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So I lied…


I sincerely thought I was done with book one in this series. It was novella-length, and the others in the series were supposed to be as well. I had a plan, the first installment felt finished, the next four were outlined (kind of, my outlines are more like brain-storming notations), I had started book two….

And now I’m nearly doubling the word count for book one, and the others are shaping up to be between 40,000-50,000 words as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about where the series is heading. I’m in love with the storyline (always a plus when you have to read it over and over again during revisions and editing). I like the new chapters and scenes being added; I feel they really add to the story, the character development, and aid in building relationships between the characters (both primary and secondary).

So this IS a good thing. It’s just also an exhausting thing. There’s that childish part of my brain screaming, “I ALREADY DID IT THOUGH!” I guess it’s lucky that part of me can be quieted with candy. Or maybe that’s a bad thing… haven’t decided yet.

Most writers I’ve heard of have to cut things out during revision. I’m doubling the word count. Go figure. I’m not sure whether or not to be jealous of those who wind up having to shave 5000 words off their work.

I can’t be the only one this kind of thing happens to though, can I? Surely there are other writers who end up turning a shorter story into an epic novel or series? I’m not entirely alone, right?

Either way – wish me luck! 🙂

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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Writing

 

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On the Brighter Side of Life…


Not everything that’s happened in the last year has been disheartening. I did finish the rough draft for book one in the series I’m currently working on, and I’m about 5000 words into book two!  🙂

That’s pretty exciting stuff for me. I plan to write the first four novella-length (25,000 – 30,000 or so words per installment) books before publishing any of them. I know that’s not a common strategy, but I wanted to make sure I can keep the style and voice consistent throughout the series, tweaking all the books as necessary in order to accomplish what I’m hoping to do. And I want to publish every three books together, compiling them into volumes of 3 at a time as well as publishing them individually, each with a preview of the first 1-2 chapters of the next book. Hence the reason I want to finish four of these bad boys before moving forward with the indie publishing process.

I have no idea how many books will eventually be within the series, but I’m enjoying not seeing the end of it yet. This story is playing in my imagination like a T.V. series, rather than as a movie, with story arcs and character possibilities that span 1 book, many books, or even the entire lot. I can’t see the finale yet, but then I usually don’t until my writing is near the end of the story.

Of course now I’m running into the issue of how to categorize what I’m writing/revising. There are so many genres and subgenres that are so similar now. Gone are the days when horror was simply horror and romance was simply romance. This one has vampires, werecreatures, witches, etc. in it, but no romance (so far) though the possibility may organically grow between various characters. And some of the descriptions could be considered frightening, depending on what you personally find scary. So is it paranormal? Supernatural thriller/adventure/horror? Dark fantasy? Urban fantasy? Some combination of the above? How do I describe it in terms of genre? That’s the stage I’m currently at.

Genres and categories for so many books criss-cross some pretty blurred lines. I can’t be the only one who struggles with trying to figure out what genre/category to label my writing, can I?

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Writing

 

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Pen Names… For? Against? Don’t Care?


Yesterday, I stumbled across an interesting blog post/article, written by a thriller author, who chose to go with a pen name, at the behest of her publisher.

I can’t say I agree with all of her/their reasons, but hey – it was ultimately her choice, and she picked a name she felt she could live with.

The article itself wasn’t what inspired me to make a blog post of my own though.  It was the comments that got me thinking.  Some of them were really harsh.  Some berated her for not sticking it to her publisher and refusing to change her name.  Some mocked her pen name choice, or her reason.  At least one even flat-out refused to read anything by her, because she had “sold out” by choosing a pen name.

I had no idea it was such a big deal to some people, or that one could be viewed as potentially weak for choosing to write under a name they weren’t actually born with.

Writers have all different reasons for choosing a pen name: so they won’t be confused with other writers or popular characters, so they can fit their name to their audience, book shelf placement, because their birth name is ridiculously hard to pronounce, because they’re writing both romance and horror but don’t want the audience to be confused or turned off, etc.

In the case of the author who wrote the article I’m referencing here, they felt her name wasn’t suitable to the genre she was writing in.  Basically, the main concern was that no one would want to read a thriller with “Alison Potter” on the book cover.

Personally, I don’t care what an author’s name is.  I’ll admit that I, like most, may make a purchasing decision based on the cover (though, the blurb on the back or online description is what does or does not sell it for me).  But, the author’s name has honestly never made a difference to me.  I’ve never said to myself, “Well, no one named Wendy Harper is capable of writing a good horror novel, so there’s just no way I’m going to pick that book up!”  And, I’ve never known anyone else who cared about that either.  I don’t even care if it’s chick-lit written by Frederick Humperdink.  What’s the blurb say?  What impression does the cover give me?

