Secondment to Hell

If you read my previous blog post, I Never Learn, you would be forgiven for thinking that my prolonged absence from my blog was due to feverish writing activities related to my second novel. Well, you’d have been wrong. Of course, the real likelihood is that my absence never crossed your mind at all, but for ego purposes, I’ll pretend that’s not true.

Unfortunately, for the past six weeks, I have been rectifying the mistakes of a member of staff who, let loose on some basic accounting for my husband’s business, managed to wreak havoc previously unknown to the general accounting world. Actually, no not the accounting world. To man. And although my faith in mankind has diminished over the years, this person put a pretty major dent in what was left of it. Don’t think it was deliberate sabotage, though. This was the work of somebody with about three brain cells. Born that way or a product of an uncaring society? I really don’t know. I might have cared six weeks ago, but after all that mind-numbing number crunching, my ability to do so has evaporated, along with most of my brain cells.

But anyway, back to the writing world.

Whilst I’ve been seconded to hell, Kindle has introduced the much-maligned Kindle Unlimited page count thingy (bear with me, trying to get back into the swing of writing words here.) The first morning it popped up on my screen I’d had 96 pages read. I mentioned this to my husband and suggested that the reader was perhaps in America and had now gone to bed, thus stopping at 96 pages. My husband facetiously countered that perhaps the reader had gone to the toilet or was making a cup of tea. It then occurred to me that this pages read thing was just too much information. Here I was speculating about why a singular person, who had been reading my book, had stopped at 96 pages. I do not need to know this, or know when someone is even reading my book. It is completely OTT in the information department! Some authors I know are even wanting more information like how many readers were reading it on any given day and even, at what page has a reader stopped reading (so they know if there’s a theme building and they have a super-boring chapter that’s making readers lose the will to live.) Is it me or this is taking things too far?

Furthermore, why did Amazon feel the need to do this in the first place? Profits wise I don’t have a problem with it, if anything I seem to have had more KU’s (based on number of pages read) in the last couple of weeks than I’d ever had before. But it is such a strange concept. If you purchase a paperback and then never read it (which I’ve done countless times) or just read a couple of chapters (ditto) the author still gets the royalties, which they deserve to get. So why is this any different?  Is this soon going to happen with songs? You download a track, start to listen to it and realise it’s crap, will you get a proportional refund? Or an album which only has four good songs on it, likewise?

But I think the thing that is bothering me the most (other than the fact that the internet is taking over the world) is the monitoring of us that these companies are doing. They know when you’re reading a book now! How much of it you’ve read! And I bet they are keeping tabs on purchased books as well, not just the KU’s but they’d never admit that. I’m coming across as paranoid now, but that’s  probably because I am :D.

I Never Learn

Despite my previous blog post discussing the trials and tribulations of that famed nemesis for writers, ‘the difficult second novel,’ I have to admit that I did not really believe in Second Novel Syndrome.

You would think that by the age of thirty-six, I would have learnt that dismissal and judgement will only ever come back to bite me in the arse, wouldn’t you? (A bit like pre-children, I judged the parents of badly behaved children. Wow, did I pay for that one.) But no. I recall seeing a fellow writer lamenting the writing of her second novel and I smugly thought that I would have no such problems.

I’m sure you can see where this is leading.

Damn, am I stuck. I decided to finish a book I started to write four years ago. Last week I continued writing it before realising that it was going nowhere. So, I planned to change it. Then I planned to change it again. Then I decided that my new idea was a whole lot more serious than the original one so I would have to remove most of the humour element. Then I realised that that just wasn’t me, not right now anyway, maybe for book three. So I changed it again. I now have a hazy idea which is getting clearer and clearer but I’m half thinking it would be easier to just start a new book from scratch.

Perhaps the last couple of weeks will finally teach me not to be so dismissive. In the meantime, I have a hell of a lot of work to do!

What To Do (And Not Do) When Approaching Editors- Guest Post

authorkdrose

Today we have a fantastic guest post by Richard Held from Held Editing Services!

Hiring an editor has its benefits. An editor can make typo and grammar corrections, eliminate passive voice, alert authors about plot holes and patchy character development, and can offer advice on character and plot development, as well as assist with fact-checking and other tasks.

Some authors, however, do not know how to approach an editor.  When these clueless scribes contact an editor, the latter often finds his/her time is wasted—and time is money for an editor, especially a full-time one.

Here is what to do—and not do—when approaching an editor.

Do: Communicate clearly.

Do you think your manuscript needs a detailed proofread to eliminate lingering typos, or do you think your document needs a light copy edit to eliminate some rough grammar?  Knowing what kind of help you need before you query will help smooth the…

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Second Novel Syndrome, The Difficult Second Novel…

I decided to circumvent the problem of the so-called difficult second novel by finishing off a novel I began writing four years ago instead. I got 42,000 words into this original novel before beginning to flounder, unsure of where to take it.

Now, with my considerable (ahem) experience of having written and published an entire one novel I am confident I can return to this original one and shape it, and have even gone so far as to write a plan for it (and that is certainly a first.)

I do have one slight problem, how on earth am I going to write the bombshell ending? I am rather stumped at the moment. I could easily write a rather ridiculous, all singing, all dancing, OTT, flamboyant ending which would ensure any reader deigning to pick it up to throw it back down in disgust. But I don’t want to do that. There are no doubt books on the market which tell me how to write a good explosive ending, but I guess I’m a little protective and want my work to only be mine and come only from me.

But I’m sure it will write itself in the end. Characters tend to take the story wherever they want it to go by themselves.

So all that remains is for me to sit my backside down and actually get on with it.

Author Spotlight: Kate-Beth Heywood

An author spotlight on… me! Thank you, Elisha xx

European Geeks Publishing

After meeting Kate-Beth Heywood on WordPress, I knew that I wanted her to join the list of Geek’s spotlights. Cover 6 x 9Her writing comes across as educated, well-written, and unique. Make sure to check out her book, Anti-Social Media, and follow her social media accounts to keep up with Kate-Beth’s humourous writing!

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’d been writing short stories since I was about nine years old, but it wasn’t until I was twenty-seven that I realised that I actually wanted to do it for a living. I even studied journalism at university but a year into the course, I wished I had studied English Literature instead!

2. Which writers inspire you?

Agatha Christie’s natural storytelling ability is something I both admire and am rather jealous of. And I really love Kate Atkinson’s characters; she’s fantastic at characterisation.

3. Do you write full time or…

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Book Review: Anti-Social media, by Kate Beth Heywood

A fantastic review for Anti-Social Media from Ron Giesecke. Thank you rongiesecke.com

Master Of None

511bJ4IcpgLWhen Kate Beth Heywood swerved into my blog and started following me, I was pleased to find that she–like me–is fleshing out her dreams of publishing books. And she has done so here.

I’ve swerved into a few books thus far because of the blogosphere.  And since I have now forced myself become a “one-book”reader, instead of emotionally and mentally balkanizing myself into a lifeless, procrastinatory fog, I have to get to each of them in order.

This one is the lone exception, for two reasons. One, the book is not very long, and two, it is not one that intends to take the reader very far past the second dimension.  And this is on purpose, and makes sense. Why? because it is about the two-dimensional world of social media, and how disaster is waiting right around the corner when two-dimensional people are armed with said ordinance.

In short: a young…

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