Cake versus Pie

I’m not sure about other writers, and apparently a lot don’t even do so, but when I read customer reviews, the one- and two-star ones hit me pretty hard. It doesn’t even matter if the review is actually a review rather than an irate spewing on some stance, usually about the ‘gratuitous’ inclusion of gay characters or the ‘promoting’ of homosexuality, as if just telling a story that includes people who aren’t straight, people who are presented as just people rather than freaks or monsters or who-knows-what, as if that constitutes promotion. It doesn’t, and the books actually reflecting just how different people are isn’t gratuitous. Anyway, yeah, seeing people who disliked a book I wrote so much that they go so far as to make the effort to post a review with that few stars…it puts me in a blue mood, no matter the actual reason for the post. I’ve taken to not reading any reviews of a book until just before I put out the next book. And I only do so to see what people liked about the book (an excerpt from one of the best so far which was for book 4: ‘Excellent read; I laughed, I cried, and I was happy at the end.’ I mean, as a writer, it’s freaking awesome to see someone felt that way because so did I as I was writing it.). I also read the reviews to see if anyone posted a constructive negative review that I might be able to use to make my writing better.

Back to the point, though. Reading those ‘bad’ reviews sucks the will to write out of me, which is why I took to only reading them right before putting out the next book, after I was pretty much done writing it. But I recently read a post by¬†Kristine Kathryn Rusch, titled Business Musings: Taste (or Blaming The Writer), that opened my eyes. I think in the back of my mind I always sort of realized it, but her putting it out there plainly like that really brought it home. Not everyone is going to like your book, regardless of how ‘good’ it is, how ‘correctly written.’ Everyone has their own taste. Some people like cake, some people like pie. (I, on the other hand, am a weirdo. I love both. Chocolate cake? Oh gods, yes, please. Cherry (or blueberry) pie? Mmm-hmm! Yes, yes, yes.) And because everyone has their own taste and those tastes vary, there will be people who do not like what you write, and there may even be some who despise it. Knowing that it is really people’s taste that makes them like or dislike a piece of writing (or their relying on arbitrary rules of what makes a piece ‘good’), well, it takes a load off my shoulders, so to speak. As writers, instead of trying to check off a made-up list of criteria for what is ‘good,’ we should instead just write what we love. I should write the best darned cherry pies (or chocolate cakes, or Mexican wedding cookies) I possibly can, and to hell with those capirotada freaks (Google it). Other writers can satisfy their cravings, while my writing will attract and satisfy those who like the way I write. Now, obviously, there are some technical rules to learn about, things that make reading and following a written piece possible, dialog tags, point-of-view, and such, but once you know those, you can bend them to your will as you see fit.

Anyway, those of you who write, who are thinking about writing, and even those of you who read written works should definitely read her post.

 

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Busy, Busy, Busy

This past week and a half has been a little hectic with the holiday and also friends visiting town, so I’m late with an update post. Apologies for that.

 

I finished the first pass of chapters 16 and 17 and I’m halfway through chapter 18. Things are going relatively well, though I found I had sort of forgotten about a subplot while outlining, just stopped adding scenes for it for some reason. In my mind, I more or less know where it is going, so I went ahead and wrote in some scenes for it to get the sub-plot caught up to where I am now in the book. I’ll add those scenes and more into the actual outline later. As for the whole process, I’m hoping to get the first passes of chapters 18, 19 and 20 completed and start the next full read-through, all by the end of the month.

We’ll see how it goes.

Until next time, happy reading!

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Read-through/Edit of Book 5, Chapters 1 – 15 Complete

I finished the first draft of chapters fourteen and fifteen. Fifteen was almost big enough to split into two chapters, but I think I’ll leave it as one, as there really isn’t a good place to split it near the middle, and it’s not overly long. I then performed my usual ‘full read-through every five chapters’ procedure. I caught minor grammar issues, spelling, and the like. Started adding in little bits of info along the way for various plot-lines so that, down the road, events/choices/etc make sense. Fixed a minor time-based inconsistency. Changed the names of a couple of minor characters. One, a male, I changed to an interesting name I came across in a National Geographic article. Tweaked a few sentences/paragraphs for pacing and excitement.

It’s all looking good, so far. I’m off to start on chapter 16.

Happy reading!

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Trucking Along, Or Rather, Wagoning Along?

Whatever the appropriate idiom, things are going well. I am two scenes from completing the first pass of chapter fourteen, which makes almost three chapters completed this month, a much better pace than last month. Once this chapter is completed and the next, I’ll do a read-through/edit pass from the beginning.

