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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

Would you rather… Start a new project in a genre that’s completely unfamiliar, OR revise a project that you know is a bloody mess?

An unfamiliar genre can be researched. Research can be fascinating and fun. As long as said research doesn’t become an excuse for not writing the story.

A bloody mess can be painful if you have to take out a favorite scenes or significantly change the plot. It is also intensely rewarding to salvage what seems like the ruins of your work.

What about it, writer friends? Would you rather start a new story in an unfamiliar genre, or revise a project that you know is a bloody mess?


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The demon, Discouragement, has been visiting my house lately. Mostly this is due to me starting the preparations for self-publishing my next novella. I’m trying to assess whether my marketing efforts have made any difference. This can be depressing for most of us authors, and I’m no exception.

One of my resolutions for 2019 was to work harder on publicity. In particular, I’ve worked harder on my author newsletter. So many sources say that the newsletter is the goose laying golden eggs, and if I can bring that to life, I’ll sell tons of copies.

Studying up on this, I followed the format of asking a clever or gripping question, followed by my schedule of appearances, and finally a snippet from a featured book of mine. I’ve included subscription links in every e-mail and blog post, my author pages on Facebook, Amazon and Draft 2 Digital, and more.

The response has been… nearly nothing. As far as I can tell, I haven’t sold a copy of anything through it. Each monthly newsletter seems to result in another bounced e-mail. Likewise, my personal author page, which I update weekly, generates no sales that I can tell.

Hence, my demon, Discouragement, comes knocking.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t sold any copies. They trickle in. It seems like the best response I’ve been getting is from my blog and the connections I can forge with other writers. So maybe what Discouragement is telling me is that I have been trying the wrong things. If the monthly newsletter and author pages aren’t working for me, then I need to let go of them.

A good example of this is how much response we’ve had to the blog visit last Saturday by C. S. Boyack. Even if folks mostly came to cheer Craig on, they at least got a look at Wyrmflight, too. Rather than work hard on a newsletter nobody notices, maybe I’ll just blog and hang out with you, my virtual buddies.

But, Discouragement, you really can go away at any time.


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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This month sees a couple of appearances on the horizon. First, I’m making a visit to horror and YA author Teri Polen’s blog, Books and Such. She’s hosting her annual event, Bad Moon Rising, where horror and dark fantasy writers have a chance to stop by and promote our books. My date is October 12, and I can’t wait!

Another appearance will be here on Wyrmflight. My good friend, C. S. Boyack will be stopping by to feature his latest release, Viral Blues. The book is a grand team-up by several characters from his other books, and I’m really looking forward to reading it when I get a chance. So look for that on Saturday.


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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Early in my career, my husband would suspiciously demand, “Is this character supposed to be me?” I said, “No, of course not.” I’ve never been sure if he was happy with that, or disappointed.

To be honest, there was a bit of one of our friends in there, but only a bit. Using a real person in your made-up story seems like an ethical problem to me. I mean, a person’s individual name and appearance are their most personal possessions. They should be held private, as any other personal information is.

As a fan writer, I witnessed a case where a family was in turmoil and two family members wrote a story that was aimed at another. It got by me, until the victim pointed that out how a character who was just like her died at the end of the story. That was a lesson I’ll never forget.

Writing stories about other people gives us a unique kind of power, especially if those people are injured or humiliated during the story. It can easily cross into grotesque bullying. Let’s say there’s a public figure you don’t like. (We can all fill our own disliked public figures into that blank.) It might be satisfying for you to write a story where a character just like them is shot in the head, but for the person? I would take that as a personal threat.

Everyone craves recognition. Some authors, especially crime novelists, may run contests where people volunteer to appear as a victim. If they sign up for that, then okay. But nobody wants to be mocked in public.

Never do this, friends.


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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I have begun working on the second draft of Ice Witch. The most significant changes so far are to Meven’s foundling. I found that the rhythm of his name was weak, so I’ve changed it. Elldry is now Calisiph. In addition, his viewpoint was coming across as too cynical for a seven-year-old. I’m making him about ten, an age that allows him to question the adults around him in a more pointed way.

However, I will let him keep his toy monkey, Eelee. It was one of Meven’s puppets with an articulated joint that allows it to stick its tongue out. Calisiph was instantly charmed by this. Ten is a little old to be carting a toy around, but he hasn’t had a single thing to call his own for a couple of years, so Meven lets him take over ownership.

While this goes on, I’m also making a few decisions for my next novella. Have you ever had those weeks when everything you previously decided just seems dumb? I don’t like the title, I don’t like the cover art I’d chosen, and so forth.

Nothing is in print yet, so obviously this is the time for me to be making those changes!


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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Yes! I have finished a non-skeletal and satisfying first draft of Fang Marsh. The novella came in at 33,500 words. The other Minstrels of Skaythe novellas are 32,000 words (The Tower in the Mist) and 38,000 words (The Cursed Grove), so Fang Marsh fits right in at its length.

That said, I’m pondering whether to take a stab at the second draft now. If I give myself 2 weeks, I should still have plenty of time to set up The Cursed Grove for Thanksgiving weekend. There’s a good use in letting stories rest between drafts, but I’m inclined to work on the issues I’m already aware of in Fang Marsh, and let it rest after that.

First of all, I’m changing the title, which I’ve known all along that I would. It’s going to be The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. The title character is based on one from an RPG who was The Ice Witch. Yes, like The Batman, everyone knew her as The Ice Witch. Although Meven is not exactly the same character, the name/title has a good ring and I’d like to keep that.

Meven herself will be a main focus of this revision. Her character is kind of all over the place. The original Ice Witch was actually not icy, but funny and snarky. Meven spends too much time being scared and emotionally shut in. I plan to organize her and create a nice arc from the anxious fugitive to the confident and sarcastic Ice Witch I knew and loved.

Her foundling, currently named Elldry, is going to be called something with a stronger rhythm. With find-and-replace, that will be an easy fix. His personal arc will also be firmed up, but doesn’t need as much work as Meven’s.

Finally, there is currently a distinct lack of fangs in Fang Marsh. The previous two Minstrels of Skaythe novels each featured some sort of giant creature. They just pop, you know? So I will be looking to add a confrontation with something big and fanged, which will deepen the relationship between Meven and her hopeful boyfriend, Shonn, as they both save Elldry from it.

All that in two weeks? No sweat! *sarcasm*


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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The words need not be perfect in order for your story to be great.

Believe it or not, this quote is from a conversation at work. A friend was telling me she wants to write a letter to a family member she’s been estranged from, but she isn’t good at putting words on the page. I encouraged her to write the letter anyway. I don’t know if she will, but I hope so.


Anyway, I have a couple of new followers here on Wyrmflight, so welcome to my fantasy world! I’m always interested to know what attracted your attention. If you have a question or suggestion about what you’d like to hear from me, by all means share!


Did you know I have an author newsletter? You can get it! I’ll even give you a free e-book for signing up. Just click here.

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