NaNoWriMo: Day 18 (120,003)
NaNoWriMo / November 18, 2016

I have had a Eureka! moment. It was not, unfortunately, a good eureka moments, but it was still valuable. I’m a good writer. I’m not remotely humble about it. I mean, I have the moments of self-doubt and imposter syndrome, but I also read a lot. My writing is better than a lot of stuff out there and, in spite of the fact that I often use other stories as a jump-start to my writing, it’s more original. (As I said, I’m not very humble about it.) I’m a very good editor. I can even, given enough time, find the issues in my own work (although I prefer to have someone else do it). When it comes to straight line edits, my books are cleaner than a lot of professionally published works. I do okay in cover creation. Yeah, I’d like to let someone else do the covers, but that costs money I don’t have, thanks to some debts with the Figments Mafia Mob Bosses. So I do my own. One day I’ll fix that, should my readers ever start actually buying my books. What I don’t do well, though, is marketing. Guess what a successful self-publishing author needs to be…

Feature Friday: Writing the First Chapter

There are some who find the last chapter to be the most difficult. There are a few who struggle through the middle. For most, however, the first chapter is the hardest to get out there. There’s good reason for this. The first chapter is what draws, drags, or defers. Either it is so clever that the reader must read; it is acceptable enough that the reader chooses to read; or it is so bad that the reader refuses to read. But no pressure. Really. See, the nice things about first chapters (and first lines) is that you have the most time to get them right. You have the entire time you’re writing the book through the editing process through just before publication. That’s a lot of time. (Longer for some, say, whose last name is Martin, than some others.) “I don’t edit while I’m writing.”  Very smart of you. Really. Just try this with me for one work, though. Edit that first chapter. Here’s why: if your first chapter does what it should (set up the story), then you have an easier task ahead of you. Instead of dragging the story uphill to get to the first plot point, your…

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Reasons I Self-Publish
Top Ten Tuesday / May 17, 2016

There are hundreds (okay, dozens) of great reasons to self-publish. After some debate (meaning I went to the bathroom, then came back and made this list), here are my top ten: No rejection letters. True, it’s a form of rejection when a reader doesn’t buy your book, but you don’t get a politely-worded form letter when it happens. My ego can remain tenuously intact. Freedom! I can write what I want and not worry about #1. I do try to keep my writing relevant to the market (ie, deciding to try for a second Bobian book this year because my public actually asked for it), but otherwise I have a lot of creative freedom. Lifelong learning. I like to learn. I waste– er, gainfully employ hours on end learning new things that I might never need to know. For example, while the popular vision of zombies can only happen through a type of witchcraft or magic, there are parasites, spores, and other agents that might allow a type of zombie infestation. You wanted to know that, I know. You’re welcome. I get to keep all the moneys. While 100% of a piddling is a pittance, 30% of a piddling is…

Motivation Monday: WHY Write a Book?

If you’ve been following along, we’ve worked on how to write, what to write about, and done an outline. (You did do your homework, right?) Before we go any further, though, you really  have to understand why you’re writing a book. There is no wrong reason for writing a book. None. But if you don’t know why you’re writing, you may go about it the wrong way. (Yes, there is a wrong way for you, just like there is a wrong way for me.) I’m writing a book to get down the stories my dad/mom/next-door-neighbor told me. If you’re not planning to publish (or you’re only planning to publish to adoring family and friends, then the format won’t matter as much. Good grammar may be optional. You can create your own cover and learn design or get one online for $5 (Fiverr.com). This is a labor of love, not a polished product. Enjoy the ride, but don’t stress over it. I’m writing a book because I love to write. I might publish, someday. Go as slowly as you want. You’re doing this for the story. This is where pantsers excel, just letting the story move them. If you eventually decide…

How to Write a Book: Getting Ready

How do you write a book? There are as many answers to that as there are books, really, but I’m going to attempt over the course of however long it takes to walk you through the process of writing and publishing an independent book. Your mileage may vary and please do try this at home. NOTE: I believe everyone should write. I’m a huge fan of everyone writing. I do not believe everyone should publish a book, any more than I believe everyone should dance Swan Lake. The advice I’m giving here is for writers who want to publish, although parts can be used by anyone. So what is the very first step to writing a book? Writing, right? Wrong. It’s not even outlining (if you’re a planner) or getting an idea. The very first step to writing a book is learning how to write. This idea may make this my most unpopular blog post. “I’ve been through thirteen years of schooling, plus four years of college where they continued making me take English classes.” (Side note: if anyone had to make you take English classes, why do you want to put yourself through the hell of publishing a book,…