Comment on Rules are Made to be …. by Leslianne Wilder

Well, you can’t really fix ’em, and they’re not going to listen, and who knows, maybe they’ll write the next Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey, or The Martian. Then I guess they’ll be the ones laughing.

But yeah, I’ve had the same conversation, or one like it, so many times about how you can’t learn how to do prose writing by watching movies and television because they’re not the same medium. I’m not really sure it’s worth the fight.

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WTF Facebook…

Hello again world!

Just started my G+ account. Seems a bit convoluted, but then again I am not used to these new fangled fancy SM things. Added some links to other author’s I know, got some followers on twitter and followed a few people.
Facebook… not as easy as twitter let me just say. Getting an account was super easy, so was posting stuff and general editing. I won’t bore you with details. BUT.. adding a facebook button to my blog took me an hour. WTF… Honestly it is a bit of a headache, I had planned on writing the steps down, but F that. I suggest going to youtube and watching this.
Another hour later and I finally have my twitter, google+, blog and facebook connected, plus the apps on my phone. Then I realized I really do not want my facebook and twitter connected. That took a while to figure out as well. Haven’t tested to see if I actually succeeded yet.
And one more thing FB… WTF is your problem huh? I hope one day I get a SM platform that takes hours to configure because nothing is where it should be.

I am still trying to figure out exactly how I want to post things here. There is a lot of information to sort through and I am having a hard time pacing myself and planning everything with all my new gadgets on top of my book thoughts. I guess I should explain a bit about my book.
First, current word count is 32K. I know that is less than what I said in a previous post, but I was guessing before. I finally sorted my scrivener draft into what will be in this book vs other books.
So why is word count so important vs the number of pages? I have found that in the publishing world, word count is what they go by. Generally speaking the ‘limit’ publishers go for is anywhere from 80-120K for a fantasy novel. I haven’t decided if I will listen to that rule or not. I have a very long story to tell, and while the thoughts of break dancing dollars are popping and locking in my head, I don’t know if I really wanna sell out for more money by having more books to buy. Like I mentioned before, I love long books, and this book is supposed to be an accumulation of everything I wanted in fantasy, so whatever.

Then again if Tor or DAW picks me up, then I think I will listen to what they have to say.

Back to the meat of the story… I do not want to give anything away, and right now I am still planning out how I will keep a mystery around the main plot reveal. So here goes:
Once upon a time… Ha! Just kidding. There are really 2 main characters (MC’s) and at this point there are 11 other secondary – but very important – characters. The first book focuses mostly on 3 of them.
Amadel – A teenage girl from Earth is thrown into another world, Lenaeu ([Len – a – ooh] – still not sure on this name) after visiting her Aunt. This was done by means of a magical book and necklace passed down through her family. She is the prophesied savior of the land along with her twin sister. The problem is her sister disappeared almost a decade ago. Now she must learn to survive in a world with magic and an evil sorcerer, bent on her destruction, who has overthrown the kingdom and enslaved millions.
Leah – Orphaned when she was very young, and sent to live with an abusive foster mother, has just lost her new friend, Amadel. Something is whispering in her mind, telling her to locate and help Ama. She finds a way into the other world only to be caught by the evil sorcerer and sent to the Void; a place between Lenaeu and Earth that no one emerges from.
Merlin – Fabled magician from the middle ages, originally sent from Lenaeu to Earth on a mission to protect the prophesied twins. He is there to guide them and help them learn their powers before having to overthrow the evil sorcerer. But when he realizes the prophecy is heading down a path of death and destruction, he takes matters into his own hands.

There is a hell of a lot more and I suck at summarizing but I will leave it at that for now.

Now that is out of the way, I do have some ideas on how to streamline my blog. First, always greet my peeps (not that I have any at this point but hey, whatever). Second, post my word count – even if it is less than it was previously due to editing *shudders*. Third, post my progression or any relevant topics. IE: start my rambling. And fourth, tips for new writers based on my exp. Might switch around 3 and 4.
Since I have already done all but #4, here goes.

