Category Archives: ABOUT WRITING

I read my first actual lesbian novels

Some time back I realized that I have never actually taken up any, mostly because thanks to Amazon’s suggestion system, it never really offers me any and I’ve been comfy enough not to search outside what I currently read. So when the idea hit me that  do as you preach (I support reading in different genres to find good books without the inhibitions set by society that would make you usually stop from picking from one genre or another) and read different genres, I picked up few randomly:

Bridget Essex – Date Knight
As an introduction to lesbian romance, I am very happy I picked it. I seriously like her knights (and by now I have already gone through several of her books) and can’t wait for one particular side character’s personal story to come out soon. I wasn’t so into Holly though. I can understand the stereotypical vegan tea-loving, very feminine dress wearing unicorn gathering creature, but that did not make me like her much more. A bit too angelic perhaps? I mean, everybody immediately loved her and she was looking at everything through literal pink glasses. I think what I didn’t like about her was that she seriously felt naive. But it worked out nicely when she was paired up with her knight, so after a while it didn’t bother me at all.

It somewhat carried on into the rest of the book, where the ultimate bad guy were men. I think that’s what I didn’t like about the book that much – that she created the two sides of male and female and played them against each other. As much as I am a feminist, I do not like that in books, not if gays play the women to be the ultimate opponent nor when women play the men to be the ultimate opponent. Because they are not. As simple as that. Yes, feminism didn’t rise from nothing, but it’s not black and white, it’s often gray and murky and thus creating this opposition based on body parts while we are fighting our best to stop men using ours as an excuse while we use their body parts to set them apart and mark them as evil… I’m not sure I’m even making the right point here, but what I mean is that I don’t like it. Equality doesn’t work that way and if we want to be taken serious, we need to change the way we look at the world – not that we deal with person with specific sex organs, but that we are dealing with another human being. As long as we make a point to marginalize another based on our sexual organs, we will never see things differently.

However, that was not the problem with her knights. So if you wanna read a good up-beat story about medieval fantasy knights, who look gorgeous – I would know, I freaking went over the descriptions several times – then that would be my pick. Especially after I read the A Dark and Stormy Knight, because it’s Charaxus story and I loved how she was described in the Date Knight. I was ready to skip some of the Date Knight, but somehow I found myself reading it through from middle to the end without interruptions, so I think I got myself a new series to look forward to.

Plus it intrigued me enough to inspire a certain side project I’ll tell you more at some point.

Gail Carriger  – Romancing the Inventor
I understand this is simply a side story of a major series, but oh my heaven it was so sweet! It has been awhile since I read a steampunk, so I jumped on the chance and I wasn’t disappointed. The main character was totally to my liking, although I must admit her main problem being “I wish to be corrupted” sort of didn’t go on me that well. 

But that character, that inventor Genevieve – swoon! Absolutely adorable! I now wish Margot would dress like her too. Hmm, maybe I can make her a costume based on the descriptions?

I haven’t gotten to other of her books yet, but I liked what I saw so far.

Tan Jiu – Tamen De Gushi
I am big fan of Old Xian (19 Days), so when I thought about the books, I kept remembering some image from a while back. So I searched it out. If Old Xian has a couple, which sort of are and are not gay school boys (it’s called Shounen Ai, so no sex), then Tamen De Gushi (Shoujo Ai – no sex) is story of two school girls finding out what love between two girls can be like. Both are super funny and know how to make maximum on everyday situations, so totally worth the time to check them out.

I wasn’t sure I’d like lesbian stories that much. I must admit I picked them up with assumption that they are like gay stories and with them – you gotta dig quite deep to find the gold. I’m not familiar enough to know what the main themes are inside the genre, but if knights is one thing and the trans-dressing another, I think I might definitely find myself something to read :).

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under books I've read

What next?

We lost our beloved dog on Friday and it is giving me mixed feelings. She was sixteen, but her health had gone downwards for quite some time, so I knew this was coming. I’m sad, but at the same time relieved that she isn’t suffering anymore. So as much as I keep thinking back that if she hadn’t had her epilepsy attacks four in a row when she hadn’t had any since beginning of this year, she would have pulled through this spell too, it kinda was clear this time she won’t make it. It was sunny day though, and she fell asleep in my lap.

