Friday, March 31, 2017

Freedom - A Huge Plus As An Indie Author / Happenings In The Outhouse 31-Mar-2017

The other day, I contemplated how much freedom I had as an indie author.  I could write what I want, when I want.  Everything is self-imposed.  Deadlines are typically what I set for myself, to push myself along.

This can be scary for some, as they navigate the publishing waters.  There is more than enough information to make one's head spin over and over again like Regan from The Exorcist.

Last week, Dean Wesley Smith posted the following two articles, in regards to freedom--as you may note, I commented on the first one.  Now, I can't say that my comment led to his writing the second one, but it wouldn't surprise me.

The Normal Nature of Being Behind In This New World.

Freedom In This New Publishing World

As a side note, if you aren't reading Dean's blog--he blogs daily, and has been for one heck of a long time--you should.

This past weekend, I was messaging with another indie author who was asking for my advice.  She had a completed suspense romance book (cool, huh?) with a summer release, and she had information overload when it came to indie publishing.

I won't dispense what advise I gave her here, because it was a private conversation and the circumstances were largely based on one's personal situation.

My advise to all would be: read a lot, write a lot, publish a lot.  I may expand on these in the future, but this is the axiom that I live by.

The best writing advise--keeping it simple, in other words--can be summed up nicely in what is called Heinlein's rules of writingHere is another link of the same rules, summarized by another author.

Remember, through it all, as indie authors, we have freedom.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Stats on 2nd Book in Shadowkill Trilogy / Happenings In The Outhouse 24-Mar-2017

On Sunday March 19th, 2017, I finished Homeland Defense, the second novel in the Shadowkill trilogy.

Also on March 19th, I started the third book, Storming The Hill.  This will close out the trilogy.  Will there be future books in the universe I had created?  I honestly do not know.  There are so many other books/series I want to write, but one never knows when I get a spark of a new idea that I can use in the Shadowkill universe.

I started writing Homeland Defense on 1/9/2017, which brings the total days I worked on it at 70.  This is just the first draft.  When I finish Storming The Hill, I will go back and edit both at the same time.  I'm still shooting for a summer release of both novels, which will include a box set of all three, so I'll be a busy beaver.

Homeland Defense runs at 59,543 words.  I averaged 851 words a day, but when I factor in the 11 days that had zero writing--I even had a day I wrote only 25 words, but that still counted as a writing day--the average jumps up to 1,009 in the 59 actual writing days.

I am currently around the 5,000 word mark in Storming The Hill.  It's a good click so far, and it's been fun.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Worst Critics Are Writers (AKA What's Wrong With Prim's Goat?) / Happenings In The Outhouse 17-Mar-2017

For a number of years, I've been listening to writing podcasts where other writers would criticize The Hunger Games and the scene often referred to as "Prim's goat."

Last year, my oldest daughter, who was thirteen at the time, read the book and I made a comment about the scene to her.  I was under the impression this scene of Prim's goat was an entire chapter and stuck out like a sore thumb.  She frowned and told me she couldn't even remember that scene.  So she looked it up.  She eventually found it, shrugged, and asked, "And?  What's wrong with it?"

I didn't know.

Recently, I listened to the entire Hunger Games trilogy on audiobook.  When I got to the scene where Katniss talked about Prim's goat . . . I was disappointed that other writers would take it to heart with such vileness.  In audio form, it was not even five minutes--in page form, um, maybe 2-3 pages tops.

What the hell!  I thought the scene was perfect and fit in the story nicely.

The worst critics seem to be, in fact, other writers.  We are taught to write in a certain way and to do things in a certain way, and when other stories fly in the face of it, writers (not all, mind you, but they are vocal) get their panties up in a bunch.

Honestly, I think they're jealous of others' success when theirs isn't as . . . successful.

I am probably the least panty buncher of them all.  It doesn't take much to entertain me--yes, I was a cheap date during my "dating" years (thank God I don't have to deal with that crap now, as I've been married almost nineteen years).  This past weekend, I rented the new Ghostbusters movie from the library--yes, the one that got all the negative reviews from die hard Ghostbusters fans.  Guess what?  I loved it.  Oh, sure, there were spots that I criticized and thought they could've done a better job or if they didn't work at being clever, but by and large it was a good movie.  My youngest daughter, who is ten, laughed all the way through it.

If you have a beta readers, it may be best for them NOT to be a writer.  Not to say that writers can't offer tips on your story, but find someone who loves to read.  You may be surprised at what you'll hear.  Aside from my writers' group, none of my beta readers are writers.  All are avid readers, and do a wonderful job of pointing out any mistakes I make.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Where you can be found - investing in your career - making it easy to find you / Happenings In The Outhouse 10-Mar-2017

Last week, a guy I work with had just returned from vacation.  He knew I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, and asked me if I knew a certain author.  Apparently, while on vacation, he met the family of this particular author.

The name sounded familiar, but, after a while, names tend to blend.  So I did what anyone nowadays would do: I Googled the author.

I didn't find much.  Oh, sure, this author had a Wordpress website (with wordpress in the web address, which means it's the free version--come on, people, if you're gonna do that, just pay for the darn thing; otherwise, just go with a BlogSpot blog).  The author had a Facebook page, which hadn't been updated since 2013.  This author may or may not have even been on Twitter.

I will call the author a "he" since a saw a picture of him.  He had a smattering of short stories, and even had novels published by Tor--okay, I'm impressed by that bit.

Honestly, though, it still wasn't much.  I was surprised.  He had been publishing for quite a number of years.

Google my name: Mark S. R. Peterson.  Since I have a common enough name, you get other hits too, but for the most part it all leads back to me.

And, again, I suck at marketing.

It doesn't take much to start building an online presence.  A blog post here and there, even publishing here and there, it doesn't take much.  And this particular author had been publishing for years.  Much longer than me.

The point is that if you find someone who wants to know more about you or your books, be mindful of what many people will do nowadays.  Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your career.  But if you treat your career like an investment, adding to it bit by bit over time, your presence will grow.

Friday, March 3, 2017

111 months / Happenings In The Outhouse 03-Mar-2017

A few weeks ago, an area newspaper had a front page headline in regards to a young man who was sentenced to 111 months for a string of burglaries.

Then, I thought about the scope of 111 months.  Nine years and four months, to be exact--not including any time served or time off for good behavior, of course.

Imagine how much the world has changed in the last nine-plus years.

Imagine what life will be like after those 111 months.

The future is bright, no matter how you look at it.

What will you do?  Will you wait, procrastinating, eating up time with mindless events, waiting for just the right moment?

Or will you do something, today?