Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 16: Marketing Jargon for Self-Published Novels

*** I haven't actually worked in marketing as a full-time employee, but I freelanced for two different marketing firms for over two years and picked up a great deal of information.***

Do you know what a clip is? A clip is any instance of advertising for your book (or product/service, but this is a self-published novel blog, so let's stick with book). 

  • A comment on a blog read by anyone with your name that links to a website/blog promoting you and your novels.
  • A purchased advertisement.
  • A review
  • A tweet
Judging marketing campaigns requires channels, and being able to count the number of impressions a particular channel makes. For some channels, this is easy. Others, more subjective. For example, buying a one-day advertising slot on Kindle Nation. If you use a unique coupon code, you could track how many sales/impressions you made from that channel. Comparing number of sales (or profit) to the cost of the advertisement gives a ratio that can be used to compare the effectiveness of all channels on equal footing.

But what about "free" advertising?

Technically, nothing is ever free. Either it took time or there is a string attached you must later address. The channel method still applies. Instead of money, use time as the variable as compared to sales or impressions.

For example, say you create a unique shortened url to go directly to your book for sale on Amazon. In my case, I might buy a shortened URL that I can use Pro to customize for shortened links. Why? Because readers are increasingly skeptical of the generic shortened URLs, but one you can customize lets you lend credibility. vs some jumbled mess. By customizing the tail (ip1 or whatever) (Or use where you can custom the tail for free). I can create a clickable channel. Now, I can see which blogs gave me the most bang for my time, a niche or massive audience? You might be surprised by the results. A focused, contributing comment in a list of 4 or 5 is more likely to be read by a reader than a comment just hocking your book and competing with hundreds of comments.

Marketing is all about creating channels (individual paths to your book that you can measure and judge against the cost in money or time) and clips (mentions of your book that you arranged or bought or happened spontaneously). Luck is going viral.  

How to be effective in your marketing

There are tons of novels, scams, and programs dedicated to this topic. Effective marketing is results, plain and simple. If commenting on blogs in your genre for one month bring you a boost of an average of 10 more books sold per day, that's effective marketing. Optimized marketing is doing the smallest effort for the greatest increase in sales. That will always be an individual calculation. You could assign a pain ranking to each channel, meaning how much pain did utilizing the channel give you. For some authors, free blog comments are a real pain, a 10. Others, that's a 1 and something easily done while watching Dora the Explorer with your toddler. Using these types of rankings makes it easier to decide where to put more effort or money. If you love to make book trailers, debut a new one every few months to keep it fresh. Or to put in different channels. If you love graphic arts, play around with print advertisements you can put in forum signatures, or email blitzes (where you email a very short, graphical email to everyone on a contact list announcing your book and ask for a forward).

I will write more about niche marketing and things I learned from watching non-profits later on. Here's an update on my book, "Imperfect Timing" for today. I fixed my digital story board alleviating the writer's burden that was preventing me from jamming out the chapters. I wrote 492 words, almost completing Chapter 7. I started pages on my major settings with pictures, addresses and descriptions for handy reference. I fell in love with sheet protectors in a notebook and dry-erase markers.

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 15: Self-Publishing Genres, Marketing, and Who On Earth Is Going to Read My Book?

On Friday, my day 12, I spun-off about a post on BigAl's Books and Friends about the debate continuing between chick-lit and romance genres. Turns out I wasn't the only one moved about the subject. A fellow BigAl's reader, Cookie's Mom, the author of Cookie's Book Club also continued the discussion in defense of the genre

After my interesting run-in this weekend with very vocal readers of romance, and the sacred HEA, one of my voices of reason (acquaintance who reads my raw material and keeps me motivated to keep writing, if only just for her) asked me "Why does it even matter?" That's a very good question, because she pointed out if I don't have a publisher telling me I don't quite fit in either genre, it shouldn't matter. But it does. I have to sell my novel to readers in both of these audiences, and try to make sure they don't get pissed off because their expectations were not met by my story.

One of the exercises I completed in preparation for this novel was to make lists of my favorite books, least favorite, and books that influenced me the most. The most eye opening was my least favorites and why. Here's a sample:

  • The Scarlett Letter I hate narrative and smack-in-the-face morality.
  • Wheel of Time Series Blah, blah in woods, too many characters to keep up with, WAY too much narrative
  • House of Night Series  I liked the fist few, but then typos and mistakes took me out of the story and the plot has been dragged on to the point of insanity in the last 3 books. First series I won't finish, and I hung in until Book 6 or 7
After analyzing what I like to read, both the love and the hate, I came up with this statement: "The kind of book that I love to read most in all the world is any genre with a tangible world and characters where love plays a part in an engaging storyline." This may seem like a self-serving exercise, but trust me, for a self-published author, it helps to put yourself in a reader's shoes. Knowing my own "reading statement" let's me stay true to myself and what's in my heart. Anything less will come off as artificial in my writing. 