So I have been keeping away from internet for a while, because after stating it, thank you all for your kind words, when I returned, I saw another ending coming soon. Turns out my story Rare Pearl is ending with this month, too. I have made it into my policy not to post anything that doesn’t have an ending, but still the ending managed to sneak by me without noticing.

I’m now split in two – I have the next Gargoyle series book ready to go through the editing and be set up on the homepage. Or I could post a short story which would lead to the book after the next book. How do they usually put those 0.5 books in between the main series? It is sort of a prologue, but no matter how I look at it, I do want to post it. I guess I’ll look into it and see how others have solved the question. It’s just odd, in lack of better term – the crossroad.

A lot of feeling this week-end. That’s all.

Leave a comment

Filed under Drama, my own works

About the unfair prices of ebooks.

After I received yet another comment on my 3.99 book how “you should lower the price”, it has really made me doubt the validity of the entire fair.

meme of prices.jpg

I know the arguments – the book is not printed, you don’t work on it 8 hours every day… That number is not cents per word, it’s not even a cent – that’s the number of production. I do work on my writing every day, several hours if I ever have the chance. I do dream of living from what I love to do, but in today’s world, that’s just impossible.

It makes me sad. We fight for fair prices on our products so the producers would get paid fairly, yet when it comes to literature, the attitude is still that we ask too much. That because we opted to go cheaper by not printing, we should be punished for it. Further by choosing indie writers to target with calling their prices unfair if there really isn’t anywhere lower to go. Literally. Those are the cheapest we can ask that Amazon allows.

So aside using us to vent your frustration over something we can’t change, you achieve nothing aside making us even more miserable to work with the medium we love. Aside us deciding against writing. It’s time you understand that the book on Amazon has taken us just as much time as it took for a digital artist, who also sell the copies of their works. We are not Chinese factory workers, but your fellow countrymen, hoping for our dear life, you stop treating us like one. You want our product, yet you refuse to dignify us by paying us the 99 cents for a year’s work.

You win. “It was just a phase.”

I have removed my last attempt on publishing from Amazon. I’m through with your whining. From now on – if you see any of my works being sold aside the charity anthologies, you are being scammed. I will continue publishing my works on my homepage and starting from June, I am also adding that book.

I win.

Thank you, new readers – you have made me happier than any comment on Amazon ever could.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under ABOUT WRITING

LGBT genre is a mess

Camp-2017-Participant-Profile-Photo.jpg… and I seriously love this year’s banners with jackalopes :), must be my inner joke going on, because a hare with antlers is seriously down my alley.

Actually, I just wanted to vent, or do a warm up for the writing today, or tomorrow, because I ran out of steam some time by lunch and after doing the day work, I didn’t get it back, so here I go.

What is it with LGBT being a completely separate genre? Aside the social relationship type there is nothing that actually tells about the story – most of the stuff I find from there is urban fantasy, another part fantasy, science fiction, modern romances (and not at all always erotica). Like, take the relationship type out and suddenly it’s another romance, science fiction, fantasy or modern! Romance is often scolded for not being “the actual” genre as it is big part of other genres while not being the main one.

Most readers, who have ever had to search through that mess this genre is, can vouch when I say – it is one of the most pointless genre separation ever created! And what are the sub genres? Gay, lesbian, trans or bi! So if you want to find one that, for a bad example, is a mystery of gay pair running a steampunk airship, it is seriously time consuming. Especially when Amazon only allows limited tag words for the novels for cleaner search. Which, by the way, I do support for it keeps all the 100 tags lists away that mean nothing regarding the stories.

What I often see is that if the author marks their work as LGBT, then the book is solely shut into that specific genre and does not appear on any other genre lists while historical romances for example show up in both romances and historical. But if you mark your work for LGBT, it is immediately classified as erotica and thus treated as grown up literature.

So I have seen great number of young adult books shoved among erotica only because they wrote about two boys falling in love in school scene.  Or clearly science fiction story listed there only because it had lesbian main character when the story is about how they retrieve some kind of chemical from long lost colony on Jupiter’s moon.  Shifter stories with main characters being gay couple – not more sex in the story than in average urban fantasy – seriously rises the question – what the heck is it doing in erotica? Because then you read the comments under those stories and they clearly were expecting an erotica, when the story didn’t support that belief.

