Tag Archives: writing

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.

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Filed under Drama, my own works

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!

 

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

Make me pretty for the holly

I might be not thinking of publishing at the moment, but that does not mean my eyes are closed on the ways of the world. Or, rather, how it somehow is not working…

Now that I have only one chapter left to look over in preparations for December publishings, I am currently focusing more on the design part of the books on the homepage. It won’t be anything major aside that they look a bit all over the place to me and I would like to try assigning certain themes for them based on what world the stories take place and, well, in lack of better term – give them neater exterior. Continue reading

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Story versus trivia fact

I had an interesting encounter today.

I have been writing a story called Devil’s Butterfly.

flashfridayEfren Wooldrige, a food service manager at a 3 star restaurant Le Petit Chef, is up for a nasty surprise, when he discovers that his mother, whom he hasn’t had any contact for 7 years,  has no problem selling him to his new stepbrother Steven Custer for acceptance for her marriage to his father. Served on a plate, hot. But hot food burns your tongue if one isn’t careful.

Steven Custer, a CEO of a large corporation, has no doubt his father loves his new bride. However, the past has taught him that it’s not always the bride one ought to be cautious about. There are always “new” family members, who see no problem swindling their way up using the new family connections. So with the new bride he decides to take the matters in his own hands and prevent the ugly past from repeating again.

So, I was talking about it with some people, whom I’ve known for a long time and they know I’m writing it, because, well, I have done it publicly since January. So, today I was telling them again the main problems, because I may be involved with it 24/7, but I don’t expect others to know my story problems by heart no matter how often we discuss them. And I mentioned that “he had a fall out with his boyfriend” and he looked at me with this incredulous stare and asked, so he is gay? I shrugged that yeah, he is, Efren is gay.

“So it’s that sort of story! Don’t you think you should have mentioned it earlier?”

It kind of floored me.

Let’s leave aside the “that sort of story”, because I really don’t want to discuss gay pride right now. AS the main focus of this story has never been about him being gay. Yes, the character’s mother and friend give him some hard time for it, and that plays role in his decision making, because it is to push him, but other than that it really has no status in the story. And yes, I haven’t mentioned it being a gay love story, because I didn’t think that mattered for the story itself is about a man trying to survive his own inevitable doom as his body is giving up on him! It’s about putting trust in those closest to you and trusting them about your problems! It’s a sort of urban fantasy with a twist!

AND THAT TWIST IS NOT HIM BEING GAY! It is completely unimportant trivia fact about his daily life! But the moment I mentioned it, that story no longer mattered! All the focus was me not mentioning he was gay. They kiss maybe twice (? I can’t remember straight at the moment), hug and sit next to each other. THAT IS IT! But no, it has no importance – the story doesn’t matter.

For that reason alone, for the fact how trivia the whole book became after I mentioned that one word makes me furious. It was exactly that why I didn’t want to put that tag on it. Because you read “gay romance urban mystery” and you expect what?

Honest to god, what do you expect?

I expect a romantic urban mystery with a couple of men. I don’t care if they get in bed or fight over a vacant place on their favorite sofa, but I want a mystery that holds water and perhaps has some urban fantasy elements in it. The relationship will be cherry on the top, but if everything else fails, sorry, no cake.

I’m confused right now. I thought it was decent enough story and people liked the idea of it, the mystery I was weaving and the characters, who are struggling for their lives.

Then what the hell? What does that change if he has a boyfriend? He is still dying, he is still fighting with his stepbrother and trying to keep his mom from acting on her threat! That hasn’t changed!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Drama, my own works

Business as usual

This month, to make myself more business oriented, because as an Indie author, one ought to, and I have tried to see myself as one, I went along and ordered myself business cards. That’s what they look like, except now they have nice black edges as well, but I figured if I photograph them before, they would actually stand out on the background.

visiit.jpg

Maybe it’s an overkill, and I’m sure there are those, who think getting myself pen name business cards is that, but after having to explain people, how my name is spelled and how my homepage is named and writing on pieces of papers to get the info on, I decided that this little investment is worth that money. I chose info that would not change easily, everything related to my business-ish style and just had them done.

The style might look weird on first glance, like why wood and so dark, but if you visit my homepage, you’ll see that this is the style design I am working with, and the symbol has become my representational image in a lot of other places.

I plan to use similar style for my books after I figure out some design system for them, especially for few series. I am very fond of Japanese book cover designs and appreciate a good design style on series, so I am currently working towards having some recognizable design that would stand out enough that people check it and see it and realize who it belongs to.

So over a half a year of dealing with my Indie author project, ha ha haaa, I realized yesterday, when the business cards arrived, that I actually have an icon for myself, a name, a physical representation, few books on my name and a homepage that updates regularly. And I am working on new titles as we speak.

I am actually a business woman. My writing has become my business. Scary, huh?

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Work space

I wanted to show off 🙂

We all know that for a writer, their office, or wherever they work, is pretty much their temple. Same with me. One needs a GOOD feeling place to create monsters that take over the world. I just had my last piece of the puzzle put in place, so I’m very happy and exited to show it off.