Now to really get in your novel's readers' shoes: Before I can even think about building a marketing platform, I need to know who my reader is. Try it. Make a list of your reader's life, religious ideas, economic goals, etc. This is what I came up with.
  1. Primarily female, potentially male.
  2. Experienced in family drama, but feels she has risen above it (whether she actually has or not).
  3. Holds a diploma (HS, or college), most importantly she feels sufficiently educated.
  4. Seriously thinks about career and family planning.
  5. Lives independently.
  6. Has had a relationship that resulted in marriage, or nearly did so.
  7. Pragmatic or highly compartmentalized religious views.
  8. Isn't sure how far she'd go to protect a family member.
Now, thinking about my reader, I don't think she would ever buy into a sappy, happily ever after ending because she doesn't really believe in fairy tales. What she wants is an ending where everyone is going to be okay. And part of this might be the generation I am a part of, Gen X/Y (I'm right on the cusp of them by my birth year). For my mother's generation, marriage was the penultimate happy ending. Ultimate was marriage AND a baby. :) Motherhood was the end all, be all for a woman's life goals.

Oh, how things have changed! I'm a stay at home mother myself and struggle with my identity because my original plan was to be an international jet-setter, corporate lawyer with a boyfriend in every major international city. Granted, I don't want multiple boyfriends NOW, I'm very happy with my husband, but the fact that I ever saw that as a happy existence screams something important. My generation judges love and success in love not just by the result, but also the journey to get there. In other words, a marriage that results from a tumultuous relationship isn't as prized as a couple who have a happy journey and decide to just live with one another. Not happily ever after, but happy for now.  

Writing a novel for self-publication, or indie publication makes it easy for an author to go in too many directions, and end up stuck in one spot. My reader is a sub-set of both the chick-lit and romance genres. I'm going to have to find them and at the same time, warn off readers who probably won't like my book. They will likely be older, more rigid in their ideas of what romance is, or jaded by life experience. Does this mean every person my age will love my book and everyone my mother's age will hate it? No way. My mother better love my book! So that's one. But seriously, no, when making these sweeping generalizations, it's just to keep a focus point for marketing, and shaping my product description. Not to exclude any potential reader.

I'm officially half way finished with my first draft. I am excited. June is my marketing month, and I will be sure to post how I make these points about my genre and reader into real-life marketing endeavors. 

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 14 - Not Writer's Block, A Crisis of Writer's Security

I'm slightly ahead of schedule on my writing, and so I took this weekend off a little. Only 932 words so far. We'll see if I get possessed to do a marathon session tonight. 

I just finished reading Sophie Kinsella's Minishopaholic. The chance to laugh out loud to a novel was a nice respite from fretting over my own. I read some of the reviews the book has received and goodness! To see some of the backlash against the main character's parenting skills threw me for a loop. Who reads a fiction piece for parenting advice? Or maybe they just have never gone, or can't remember, shopping with a 2-year-old. I can. I do it weekly. My little girl hasn't mastered "Mine" yet, but she's figured out that everything in the cart gets bought and brought home. She throws things into our cart, and any unsuspecting person next to us, making me apologize profusely and remove the items. She is fascinated by my credit card. She likes to hand it to the cashier, and she has to "sign" the credit card slip, too. Does this make me a bad mom? NO. And Becky Bloomwood, the Shopaholic we all love, isn't a bad mommy, either. Or mum. :)

The last 24 hours have been a little hard on my psyche. After the run in with the readers on a romance novel forum, I am more than a little flustered. I read a review of a book that has a very similar plot to my own, well the author made it her twist, but it was handled very poorly and the author took the other path for resolution of the situation that I am not taking. On one hand, I should be glad my thoughts are in line with the rabid readers, that most modern women would not accept continuing a relationship with a man who had an infant on the way with another woman. I agree, I had a hard enough time wrapping my mind around being a stepmother to a 3-year-old when I was 21. I think anything younger than 2 is just too close to the old relationship for another woman to come into the picture without questions about her priorities, intentions, or adultery.

