WritersEra |OT| Publish before you die

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But I really don't think you can rewrite Scrubs and make it better o.o;

actually... you likely could, but not unless you could go back in time and get them to do a better script for seasons 5-9 :P
Scrubs was funny. Young Sheldon cracks me up. Hitchhiker’s Guide and Dave Berry’s Guide to Marriage and/or Sex are pretty good too.
 
Scrubs was funny. Young Sheldon cracks me up. Hitchhiker’s Guide and Dave Berry’s Guide to Marriage and/or Sex are pretty good too.
I never bothered checking out Young Sheldon since I find Old Sheldon to be one of the most insufferable characters on TV.
I will never understand why the rest of them even bother tolerating him. His roommate should be well enough off to afford his own place, and should have left him a long time ago.

Most TV villains treat the rest of the cast better than Sheldon treats his "friends"
 

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I never bothered checking out Young Sheldon since I find Old Sheldon to be one of the most insufferable characters on TV.
I will never understand why the rest of them even bother tolerating him. His roommate should be well enough off to afford his own place, and should have left him a long time ago.

Most TV villains treat the rest of the cast better than Sheldon treats his "friends"
I think Leonard stays with Sheldon because he realizes Sheldon would be dead by the next day without him around.
 
I think Leonard stays with Sheldon because he realizes Sheldon would be dead by the next day without him around.
wasn't there a point were Leonard left for a while to alaska or something?

in other thoughts, wrap up of this book has been so weird lol.

wrote out a large outline on how to wrap it up, and a few days ago it got thrown completely out as all the major secrets I had been hiding wanted to come out so I have let them come out. so instead of a calm wrap up I have this long scene that has aton of emotions in it that is going to likely lead to the very end just kind of moving towards the next scene and me moving parts of that outline to later.

though given what happens in the start of the next book I have some time to add stuff and it's not that heavy, so I guess a supper heavy scene here isn't that bad.
 
So I've wanted to write this up for a little while now, but general life has gotten in the way until now. Some of you may remember I posted about my self-published contemporary fantasy novel Black Creek (https://www.amazon.com/Black-Creek-Dan-Kemp-ebook/dp/B07D5KZ8ZQ), which came out a little over a month ago.

Considering there are a lot of active and aspiring authors here, self published or otherwise, I thought people might appreciate seeing some information on the process and some real numbers from a first timer.

All the stats I'm giving here refer to the first 30 days of release.

I started writing the novel in November 2016 and finished it in late May of 2017, at around 130k words. I then put it away for a month or so before reading it myself and doing a first revision.

I have two professional copy editors in my family, so I didn't pay for any editing services. For more developmental feedback, I have a few friends and writing partners who I trust to give me solid feedback. In all I did four drafts of the novel before release.

I found the cover artist on Reedsy, which was quite a smooth process, and I'm thrilled with the product I got. It cost me $400. A lot of the quotes I got for original artwork (not just stock photo manipulation) were significantly more. I also looked on places like fiverr, etc. which mainly just offer people willing to turn a stock photo into a cover with some text elements. This might work for some people, but personally I'd always consider spending more on a nicer cover. Also of note, there are some excellent artists on reddit, in subreddits such as HungryArtists, who will show you a portfolio and give you a quick quote for your concept. I've used them for several short stories I've put out, with great results.

Prior to release, I listed the book on LibraryThing as an ebook giveaway and ended up with 41 people requesting it. I sent those out a little more than a week before release. To date I've gotten only 4 reviews out of those on the LibraryThing website. Only one of those people put a review on Amazon, and none on Goodreads.

In the days leading up to the release, I submitted to 10 fantasy book review blogs. To date I have only heard back from one, who declined to read it.

Starting with the release date, I began ad campaigns on Amazon, Facebook, Bookbub, and Reddit. All of them have very similar tools for audience narrowing and roughly similar costs per click. I'll get into them more individually.

Facebook: Spent ~$70. Facebook campaigns ran very quickly, racking up charges much faster than any other service. I got many thousands of views, but seemingly little sales conversions. I did get a bunch of Likes on my page, but I don't particularly care about that. It's not really possible (with all the concurrent campaigns) to say which campaigns translated to real sales, but I don't feel like Facebook got me much. Considering the way a lot of people use the service, absentmindedly scrolling through, liking and occasionally clicking through but rarely taking any action, I wouldn't be too surprised.

