Wednesday, November 30, 2016

As November comes to a close

I have won NaNoWriMo 2016. Not by a lot of words, though I can add a bit to my count by the end of the day.

It's an interesting process, trying to make yourself write 50,000 words in 30 days. I usually have a few really good days where progress is easy and a few really bad ones where each word is a struggle. The average day has good and bad moments.

I may or may not participate in 2017. At this point, I have 6 novels written. Only one of them is truly publisher ready. So my real goal for 2017 is to get at least two more novels to the point where I can let others read them.

I may also start a search for an agent. While I have a list of publishers who

  1. Accept fantasy novels
  2. Take unsolicited manuscripts
  3. Have an entirely online process for them
It would be nice to have an agent. Granted, they take a cut but they should be able to find markets for manuscripts.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Reading your novel to an audience

Having read some articles on how to read your work to an audience, here are my favourite tips.

  1. Practice the piece before hand. Get a feel for your reading. 
  2. Remember to smile at your audience and look at them from time to time.
  3. Speak slowly. You want to give the audience time to process your words. It's not a race. 
  4. Don't mumble either. Your audience wants to hear your words, speaking too fast or mumbling isn't making it easy for them.
  5. Give meaning to your words as you read. Emphasis some points, give characters their own voices.
  6. Pause as you read and don't forget to breath.
  7. Use body language to help emphasis points.
  8. Respect any time limits imposed at the venue.
As a personal note, one of the reasons that you may read too quickly or forget to breath is that you have a fear of public readings. I had this problem at one stage. I could practice my talk and have it take 8 minutes when I was alone and 6 minutes when I had an audience. Since talking in front of an audience was part of the assessment of the course I was doing, I had to keep doing it.

One day, the fear was gone. The fact that I was standing in front of an audience didn't bother me in the least and it's never bothered me since. So if you find that you are really nervous when talking in front of a group, you do have to remember that they want to hear what you have to say. Plus the practice may well help you get over the fear at some point.

For more, search for "reading your work to an audience"

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Why I want to use a traditional publisher

When I first started writing and looking into publishing, a couple of decades ago, you either went with a traditional publisher or you went to a vanity publisher. Vanity publishers had a bad reputation and if you were serious about your work, you just didn't consider it.

That was some years ago and these days, self publishing is much more respectable. There's many places to go as well; Amazon has CreateSpace, there's Smashwords, and much much more.

But I would still like to go with a traditional publisher. Why?

Mostly, so I can work on writing and let someone else worry about

  1. Covers
  2. Layout
  3. Editing
  4. Distribution
  5. Promotion
I'm certainly willing to do my share when it comes to editing and book promotion. I'd like input in the cover art however good covers are for graphic artists/designers. But I just don't really have the network in place to self-promote effectively. Nor do I have the confidence required to promote.

There are downsides to traditional publishing. It's simply going to take longer for the book to be available. I will see rejection letters on a regular basis. 

I may seek an agent, just because they are professionals that know the publishing market. They get a share which they will have earned.

It is a long road though. No matter what, I will try.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The novel is going well

Right now, it could easily be mistaken for a historical novel based on ancient Rome. There are gladiators, temples and a pantheon of gods/goddesses.

Soon it should switch to being fantasy. Namely, a goddess is about to make an appearance in the novel and after that, nothing else will quite be the same.


In other news, this blog is suffering from severe referral spam that makes it look like it's getting a lot of hits. Annoying (and never ever hit referral spam urls in your blogger reports. It could get ugly.)

And the US is officially insane after the election results. I just don't know how that was allowed to happen.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

New November - New novel

NaNoWriMo is once again upon us.

I have spent my usual amount of prep time which is nearly none. I'm taking an idea that was a short story and expanding on the basic idea.

Hoping to keep my calendar green - and write the minimum words per day at least.