But, I did have my first feelings of never publishing this novel. I don't know why...I didn't think I would get this attached to it. But as the weeks go by, and my word count increases, my bond to it is increasing. I'm hoping the month I plan to take off from writing in June will help me get over it. I really need to put a stop to the feelings that this book somehow validates me as a writer. That's such nonsense! I'm many things before I was a writer, and despite one reader accusing me of not having a real job (HA! I'd LOVE to just have a 40-hour work week and a job that came with VACATION TIME). This is the same person who threatened to never read my book. When I'm finished, I'm going to send them a free copy, on principle alone.

Well, all this talking has inspired me and I think I will get to work on my novel again. I'm still stuck on Chapter 7 and this scene of Johnathan and Kellie in a deli to talk about the pregnancy. I think it's the setting. I think they need to go walking outside somewhere....Johnathan sitting there spinning his silverware isn't cutting it. I think a new location would make adding the awkwardness much easier.....

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 13: Got My Tough Skin On!!!

I do know better than to expect logic, humor, and rational thought to rule an internet forum. So in my first experience of approaching a reader forum, some vital lessons learned.

  • Most people won't agree with you, and aren't inclined to do so.
  • A handful of members feel a need to swing a big you-know-what around online.
But I am surprised, at myself. I had some very irrational insults slung at me. How dare I challenge the sacred happily ever after by suggesting a romance novel can end with just a happy ending that shows the reader the characters will still have to push to maintain that happiness? Anyway, it didn't upset me. Not in the least. How could I be upset at someone who said "I didn't even read your entire post and I don't like you already?" Wow. What was really funny, from an illogical stance, is one person stating that my book is not in this genre and he or she will never read it. Well which is it? If is a romance book, then I would be worried about you threatening to never read it because you only read romance novels. But if it isn't a romance novel, then you wouldn't read it anyway, so I didn't lose anything.

It amazes me the people who will say things online that they wouldn't say in real life. Could you imagine being in a conversation with someone and they hold up a hand and say "Let me stop you right there, I don't like you so :shrug: just go away now." But I pulled out my Southern upbringing and killed them with kindness. I thanked them for their advice, even the mean spirited, and believe me, I *am* learning from it, and moved on. Now the will power will be to not respond to any replies. But I can do it, I'm too busy! :)

UPDATE: Proof that you must always respond with kindness, the responses are now somewhat apologetic for labeling me a spammer, and more reasonable towards the idea of a degree to the happily ever after ending.

Speaking of busy, this morning I wrote 932 words in about an hour and a half. This scene is near the end of the novel, and I cried my eyes out writing it. I loved when I read it aloud to my stepson, he sucked in a loud breath "Heeeeehhhhhhh" right the moment I wanted. I figure if he gets it, my readers will too. It was painful. I had to write about a mother who gave birth 12 hours earlier and wasn't allowed to ever hold her baby. Yeah, talk about some serious pain! 

The closest I can come to that heartache is how I felt after I woke up from my own C-section. I was groggy and still coming to, when my husband dashed into the door frame. I remember concentrating to focus on him and he was antsy. Why was he antsy? I asked how is our baby and he said "I don't know, I haven't seen her yet." I pushed myself up, while the nurse fixing my IVs urged me to lay back down. "What? Why not?" And then the nurse's face blanched. She had forgotten to tell my husband he could go to the nursery and see our daughter when my surgery was done. My daughter laid, parentless, for the first hour and a half of her life under a warmer. 

Writing about giving birth from the emotional side of things is fun, even if it is exhausting and impacts your tissue supply. Not the classic "Push, push, push" scenes, which I never experienced first-hand, but the million, billion questions and concerns that fly through your head and heart in the first few hours of the baby's arrival. Before you're too sleep-deprived and dirty to even care about the outside world.

Here's a little sample of what I wrote this morning, it's the end of the scene.

Returning his phone to his pocket, Johnathan finally made good on his initial intention to return to his daughter. Scrubbing his hands and forearms in the sink between the nursery's double door entry, he smiled. Once inside, Anna handed Charlotte to her father and he eased himself into the rocking chair next to her plastic bin.
“Daddy has everything under control,” he cooed. Charlotte squinted her little eyes open in recognition of her father's voice before making a newborn yawn and turning her head further into his chest. Johnathan's mouth remained fixed in a smile. He kissed his daughter's forehead and relaxed his own head back to rest.