Amazon: Spent ~$30. Unfortunately they are probably the most annoying service to use. All metrics are delayed by like 3 days minimum, and sales conversions are even more delayed. Eventually I did get about 37,000 views, but this only translated to a handful of sales.

Reddit: Spent $10 as an experiment. Very specifically targeted on this site towards individual reddits. I don't have these numbers available at the moment but there were not many views, but a relatively high click-through rate. Again, you can't determine if any became sales.

Bookbub: The easiest service to use, with impressions starting immediately and stats arriving in almost real time. I spent about ~$30 for about 30k views, with about 100 clickthroughs.

Getting reviews, despite being massively important to sales, seems to be frustratingly difficult. On Amazon, I've only got 4 reviews, with an average of 4 stars. On Goodreads I have 8 reviews with a score of 4.75.

So what did this all translate to? To date, I've sold:

7 paperback
26 eBook
2,615 pages read of Kindle Unlimited

The Kindle Unlimited payments are delayed so I'm not certain, but I expect this to come to about $70 total. Obviously, between marketing and the book cover I'm still significantly in the hole.

Fortunately, I have a well-paying full time job and have no intention on writing for a living, and I have the luxury of spending more than I earn on a creative project. Still, I know this is not true for a lot of people so it helps to be aware of what realistic expectations might be.

Overall, I always kept my expectations in check and things have played out about what I expected (though less than I hoped of course). I was surprised at the amount of Kindle Unlimited readership I had so far, and disappointed at the lack of reviews. At the end of the day I'm happy that those who do read it seem to enjoy it.

I hope this was of some interest to somebody here, and I'd be happy to discuss any aspect of the process.
Cheers for the breakdown, Emerson. That's a lot of really good info, and I've always wanted to hear a firsthand take of using ads. That these were all timed with your release makes it extra valuable. Be worth it to add to the OP maybe? I've always wondered how an animated book trailer would do on targeted sites, too. Have you considered that? Run on sites where the audience is already specifically in your corner might get more results.

Interesting that KU is one of the better avenues. Even though they keep cutting the 'take', I guess the audience is just that big that you're bound to get eyes. I actually got another royalty payment the other day for the challenge we did over a year ago(?) after months and months of silence. There's always someone out there, I guess. :D Shame their ad system didn't bear more fruit for you, though.

I'm with you on the reviews, but as someone who owes a couple of reviews to people myself, I'm part of the problem.

Speaking of reviews I owe...

Similar stats from me regarding my projects, although I am happy to report that I have Kindle Unlimited pages being read every day for the last 2 months (save for one day in June). I continue to run sales and freebies on the first in the series. I made $24 last month which was like my high point in terms of revenue.
Yay! You've got quite the library going now, so I'd imagine it'll just keep building. Might be worth throwing the collections on other sites like LibraryThings (since I noticed you weren't on there as far as I could see) during your next event (release, themed giveaway, etc.).

Fellow writers! I have emerged from the depths of my writing cave with some news: I've recently sold two short stories (one reprint, one original) which will be appearing soon.

I sold "The Dinosaur Graveyard" to A. Merc Rustad for their online/physical anthology, ROBOT DINOSAURS! It's a long flash story (short short story?) about a robotics engineer spending a long night repairing her daughter's favourite toy. "The Dinosaur Graveyard" will be available for free on August 24. More details here.

I also sold a reprint of "The Penelope Qingdom" to Cast of Wonders—an Escape Artist podcast with a YA slant. "The Penelope Qingdom" is a love letter to growing up, ’80s Saturday morning cartoons, Dungeons & Dragons, and falling in love for the first time. It's the absolute perfect venue for the story, and I'm pleased that "The Penelope Qingdom" will be finding a new audience. It was originally published during the same week as the US election, so got lost in the hurricane (and subsequent nuclear fallout since)—so this is a great opportunity to give it fresh life. More details here.

If podcasts aren't your thing, you can read "The Penelope Qingdom" right now for free on Curious Fictions.

Other than that, I'm knee deep, and about 16k words, into a novella called "The Rose and Honey Soul." I conceptualized it and began work on it over two years ago, but hit a road block and only recently returned. That time away allowed me to work through plotting and worldbuilding issues, and it's been smooth sailing since. I expect it'll be about 25k words by the time it's done. It's a baroque fantasy set in an eternally dark post-apocalyptic world—initially inspired by Dark Souls, but it's since taken on a life of its own. Its got wandering knights, dragons, city-powering fungal generators, paper witches, lost love, and a bunch more fun stuff.
Congratulations! Always awesome to hear about what you're up to, especially D&D inspired stuff. Did you ever find that artist you were looking for? We really do need a 'Commission' thread or promo thread on Era. There are tons of great artists and creators on here who are probably up for some idle fancy. Be cool.


