The Block

I’ve hit it, the writer’s block. I’d love to scream, “Oh, whoa is me!” but that would get me no where and bore me to tears.  Personally, I find the block not so bad. It’s like your brain telling you a small vacation is in order. What I tend to find is the time lets me clear my mind and something even better than what I had planed sprouts up. This time I’m sure some poor reviews have hindered my flow–I should never read reviews :/–but either way my writing hiatus has begun. I think I’ll take this time to work and play a video game lol!

Adult Fiction Conventions Vs. Indie Book and Teen Book Conventions

I’m getting real tired of readers today thinking the way teen books, and e-books by the majority of indie-authors, are correct for adult reading. Seriously people, don’t assume that crap is correct and then read something actually written correctly, with correct conventions, grammar, and spelling, and think it is jacked up. Open up a print book and compare, most indie-authors are trying to write correctly but according to the way major publishing companies edit manuscripts, these e-books are all messed up, and teen books fall in a completely different set of conventional standards since young readers don’t have the ability to read more complex text yet. These indie and teen authors are flooding the market with these books and in turn are changing the way adult readers think books should be written.

Examples:

People would think this is correct – 

I heard a knock at the door so I walked to it and opened it to see my friend Kyle waiting for me.

THIS IS WRONG PEOPLE!!!

CORRECT -

There was a knock at the door, drawing my attention away from my readings. Standing up, I went to it to discover my friend Kyle waiting on the other side.

I see this too often. The top one would be fine for a teen book, like maybe 5th grade reading, but the bottom is how adult books should sound.

Here is an example of dialogue done wrong and right:

Wrong:  “No,” I shoved him back a few steps, “I’m not going with you!”

Right:  “No” —my hands hit his chest, shoving him back a few feet— “I’m not going with you!”

In that example, nearly ALL indie authors don’t know how to use the em dashes to add action to dialogue. 

People, before you leave reviews, or blog about books, be sure you know if they are written correctly or not. Don’t read tons of indie books that are not edited by CMS or teen books and then read a correctly formatted adult book and think it is jacked up. 

As an indie author, I don’t quibble too much when I read bad conventions in indie books, I get it, I used to do the same thing. If you read my early books they are poorly edited–something I’m in the process of fixing. But I won’t leave a review saying it is correct, I will leave high stars, kind remarks to the story, and add, “With some editing this would be perfect.” That is it, that way others know it is a good story, but not correctly edited. It would be nice if all e-book readers and adults who read teen books knew the difference when they read a correctly formatted adult book so that they too could leave educated reviews and suggestions for books.

Ugh… Why do I do this to myself?

Okay, so if I see a title to a book that consists of 25 words–yeah, 25–I know I shouldn’t even look at the sample because it’s going to get my back up. As an author, I try to stay positive, leave only good reviews, but sometimes… Sometimes, it’s like the author is just asking to be torn apart. I’m happy to say I didn’t do it this time. *pats on the back all around* But, why do I even do it to myself? Why do I bother to click on it when the title alone says, “I’m a huge pile of crap!”? It boggles my mind. I’ve been lucky at times, where I went in apprehensive and found a gem of a story. Its my fault though, the Bigfoot related title, and the odd image, and the fact the title alone was more words than needed, all sucked me in like an addict seeking out their due punishment. What killed me most in this “book” was this:

8===D ~~~~ ({})

…yeah, you know what that is? It’s a dick jizzing in a pussy (excuse my language) and that is what the author put as her breaking symbol between the legal stuff and the beginning of the book. You know, that thing that normally looks like this ~ or this *** she did THAT! *SMH* 

I wish I could say lesson learned, but I know that would be a lie. Some other crap looking thing is going to suck me only to make me go, WTF!? and I will skim it and then try with all my might not to leave a poor review, because I don’t need that kind of book Karma.

Oh well, I’m not a fan of pregnancy milk sharking lesbian erotica either, or elderly erotica, but I’m sure plenty of people out there likes both of those, so to each their own. 

 

Fiverr

So when looking for stuff on the inter-webs I found a site that is like those freelance bid sites I have seen before. I like this one though because the stuff starts at $5. In order to spread my name out there and help budding indie authors, or folks who want to be an author but need a bit of help, I have put up a few ‘gigs’ on fiverr. One is nuts but will be fun. I am offering to write up to 10,000 words of your idea for only $5! Now, it won’t be no fancy, epic work. This would be a first-run, no edit rough draft someone can build on. If the person likes what they get though they can edit and publish under their own pen name with just a thank you to me, no note why, just a thanks, in the acknowledgements. The other two ‘gigs’ I’m offering is conversion for publication to Smashwords or Amazon. They are both $5 each too and will be a quick way to make a buck or two lol.

Check out the short story offer below and make your won gig if you want ;-)

~Roxie

http://www.fiverr.com/roxannefox/write-a-short-story-for-you-based-on-your-interest

Sometimes it’s all worth it … and hey, a free book!