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, A. W. Omyn isn’t the name on my birth certificate.  So, why did I choose it?  Well, honestly, because I’m a bit of a smartass.  I’d love to say there’s some better, more serious, ethical, career-deciding, etc. reason for it.  But, in the end, it just boils down to my being a smartass.

I know that there are female authors who choose to go with initials, rather than their full name (whether of their own accord, or due to the advice of an agent/publisher/marketing consultant), in order to essentially hide their gender from the audience (at least until after the reader has read the book, or the author has gained a certain level of notoriety).

So, I thought it was funny to make a name with initials that not only does not hide my gender, but blatantly tells you exactly what it is.

Why did I choose to go with a ‘y’ instead of an ‘a’?  Is it some grand-standing political statement against the word “man” being within the title of my gender association?  Am I trying to push for the word “woman” to be changed to “womyn”?  Nope.  I just have a thing for ‘y’s in female names.  I think they make the name a bit more feminine and unique, generally speaking.

Thoughts on pen names?  Is there a bad reason to choose a pen name?  Is there a good reason to choose one?  Are you upset by authors who choose to go with a pen name?  Would the name on a book cover influence your decision to purchase, or read, a particular book?

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in All, Publishing, Writing

 

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Never Even Heard of Peter Pan… Really?


So, the other day, the kids had a play date with their younger uncle.  Yes, my girls have a “baby uncle”.  It’s a little weird, but I digress.

His nanny brought him over and I decided to put on the newest (to my knowledge anyway) Peter Pan movie.  It’s live-action, fun, visually striking, and did accomplish my goal of having at least one of the kids beg to read the book.

The kids started getting into the movie, gleefully watching Peter, Wendy, John, and Micheal ready themselves for their adventure.  To be fair, this was supposed to be a play date, and I hadn’t thought about the fact that the kids were enjoying the movie so much, they weren’t actually playing anymore. I was just hoping they’d enjoy it enough to read J. M. Barrie’s book!

Apparently, little mister baby-uncle couldn’t stay too long – he had another play date scheduled for later that afternoon.  So, his nanny (a middle aged woman, in her thirties or forties, who grew up in Europe, and has lived in the U.S. for quite some time now) asks me if the movie is almost over.

This is how that conversation went…

Nanny: “Is this movie almost over?”

Me: “They just flew off to Neverland”

Nanny: *blank stare*

Me: “You know… Neverland?”

Nanny:”Oh, I’ve never seen this movie before.”

Me: “Okay, but it’s Peter Pan.”

Nanny: *blank stare*

Me: “Peter Pan…. the story?  The book?”

Nanny: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Are you serious?”

Nanny: “I never read the book.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m just a little shocked.  Umm, no, it’s not almost over…”

We ended up turning off the movie, to encourage the kids to play outside, take a walk, and hang out before their uncle had to leave.

I’m still a little shocked.  I honestly had NO idea there was anyone who hadn’t heard of Peter Pan.

I mean – okay, you haven’t seen one of the movies.  Not a big movie watcher, they didn’t make any movies based on Peter Pan in your country of origin, you simply weren’t interested, whatever.  I can understand that.

You haven’t read the book.  Okay.  No problem, I can understand that as well.  Still makes me a little sad.  But, again, everyone’s tastes are different, maybe the book was highly unpopular where you grew up, maybe you thought the story sounded dull or weird, whatever.

You haven’t seen the play, and your school never did the play.  Again, I can get it.

But… you’ve NEVER even heard of Peter Pan… or Neverland… or J. M. Barrie… NEVER?

She’s lived in America (where I happen to know this is a popular story) for quite some time now, and she’s been around (on this Earth) for longer than ten minutes, so I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that NO ONE she’s EVER run into has even made a reference to something as classic as Peter Pan.

This is classic literature we’re talking about.  As I pointed out to her, this isn’t even an “American” book.  It was written in the 1800’s, in England.  So, America can’t be the ONLY place were this is still a classic.

And, she’s a nanny!  She takes care of an American child!  You’re telling me that some, even adapted, version of Peter Pan isn’t on the book shelf, the Disneyized version isn’t in the DVD player, and there’s NEVER been a conversation, in a house with a child, that so much as referenced SOMETHING to do with Peter Pan… really?  Seriously?

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2011 in All, For Fun/Just Because

 

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