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 12 - To Write, You Must Read

I have watched Jeremy C. Shipp (@JeremyCShipp) promote his novels for well over a year now. In fact, he's probably the first self-published author I've ever virtually met. I will confess that I haven't actually read any of his books, but that's because his genres aren't my normal cup of tea. This might change.

I just read his short, "Neighbors". Possessing a 10-year-old who prefaces any trip outside of the house with "Can I bring my DS?" I completely related to the adult in the story. I was hooked within seconds. I also loved the point of view in the story. Finally, I could see a smart use of the second person point of view. 

On Twitter, Shipp asked if he should write more stories like this. I agree, whole-heartedly. What was creepy about this story to me was the fact that the narrator is so stuck on Maria's death, he takes the kids he's babysitting on a tour that ends up at the hospital where Maria died. CREEPY. Though as a mom, anytime children and death are in the same story, I can't help but get the chills. 

So check out "Neighbors" and maybe give Jeremy C. Shipp a follow. Together, we can discover more of his writing (though I'm very chicken, scary movies still give me nightmares, not kidding.)

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.

The Debate Between Romance and Chick-Lit Wages On

I read this post over at a blog I follow, BigAl's Books and Pals, where BigAl and his team of readers review self-published and independently published Kindle books.

BigAl's Books and Pals: Chick Lit and Romance Fiction / A Defining Moment: "A note from BigAl: A few weeks ago, I reviewed 'Taking Love in Stride,' a romance novel by Donna Fasano. In that review I talke..."

I can appreciate this blog post because I am struggling with those same rigid formulas of a romance novel and a chick-lit novel. My novel fits them like an octagon peg going into a circle hole--doesn't fit perfectly by just the slimmest of margins. Why? First, I am using a male POV. I won't change this. Selfishly, I want to explore what we women look like to men, even if it's a purely fictionalized simulation. Am I going to perfectly capture every man's reaction to a situation? Of course not, men are just as different as women are. But I hope to mostly capture a masculine reaction to the situations that most females would respond with a decidedly feminine approach.

For example, in the scene where Kellie, the one-night stand, tracks Johnathan down to tell him she's pregnant and it's his, she is carrying his shirt that she "borrowed" the morning after they slept together. She's nervous. She doesn't exactly know how to tell him. Putting myself in her shoes, I'd be nervous. What if he started yelling at me, wanting me to abort the baby? What if he wants to support me and the baby (my biggest hope)? What if he refuses to talk to me? etc. etc. etc. She doesn't feel comfortable explaining the real reason she is there at his work place, that's his turf. She wants to go somewhere neutral, so she feels better about making an escape if everything goes horribly wrong.

Johnathan however recognizes she went to an awful lot of trouble just to return a shirt, but doesn't take it any further than that. I base this mostly on my husband. He doesn't do "what if?" He likes to make assumptions and decisions on the facts on hand, not extrapolate various possible scenarios or outcomes so he feels ready to deal with what may come. He has a confidence that he will always be able to deal with what comes. My character Johnathan recognizes an undue amount of trouble to return a shirt, and when Kellie asks if they can go somewhere to talk, he reasonably assumes she is trying to get a second date.

So my POV character kills my ability to call my novel a straight chick-lit, and my ending kills my ability to call it a straight romance. After my 10-year-old son heard my original ending, this was his response. "The Daddy has to end with someone to be the Mommy. The baby has to have a Mommy." It still makes me melt just thinking about his very clear understanding of the story and what has to happen in the end. It's what changed my heart towards my character, Kellie. I wanted to nail her. Being a stepmom myself, I wanted to just rub this woman into the ground as a representation of all of the birth mothers who don't deserve to care for their children because they are terrible parents, but always win out in custody battles with fathers because of their gender in the parenting team.

Once I explored my storyline and wrote a few chapters though, I realized Kellie didn't deserve to be rubbed out of her child's life. She made a mistake. We ALL make mistakes as parents. She does pay for her mistake in the ending, but nothing she can't overcome with time. So, I gave my story a happier, though not happily ever after, ending. However, if this was a straight up romance, Johnathan would either end up with his fiance or the baby's mother. And he doesn't. At least not clearly, without a doubt. Instead, he ends up happy in a way HE never thought of, but not without a tough trek ahead of him.

I responded to the BigAl's Books and Pals blog that I think more and more indie authors are going to be just like me. We're tired of the formulas set forth by the publication guidelines given by traditional publishers and agents.

A chick-lit must be from a women's point of view. Why? Isn't what really defines a genre is the audience most like to read it? Couldn't a book appeal to the chick-lit audience if it's a modern, sometimes comedic, story about balancing romance and career? Because that's how I define chick-lit and the books I like to read.