Congrats again, aidan, you talented hard working beautiful bastard! :)

On this subject of not reading, unfortunately here in Brazil most people simply don't read at all. I grew in a family where books were almost something alien. Except for the books demanded by the school, basically all I read was magazines (at least I had that, thank God!). But the weird thing about me is that when I had to read a book, I used to enjoy then, but it never crossed my mind that I should read more. People usually say that reading is boring, and I used to just accept that. I also was a lousy student that hated to write (by hand), I was always daydreaming. But at the same time, every time the teacher asked the class to come up with a story, while people would come with half a page or a full page at most, I used to come with 7, 8 or more pages. Back then, It never crossed my mind that I like to write. The writing bug bit me when I was an adult, around 24 or 25. It started when I was invited to be part of a team in a competition about cartoons/animes and comics/mangas on a Brazilian forum. I initially refused the invitation because even though I enjoyed cartoons and animes when I was younger, I'm not the kind of person that knows the specific name of the object X that appears on the 26th episode of the third season of X cartoon, and back then I had never read a manga, and comic books for me were Monica's Gang at most. But my friend insisted saying that I could google stuff, and I was like "eh, whatever, let's do this". Despite my efforts, I was useless most of the time, but then the organizers asked each team to come up with a story of an original hero, and I said to myself that I could do that. Then me and another guy (he managed to have a novelette published soon after that, by the way, so he was good!) from my team started writing each one a story. I got hooked! I was writing much more than I was supposed to, and had to force myself to stop. We read each other's story and he said that mine was better, and the rest of the team agreed, so we sent mine, and we won. I felt great (one of the few times I felt good on that first year of depression) and I had this idea that maybe one day I should finish that story, that it was cool and it would be a good book. But of course it was just a silly idea that would fade on the next morning, except that it didn't. And not only that... Other new stories started surfacing from the depths of my mind out of the blue, and I even started having dreams of new stories. It was like I had opened this weird door inside my mind, and Jesus Christ, I had to write. I needed to take at least something out of my chest. Weird...

Anyways, it came as common sense to me that writing without reading was a silly idea. If I wanted to start writing, I also had to start reading, and thank God I did that! The initial idea was to buy one or two books to see how it's done and then write my story. But reading for the first time without any external obligations made me realize that another thing had awaken inside me: the realizations that reading is f*ckin' good and a lot of fun! Then I started buying books almost compulsively, and all that reading made me postpone my writings. And it was good because it made me understand that Swedish medieval Batman wasn't an original idea, and that other GREAT ideas I had weren't so good, and most importantly: despite thinking that I was good with that writing thing, I actually wasn't.

So Doukou and other people coming here aspiring to write: read. 15 minutes a day, one book for month, it doesn't matter. Only reading how the professionals like aidan and H.Protagonist do that you'll understand how they do it and how much you need to improve, or how good your ideas really are. I'd love to trade stuff with you, but I write in Portuguese, so this won't work (plus, I've been really busy with this Wattys thing and life is beating me hard at the moment). :P
Heaven is a library filled with roaring fires, secret alcoves, and books as far as the imagination can conceive. :)

You are so so right about reading. It's such a joy even just anticipating cracking open that chapter you left off the night before. It's also, as you said, essential for your own writing. To see how it's done, to be inspired, to see how not to do it. Even the worst book is worth it because you can appreciate that someone, no matter how bad it is, finished it and put it out there. So, yup. Writing without reading is silly. And a waste! Soooo many good books, so little time...

Really cool to hear how you came around to it all too. Winning on your first attempt? Dang. I wrote a lot when I was in my own doldrums, too, but no one hands out awards for FFVII fanfiction no matter how brilliant and revolutionary it is.

Anyway, looking forward to more updates on your progress. Will hopefully have some updates of my own soon.
 

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wasn't there a point were Leonard left for a while to alaska or something?

in other thoughts, wrap up of this book has been so weird lol.

wrote out a large outline on how to wrap it up, and a few days ago it got thrown completely out as all the major secrets I had been hiding wanted to come out so I have let them come out. so instead of a calm wrap up I have this long scene that has aton of emotions in it that is going to likely lead to the very end just kind of moving towards the next scene and me moving parts of that outline to later.

though given what happens in the start of the next book I have some time to add stuff and it's not that heavy, so I guess a supper heavy scene here isn't that bad.
Those scenes are always the hardest to write. Reveal too much and you get that professor lecture feeling of “here’s this and this and this”. Reveal too little and you can leave the reader frustrated. Good luck.
 