And my only question is, why? Isn’t it time to start using LGBT as a tag rather than genre in literature? It is clear that LGBT as genre in ebook business is defined as erotica and thus no matter what you write, if you do not provide shoppers the erotica specific characters and settings, the non-erotica, which try to crack out of it and have for example mystery or historical or harlequin or whatever other genre as their main genre, are treated as if they do not fit the bill. As if lesbies or gays or bis or trans read nothing but erotica or school books. Seriously – where does that notion come from?

I don’t even know if that makes any sense. Lately it just bothers me for I believe they would have better chances if measured by the genres the stories are in, not by what LGBT pushes them in as long as the genre is seen as purely erotic in nature. I think the LGBT genre would win in great deal if the subgenres weren’t just gay, lesbian, bi or trans, but also mystery, history, contemporary, etc. Then writers, who do not write hardcore erotica can actually set their books in those genres and not be beaten up constantly for not fulfilling someone’s wet dream.

Oh, which brings me to my other pet peeves in Amazon romance section –  Multicultural & Interracial, African American and Clean & Wholesome.  In a world, where we try to erase setting people apart by where they are from or who they are born as, racial, religious or any other aspects of their life, it is very disturbing thing to observe that this is still “a thing” in American Amazon literature section. This isn’t about the story being of main character’s courageous journeys in action, mystery or any other story – it declares me I can choose porn based on fantasies like choosing my whore of the day – by hair color, skin type and how she looks like looking up.

Harsh, sorry, but that’s how it feels like lately when searching something new from romance section. I may love that genre to bits, but this shows nothing has changed since I starting browsing online for books. The saddest part, I know half of those books wouldn’t be treated like this if they were marketed through other genres. And they always do have the other genre. It is just written in the description – tiny note on the side, this is a mystery story of a woman facing down a ghost of a pirate ship captain. Whoah! Suddenly the MC’s not wearing short hot red mini, but has trousers on and is half way in muck jumping through a swamp!

Choosing the correct genre changes perspective we hold over a book. If we present it as erotica, then that’s what it is. If we present it as story of a character and say it’s a mystery, then we treat it based on mystery genre checklist, so to say. So why force LGBT couples into solely erotic environment when they are not erotica?

OK, done. The rant is a result of searching a long lost story which has zero erotica in it, a simple kiss, and I found it in LGBT erotica section when it was a holiday romance through and through and innocent like a lamb. It’s only reason ending up between alphas going after omegas in heat and aliens buying a sex slave was the fact that the story told about gay couple, not a hetero one.

Leave a comment

Filed under Drama, elements of writing

My grandma read my book…

giphy.gif Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Drama, my own works

Message to fellow writers

For young writers, who have their Pinterest filled with quotes and notes under them “I can use that”.

Writing is imperfect act.

The purity of thought is not another quote from somebody else’s mouth. It’s your thoughts. If you write your story using quotes, it’s like writing a literary essay with references to other writers, or people.

We already live in the world of copy-paste, wouldn’t you want to stand out of that? Think for yourself. Write down your own thoughts.  I want to read a story, not an essay.

I pick up your story to read your thoughts. I want to read the classics, I go straight to them.
But I am not. I’m interested in you!

So.

Have confidence. 
Impress me with yourself.

LangweileDich.net_Bilderparade_CCCXC_90.gif

Leave a comment

Filed under elements of writing, writing trivia

Let’s talk about describing your online fiction piece.

I read a lot of short stories and novel-length things stories that don’t always get categorized as published book. Lately I have noticed that there are few things that bother me about them. Not the actual stories, for most times they are quite fun and if it comes with some grammar mistakes or misspelled words or timing mistakes, they don’t matter, because I know they are not professionals.

