Sunday, September 30, 2012

Abrupt Halt

I went to open the manuscript in order to do some editing and I realized it didn't look right. My "blue marks" that I use to tell me where I am in the process, were gone.

After a quick perusal, I realized all the editing I had done over the past six weeks had disappeared. I was staring at an old file, but it was the last one I'd opened, according to the time stamp on it.

I'm very meticulous about saving my documents when I'm working on them, clicking that button every time I get up from the keyboard, just in case the cats try to do a little editing for me while I'm AFK. I can assure you, I have not been attached to my computer for six weeks with no breaks.

The edits are simply gone. They were difficult changes to make because they were complicated (but quite necessary) and when I had finished them, I was very happy with the results. It was worth the hard work to be able to get to that point. Now all that work is gone, and to be honest, right now, I just don't think I can do it again. I don't know that I even want to keep working on it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coming Along

The Chronicles are moving forward.

That is saying a lot, considering the complications that arose when I changed the first part of the second book to mesh with the ending of A Queen Reborn. While that just seems like a logical beginning to a sequel, the original start to the second book took place months after A.Q.R. ended, now it takes place about a month earlier.

Why the change? Well, a few years ago I was working on a NaNoWriMo project online, sharing every ugly sentence of a rapidly-written, unedited novel. Fortunately a very wise woman was reading it and suggested I open the story with something exciting happening. Remembering her words, I took them to heart and figured that would work really well for the sequel if I took it back to a dramatic moment in the first one, but write it from the "other side" of that moment.

It worked, but it meant a lot of rewriting and some big changes in the whys and wherefores of the next part of the story. But the changes make sense and have allowed the characters to deepen and grow more "colorful," even the ones who only had bit parts in A Queen Reborn.

I can't wait for you to meet them.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Taa-Daaa Moment

Being a self-proclaimed techno-dork, when I actually manage to accomplish something with a computer or other electronics gadget (and this includes making calls on my cell phone), I get rather excited and pleased with myself.

So, on that note, I am very pleased to announce The Citadel Chronicles' very own facebook page! It's pretty bare for now, but it's taken me almost seven hours to get it to where it is. This does include time spent attempting to undo what the bird did when she strolled across the keyboard and opened Skype for me. I had no idea that program was so reluctant to close. "Are you SURE you want to close it? No one will be able to call you and chat!" Oh, I'm VERY sure I want it closed since I didn't open it in the first place.

Anyway, pop over to the facebook page and give The Citadel Chronicles a look-see. You can even give it a thumbs up, if you'd like. Or, you know, hit the "like" button.

I'm such dork...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Some Thoughts on Reviews

After my initial joy regarding the five-star review I got on Amazon, I read this article in the NY Times about the fake five-star reviews some authors were paying to get. My first thought was, “they’re PAYING for reviews!?! Isn’t that cheating?” Yes, but not exactly.

The cheating part was that the reviewer wasn’t even reading the books. He was just charging someone to write nice things about something they’d written. Personally, I’d rather know the truth of how someone felt about my book. If I wanted to hear hollow, gushing praise for fifteen dollars, I’d buy a bucket and yell into it. It would mean about as much as a fake review and I could reuse the bucket.

Within days of the NY Times article, I received an email from an online writer’s magazine about getting reviews for your independently-published book. They had several suggestions, all of which for were companies that asked for some kind of payment; anywhere from seventy-five dollars, all the way up to over four hundred dollars. After doing some research I found that unless the review is written by a friend, no reviews are done for free. If the author doesn’t pay for the service directly, then his publisher pays for it. Now that I think about it, perhaps it is easier to ask friends to post a review than it is to pay for one.

The article named several creditable companies that will review independently published authors: Goodreads, Digital Book Today, Kirkus Indie, to name a few. These are big names in the publishing industry; names that can spell success or disaster for an author. The difference between a legitimate paid review and the reviewer mentioned in the NY Times article is whether or not said reviewer actually reads the book and gives an honest opinion.

My five-star was free. At least it was for me; the reviewer had to buy the book. To be honest, it was not easy for me to ask for the review, even if she is a friend. It felt like I was imposing on her. I was thrilled, and quite nervous, when she said ‘yes.’ She’s an honest woman, and I knew she would write what she felt about the book. Needless to say, what she wrote pleased me.

That said, I’ve decided that from now on I’m going to make sure I post a review of the books I read, especially books written by independently published authors. I’ll even do it for free and I’ll write the truth.

It’s the least I can do for my fellow writers. Won’t you join me?

Edited to say: Oh, how lovely. I forgot to delete the stuff I didn't want. Nothing like a little first-draft smutch to be stuck to the bottom of a post. *sigh* It's gone now.