Tips:
1. Get a cloud service or multiple flash drives. Why? Well if you are anything like me, you may go through hard drives like a hot knife through butter. Plus I have a tendency to lose flash drives… Thank you google for the cloud drive.
2. Get something better than Microsoft Word. As I stated before, I suggest Scrivener, but I am biased and have no opinions of other platforms yet. I did a quick search and this site seemed the most unbiased, but a bit dated. http://www.dailywritingtips.com/writing-software/
3. Unless you are an English major, or just really well versed with writing already, get an editing tool. Currently I am using (and not using it enough) ProWritingAid because its free. But I will probably update to something else later.
4. Read. Read a lot. Review a lot. Read some more. Review some more. And do not just read and review your own writing genre. I have read quite a few different genres and found very helpful tips. Namely, if you do not take serious time to review your own work, and get beta readers and other people to critique your work, errors are bound to show up. As a reader, I am a stickler for flow. If I see someone doing something out of character, or if something was just explained one way, then totally opposite the next, or if the paragraph(s) that I am reading are just too damned confusing, then I will not want to read anything else from that writer.
5. Just fucking do it already. Will it suck? Yes. Will it frustrate you and cause you to want to ball up your paper and throw it away? More than likely at one point it will. Could you compare your work to <insert your favorite author here> and get totally depressed? Yep… been there, done that, still kinda doing that at times. Will you get over it? I dunno, that part is up to you. I suggest you do. I am 100% serious when I said I have probably thrown away more than I have finally put to ‘paper’ at this point. I just couldn’t let this go though. I have a story to tell and I know there will be at least a few hundred people out there that will love it.

I really tried to not cuss, in fact I have been forcing myself not to because of excluding certain people, or pissing off my HR department. Which is total bullshit by the way. I have been on conference calls where certain …people… have said quite a few interesting things…

Anyways… back to writing. Goodnight my imaginary audience!

PS. The unlinking didn’t work. You have to go to https://www.facebook.com/twitter 

A little bird…

Hello again you wonderful, and unknown to me as of yet, readers!


A lot is going through my mind at this point. Should I have gone with weebly? Will I go with them? Should I set goals for word counts? When will I start my FB and Twitter accounts? How will I ever be able to manage all of this? What should my next post be? Where do I start? Will I keep my book in chapters or will the also be parts? How does one even start looking for an agent or publicist? 

Check answer ‘C’. I don’t know.

What I think I know is I should play a bit of catch up. Like I previously stated, my book is in progress. I know that is not the beginning for many writers. From what I went through, and what I have seen on websites, I know that just starting to write down the amazing-story-that-is-in-your-head is the hardest part. Or so one might think now…

Quite a number of years ago, I came to the realization that I was tired of reading other people’s work. I thought their story could have been better if they had done X, Y or Z. To top that off, I have only found a handful of stories that actually satisfy my inner plot out-liner. I like extra long books, intense and surprising arcs, throw in a few humorous characters, descriptions of the surroundings – but not a crazy amount, clear characters who don’t magically change their normal morals just to move the plot along, and deep undercurrents that are felt but not realized until it all comes together in some wonderfully addicting part of the book that makes me stay up way too late trying to read it all. Tons of other things, but those are the key points. 

That is what prompted me to start thinking of a story that I would completely enjoy. I thought about it for years, too many to really remember but at least 7 years ago I know I was thinking of it. It was before I started working at my current company. I did a lot of pussy-footing around until I just started putting the words to paper – or hard drive – whatever you want to say. I don’t know how much I have trashed and rewritten over the years, I tend to break computer hard drives rather easily. My IT guys can attest to that. But the story has stuck. I literally have 14 easel papers taped up on my walls with outlines, a timeline and random character notes/plots.

After years of not really doing much with it besides thinking of different plots, I decided to go online for help. I stumbled upon FWO and decided to use that to help me stay on track. I started posting my chapters and getting critiques from other writers, and let me tell you what, it has been the best thing I have done to date. 

I was scared of course, but after the first few crit’s were done, and I realized my hair wasn’t on fire and my feelings were not really hurt, I fell in love. I cannot express how seeing what other people think of my writing, and what my faults are, has done for me. Not to mention having to crit other people’s work has given me insight on what does and does not work. I know that is pretty vague, but there would literally be thousands of words I could write and still not do it justice.

While on FWO, a wonderful writer posted about a tool called Scrivener. It is awesome. I will have to dedicate a post solely to this tool. Basically it pats Office on the head telling it that one day, when it grows up, it might just be able to do half of what Scrivener can. Here is a link to their site. http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php 

It is/was free for 30 days. And its not consecutive days either, it is based on the literal days that you use it. So if you only log in once a week, it will last 30 weeks. After that, its like $35 USD.
Now that I am really thinking about this, I have quite a few things to delve into and bring this blog up to date with what I have done. All I can say is that I have read more indie books in the past year than I care to mention… I think I have spent a couple hundred dollars on ibooks. Considering most books are less than $5, and I usually have a hard time buying one over 2.99, plus I generally stick with free books, only opting for purchasing books in a series with the first being free, you might have an idea of how many I have gone through. Run on sentence anyone? 

What is the purpose of such flagrant spending and time consumerism/sleep deprivation? To broaden my reading horizon and search out for what works and doesn’t work. Before I started reading self published books, I thought self publishing would be hard… It seems like any FT can do it. (Anyone that knows me knows what that abbreviation means. That particular word is one of my favorites. Hi Michele, tell your son I said to cover his ears.)

Not all of them are bad, and if they are, I still read them. I actually have an author I really like, even though she has some writing issues, her plots move me. I have re-read a particular series of hers at least 4 times in the past few months. No I will not call her out here. 

Sooo… you should be *mostly* up to speed with what I have done now. Except for one thing that is bugging me. I am ashamed to even talk about it.
I just started my Twitter account… I am not happy about that at all. Why? Well, funny story, that. Once upon a time, I had an employee who sat on the other side of a cubicle at my job. She has a bubbly personality and was constantly singing Beyonce lyrics and spouting off hashtags… every five minutes or less.
I am not kidding. Literally every 5 minutes I would hear hashtag <insert idiocracy here>.

It got so bad that I gave her a corrective action form (a demerit) for such behaviors. It was fake of course, but ever since, the other supervisors have constantly gotten under my skin by calling me hashtag. Or when I am at the other site they will go into my office and write a bunch of hashtags on my white-board. Or tape quite a few printed papers with hashtags on my door… I vowed I would never have an account just because hashtags annoy the crap out of me. 

That means that I will have to hang my head in shame and admit that I have an account now. #hashtaghell #walkofshame #Effoff. 

Shell – if you read this, that last hashtag was for you. 

Now that I think of it, I can get revenge by plastering them with tweets if they follow me. How about this #revenge.
Ok enough of that. I will say it was interesting to find out how to add the twitter link to this blog site. I had to bing it. I feel like an old woman out of touch with the in-crowd. But screw the in crowd. They are annoying… And so what if I don’t care for it? It just means I do not feel the need to express all of my life with a perfect stranger(s) and friend(s). I like being different. 

*Sigh* I LIKED being different. Effing yapping bird page.
Next up is FaceBook. Yay…

But its not all bad. I get to see posts from people like Neil Patrick Harris, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, and Bill Burr. You need to watch F is for Family on Netflix.

I promise I will get more organized with these blogs soon. But I like my randomness, so maybe not.

Crazy mess incoming

So I had this insane idea to start a blog… Before that, I had another insane idea that I would write a book. Now here I am writing to no one in particular, attempting to gain an audience of readers to share my experience with the entire process. And by entire process, I mean everything from starting a blog, engaging in social media (I do not currently have any FB, twitter, youtube, myspace, etc.) to the trials and tribulations (cliche I know) of writing a book, promoting it, and getting it published.

As I am writing this, I do not even have a blogging page yet (obviously I do now cause you are reading this), but I have started my book at least. Currently sitting around 120K words. In all honesty, quite a bit of those words will be in subsequent books in my series. I have roughly 35K words in the first part of the first book. So its not quite the beginning, but near enough. (Epic fantasy here I come)

Anywho, before I get into any of that, I guess I should introduce myself. Hi, my name is Kristol and I am an aspiring sci-fi author who is probably deluding herself.

I currently have a demanding job to top this all off. I am a Business Manager for a call center company, and the short of it is I deal with any financial impacting areas of the company which means long days and working weekends. I currently have a love/hate relationship with excel whom rules my working world.

I guess I should be a little more personal, but forgive me if it scares the crap out of me. I am not one to share my life with people. So here goes…

I am a book worm. Probably more like a giant earth worm or something from Dune to be honest. I am constantly reading something. I cannot stand to not be immersed in some new world or story. I have entirely too many books, in the range of 1K not including my newest digital library collection. No, not all of them are fiction, but a vast majority are.

I would say that my addiction started when Pizza Hut came to my school when I was younger and started the “Book It” program. In case you are not familiar with it, the kids would get a button/lapel pin (which, by the way, is an extremely hard to find word when you have no clue what to call it. Nix google and bing, yahoo to the rescue) and it had places to stick a star for each book that you read. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but either the kid that read the most, or gained a certain amount of stars, would receive a free pizza. I won a pizza every year for 4 years straight until I moved away from that school.

Even before that I loved to read. One of my favorite all time books is “The Unicorn who had no Horn”. I still remember it vividly. The unicorn had to go find its horn, and to gain a horn it had to go to a place with a bunch of crystals. The crystal grew into its horn. Sounds cheesy but it was magical for me. It’s on Amazon… I need to buy it.

I can’t remember the name of most of the other books, but if I ever saw them again I would snatch them up in a heartbeat. Specifically there was this woman who took everything literally, she was told to ‘dress the tree’ or maybe it was ‘dress the bird’ for Christmas and she put food on the tree or clothes on the turkey – horrible memory-lane here. She was always causing messes. I remember she had frazzled brown hair but thats about it. But I digress.

Besides being a Shai-Hulud, who strives to only eat rabbit food (vegan sometimes raw), I also like playing console/computer games. That is for another post I believe, but needless to say, I grew up in the world of Atari – blowing up animals in the earth with a bicycle pump would have been at the top of my resume, although my mom was, ashamedly, a thousand time better than me – which progressed to double jumping and rail gun head shots and now that I am older, Bethesda has my heart – choose any of their titles, and I have probably over-played that game.

So back to the point. Blog, write book, blog some more, edit book, blog that, find an agent???, maybe some blogs there, publish, blog about that, get my first copy of my first book, do a happy dance blog, sell books, blog about pains there, and make billions of dollars… probably won’t be blogging at that point.

First things first. Set up new gmail account and got a blogspot address. If you are here, obviously you know, but it is Lenaeu.blogspot.com. Yay! Boo to the 50 other names I came up with already being taken. And it is quite ugly as it stands – not sure if this will be the final name of the world in my book, and I am a horrible design artist. So first things first, I will be making it prettier ASAP. Of course I will pin it to my FWO account.

Did I forget to mention that? I am currently involved with Fantasy-writers.org. They are a wonderful group of people that help writers with critiques and writing tips/tools/techniques. I’ve been with the site since August 2015, and the people there are absolutely fabulous. Some are way above my head, but they are kind and gentle and rarely bite. So thats good. I decided to stick with this group as some other sites are not as well moderated and opinions run a bit too high for my liking.

So. What next?

No clue.

But rest assured, I am 100% dedicated to writing my book. And if that means I have to do a blog, book someones face, and sing like a canary, then I guess that is what I will be doing. Have I mentioned that I really do not like social media? Maybe the hint was the fact that I have never had an account before… or that I am a private person… or that I have never had a blog or video submitted to youtube. Or maybe it was the fact that I am a sandworm… Er… bookworm?

I don’t even know if this is considered too long of a post for a blog. Sorry if it was. But then again, look at me being all open…

If you are still reading this, then hoorah for me, maybe not you, although that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see you back here. Thanks for reading the insane thoughts of a crazy lady. Maybe one day these thoughts will put some money in my pocket.

Here’s to being certifiable.