This was a rough 2017 for me. I dealt with a number of issues – Family issues, career issues and like most of us money issues, but the hardest part of 2017 was taking a stroll down memory lane. With more time on my hands than I would care to admit, I began cleaning out some old boxes and stumbled across a couple of journals I thought I had lost. Some of you may remember my first book (Am I Still the Victim) that I eventually removed from publication. That first book was based on my journals from years ago. These recently discovered journals took me back to an even darker place than I thought possible.
If only for a moment I remembered a time when I was always scared and vulnerable. It didn’t take long to come back to reality, but the reminiscing was emotional, to say the least, but it also inspired me to sit in front of the keyboard once again.
My latest book, which is going to be part of a series is VERY loosely based on the experiences I wrote about in my journals. Due out in 2018, I wanted to share an excerpt from the Prologue. I hope you find it entertaining, educational and inspiring.
I had a few new readers reach out to me and it was strange that they had questions that were very similar. They asked me about my inspiration and thought process when writing.
Normally, it’s a feeling I think all authors get that triggers the writing “itch” that we all feel the need to scratch. I heard someone I respect say that we are driven by passion, educated by experience and defined by choice. I truly believe this but our passion can sometimes drive us to make rash choices.
It is not always that simple to take a concept and wrap an entire story around it. Writing – especially fiction writing is like a large piece of clay. You mold it and shape it, removing the excess and sometimes filling in gaps after you think you are done. I think some of the best writers equally patient as they are creative.
For many, the “art” of writing can take a very long time. For others, they can visualize the entire story and after it is published, they go back and almost re-write it to add or subtract aspects of the original piece.
I tend to visit both sides of this fence – no pun intended. Sometimes I have a thought that wakes me up and the entire story is encompassed in that thought and the words almost type themselves. In other cases, like now, I found inspiration that is launching a new book series. Each book is being written at the same time, but so far it has been 8 months and not one book is finished. The storylines of each book were easy, but the “meat” of each story has taken a lot longer than any other work I have done. So was the decision to make it a book series instead of one long book.
The important thing is to be true to yourself when you write. If you are telling a story, tell it as you see it not as you think others will receive it. Don’t be afraid to release a work you are proud of. There is no such thing as a “perfect artist.” Someone will always find something wrong – whether it is technical errors or opinions of a reader.
When you are working on a piece… I would consider these aspects…
- Who is going to tell the story? Is it you or someone else? Remember this when you write it – they tend to shift gears during the draft and it can be difficult to spot by the author – so an outside review is always a good idea.
- Are you trying to send a message? If so, what is that message? The message does not have to be in plain view, it can be implied, either through the actions of the characters or the tone of the dialog.
- Be controversial… it can be entertaining. Controversy is a good way to drive the emotions of the reader, but be careful, when you are being controversial in a non-fictional piece – remember you are an extension of your work and readers can sometimes take you too literally.
- “Too many words” is not always entertaining… so is not having enough words in your piece. You want to make sure you have a balance. If you are having character dialog, make sure you can express the character’s mood and mannerisms. If you are narrating, make sure you don’t tell the entire story in that narrative.
- Don’t worry about the feedback. If you like it, that is all that matters. In some cases, you will receive great feedback, in other cases negative feedback and in other cases, no feedback. As I have learned over the last few years, feedback is not why many of us write. It is a good feeling receiving feedback, but it is a greater feeling when you are proud of the work you finished and you can’t wait to get it out to the world.
Good Luck to all of you whether new writers or current writers.
I am growing increasingly frustrated with Amazon right now. So much so that I putout a feeler on social media to see where readers were getting their ebooks from (Kindle or iBooks). The unanimous response was Amazon Kindle – which frustrated me even more because of the problems I was having.
I recently got wind of something I was ignorant about and maybe I still am. I friend from Canada reached out to me not too long ago informing me about one of my books not being available in Canada. As I looked into it I also realized that this was similar to what was happening in the UK and other parts of Europe. I have a specific author page in the UK with Amazon, but as I look at the postings, it indicates that they are available in the US and not specifically in the UK.
Has anyone else seen this issue before? If so how did you address this or is it even an issue? I am curious and concerned as I have been having some major difficulties of late with Amazon and specifically Kindle Direct Publishing which has held up the release of other works I have written. My hope is that this is just another situation where I don’t have all the facts, but if it is Amazon and there is no way to get around it, I may consider publishing all stories on my web site instead and using PayPal or other eCommerce service to sell the books.