the one people are asking for.

Why?

Because he’s not perfect. He’s fucked up and funny as hell. And you just want to know how this guy gets a happily every after. He deserves one because he’s a person, but you can’t see how he’ll change enough to be relationship material.

But Kip is a good guy. At sixteen (Really Asrai, what were you thinking there? He was a sixteen-year-old guy. He didn’t fall for this chunky gal and have a hunky dory relationship and they were soul mates forever after. Missed some conflict potential), he knew that Mandy was the love of his life.

Mandy was flat. She didn’t really have a lot going on. I admit it.

I should go back and write it all again with the things I missed and have learned. But, now I have a ton of other things planned and I need to write them.

It’s complicated. I can’t un-release Second Chance Romance, because it brings you to other good things. It’s good back story for Serena and Ky and soon Corey. (I am SOO sad to be nearly done this book. I love the story. I love Corey. I hope everyone loves it as much as I do).

I have a short story I’ve written, but I think I might have to trash it, because the characters are also perfect. 😦

I’m annoyed now that I know about this perfect character bullshit. It’s sneaky. You want characters to be nice people. You don’t want them to be fucked up or hurting. But to make good conflict, you have to some imperfection and a lot of painful moments.

So I’m screwed.

Enhanced by ZemantaAnd also Jenny Crusie links to really FUNNY blogs. Like hyperbole and a half, which is the funniest damn blog I’ve read. Period. Go read it.

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Where are the romances?

I went to the library last week and grabbed what I thought was a romance. It was chicklit.

Yes, there is a difference. Romance is boy meets girl, are attracted but not compatible, circumstances throw them together and they work things out.

Chicklit follows the woman’s journey more.  Usually the women are career women in their 20’s to 30’s who are a bit fluffy. They are floating along life thinking all is well, when they lose their job/boyfriend/husband/mind. And then they take control of their lives and turn things around.The conflict usually does not wholly centre around romance, but there is usually a romantic element.

There is nothing wrong with the chicklit genre. It’s good writing. But I want romance to be the focus of the conflict.

I love romance.

I want straight up contemporary (meaning modern times- I once saw Jane Austen categorized as contemp. Hello! no!) romance. No vampires, no 1800’s fashion, no wild west,no Navy SEALs.

I don’t mind an occasional paranormal. I love Lisa Kleypas and Susan Jeffries historicals. I love, love, love Suzanne Brockmann.

Are straight up romances only done by Harlequin now? My only problem with it is they are too short and my library doesn’t carry them anymore.

Anyone know if mainstream romance novels are dead? I’ll take cheap recommendations as well.

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