Those scenes are always the hardest to write. Reveal too much and you get that professor lecture feeling of “here’s this and this and this”. Reveal too little and you can leave the reader frustrated. Good luck.
I'm definitely at risk of the first one, and trying to avoid that feeling despite the amount of information being dropped. But I also feel I have a little leeway here since a number of the things being covered here have been unanswered for 500k words at this point and ideally the reader would be excited and interested in answers to those questions instead of annoyed they are getting a number of answers right now.

but alas if I go to far that is what editing is for :P
 
Found this on Reddit. Might be useful for some of you guys: "I found an easy way to massively reduce the file size of print replica ebooks on Amazon, thereby greatly increasing your royalties. My KPF file went from 19.1 MB to only 3.4 MB when I did it."

You are so so right about reading. It's such a joy even just anticipating cracking open that chapter you left off the night before. It's also, as you said, essential for your own writing. To see how it's done, to be inspired, to see how not to do it. Even the worst book is worth it because you can appreciate that someone, no matter how bad it is, finished it and put it out there. So, yup. Writing without reading is silly. And a waste! Soooo many good books, so little time...
Yeah, I usually recommend aspiring writers to read bad books too (after reading some good ones, of course). Once I bough a book that was so bad and the author was so arrogant that I forced myself to read it to the end just because I saw in it a lesson of how not to do it. The funny thing is that I bought it (and it was expensive, damn! u.u') because it had a lot of similarities with my own novel, so I thought that I could use it for inspiration and maybe to learn one thing or two. And God, I did learn a few things with it: 1) as I said, I learned what not to do; 2) do your f*cking research with proper source material; 3) don't be a dick, and don't treat the reader like he's an idiot.

I swear to God, this guy had written a science fiction novel and acted like he'd written a science paper, like he had made this huge discovery after years of study that now he was sharing it with the world. The book was about all that ancient alien crap from History Channel, but worse (<- believe me, it's possible).


Really cool to hear how you came around to it all too. Winning on your first attempt? Dang. I wrote a lot when I was in my own doldrums, too, but no one hands out awards for FFVII fanfiction no matter how brilliant and revolutionary it is.

Anyway, looking forward to more updates on your progress. Will hopefully have some updates of my own soon.
Thanks, but it was just a little game on a forum, it wasn't anything special, haha. :')
 
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yay met my 31k word goal for the month. now for 31k next month.

I do have to wonder, how much backstory on a character is to much.....

in story so far I only have like 5-10k words dedicated to a character's backstory (of 600k)
but between my notes and other ideas I think if I wanted to I could write a 200-300k word story for her back story, mostly because she is 10k+ years old, and has been screwing with things during that time but still.

it doesn't help she has a habit of embellishing or making up some details so it's harder to keep track of.

I really need to take better notes.

seriously. if you are ever doing a longer project, even just 100k words... take notes, lots of them @[email protected]
 
This has been a rubbish unproductive month for me. Struggling with my YA horror book, struggling with my nearly-finished-for-six-months disassociative cybergothic murder mystery, struggling with my poetry. And trying to get reviews for my second novel is turning out like pulling teeth in a hurricane.

I'm determined to make August go better.
 
This has been a rubbish unproductive month for me. Struggling with my YA horror book, struggling with my nearly-finished-for-six-months disassociative cybergothic murder mystery, struggling with my poetry. And trying to get reviews for my second novel is turning out like pulling teeth in a hurricane.

I'm determined to make August go better.
I want to say this month was unproductive because that is how it feels, but at the same time I averaged over 1k words per day so that at least meets my min goal.

but I still feel like a slacker who didn't do anything.

likely doesn't help that while I did 31k words I doubt more than 20k of them end up in the final version, though it's not like the other 11k are a complete waste, they are just information about the world that isn't really needed on the reader side.
 
I've been having a productive writing month, but not much to tangibly show for it. Work on the new novel continues, I manage to add a little bit to it every day. But now I have to put it aside. My agent got back to me with her thoughts on the novel I just submitted to her, and she's pretty gung-ho about it, so now the plan is for me to get to work on the suggestions she's made for revisions, and while I'm on that, she's going to pitch the book to editors at World Con next month. The plan is to get them aware of it, so that when they clear out their desks and start looking for new acquisitions in September, she'll be able to just slide it in there. Hopefully this works. It's essentially a "racism is bad" novel but with Asian demons and a lot of beat up cowboys and Victorians.
 