A romance must have steamy scenes, but no references to specific genitalia, and the hero and heroine must live happily ever after. Why? Isn't the point of a romance for the reader to escape into a whirlwind romantic tale? Can't it be just as titillating to see a steamy, hot relationship fizzle out because most can't sustain that level of passion? Can't a reader read a romance, love the thrills of the ups and downs and finish by saying "Wow, glad that isn't my life." and be just as satisfied? I think romance readers are pretty savvy women, who can take a more realistic ending as long as the romantic elements of the story are strong.

I hope these genres explode with more offerings and more ideas. Love is complicated. Work is tough. And together, these two make up our everyday lives. And for anyone who thinks my storyline isn't plausible, let me tell you about a man I sat next to on a plane who was in the middle of divorcing his wife, got another woman pregnant, and then his wife wanted to reconcile. And they did. The wife was at the hospital when the baby was born. And no, they didn't have any children together. My son was 5 at the time (I was escorting him home to his Mom, he couldn't fly by himself yet). 5 years later, that story STILL swirls in my mind. And I hope my book will do the same. Time to go write.

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DAY 11- Story Plotting: Too Many Ideas Can Be a Very Bad Thing

Working on updating my digital copy of my story board with all of the pencil notes I've written on the first paper version of it, I pulled a thread and unraveled my entire middle section. It's mush right now. 

The problem is I like to build my scenes upon each other, meaning I ask myself "If A happened, how would Character Blue respond? What consequences would that have?" and so on. Only problem, is my middle is a serious crossing point of two sub plots and the main plot. Craziness. Everything has to fall into place at the right time or it sucks. Just because my story isn't a "thriller" doesn't mean there isn't a bit of mystery to the plot. 

I know what I need to do. I need to write my ideas down on notecards and remap them on my bulletin board. My beginning and end are solid. That won't really be changing anymore. Right now my middle is just a challenge to keep the story going and also capture the two relationships my main character has: one with his fiance and the other with his baby momma (not in a double sexual relationship, but relationship like his growing friendship with the mother of his child).

This brightened my evening: It's a hilarious script of a fictional 911 operator taking the calls of problematic self-published authors. I laughed so hard! It makes me even more excited about what I'm doing: pushing to self-publish my own work with great quality and a professional look. But tonight, I'm going to bed early and taking a break from mangling my own plot. I pushed myself hard in my work out at the YMCA this afternoon and my body and brain are screaming at me to sleep.

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 10 - Cover Concept Complete and Writing, Writing, Writing

There it is. That's the concept. The photo of the wedding invitation still has the Dreamstime watermark because I haven't 100% chosen the specific wedding invitation I want to use. But the gist is there. I am still toying with the idea of making my own wedding invitation for Johnathan and Alexis, and slapping the cancelled stamp on it. 

I am relieved. I think the cover concept works and once finished, it will be eye catching. Cancelled? What's cancelled? 

Now to get back to writing. Chapter 7, here we go!

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.

Day 9 - Self-Published Covers and Crazy Characters Taking Control

I'll change things up tonight and handle the publishing side first. On your right is the cutesy blueprint of a baby I made in GIMP following a Youtube tutorial. It has dawned on me that putting a baby on the cover is just too difficult. First, babies while cute, are awkward photographs. Second, my story is really about the cancelled wedding because of the baby. But the baby by itself would be no big deal. 

This leaves me with what is the nuts and bolts of my story? A cancelled wedding. And that leads me to what I think will be the final cover design: a glossy, snazzy wedding invitation for Johnathan and Alexis with a big, fat CANCELLED across the front! That is a front cover image that I would pick up. A blue print baby? Upon seeing it, no, honestly, I wouldn't pick it up and read the back. Cancelled wedding invitation? Oh give me the dirt! And that plays into my trainwreck romance brand

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 8 Self-Published Royalties Schedule

Pouring over the Terms and Conditions of Amazon's CreateSpace and Kindle Digital Platform, I added buying an ISBN to my budget. I will have to post my budget here, probably as a page. So far, I know I'm going to pay $39 to go Pro, probably  pay $149 to be listed in PW Select, and probably a pack of 10 ISBNs (since 1 is $125 and 10 is $250). 

While I have run a business for a few years now, I want to do more research on creating my own imprint. It seems like this will be easier in the long run, so each book can have ONE ISBN, rather than one free one on Amazon, one free one on Smashwords, and etc. 

