back pain and writing

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I have literally not written a single word for my wrimo today, because I cannot focus with the incredibly intense pain in my back. I’ll try later, but I remain at about 6600 words

Progress

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Currently, I’m at 5100 words, at the start of day 3 (where I should be at the end of day 3), and I’m learning that, when you’re trying to write a lot in a hurry, you should always get wordy. Fun stuff, really.

Apologies, and updates

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Apologies for not posting yesterday. I was keeping very busy with other things and it simply slipped my mind. Anyway, an update on my WriMo:

By the time you’re reading this, I should be above 2500 words, and I’m just now working my way to the point where my characters’ lives are becoming hellish. My first day, by the time I finished for the day, I had broken 2000. I was at 2244, in fact. The trick is just to keep things moving at some pace somewhere, even if it’s just in your head, and make sure you know how you’re going to put it to paper. Good luck.

About my NaNoWriMo book

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May as well get back to posting now, with posting about my WriMo. Its genre is, er, I’m not sure, but i takes place in our world, except with telepath/empaths, who I’ve taken to calling the Keepers of Light (Cheesy as heck, and they know it).

The main character, Ian, will join this organization as a way to seek justice (or revenge, depending on how well he keeps his anger in check) for his murdered family. He will be working with a woman named Anna, who he ends up describing as a cross between a nice woman and a troll. Really, she just like making him squirm, especially when he’s going too close to the deep end.

Not posting again ’til the first

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I’m burnt out, and really would like to blog about writing my NaNoWriMo, so I’m not going to post again until the 31 or first. I apologize about that.

The sagging middle

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I thin it’s important to talk about this concept before I get to the major parts of this. The sagging middle is where your middle is weak, either due to being vague in your mind, or just being frustrated with your progress and running with what comes to mind (I’ve done both in an attempt to finish my novel). Now, the sagging middle can be eliminated during the rewrite phase, but it’s hard work. Tomorrow I’ll talk about ways to support the middle, so it doesn’t sag.

Writing your middle

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The middle of a story is the hardest part to create, judging by personal experience and what I’ve read. This makes perfect sense to me, because it’s easy to figure out how you want your story  to begin and end, but, generally,  your plan to get from the start to the finish is vague, especially if you’re writing by the sea of your pants (I should know).

However, there is a lot of advice I picked up, either through experience, or looking through the ideas of others, and I will share them with you in this series.

Publishing house: The big guys

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For now, here’s where you can make the real money, if you’re lucky. Publishing houses actually tend to be extremely picky, because they’re looking for marketable material, so make sure you’re starting off on the right foot.

There are two ways of submitting your work to a publishing house: with an agent, which increases your chances of success, but the agent’s going to be taking a cut of the royalties for him or herself, or submit straight to the publisher, which gets you all the royalties, but reduces your options, as there are publishing houses that won’t even look at an unsolicited submission. If you want to find a good agent to represent your book, this is a good place to start. Just press ctrl-f and type in the genre you’re work best fits in to.

Either way the process is largely the same. First, write a submission letter and synopsis. The submission letter should tell the publisher what the story is about, what works it is similar to (without overpraising it, that way lies disaster), and who would be interested in reading it. The synopsis should basically sum up the story in 100 words or less. Think of it as writing the description on the inside of the dust jacket.

If you succeed here, the publisher will ask for an excerpt of the book, do NOT send them the full manuscript yet, just send them some excerpts of what you think is the strongest part of the book. If you impress here, they’ll ask for the whole manuscript, and if you succeed here, then, congratulations, you’re published.

Note that getting published by a big publishing house doesn’t guarantee you’re going to have a bestseller, or that your book will sell at all. It just means that it’ll be mass distributed and maybe ound by prospective readers.

E-book publishing: The way of the future?

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Now, at this point, its common knowledge that brick and mortar publishers are suffering, and that e-book readers are becoming increasingly popular, so it’s easy, and honestly probably correct to assume that E-books are going to replace the old paper books that we are all so used to.

Personally I like this trend, because it lowers the barrier to mass distribution massively, but don’t assume that it’s completely mainstream yet. It’s getting there, but currently it seems like paper books are still outselling e-books, overall (Amazon notwithstanding).

Also, e-books have some controversy, in the form of how Libraries have to deal with them. E-book publishers want to make libraries rebuy the books after a certain amount of times being checked out. Unsurprisingly, libraries are a little pissed about this.

Anyway, I’m meandering off the topic. Generally, if you want your e-book to be published, you’ll need to find an e-book publisher (do your research, and make sure they’re reliable). Also, you’ll need an ISBN, if you want e-book publishers like Amazon or Barnes & Noble to pick it up. You can get one for your book from here for about $30.

Know your biases

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This is going to be the shortest series ever, judging by what I can think of. In fact, tomorrow, I may start on the series about writing your middle.

Everyone has some sort of bias towards some person or group, that’s just a given. Like how everyone is a little racist. Well that’s what you should assume about yourself, anyway. And you should try to find anything you don’t inherently like and exclude it from your fiction, like how I’ll never write anything about right-wing policies, because I’m far from a big fan of them.

Of course the opposite is true. If you’re heavily biased towards something, you should avoid writing about it, unless your goal is to push that agenda (though your first goal should ALWAYS to be to tell a story).

Also, I’ll just point out I’m cutting back on the posting to one a day for now, so I don’t burn out.

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