Back to it, then, and until next time, happy reading!

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That Took Longer Than Expected

Got back recently from visiting one of my nieces and her husband. They just had their second child. Does anyone else freak out at just how teeny-tiny newborns are, or is it just me? At any rate, I just finished the first pass at chapter 11, and I looked back at my posts here on the blog and realized that it took a month to do so. Even with the relatively short trip to visit that itty-bitty baby, I was surprised at how long it took. After all, in my outline, chapter 11 didn’t look that big, but after getting into it, things changed a little. I ended up tweaking a few scenes, adding a new scene, rearranging their order, I also split a scene–putting another scene in the middle, and even added a new scene to chapter 10, all because of finding better ways to do things, better ways to keep flow and pace going.

So off I am to chapter 12. Happy reading!

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Quick Update

It took a while–holidays, illness, and stuff–but I just finished a read and edit pass through chapter 10. Things are looking good, so far. Off to write chapter 11.

Happy reading.

Categories: Dragonlinked, Update, Writing | Tags: | 1 Comment

New Year Wishes and Quick Update

Happy New Year, everyone, and best wishes for an incredible 2018. I hope everyone’s holidays have been fantastic.

I’m currently plugging away at chapter nine. Fighting off a cold, too, that I picked up somewhere along the Christmas holidays. At any rate, in the scene I’m writing, I’m having to present an event that has happened many times in the series so far, but from a different perspective, and I’m working to make it as fun and interesting (so that’s what it’s like from the other side…) as I can.

I have to get back to writing, now (and grab a throat lozenge), so, Happy New Year, and happy reading!

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Blue in New Jurassic World Trailer Acts How I Imagine A Baby Dragon Does

Have you seen the new trailer for the next Jurassic World movie, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom? If not, I’ve included it below. In it, there is a baby raptor named Blue (at the 30 second mark), and in the brief moment it is in the trailer, all I could think of was “Holy crap. That’s how a baby dragon hatchling acts as you feed it: happy, excited, eager, and ridiculously cute.” Seeing how good animatronic characters and CGI characters are getting, it really gets me hoping that we will one day see a movie featuring dragons like those in my Dragonlinked novels, or those in the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey, or the Pit Dragon series by Jane Yolen, or the series A Familiar Dragon by Daniel Hood, or heck, any books where dragons are intelligent, sentient beings of awesomeness. Anyway, I got excited seeing Blue and thought you all might like to see her, too. (I’ll definitely be checking this movie out when it releases!)

Categories: Dinosaurs, Dragonlinked, Dragons, Life, Movies | Leave a comment

Of Gods, Trees, and A Sapling Kindle Version is FREE for Limited Time!

My series of books, Dragonlinked Chronicles, is an lgbt-friendly young adult fantasy series, and the Kindle version of book 4, Of Gods, Trees and A Sapling, is FREE from 11/13/2017 until 11/15/2017 on the Amazon.com store, HERE. Take this short opportunity to read the latest volume while I work on the next book! The Kindle versions in the entire series are Kindle Lending Library enabled, so feel free to lend them to your friends with Kindles. Have no fear, Amazon pays authors who participate in that program.

Happy reading!

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Keep Your Creative Mojo Going

As an artist, it can be tempting, ‘safe’ even, to spend all your time on your own art. But if all you do is focus on your stuff, it can be difficult to find new inspiration, or to think in new ways, or to see something from a different perspective (which can apply to your life in general, not just to your art). Doing that, you can fall into the trap of repeating yourself, or of become boring, both terrible places to find yourself. One of the things I do to try to avoid that, as a writer, is to read various magazines (printed and online), and to occasionally pull a favorite book (or books) off my shelves and read it (them) again. I am a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy and have over a hundred books I’ve purchased over the years by authors like Asimov to Zelazny and so many others in between. Having written a few books and sat in on writing groups, I am much more conscious of the technical aspects of a book as I read it, though I am still able to enjoy them. Now, however, I am more able to appreciate a nice turn of phrase, or jot down synonyms that don’t always occur to me as I write, for handy reference later. Taking in these different ways of painting a scene, of describing emotion, or action, or what-have-you, reminds me anew of those different ways of accomplishing something. Having great examples helps me come up with my own recipes on how to mix things up, so to speak.

So I guess my advice here is to take the time to look at other art similar to your own to find various kinds of inspiration on how to make yours better.

Happy reading!

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