This weekend I plan to write some more. I hope to be done with 10 chapters by Monday, maybe more. I have chapters and parts of chapters finished throughout the book (no, I'm not a pantser, but since I have an outline, I write scenes as I feel the need to write them). My fingers have recovered from my marathon sessions earlier this week, and on Thursday, I started working out at the YMCA. Last night, I took the kids swimming. With discipline in both writing and fitness, I will be a published author that looks fabulous to photograph.

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 7 Self-Published Novel Writing Extreme

Sleeping tiger...ready to ROAR!
Technically, Day 7 was yesterday, and I managed 1500 words. Roughly 47% of Chapter 5. In two days, I've clocked 5200 words. This brings me to 8 chapters written out of 24. That means I am a third of the way there! I keep pushing, because as Joe Konrath says, the longer an ebook sits off the market, the more money you lose. 

Every once in awhile the little voice in the back of my mind, Ms. Naysayer, says "This sucks. No one is going to want to read this." I show her the middle finger and smile, in true heavy metal fashion. I know people will like the story because *I* like the story. And, this is my first novel. It's always going to be one of my worst. But, as long as I keep pushing ahead, keep writing and publishing, I have complete control. Nothing says 5 years from now I can't revamp "Imperfect Timing" and re-release it as a second edition.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 6: I Hate Narrative, Can I Still Be a Writer?

Available for purchase in HD at,
used as part of free images licensing.
Maybe it's the impatient reader in me, but I can't stand narrative. Not even remarkably, well-written narrative. It bores me. I skip over it. Seriously. Even when I read other works, over and over again, I always find new bits I missed, guess where? The narrative. 

I wrote Chapter 4 today, the rough version. 3,750 words. Only 2500-3000 will make the final cut. Why are my chapters so short? Because I am fulfilling the request of one my biggest supporters and best friends (she writes the blog I follow called Daily Devotionals) who as a busy Mom only has time to read 10-15 pages of a book before conking out for the night. She prefers books that let her finish a chapter in that time span. As at least one guaranteed reader, her wish is my command.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 5 - What I Don't Like

Taking the weekend off from writing (mostly), was a good plan. Yesterday, my husband and I "rocked our faces off" at our local rock station's rock fest. Madam Adam, Haelstorm, Skillet, Theory of a Deadman, and Stone Sour were all phenomenal. I didn't really care for The Art of Dying. The lead singer kinda scared me, not in a good way.

I head banged, was clobbered a good two or three times by crowd surfers, and have a bruise to sport on my left foot. I was fierce! I didn't yield my ground; those little teeny-boppers had to say "Excuse me" before this Mom was willing to let them go in front of her! (It's only fair, I'm 5'8''). And the punk kid in the flannel shirt that didn't say excuse me? Yeah, he got the stink eye every time he came and went and I talked total smack about him the entire time. He turned a few times, but didn't say anything. Yeah that's right, I've given BIRTH kid, 27 hours with two failed epidurals. Whachu gotta say???? 

So what's going on in the writing department?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 4 - Gaining Confidence

It's late, or early depending on how you take it. I suppose since I have slept for 7 hours before my toddler woke me up, it is early. Yesterday, I learned that I can write at any time, any place. In about 45 minutes, I wrote a rough of an entire scene that makes up a block on my story board. With the colors and notes, crossing off a scene is extremely satisfying. It looks like a game board, and I'm playing to win!

I did do a little reading this morning. I am very intrigued by the blogs of J.A. Konrath, and other self-published writers. I'm trying to find romance or women's fiction self-published writers. So far, no luck. This is because while networking with any self-published writer is a good marketing plan, and good for my sanity, it would be best if I did so with other writers in my genre. Not too many suspense, horror, and thriller readers jumping ship to read a romance.

Now that I've decided to stay awake for the day, I will try to get an hour or two of writing in. Today my husband and I are going to a rock concert festival. I'm taking a notebook and pen. With my Henry Higgins hat on, I plan to capture some pieces of dialogue, and work in between bands. This entire weekend, since Friday when I took the day off to take my daughter on her first carousel ride, has been an exercise for me to slow down. I can easily burn myself out if I try to write this novel start to finish day in and day out. While I will not accept failing my publishing date of 8/24/11, I will also not kill the writer inside of me by losing my passion for the craft. 

"Imperfect Timing" arriving Fall 2011. Johnathan Michaels, a robotics engineer, jeopardizes his engagement with his business partner when a previous one-night stand surfaces, carrying his child.