I want to say this month was unproductive because that is how it feels, but at the same time I averaged over 1k words per day so that at least meets my min goal.

but I still feel like a slacker who didn't do anything.

likely doesn't help that while I did 31k words I doubt more than 20k of them end up in the final version, though it's not like the other 11k are a complete waste, they are just information about the world that isn't really needed on the reader side.
Hah, I wish I had your level of unproductivity - I'd get this book finished in two months.
And information about the world can still be useful to you as the writer even if you wind up cutting it!

I've been having a productive writing month, but not much to tangibly show for it. Work on the new novel continues, I manage to add a little bit to it every day. But now I have to put it aside. My agent got back to me with her thoughts on the novel I just submitted to her, and she's pretty gung-ho about it, so now the plan is for me to get to work on the suggestions she's made for revisions, and while I'm on that, she's going to pitch the book to editors at World Con next month. The plan is to get them aware of it, so that when they clear out their desks and start looking for new acquisitions in September, she'll be able to just slide it in there. Hopefully this works. It's essentially a "racism is bad" novel but with Asian demons and a lot of beat up cowboys and Victorians.
That sounds really promising - keep us updated on how World Con goes!
 
Hah, I wish I had your level of unproductivity - I'd get this book finished in two months.
And information about the world can still be useful to you as the writer even if you wind up cutting it!
it's why my general rule is even if I am not sure something will turn out well, as long as I think there is a chance it could I will do it. I can always edit it out later if it doesn't work, but I would have skipped to many ideas that I end up thinking are good if I didn't do them because I wasn't sure they would be good.

so I sometimes end up with a large chunk I know I need to cut, but in general I get more time with characters to hammer down how they react, and often more world building as I don't do much of that unless I am writing a scene involving it.

so if you ask me a question and I have a lot of info but not in the book, it's likely because I had a scene that didn't work that covered it :P
 
End of the month, I feel like such a slacker this month.
Though part of that is just being annoyed with Past Me for not keeping better notes of what I am working on.
Funny thing about answering questions that have been building for 6 books, 600k words... You tend to actually need to know what you actually already said in regards to them to make sure everything makes sense.

3 different people have a version of an event, and trying to make their different versions all make sense together so the reader can get the whole story about what happened.... *sighs* I really do hate myself don't I lol.

I should wrap up this book this month, which is nice. I'm excited to get working on book 7. This is the book I have been setting up since book 1, the book that happens to introduce my favorite character from my last draft, the book... that I'm not going to get to for a while because I really do need to rework some stuff in book one and make sure the motivations of my characters are well defined and make sense. I never quite got around to fully fleshing out the truth behind a few things, and as I'm doing that I know I am creating some actions in the past that really don't make sense and I really need to fix those. Plus I've been saying for a while I would at least get chapter 1 rewritten so I can share so people can tell me it sucks :P so... maybe I should actually do that.

This project is getting harder and harder to keep track of, so many moving parts, so many details. In general I don't feel like I really world build much, but then when I talk to a friend and start talking about something I start to realize I can write up pages of details about a ton of stuff. I have multiple characters with enough details to their backstory that if I wanted to I could easily write a full novel just covering them. It's crazy, I don't know when it all happened, but yet it did.

So my only real choices right now are to press pause on going forward and work on taking better notes so I can have more information to help keep the story consistent with all the little details, or to find people who want to embark on this journey with me who can point out when I am contradicting myself. Both pretty much require me to focus on book 1 again for a while, so that is my goal for the second half of this month.

I fully expect that I will report next month that I still didn't do book 1 and just pressed forward, but at the very least for my plans in the next book I need to also press pause and work on some music. After all, what kind of Bard doesn't have songs? (one who tells stories or poems or ect :P)


edit: the new writing page should be up https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...q7MN6BfjyAw4ouC02ClpRI8GyY/edit#gid=520586278 I will have a secondary later and deal with prizes later. I might at least wait until friday to do them since I might get a few games from the humble monthly to add at least.
 
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Found this on Reddit and I think it might be interesting for some of us that are aspiring to be writers: Tip: If you're struggling to get your writing done, you might not understand what writing actually is.
it's what I live by.

