Friday, July 26, 2013

Rattlesnakes and Roughriders

I've been thinking of what I should write, what I want to write and what I am in the process of writing. 
This has led me to thinking of profitability, fitting into a genre and Twilight. 
There's a video blog that I discovered a month or two ago on http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/
Fifty Shades of Green is about a question; can we write the next big Twilight (without being serious) and the process of answering that question through the two bloggers accepting comments on what they should do and brainstorming themselves, while drinking a lot. The product of this endeavor is, Awoken, a paranormal teen romance. The book centers around a girl, pale, brunette and rife with insecurities if the blog is any indication and with the last name Slate,  as in blank slate and Cthulhu in the young, hot human form of Riley. 
The sample chapter has been released. Awoken, Chapter Six
I find the video blog to be quite entertaining and am eagerly looking forward to the eventual release sometime this year. 

Back to my thoughts. 
My book hasn't been selling. I am sad. I am trying to figure out why. My conclusion is that the cover, while communicating the tone of the book, doesn't actually convince anyone that it's for them. Advice for authors, by stock footage if you can, at least if you're not a great artist. I don't think I'm all that bad but I do think a more realistic cover would get people to take the book more seriously. 

Also at fault is the genre. IIIIIIIII'm not entirely sure what genre this fits in. It's kinda a ramble through this world and is filled with talking. There is some action of course and there are a lot of intelligent conversations. The problem is, the characters are more kid's book characters and the tone is more friendly than you might see in your usual sci-fi fantasy despite the fact that I don't think it is much of a kids book. But then again, I'm not really sure. This is why my other works fit into categories, even if they're a little bizarre in those slots, otherwise, it's kinda hard to figure out who the book is for. 

I'm currently trying to get reviews, as well as giving a few reviews to other authors and trying to fill out my catalog. Snow Sands is not my only work. I have quite a few short stories and a couple of novellas but it is my only completed, full length book and it and How Dabney Got His Hat are the only completed works under my own name so far. 

I will complete more novels and I will have some success, even if it's just a little bit. I've worked on my writing for eleven years, now. I'm not giving up. 

Oh, yes, back to the title. I'm thinking of writing a Dave Barry, esque comedy with a rattlesnake as a supporting character and with some traveling through the Midwest. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How I Began Writing and What I Wrote.

I have an update. I put a short story of mine up for sale. How Dabney Got His Hat.
It's a space port cantina story. I put it up to see what would happen. I'm quite proud of the hat on the cover.


Now onto other things. How I began writing.
When I was younger, about eight to ten, my father would tell me I should write. I don't know why, perhaps because he wrote, not as a profession, more as a thing he did though he had sold a few slogans to one company or another for bumper stickers or buttons. I mostly ignored what he said. My dad can be very enthusiastic about things he's interested in, to the point where he dumps enormous amounts of information on you. I'm used to this and I don't mind it too awfully much but I don't share the same interests as him or at least I don't express too much interest because he actively tried to make me learn or do things. It wasn't only writing, he wanted me to sketch. He got sketch books for me and tried to get me to carry them everywhere. I am not a great artist. I used to be horrible. Now I'm capable of making things that look like the things they're supposed to look like, mostly because I've learned to calm down so my hand no longer shakes.

When I was in sixth grade, I decided I would try writing. I was in an after school homework program and when ever I finished before the end, I would write. My first story was about two sisters (I wanted a sister) who get along pretty well, who wear gorgeous clothing. ( I wanted a blue suede trench coat with a dragon sewn on) who get invited to a wonderful school. (It's not just Harry Potter. A lot of books do that. I wanted to go to a fancy boarding school.) I stalled out a little after writing about the helicopter ride because it all felt weird and I was annoyed that I couldn't write faster because my thoughts were already becoming stale. I persevered.

My next story was better put together. My brain was figuring out what to do. It was still wish fulfillment, but it was less blatant. It was about a girl named Jessica who isn't human. We don't quite know what she is but she has claws, and a tail and is a tennis player. I let a few people in school read this and they automatically asked me if I played tennis or hated cheerleading. That's a no for both. Apparently high school grows people who think they're intelligent but ask the stupidest questions. She wasn't me, the wish fulfillment was the claws and the tail and the color-changing pet snake that liked to drape himself around her neck and could be used as a whip. Those people annoyed me. As if you have to play tennis to express that a girl likes tennis or dislike cheer leading to understand why someone would.
Gaaah! Simple minds.

That story had potato people and a voyage. It had some decent writing and fun bits but it was still torture to write since my head went faster than my hands. There also weren't enough details to make it very long. I stopped writing when I'd filled a notebook to one hundred pages. One side was a page.
My next story was in high school. It was about a vampire who was very depressed and an outcast. There was something special about her but it really only meant that she had different eating habits, not that she was a vampire messiah. (My wish fulfillment is usually pretty simple. Different but special.) It was the story of her life with a bunch of vampire hunters who refuse to believe she is one. There's a lot of her being hungry and then vampires attack and going to a castle and meeting Madeline, the mad vampire.

This attempt at a story has a sad ending. I had decided to write on loos-leaf paper in a binder and somehow, a lot of it got lost. I eventually did find the binder again but for some reason, only some of the pages were there. To this day, I still have a few pages. One of these dark, unpleasant evenings when I'm feeling terrible, I need to write a detailed outline for that story and redo it, though I'm not sure I can maintain the dour tone since I'm not a teenager anymore.

Now we come to one of the last stories I worked on in High school, the story that I published, Snow Sands: Through the Wormhole, Book 1, which is up for sale on both Smashwords and Amazon, with a new cover, no less. Perhaps it will get more views that way.
Oh, I also worked on another story, but I've stalled, only getting halfway through it. It's about a prince going to fight a dragon, under protest. I should get back to that.