Procrastination Is My New Friend

Started revision on my horror short story, that started life as a flashfic before exploding into a ~6k monster during its second draft. So far–while I like the story better than I remembered– its turning out to be a real pain. That story became so much more than I had anticipated toward the end, leaving me with a beginning, in need of massive rewrites. I’m currently at 2.5 handwritten pages in place of a single typed page. I can fit about 200 words on a page with my chicken scratches. It drives home just how much of a pantser I really am. Writing with a concrete goal in mind is far harder than just writing. Now I’m scared of my NaNo mess…

I’m going at maybe a paragraph or two per day, because I keep taking coffee breaks and playing “just one match” of Pokemon TCGO.  I Really want that Charizard on the versus ladder…

At least I still got pure writing projects that want to be finished. That’s a bit of relief. I’m soldiering through though, and somewhere around page ten I should hit the parts that need less rewrites and more just tightening up.  I will not be bested by something I created!

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I’ve A Thing With Buildings

After my muse decided to come by for a little night time visit, throwing a random “Does it always have to be a mansion?” at me, I noticed a somewhat odd trend in my writing. A lot of my short stories, at least,  either have a threat contained within a single building, but unavoidable by the protagonist, or feature a house out to kill whoever dares to enter. And it’s not a new thing either. One of the first novel ideas, I ever had–back when I was eight and supposedly still innocent–was about an orphanage, that stole children’s souls. This idea was quickly followed by  what some might call my baby–the story, that’s been within me for most of my life. This one featured a sentient mansion, which took over its owners mind and turned them into killing machines unless they possessed a certain amulet.

In reality, i don’t fear buildings anymore than anyone else, but I am fascinated by old buildings. So maybe that plays into it.

Printer Woes And Drafts

Yesterday, I finally figured out why my shiny new printer keeps quitting mid print. To make matters worse, it’s exactly what I expected in the first place: Either the wireless function is inherently unstable, or something in the 10 cm between the printer and the laptop is interfering with it. And had I dug a little deeper then, I would have found the option to switch from network to local. Feeling a little stupid now.

Anyway, to test it, I printed my NaNo draft–single spaced, which I’m now regretting–and about ten pages from finishing, the printer tells me that I might have a counterfeit cartridge and starts going on about lack of warranty on those. One, I don’t care as long as it prints, two, the cartridge ,it was referring to, came with the printer, and three, taking more than 100 pages to notice a counterfeit product is kind of pointless, as is the option to just click Continue.

Turns out what it mean to say is that the cartridge was about to run empty, so the final pages are a bit paler than the rest.

Despite my intention to not get into it, yet, I did take a pen to the first few pages of  the mess, I created in November, and I gotta say it’s terrifying to look at all the correction.  Found some good stuff, too, though. I’m scared off the end, though, because I know I Deus Ex’d that just so I could put The End under it by Nov 30th.  Oh, well, I got all the time in the world to figure it out. Especially since I got a stack of other things ahead in line of it.

Plus John goes live in two days.

KU/KOLL

I’ve been lurking in the KDP forums a lot lately and I can’t say I get the uproar the changes to KDP Select are causing. I mean, I do get that authors of shorter works or picture books are getting quite a bit less than before. Picture books especially need to be treated different than text only books. To them the new system really isn’t fair.

What I don’t get is why people insist on comparing it to the old system and count that as a loss. The old system isn’t coming back and that’s that. What people should be comparing in my opinion–if anything at all–is whether a fully read borrow gets them more than a sale. But than there’s also the fact that not every borrow would have been a sale, so…

If I sell say 10 copies of John, I get 3,50

With 10 borrows, assuming it’s fully read I’d only get ~1,40

But if none of those borrows would have been sales, I still make a profit

To me, if something is done about picture and maybe recipe books, the per page system seems a whole lot fairer than the flat rate. It’s probably the closest Amazon can get to fair without individually “rewarding” each book.

As a writer, of course, I’d love if people paid my 1k for my 24 pages. Who wouldn’t? But as a reader, and assuming the same quality–which Amazon kind of has to–I wouldn’t value 24 pages as high as say 400. Of course if the longer book sucks and the shorter doesn’t, I’d consider it worth more. That’s not a system a platform that big can apply.

And to be honest, and, assuming the same writing speed and skill, and the same quality end product, a short story author can put out more individual products in the same time another releases a single novel. thus payment evens out.

That said, John is staying in Select, because I think the potential extra exposure  does me more good than an additional ~.20.

To Do List

  1. Edit finished ~5k word short story and figure out if it’s horror or fantasy
  2. Expand epic fantasy short story into novel/la/ette
  3. Edit ~3k fantasy short story and maybe expand it a little
  4. Finish fantasy short story I put on hold for Camp NaNo
  5. Try to find the four flash fics I was working on before Camp
  6. Finish horror sci-fi novel/la/lette
  7. Edit NaNoWriMo draft <– definitely keeping that one for last, because with every story I finish, I see new better ways to go about it.

And to think, I was worried about running out of things to do. I’m going to try for at least one task a month. Except for the finish or expand X. Those I’ll do on the side as I edit.

John & Other Stories Announcement

After realizing that I was more likely to ruin the stories in this collection than to improve them, I changed my plans.So rather than October 13th, John is now scheduled to go live on August 25th here .

I stuck the book in select, too, because in my book getting even a few cents–or half cents for pages read– is better than getting nothing at all.  Then again, I have low expectations anyway

Reading Like a Reader vs Reading Like a Writer

That’s another of those concepts I kept reading about, but though idiotic. After all, I can’t control the way I read, right?

Turns out, I was both right and wrong, because the more I wrote, the more the way I read changed. Now when I read, I analyze sentences and structure, as if that was the only reason for picking up the book in the first place.  I catch myself looking for the hints on what’s going to happen next. It’s also made me realize that the 50 or so pages I’ve always given books to entrance me, more often than not, fell between the 10 and 25% of total length marker. The problem?

Now, that I’m aware of it, I can’t stop and I’m entirely to good at “calling it.”I haven’t been able to sit back and enjoy a book–or movie for that matter–in months and it’s getting on my nerves. I miss the days when I didn’t know that the lost gem on page five would lead to treason later on. I even switched to mysteries for a while, because I figured the unknown territory might help, but, no. It’s even worse there. What’s the point of reading the other 300+ pages if you know who did it. Unless the writing’s just that good, of course.

I don’t mind when the calls are obvious. Like a book set in the 1340s potentially dealing with plague, and I still enjoy reading, but I’d like to either go back to the way it used to be to gain the ability to switch back and forth.

Of course, reading as a writer has its benefits, too. I’ve alway been a bit of a weird reader. As in, I’d read the beginning of a paragraph, then the end before returning for the middle and sometimes I’d do that with entire pages; always an automatic process with no warning. I’d still get the concept of the page but miss the minute details. As a writer, I can read from top to bottom like I’m supposed to and it’s let me rediscover new sides to books I first read ages ago. Some of which I originally didn’t like, because their beauty was in the details.

So, yeah, I’m hoping for an off switch.