However, there are few things that could be done differently. So I decided to add a little list for any aspiring writers, who post on fictionpress or wordpress or fanfiction or any other platforms so they may get readers to read rather to skim past them:

  • Describing your story should really be a one-two sentence description, not “I’m not good with this describing thing” or “You decide after you read” or “I don’t own these xyz-named-firm’s characters, whaaah!”. Or “Your avarage fiction of…” or “I know I’m bad, but it’s actually quite good!” . Oh, and my absolute astonishment “Read to find out!”
    And “Don’t like it, don’t read.” Truly, if I wasn’t interested, I wouldn’t have picked it out of the line of hundreds, now would I?
    There is time and place to spread your insecurities, it should not be the description where the reader expect to find out whom the story is about and what’s the situation. I am consciously skipping every story that “dares” me to find out how good they are, for 3/5 are actually bad. Often not because the idea is bad, but the entire thing is often written sloppily, with little care and almost no editing. I loath stories where one paragraph turns out to be 215 word long sentence with no punctuation, small or capital lettering and pretty much remind me of Timothy Dexter, who added his in the end of his novel. Only, it was annoying 1797 and is annoying now.
    “This is going to be…” is also a kinky way to actually say nothing about the story and thus lose your reader, for after reading the description they still are not much wizer on who did what or what the conflict is about.
    When I am in searching mode, then a simple who did what or conflict description goes a long way. Or if the story is based on some incident.
  • Acronyms, for example   T/S, M/C, P&T&S or anything else that gets invented on the go, should not be in the description unless it is well known. That trend is actually moving into temporary romances as well and it is a big turnoff. Takes forever to understand what you could have either added in the first paragraph in your introduction rather than in that description where “After x-movie timewerse, Tony met Sally on his way to school and they decided to have a lunch” works so much better. Leave the acronyms for the first introductory paragraph, so they are still there, but they don’t take away that tiny description space that can actually pull in the readers.
  • “OC was just a normal person”. Alright, I understand that this is a common noter of a younger writer, which I’m not discussing more than I wish to bring out that if you say normal, try imagining what that “normal” character is doing. If you can imagine them reading a book, eating, drinking coffee with their eyes searching blue sky – maybe there is a better way to describe your OC you wish to mix in the already existing realm? Skip “normal” and say “Patric tested out his new toy and opened up a portal to Avenger movie”.
  • “Disclaimers: I don’t own the characters/movie/realm/etc” should be enough. But mostly it is followed by “If I did, I’d be *something f-u-n-n-y*”. Aside the disclaimer, I have developed a quick finger syndrome to skip whatever rant follows, for one can read only so many witty disclaimers before you get overloaded.
  • Begging for reviews or threatening to quit writing if you don’t get likes or using emotional blackmailing in the first sentences… Blackmailing goes down on no-one unless they have some emotional investment in you. Rather keep your dignity and don’t beg. “It’s my first story, so please be gentle” – it’s like setting up a sign asking all the trolls to gather for lunch. If your reader finds it interesting enough, they’ll let you know. If you are out to get “texts from your readers”, then most see it as time to leave.
  • Which brings me down to the last, and most important reason why I began in the first place – don’t apologize for your writing in advance. If you posted it, you are taking responsibility for it anyway. You already agree that what you’ve posted might be offensive to some, so why apologize to them in advance? Just say “This story deals with mature topics, sensitive topics” rather than apologizing in advance in case they didn’t like your story.
    The thumb rule, at least for me and most of the writers, is that you post only what you are ready to stand up for. If you are uncomfortable or feel insecure about it, then don’t post it. Look it over, think it through and then, when you are ready, then put it up. But what you DO put up, you take full responsibility for. There will always be somebody, who feels they need to point out some moral rule based on their world view or think you should not write this or that. So you have to be sure.
    If you think you can avoid it by warning ahead that this will be “hardcore violent” or anything else, you need to know that it makes you look worse if you don’t deliver. When I read, I deliberately start searching out the promised “warning” and I’m afraid, a lot of beginners don’t deliver what they promise. Can’t blame them, really, for often they need more experience to know better. So my advice would be – don’t do it. Don’t warn people – if they picked your story out in M section, they already expect it to be for adults and thus have no need for warnings suitable for PG-13. Think, when is the warning necessary and when you are overdoing it. 

These were my grains in the pot. Something that has been bothering me, and will continue bothering me, when reading online. Hasn’t stopped me from reading yet, but sometimes it’s better to learn from other’s mistakes than repeating them yourself.

Have a nice writing day!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Drama, elements of writing, kirjutamisest, Writing, writing trivia