I have plenty of days where my end thought is "I will fix that in editing." as I spent the night writing something that flows like rocks because I was trying to make sure all the details I wanted were there, or a night where i have a bunch of <insert this here> when I can't think of what I want something to look like, or a line I want a character to say... I think a few days ago I literally wrote <insert witty response> :P
 
Finally almost through with my book, but I know this editing process is going to be a doozy. After watching some YouTube videos I just realized that my characters are flat. It might because of the long break I had from writing or being so intent on making this book as short as I can since my first was so long, but none of my characters have any backstory and all the world building I planned for my book isn't actually in it. For this book I thrusted into the main plot and conflict off the bat and never really explained how it got to that point and there's a character that goes along for the ride just because he's friends with the other which I think is kind of lame. I think I did something similar with my first book with one character and I need to correct that there as well.

I can see a lot of major changes when it's time to edit and I have to fill in some holes as well as I just skipped some parts because I couldn't figure out how to advance the plot in the current way I wrote it. With these additions, I hope I don't make it too long, but I don't think it will still reach 148,000 like my first.
 
I can see a lot of major changes when it's time to edit and I have to fill in some holes as well as I just skipped some parts because I couldn't figure out how to advance the plot in the current way I wrote it. With these additions, I hope I don't make it too long, but I don't think it will still reach 148,000 like my first.
To be fair, it's not hard to have this happen.

My agent just got back to me with her thoughts on my latest novel. She loves it, which is an enormous relief, since, FYI, agents can actually look at a book you've finished decide, "I don't like this, I'm not going to submit it to editors" and then you just have to either accept that and write another, or argue about it. But while the good news is she loves the book and wants to go ahead with it, the bad news is it's about 152K, and she's like, "So... you can lose at least 30K of this, right?"

This is why the Irish invented Writers Tears whiskey.
 
Yeah, been following that. It's been a pretty crazy week for Agents Gone Wild. Between her and all the nutiness with Mark Gottlieb at Trident Media it's really leaving a bad taste in peoples' mouths about what some literary agents are up to, even when they appear legit. It's even more weird in Smith's case, because she actually had a stellar line-up illustrators in her clientele, that were reliably in demand for picture books, so it's bizarre that she'd even resort to this stuff.
 
To be fair, it's not hard to have this happen.

My agent just got back to me with her thoughts on my latest novel. She loves it, which is an enormous relief, since, FYI, agents can actually look at a book you've finished decide, "I don't like this, I'm not going to submit it to editors" and then you just have to either accept that and write another, or argue about it. But while the good news is she loves the book and wants to go ahead with it, the bad news is it's about 152K, and she's like, "So... you can lose at least 30K of this, right?"

This is why the Irish invented Writers Tears whiskey.
I spent a fair portion of last year cutting 60,000 words out of a 200,000 word manuscript, so I know those feelings.
 
btw I have the august sheet up
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...q7MN6BfjyAw4ouC02ClpRI8GyY/edit#gid=520586278

same rules as usual, goal is to 10k words you reach it you get a pick off the prize list.

the secondary hmmmm.... Try your best to pick out one thing that you know you need to improve and spend this month trying to improve it. If you can tell me what you tried to improve and that you honesty put effort into improving it than you will get a prize regardless of words written.

Like for me I am going to work on my descriptions some. I do way to much
Character A laughed "talk."
Character B sighed. "Talk"
Character A shook their head. "Talk"
Character B clenched their fist as they glared at A "Talk."


it works well enough to tell me what reactions I am going for but is just not good writing at all.

Part of it is I don't think my narration is great either, so I need to work on that. Granted the example I posted is when characters are in a heated argument so I don't want to stall out to long between lines, and I do a bit better outside of that. But it's still something I really need to work on, and ideally if I finish the book I am working on I can go back to edit some stuff and practice it hard there. I also need to read more of the book I am reading to absorb what they do and spin it as my own.

As for prizes last month.
Mike x3
DTL x 2
Flowers x2
Xagarath x 1
legend x 1
wee x 1

you might wonder how Mike earned 3. Mike was the first person to beat me in a month, and that feels like it deserves an extra prize to me.
Prizes will be done in order again, but I was waiting until today to do them since the new Humble Monthly comes out so I might have a few extra prizes.

That being said while I can't spend a lot on Prizes I can always spend a little. So if there is a $1 tier you want from any of the bundles on Humble Bundle I can always grab one of those for people too.



Speaking of spending though.... I've been throwing around a thought for a bit, and thinking about working on selling some of my prizes to try to get a bigger prize. Ideally a $50 or even a $100 gift card at say Amazon (winners choice as long as it isn't a pain to get).

