Posts Tagged ‘advice’

support-indie-ebooks

 

Despite what the title suggests it is almost impossible for indie authors to conjure an army of fans. Sure, it starts with writing a good book, but it doesn’t end there. The adage that the work is “never done” has never been more true than it is for an indie anything, not just authors.
I’ve been playing with an idea that I can’t quite form into a plan about how to bring readers and authors together. Often the most used ways of communication lack cohesion and an initial contact doesn’t always lead to a lasting relationship. The truth is there are too many other options out there.
Recently I’ve spoken to a number of newbie indie authors who are looking for advice and guidance. It’s surprising just how much knowledge one gains in such a short period of time. In this game you have to learn quick or you’ll find yourself alone and swimming against the current.
It doesn’t help that there are so many people offering author services who are inexperienced or lack the professionalism required to do good work for an author. You can throw all the money in the world at your book, but if you don’t throw it at the right person you’re just going to find yourself poorer and no better off.
We need to come together, to build a platform where new authors can be helped along by more experienced authors and readers need to be a part of that process. If a reader knew just how much time and effort went into not only writing a book but trying to get people to notice it, then I think we would begin to see a movement of readers towards a more committed behaviour.
And newly published writers who work with practised writers would immediately have access to the gathering of readers that followed the latter.
Maybe I’m dreaming of a utopia that will never exist. But I refuse to believe that the knowledge built by one should not be utilised by those who come after.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

Love of darkness and light…

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purple spark

 

Let’s take some to write about process. Ok, first thing is first, I need to put in a small disclaimer. All writers are different. While there may be similarities in working practice that does not mean that all writers work in the same way. I’m saying that to hopefully prevent a debate on my own practice! I don’t proclaim myself an expert, all I can do is share my thoughts.
So unless you’ve never heard of me before, or this is your first visit, I’ll say again Explicit Instruction is now out and available for purchase here. Writers can work on several projects simultaneously, priorities have to be set, but just because you’re writing/editing/publishing one novel doesn’t mean our imaginations shut down. It’s not as simple as, “That’s my latest novel out, what’s next?” I’m already toward the end of my next project!
To write about my whole process would lead to a novel sized blog, we’re obviously not going to do that. So we select one part, let’s start at the beginning.
The Spark.
Loosely there are two kinds of writer, the planner and the pantser. More often than not those methods will occasionally blend or overlap. But every story starts with an idea. Sometimes it’s a line of dialogue, sometimes it’s something we see in our day-to-day lives that has us smiling to ourselves in the most inappropriate of situations. But every story starts with an idea.
It’s not as simple to say that the idea creates the novel. It doesn’t. Not even close. There are ways that writers can encourage ideas. It can get to the point where you literally have to sit at your computer, snap your fingers and say, “Be creative – now!” There are times you have to force an idea but once you have it the process usually becomes more organic. But we’ll get to that another day.
If you’re a fledgling or aspiring writer it’s important to recognise these moments. The flicker of inspiration can be brief. But when it strikes you have to mentally acknowledge it. Writer’s block is a different thing. Motivation in the midst of writing is different. However, inspiration doesn’t strike with a lightening bolt or flash neon in front of your eyes. It doesn’t stand up and declare itself. Often The Spark is something intangible. I’ve experienced The Spark while standing in the street, I’ve had it while looking at art, I’ve had it in the middle of conversation about a completely unrelated issue. I’ve had it in the middle of the night while I’m “sleeping”.
So what does it look like? How do you recognise it? If it doesn’t declare itself how do we know if we’ve experienced it? Simple. Any thought that creates an emotional response can be channeled into our work.
You need an example? Ok, you’re walking down the street, late in the evening, and you see a bunch of teenagers walking down toward you in a gang. Maybe you’re wary, your sixth sense prickles, you experience fear. There, right there, you can use that emotion to create, maybe the heroine is walking down the street, enveloped by the gang and mugged. Inspiration. Or maybe the teenagers laugh and lark around until they see an elderly person struggling with their shopping, then the gang run over and help. Again, this could be used as inspiration, maybe in that gang one member stands out, maybe a relationship of trust develops and the teenager becomes like a surrogate child, maybe they end up inheriting the elderly person’s unknown millions. Maybe one of the teenagers falls over and is mocked, so maybe your hero and heroine meet when one falls at the feet of the other.
This is of course a very simplistic and general concept. But it’s about recognising that moment and finding a way to tailor it to lead to another moment in the plot and another. Whether you sit down and write immediately, or take notes and flesh out the story, every novel begins with an idea.
It doesn’t have to be something physical. Maybe it is merely a thought in your head, maybe a “what if…” scenario. It could come from anywhere, but you have to recognise it.
This is the boring bit. You’ll have heard it a million times before. But it’s impossible to stress this enough. If you have an idea, no matter how huge, or how tiny – write it down! Get yourself a good quality notebook, something durable enough that it will last a lifetime. You’ll go back to it. I promise you. You’ll never remember it. Write The Spark down. Put as much detail as you can, and if you can, spend some time with The Spark. In writing down The Spark you’ll find yourself having another idea, one leads to the next. No matter how disparate or uncertain it seems, write down everything that comes into your mind.
So always remember, there are ideas everywhere, and all it takes is experience. Find the idea, write it down, the rest is a dawdle… ok, so maybe it’s not. But without The Spark there is no novel. You need The Spark. Locate it. Record it. And you’re on your way…

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx