Thursday, September 15, 2011

Publish America wants you to like them

Remember a month or so ago when I blogged about Publish America offering to send unpublished manuscripts to JK Rowling and get her to critique them for a small fee? Not surprisingly, a shit storm erupted, because it was a pack o' lies people! Publish America did NOT promise to give anything to JK Rowling! They said that JK Rowling was from Edinburgh (known fact people) and that if she went to the Edinburh book festival there might be a chance that she might meet the people from Publish America and might agree to look at the books. See! They didn't promise anything! They suggest. They hint. They wink their eyes. But they never, ever, promise a thing.

Every now and again I go on their facebook page to see what sort of evil schemes they might be plotting and how many more deluded souls they have managed to hoodwink. Publish America must be slightly worried about their image because they ran a contest on their facebook page urging people to write in and say how much they love Publish America! the winner gets a $100 cheque in the mail!

I still do not understand why ANYONE would ever go with this publisher. All you have to do is a simple google search and you will get dozens of results screaming "THIS PUBLISHER IS A SCAM!!" I mean, Jesus, how much more of a red flag do you need? It's like the old saying goes...if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, then its a freaking duck people!! Do your research. Do not listen to PA's poor attempts to show how much people like them (look! look! this person says we're awesome. It must be true) and go and talk to someone who knows the business.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are bookcases going out of fashion?

IKEA has said that it is going to make its BILLY bookcase come with deeper shelves because it thinks that more people are using them for things like ornaments and photo frames instead of well...books.

Is the printed book slowly dying out? Will there come a time when shops no longer sell bookcases? I am a bit of an IKEA whore. I have dragged my poor, loving boyfriend to that store so many times. I have 2 large bookcases, 1 display cabinet, 1 lamp and 1 small bookcase. Yeeeahhh...I have alot. In my defense I actually use mine for books except for my display cabinet which is mostly for my Sailor Moon figurine and manga collection (Hey everyone needs a hobby).

I personally think that there will come a time when the printed book will become like records. You will still be able to buy them...but in specialty shops only. They will become conversation pieces. Quirky little things. I think ebooks are the future. I love my IKEA bookcases (if I did not have them WHERE would I put all my picture frames and candles as well??) what I do not like about books is how much space they take up in my house. I seriously cannot buy another bookcase. I have no more space for them!

Maybe IKEA is onto something here? Maybe people aren't using bookcases for books anymore. Or at least that is where things are headed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why do I write?

I was talking to my friend on the phone the other day and started talking about what makes me want to write. When I was younger I was driven by the dream of becoming the next J.K Rowling (along with a gazillion other young writers with stars in their eyes)I wanted fame! I wanted money! I wanted to be able to write full time for a living and to be able to go into bookstores and find my books on the shelves.

When I got older I slowly realised that the chances of me being able to make even a decent living off writing were very slim. The chances of me ever reaching J.K Rowling popularity were even MORE slim. I stopped writing to try and be famous. It took time but eventually even the idea of qutting my job to be a full time writer stopped being appealing to me.

Why? Because I knew having all that time to write would probably kill my love of writing. Writing can be very boring sometimes. I will do it for hours and on most days do about 500 words. When I get bored I stop. I learnt a long time ago not to force myself to write. Other writers would call me lazy. I have tried pushing myself to write in the past. It stressed me out and made me get writer's block. You cannot force yourself to be creative. It has to come naturally. I believe the best way for that to happen is to make writing FUN.

And that means not doing it every second of every day. I have days off. I don't do it at night after work. I will maybe write a sentence and then have a 30 minute break. Yeah, it takes me forever to finish a project, so what? At least I finish my projects. Alot of writers don't. I don't care about writing speeds. I see alot of people on the net who proudly claim they can write a novel in a week. Good for them. I wonder how much of what they have written is any good?

Why do I write? For fun. If I don't write at all I am bored. If I write too much it gets boring. It's a delicate balance for me.

Will I ever be super successful? Probably not. Do I care? Yes and no. I want to continue to get published and I will promote what I do manage to get published like crazy. Will I ever be able to live off my writing? I doubt it. But that's okay. For reasons I do not know my brain requires me to do this. It needs this creative outlet. So as long as I continue to find this thing fun I will continue to write.

I've started rewrites!

I finished the rough draft of Deep Embrace last week. It came in at 190 pages and just over 66,000 words long. Not bad! not bad at all! It's a perfect sized little novella. If it had just been a little bit longer I could've been able to market it as a tiny novel. In the past two weeks I have done so much work on it. I rewrote the beginning to include a prologue that shows Helios's kidnapping, wrote an epilogue, and decided to go back and add an extra chapter before the ending. After 12 months I am finally able to begin fixing the problems with Deep Embrace that have worried me for so long. It feels so great! I've started the rewrite of chapter one and it is SO much better than the stupid original version.

I start off in Scylla's cave from Scylla's point of view. Perse, the main character, does not enter until close to the end of chapter one. I've cut out ALOT of pointless description and backstory, which I didn't even realise was nothing but pointless fluff until a couple of days ago. It was a major palm head slap moment. You would think that after all these years of writing I would not be making the same stupid mistakes still, right?

The simple fact is beginnings are HARD. I never really know what I'm doing. I might have an idea of how to start. The image might be there. It's putting it into words that is the tricky bit. Usually, with most writers, we do not get into the real swing of things until one or two chapters in. I acutally read somewhere once to cut out the first chapter of a draft completely. Maybe even two. Cut those out and you will find your true beginning.

They're right too. I have cut out all of that pointless description and have found my true beginning which is with Scylla in her little cave. The rewrite of chapter one has been going so well (I'm barely on page two and I am almost near the point of revealing Perse's sisters!) I might actually be finished by next week. Then all I have to do is rewrite the beginning of chapter two and the beginnings of chapters three and four. The rest should be fine (there are 13 chapters in all).