Now if I was to go that big, I could just give it to the person who writes the most, but that just means the person who doesn't write a lot but is ready to write can win it. I also really like the idea of going for a million words.

So my goal is to get that money by November and issue the challenge that we as Resetera write a million words together.
Anyone that helps reach the goal gets an entry into a raffle, anyone that finishes Nanowrimo gets a second entry. (unless your name is zulux21 or are married to zulux21 then no entries for you :P)

a million words sounds like a lot, but that really is just 20 people finishing Nano, 19 if I do what I did last year which I might do which is do two different projects to 50k words.

I am throwing this out there now to see what people think. I just think it would be a cool goal, and the prize will be nice going into christmas.

I typically get a $50-$100 christmas bonus from work, so I will just be passing that on in the worst case :P


Final thought: Even if you don't have much time, try to make a little time each day to write. If you can make 15 minutes a day, and in that time write 100 words, a year later you will have 36,500 words. You will also likely find that you can make a little bit more time and start aiming a bit higher, but just writing every day can really help. It keeps you thinking about what you want to write, and how to move forward with your story, so even if you only spend 15 minutes writing you tend to spend a lot more of your down time thinking about your writing which will greatly help you create something.

Even if you are creating something you feel has already been done, just keep going. You might end up with something that is basically a knock off of something, but two people with the same starting idea are most likely going to end up at quite a different end point, and even if they don't, the journey there likely will be vastly different. So just try... trying is way more than a lot of people do.
 
So I've moved from my ridiculous amounts of outlining to actively writing now, been getting through a chapter a day each weekday for the past two weeks. See, this is why I have a 40K word outline, so I can just sit down and crank stuff out.

At this pace, I'll be done in 11 weeks. I'm basically racing the baby we've got on the way to see who gets across the finish line first.
 
So I've moved from my ridiculous amounts of outlining to actively writing now, been getting through a chapter a day each weekday for the past two weeks. See, this is why I have a 40K word outline, so I can just sit down and crank stuff out.

At this pace, I'll be done in 11 weeks. I'm basically racing the baby we've got on the way to see who gets across the finish line first.
one last final double check to see if you wanted any prizes including the $1 tier of
https://www.humblebundle.com/books/...medium=product_tile&hmb_campaign=tile_index_5
https://www.humblebundle.com/books/...medium=product_tile&hmb_campaign=tile_index_4
 
Actually, I could probably go for the $1 tier for the Game Design and Puzzlecraft HB. Turns out that might be integral to the story I'm trying to write, LOL.
 
I told y'all a while back that a famous author told me to get a critic partner; should I get one before I start this first edit or after?
I say after your first edit, or at least until your halfway through. I find that when I have people critic my rough work, they focus on minor problems (cause they're the most obvious ones) I already know about and tend to (try and) fix myself in that first edit. Plus, if those problems still persist after, you know you didn't do a good enough job and maybe have to rethink it a bit.
 
I told y'all a while back that a famous author told me to get a critic partner; should I get one before I start this first edit or after?
Depends on how you prefer working. Some people have a critique partner arrangement where they're sending off completed chapters as soon as they're done, and getting feedback on that. Others don't like the idea of working that way, and only want complete comments on the entire, finished first draft. If you like the idea of getting ideas that help shape your book as you're writing it, then go for a critique partner now. Don't if you don't like it.

However, having said all that, start looking for a critique partner NOW. Because a GOOD critique partner is hard to find, and it may take a while before you actually find someone who's comments you trust. A lot of people do "try outs," where they submit a chapter or two to a potential CP to see whether the other person even LIKES the kind of thing being written, or makes the kind of helpful comments that you're looking for. I do recommend taking that route, because the last thing you want is picking a critique partner that, for example, makes ZERO observations about plotting structure and only concentrates on character development, when plotting/structure is what you're most concerned about.
 
Depends on how you prefer working. Some people have a critique partner arrangement where they're sending off completed chapters as soon as they're done, and getting feedback on that. Others don't like the idea of working that way, and only want complete comments on the entire, finished first draft. If you like the idea of getting ideas that help shape your book as you're writing it, then go for a critique partner now. Don't if you don't like it.