2180485929007716668-account_id=0So, a bit about this tiny room. It is actually a half of a room. The big brown cupboard is actually the back of another small office space which is occupied by my brother. Yes, I am living at home right now and yes, we do share a room. I actually have a decent job, time for my writing and time to play with my dog. So, sue me. It’s down to practicality of life, times are hard enough.

Enough of the introduction – this is my office. Welcome! That Monopoly on the left side on the wall – I painted that some years ago. Worth that 3 months of mini brush work. Around it are artworks by my niece. You can’t see on the pictures, but her artwork is also on the other side of the office, on the wall, framed. In an easy reach, there is also the loupe, for we two are pair of curious people, so we need our main tool in fast reach.

9177896642838483138-account_id=0The second picture is closer up on my book shelves. I was very happy, when it turned out that all my books fitted in there just right, with only few places empty of fairy tale books that are now in niece’s collection.  In front of the books are the few things that I keep – the tea box is Idea Chest Game I once did for my writing group. Still plenty of pieces to go. The small chest next to it is my collection of story cubes. I need a next box for the new ones :).

As you can see, I have a collection of dolls around me. Might be, because I’m a bit of a kid in heart, but I’ve always kept some kind of tokens near me. They all have their place and reasons. Maybe I’ll tell you about them some time. Next to the Barbie is my writing mug. Sis got it for me from the last Hanseatic Days fair. It is usually full of coffee with milk and I absolutely love it!

3105966192191881356-account_id=0Yes, I do own a green chair on a yellow carpet I can pick on with my toes. I like colors. I can’t keep my toes in place when I sit, so somehow I’ve come to like those bathroom carpets with long bristles. On top left you can see Tobbie, my scull. He sits on top of a box made by my grandpa. LOVE it so much! I have a huge chest like that too.

The place has some hidden secrets too, like the tiny table where the keyboard is on – it comes out easily to make a full size table where I can paint. The cupboard beneath the table is where all my art supplies are.

I know it’s small. I don’t really care as what I need is right there. All the books for writing, the art supplies for painting, the printer, the computer. And privacy. It is the most private place in the house and for that, I am very, very happy for writing does not always want an audience.

That’s it. That’s my work station at the moment. It has childish features, and will get some of them more over time, but it has what I need as a writer – a chair, my notes and possibility to write until early hours of the morning without disturbing others. Perfect in every way :).

 

 

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Filed under Drama, elements of writing, kirjutamisest

July Nano, homepage and boxes

It has been very busy lately. Firstly because I am finally leaving the dormitory life behind and, well, it takes some work to do that. Mainly things like packing and ordering a moving help and all that and I only have this last week end for it.

Secondly, because Nano is around the corner again. I doubted if I’d want to take it up. Because of the reasons up there. I thought it will go to half way to July, but then I was told I can finish the contract earlier and I went for it. So suddenly I discovered that I do get the time! Well, as much as it is available, but I can do it!

The idea, what to write, came to me few days ago  too, so now I’m super exited as if on coffee rush and can’t wait for it to start! For that I even made the Friday Flash Fiction entry a bit earlier. Oh, and because I don’t have any internet for the week-end. No time for writing either. Or not at least before Sunday.

But the idea!

rare-pearl-cover 

Gale Wenalan , a gargoyle has a rare pearl he knows dragons would want – his baby brother. And thus, he hates dragons with a vengeance. It doesn’t help that Accark, a dragon, has moved across him in his apartment building and seems desperate to become his friend. Accark’s logic seems clear – he wants the pearl. But when the dragon shows up again, wanting to hire him, things don’t seem so clear any more.

I’m exited! Maybe it’s a fluff story, maybe something more, maybe lots of tears, maybe tragic – god knows. I have no idea! And that, my dear readers, is what makes it so deeply exiting. Ok, so maybe i already have some idea, but that has to end on paper now 😀 . Clicking on the image will take you to the homepage, where the character profiles are.

Speaking of which – I have filled out all the empty articles I had for the purpose of building the system, but got left to wait due the time that the publishing took. I still have a book at editing stage, but I figured it didn’t look right to have empty places, so I just gritted my teeth and went and did it. The only part that has no entries yet, is Feher’s characters. There are two reasons for that – Nano is starting and at the moment I think the publishing rate is full enough. So I’ll concentrate on Nano for now and leave that for the August, which would give me a nice prep for the next Nano, when I’ll take up the last alien book again and finish it – there are a lot of characters of that section, so it will take a lot of time to fill them all up.

I also began a new section there, which I hope to continue – LC Sunday Journal. It’s a bit different, so I hope you’ll be nicely surprised when you visit it.

I will hopefully have time for a movie though, after I have exhausted my energies on cleaning and packing. I decided that I just will make the time, because the last time I went to cinema was with my niece and half a year ago. So, a little grown up movie would be good for change, and the perks of going to see that at 22 in the night is soooo tempting.

But I gotta go back to work now – still have some boxes to sort out before I can go and collect the next punch and I still have some cargo packing to do as official work.

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Filed under Drama, kirjutamisest, Working through ideas, Writing, writing trivia