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Archive for May, 2017

All authors suffer from this disorder to one degree or another. Other people wonder how we get the ideas for our stories. The truth is: When you’re a writer–and actually writing–ideas fall all around you like rain. It’s more an issue of sorting out the good ones.

And, usually, when that happens, we’re able to just jot down the idea, file it away, and keep going. Those ideas aren’t quite ripe yet, anyway. They’re just the seeds of stories. But, then, sometimes–and usually without warning–two or three of those ideas come together. And that’s something else altogether. That’s a story.

And a new story is always more exciting than an old one. It’s a New Shiny Object and we’re all, every one of us, magpies.

That happened to me this week. The story in question is a new sub-genre for me–a fairy tale retelling. Specifically, Cinderella. But with an entirely different motivation for the stepmother. What collided with this germ was the idea of a thriller-ish twist to what happens–or is supposed to happen–at midnight. And the half-ripe idea I already had that this story could fit into the same world as DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING,

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although with different protagonists, and continue the greater arc of the jeopardy facing Far Terra. I always thought that story had the potential for a weird sort of series featuring different protagonists in each book, with the previous heroes turning up as side characters or mentors.

I’ve only just started a new epic fantasy series with BECOME: BROTHERS

Brothers

and I really, really need to keep my head in that story. But, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m having some motivation issues with that. Plus, I need to be working on research for taking my books wide over the next month or two.

And then along comes this New Shiny Object. I’ve jotted down the ideas, but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to beat this one off with a stick.

 

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Right now, I seem to be suffering from a severe lack of motivation concerning my writing. I’m not entirely sure why.

  • It could be the dismal reports from Amazon, lately. If I had any doubt that page flip was eating me alive, this chart put them to rest.Page Reads PercentThat’s page reads as a percent of my royalty income (in the U.S. only). For months the number stayed in a small range. The upward swing corresponds to the release of WAR OF MAGIC.warmagicprintcover Then, after December–when, perhaps, people got new reading devices that were page-flip enabled–page reads from Kindle Unlimited start to drop like a rock. This is why I’m pulling my books out of KU. Yeah, that could have something to do with my motivation.
  • It could be related to the struggle I had finding my way into this story. I still believe in this story, but it’s true that it took me longer and more tries to find a way to tell works–I hope. I tried telling it chronologically, but that just took too long to get to the main story line. I tried using flashbacks, but that was distracting–and still took to long to get to the main story line. I finally settled on starting with the novella to get in the story of the relationship between these two brothers which is going to be important to the rest of the story. But I am still just a little nervous about starting an epic fantasy series with a novella. That doesn’t exactly comport with reader expectations for the genre.
  • Or, it could just be burn out. That happens. The good news is that it’s always temporary. But sometimes we all do need to take a break, even writers.

Or, of course, there’s nothing preventing it from being a combination of all three.

And, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter which it is. What matters is breaking through it. And, one thing I know: the only way to do that is to write.

So, here are my options:

  • Try to power through on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.
  • I have another epic fantasy series on the back burner, currently titled MAGE STORM. It should be a four-book series. I could work on that.
  • Something altogether else, like my Cinderella retelling.

Also, since I’m pulling my books out of Kindle Unlimited, I still need to research exactly how I’m going to go about taking them to a wider distribution.

Then too, because of the complications of the boxed sets, the first books that will be ready to go wide are the Chimeria series.

ChimeriaBox

But I want to run another editing pass through them first. So, there’s that to work on, too.

Now, all it takes is a bit of discipline to get back on track.

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Brothers

Become: Brothers is now live. It’s still only 99 cents for a while longer.

I really need to get off the dime and start doing some more promotion for this one.

I also need to:

  1.  Update the back matter in all my other books. Again.
  2.  Make a definite plan for taking all of my books back to wide distribution in the next couple of months.
  3. As part of the above, give BLOOD WILL TELL and BLOOD IS THICKER a brush up.
  4. Hopefully review and finally approve the audio files for THE SHAMAN’S CURSE audio book. And start thinking about an audio book for THE VOICE OF PROPHECY.
  5. Oh, and get back to work on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

becomeblue

Hmm. Maybe that list is why I’ve been slacking off this last week. Well. There’s a solution to that. Prioritize. I guess that’s the first step.

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Sad One-Year Anniversary

One year ago today, I took my heart dog, Aliza,

Jumping II

to the vet for the very last time. Both Micah and I still miss her.

Digital Camera

Micah

Someday soon, when I can get enough of the yard cleaned up from all the weeds that grew out of last winter’s rain (some of which are nasty foxtails), I’ll start looking for another girl to join our little pack. (At almost thirteen and a half I can pretty well keep Micah out of the weeds. But a younger dog would be more of a challenge. Better to take care of that problem first.) Sometimes, I almost wish I had a smaller yard to take care of.

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I’m a little late blogging today because I waited until I could report that I’ve completed the review of the audio book files. Yay!

TSC Audio

A few (hopefully minor) revisions and this should be ready to move on to the next step.

And now I can get back to work on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

becomeblue

Turns out, it’s really hard to work on two stories at once.

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It takes longer than you’d think. It’d probably be quicker if I could just download them and listen while I’m doing something else. But, for this, I need to be reading along. And, it turns out, I’m not capable of just sitting at my computer for twelve or so hours–even if I didn’t have other things, like my day job, to interrupt.

TSC Audio

I’m about two-thirds of the way through and generally loving it. Hope to have it done this weekend and sent back for the few small fixes that will be needed.

That’s mostly what I’ve been doing, writing-wise, this week.

 

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