However, having said all that, start looking for a critique partner NOW. Because a GOOD critique partner is hard to find, and it may take a while before you actually find someone who's comments you trust. A lot of people do "try outs," where they submit a chapter or two to a potential CP to see whether the other person even LIKES the kind of thing being written, or makes the kind of helpful comments that you're looking for. I do recommend taking that route, because the last thing you want is picking a critique partner that, for example, makes ZERO observations about plotting structure and only concentrates on character development, when plotting/structure is what you're most concerned about.
I think I asked this before but it was months ago and I forgot, how do I find a critique partner?
 
I think I asked this before but it was months ago and I forgot, how do I find a critique partner?
A few different ways. You can start right here, if there are people you like that are willing. You can open an account at the AbsoluteWrite forums and start looking to recruit people there. They have both a Share Your Work section, as well as sections for looking for beta readers/CPs, so plenty of options there. There are probably some other, smaller writing-focused forums that you can take advantage of, but AW is the biggest one if you want maximum exposure/best chances of finding a decent CP. They cover all the genres and markets though, so make sure you specify what your book is.
 
I like how I never learn my fucking lesson and always write these shitty, long, confusing action scenes that I have to cut in half.

Fuck me. It's like a 18 page chapter of fighting that needs to be half that size.
 
I like how I never learn my fucking lesson and always write these shitty, long, confusing action scenes that I have to cut in half.

Fuck me. It's like a 18 page chapter of fighting that needs to be half that size.
Action scenes can always be compressed. It's just a matter of how much detail you want to lose. If blow-by-blow descriptions are dragging things down you can always just turn it into, "And he parried every incoming blow" rather than taking the trouble to map out each one, the angle of attack, the force applied and the strategic thinking going on in the defender's mind about how to address each one.
 
I like how I never learn my fucking lesson and always write these shitty, long, confusing action scenes that I have to cut in half.

Fuck me. It's like a 18 page chapter of fighting that needs to be half that size.
I always do my action scenes in a clear manner that might not read great to start with but at least lets me know exactly what I want and i can polish up later. Even when I do polish them up I doubt they will end up super long (ignoring conversations during combat :P) as I don't like drawn out fights, and don't feel like writing is a great medium for them. It's not impossible, but since drawn out fights tend to be a very visual thing, you tend to need a lot of varied descriptions in order for it not to feel all samey, and it eventually just becomes a chore to read.

visual mediums like TV or comics I feel like drawn out fights work just fine, but that is because in those cases the old statement a picture is worth 1000 words holds true.
 
Action scenes can always be compressed. It's just a matter of how much detail you want to lose. If blow-by-blow descriptions are dragging things down you can always just turn it into, "And he parried every incoming blow" rather than taking the trouble to map out each one, the angle of attack, the force applied and the strategic thinking going on in the defender's mind about how to address each one.
Which is what I end up doing, or just chopping entire paragraphs because it's yet ANOTHER fight between main character and some nameless mob. One is a good enough, the rest can be glossed over.
 
Which is what I end up doing, or just chopping entire paragraphs because it's yet ANOTHER fight between main character and some nameless mob. One is a good enough, the rest can be glossed over.
Enh, I have the same issue with my beta readers and critique partners, but with dialog. Once my characters get yapping to each other, my readers are like, "You know, they didn't need to talk for eight pages, right? This could have been done in one."
 
Enh, I have the same issue with my beta readers and critique partners, but with dialog. Once my characters get yapping to each other, my readers are like, "You know, they didn't need to talk for eight pages, right? This could have been done in one."
Yeah, dialogue tends to work best when it's at its punchiest.
 
Enh, I have the same issue with my beta readers and critique partners, but with dialog. Once my characters get yapping to each other, my readers are like, "You know, they didn't need to talk for eight pages, right? This could have been done in one."
yeah I will have to trim down dialogue quite a bit.
 
Yeah, dialogue tends to work best when it's at its punchiest.
It's true for everything, really, depending on whether you can pull it off. I know some people who's bane is description, but then their command of the language is so damn good that it's hard to fault them when they have one gorgeous paragraph of description after another... but then you have to be objective about it and realize all these amazing pages and pages of lyrical description have ground the story to a halt.

It's the only real downside to big, commercial success, is that one you get somewhere with your work, editors tend to leave your stuff alone. I remember an interview with Neil Gaiman where he expressed his frustration over his newer novels receiving several orders of magnitude FEWER editorial comments than his older stuff, because now everyone was terrified of "spoiling the magic," but he really, REALLY wanted editors to come down hard on him and make his writing leaner. They just wouldn't, now that he was huge, versus when he was just some punk doing a Sandman comic, and everyone could see how he could improve it, and said so.
 
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