Tuesday, September 24, 2013

They Caught On

Amazon has "Where to Belong" for free (kindle version).  I'm glad they made note of that.  Yes, I'm still being spiteful.  But it's totally awesome to see all the downloads!  Thank you, and rock on!  And I love seeing it raising in the ranks.  Happy author :-)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Just a Thought

Sequels.  Prequels.  Series.  They have a place and time (in my opinion).  Some books rock as a series.  Trilogies seem to be the big thing anymore.  I won't knock that.  Quite a few of my favorites stories played out into trilogies and then some.  One of my WiPs will be a three part series if I ever get it out of my head and beyond my hard drive.  But the majority of my WiPs are one part stories.

There was a time I thought there was something wrong with me as a writer for not having a stack of trilogies waiting to be typed up.  Now I'm happy to have stories that begin and end in the span of one single book.  Again, nothing against series of any size.  But is the idea of a series being abused?

Like I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of books that happen to be series (some quite lengthy) on my favorites list.  Then there are the ones that have to be series.  Let's use Tarzan as an example (nod to Justin).  How can that not be a series?  Yes, you have the main story of Tarzan, who he is and what he became.  So I guess you could read the first book and be satisfied.  But there's an entire series (that I'm not even close to finishing yet) out there.  I mean, it's Tarzan!  How can his story be contained in one volume?  Every day of his life could be turned into a book.  Sure, sure, it could be accomplished.  I'm making it complicated.  Even still, it works as a series.  That's my point.  If the story stopped with book one, yes, you have the story of Tarzan.  But since Burroughs was kind enough to continue the tale of Tarzan, why not take it all in?

The thing that irks me about series, mostly trilogies, is that they aren't always needed.  They could be, but it isn't fluid.  Several books I've picked up and loved continued to grow into long, drawn out series.  I still read them.  I wanted to know what happens next.  I wanted the happily-ever-after.  But I've since backed off.  Just because the characters move on into another book doesn't mean their story continues.  One author, whose books I bought and read on the days of their releases, is about to release yet another.  But the story was done.  It finished.  Why is she releasing yet another book in the series?  "Because they're paying me to."  Her exact words.  She agreed the story had reached its climax.  All loose ends were tied up.  It was over.  But the publisher waved a check in front of her and she threw together an add on.  (Disclaimer: I'm not saying it's easy to write another book.  I'm sure she put tons of work into it.  It isn't for the faint of heart)  My problem is that I feel she sold out.

It isn't just her.  There's several who have recently decided to restart finished stories.  Now if the plots flow and the characters grow even more, then that's what a series is all about.  But if a writer is writing a story for other reasons, how can I be expected to still feel for those characters.  It leads to disappointment.  If the author's heart isn't in it, the reader can tell.

Then you have the authors who thrive on their one-book stories.  They have plenty to go around.  Yes, you fall in love with a character in one book, and they stay in that one book, but you aren't sad to see their story come to a close.  When the author releases their next piece of work, it's full of completely different characters and elements and still captures your heart and holds your attention.  I like how one author put it.  "You have a start of a story, what the character must overcome.  You have the plot that grows along with the character.  Then you have the climax.  The climax brings a resolution with it.  It brings a close to the story.  That is the formula for a book."

So, again, there is nothing wrong with a trilogy or a series as long as the writer's heart is still in their work.  Once they lose their love for the story, it ceases to exist.  It will wither and crumble and leave the reader with a bad taste in their mouth.  Don't force the story onward.
(note to self)

Only a few writers I've quit reading since they stretched out their stories for the sake of royalties.  There are lots and lots of pressures in the writing world.  There are also lots and lots of rules.  But at the same time, there are no rules.  Weird how that works.  It can be daunting and exhausting, but it can also be a real joy.  Keep your heart in your work and your readers will follow.  Stay true to your story.  It is your story after all.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Oh, And ...

I forgot to mention "Where to Belong" is free through Smashwords.  Yes, I'm being spiteful.  *evil grin*

September Means Changes

To be honest, I never thought there was anything different about the month of September until these past few years.  It's difficult to explain, but it has this feel about it.  I guess it's like a change in the weather (although the weather hasn't changed here)  But there is a change coming.  Maybe that's all there is to it.

Or maybe it's just me.

Not many noteworthy updates in the writing department.  I should be in writers' detention for how negligent I've been to my works.  Then I sort of tried crossing two different stories.  It sucked.  I probably won't do that again.  That idea I mentioned awhile back including that dark and quiet character comes and goes.  I have a little file open for it. 

I'm about to drop Always & Forever.  I know I shouldn't, but I think I've taken too long as it is.  It's time seems to have passed.  Unless it pulls an "Oneiros" and beats me upside the head with an "Ah hah!" moment.  I don't mind those.  I wonder if they ever come at a convenient time, though.

I've brought home another tort.  Also a Sulcata.  I didn't realize how much Tiff has grown.  The newbie looks like a mini tort nugget when they're together.  But I did find out a goof.  Tiff is a boy.  Oops.  Now he's gonna have a complex about his girly name.  I'm sure he doesn't even realize I call him by a name, but now it's just not right.  Can you rename a pet after having them for five (or more) years?  I've been calling the baby Ping since I brought it home.  I don't plan on keeping that name.  It's more of a reference.  I was holding the tiny tort on the way home and it tumbled out of my hand when we pulled into the drive.  Poor thing looked like a ping pong ball bouncing around in the truck.  Colt looked at me with accusing eyes and said, "Don't tell me that's the tort."  I just tucked the baby back in it's carrier and went inside.  So now Colt calls me a bad tort-momma.  I am a little worried about this one.  It is more accident prone than the others have been.  It's usually upside down when I check on it.  But it's already growing quickly, so I hope it quits trying to scale the side of it's enclosures and finds something else to occupy its mind about.

Now there is a lot of rock in my life.  And I still need to be banned from craigslist.  I've been looking for large rocks or stones to build a patio with.  I think it's ridiculous how much people/places sell rock for.  IT'S ROCK.  But I guess it's no different than water or grass.  You still end up paying for that.  Anywho, I finally found an ad with plenty of rock to accomplish my plans.  After checking in with the guy, a price was set and an appointment made for me (and whoever I could drag along with me) to get this stuff.  That same day I learn the guy I've been talking to is the middle man.  The guy in charge says something about discussing prices when we decide how much of the rock I want.  Also that same day, the truck and trailer I had reserved for hauling several tons of rock ends up spending the entire day and much of the following night in North Texas.  Now Mr. Rock doesn't answer his phone.  So we meet up at the rock pile anyway.  He's doubled the price.  I hesitate.  It's still a 'deal' considering the sheer amount of rock, but it's rock and I don't see why it costs so much.  I start backing out.  "The truck and trailer is out of town.  I only brought this much money.  I wasn't able to bribe many people into helping me haul this stuff."  He counters.  "I have a trailer you can use for as long as you need.  Take as much time and rock as you like.  I'll even load it today with a Bobcat, that'll make things easier.  You can bring the difference later."  My mind was screaming "NO!", but I handed him the money.  We ended up using a different truck and a the much smaller trailer to bring home the first load.  Day two, we return the trailer and end up loading rock into the back of the truck by hand.  Day three, the truck and trailer I planned to use showed up, but loaded their own supply of rock and left.  My parents and I piled some in the back of my truck and headed home.  Those big rocks are a little unnerving to move in the dark.  But it's coming together.

Now I have to talk myself into paying for sand as a base.  BUT IT'S SAND!