My aching fingers, my aching bottom. After putting Coming Home up I noticed, after downloading and reading on my iPad, there were still LOOOOOTS of errors. FML, right? Well, lesson learned. I need to upload my books on Smashwords then immediately download them to edit. I have to read them in iBooks while I have my laptop open to make the edits. Time consuming? Yes. I’ve read Coming home for edits like eight times now … ugh. But, now I know the process even though I’m sure there are still some errors. Reading as a reader makes it much easier to see those errors, but as the author I will not find them all. As an indie author who is poorer than poor and just starting out, this is my only option since I can’t afford editors at this point in the game.

So, after drudging through and editing, I’m hoping for the last time on my end, I decided to see if there has been any feedback on the near done book since it’s been technically out for a week or whatever now. I’m happy to say someone still loved it and is looking forward to the next :D One post like that on Facebook was exactly what I needed after a long day of editing Annan’s first book. Thank you Laura. Having you as a new fan, and seeing that post, really made my week. You rock!

Thanks all for the read,

~Roxie

 

Oh, and if you want to read Annan’s first book it is free:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/456760

Shameless promotion

Okay, okay. So, usually I keep the whole read-my-book crap off of my blog but this time I’m breaking my rule. Smashwords is having a site-wide sale and I have added Amelia and Lucius’s story to the promotion. It is FREE for the month of July. At checkout enter the code SW100 and the book is yours free. This is only good at Smashwords so you have to download the book from there. Click the link below and tell your friends. I love this vampire romance and I hope you do too.
Laters,
~Roxie

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/330362

Good to Know

Until this morning I had never heard of The Elements of Style, and I can now say I’m glad I never had. Having graduated with honors you can see why I’m glad I’ve never encountered this misinformed piece of text used by many who should burn it. Hater much? Yes. Oh, why might you ask? Well, according to the text those last few lines were incorrect. In researching the validity of the “little book,” as it is referred to by some, after having read it, I found a significant group of haters out there. According to one article the authors of the book were grammatically illiterate and many of their examples went against well established literature of their time. It was a good read so I included a link to it below.

Now don’t get me wrong, some advice was good in it. Gems such as “omit needless words” was good. However, many suggestions were downright wrong or written in a way which contradicted the advice the author was giving. What really got me was the fact even the newest edition had antiquated advice in it, like spelling tomorrow as to-morrow. Who does that?

So, to anyone who writes or edits using this archaic book, put it back on the shelf with the other outdated tomes and get a new bible. Might I suggest The Chicago Manual of Style which many US manuscript editors use? It might read like what it is, a manual, but the advice you get is solid and won’t make you sound like an illiterate buffoon in your writing.

http://chronicle.com/article/50-Years-of-Stupid-Grammar/25497

Oh, I get it now

In my mind I have been feeling this churning; things are brewing it seems. Which is odd, considering I have spent the better part of the last two days sleeping…of course, my creative flow might have had something to do with that. Either way, when I am not sleeping I am in a fog, a strange funk of something, and I can feel the characters coming back to life. It’s sort of this strange reverse zombification, or like a space explorer waking from a years long cryosleep, and in this awakening questions of my readiness have been arising.
When this happens I like to skim tips and tricks, read a book, and generally get a feel for where I should go by looking at where others have been, and in doing that today I had an epiphany of sorts. Bogging myself down with all this you should you shouldn’t stuff I read online, ripping through BS I find in iBooks, or with wondering how well received my work will be when things like Fifty Shades of Grey is popular–and for proper author etiquette I will keep my opinion about that fan fiction, because that is what it is, to myself–does just that, bogs me down. Before, I had thought feeling-out my place in the literary world was what I should do, but trying that today has caused me to feel less encouraged to write and has actually been clearing the necessary fog of creation from my mind.
Lucky for me, I recognized what was happening as I was reading a tyrannical rant on Twilight. I thought, “I don’t want to be this kind of writer who spends more time complaining about how others write, or telling others how to write. I just want to write.” Oh, and trust me. I’ve gone off on some Nazi like rants in reviews. Over use of the word “that” eats at me when I read, as well as when people tell you what is happening instead of using descriptive language, so there have been times I lay into someone who has obvious fake reviews to beef reader interest. Am I proud of these moments of weakness? No, I’m not, but they’ve happened and I’m sure they will happen again. As for now, I can see how this behavior has added to my writers block instead of clearing it. The fog is good, I want it there. Maybe this little eye opener will help and the writing train will bore full steam ahead. It seems that is where I am headed, and I am happy for it. Now I just need give in to the urge to start dragging my laptop around with me wherever I go.

Meh and, yeah, whatever.

So I haven’t written on my computer in a while, but I have been carrying around a pad of paper which I’ve been hand writing Ariel in–yeah, so not looking forward to transferring THAT bad boy–so writing has been meh for me. It’s all still there, I can hear the conversations and I know this long sequence of events…but maybe that in itself is where the problem lies. I see this huge road for Annan’s book series, as well as one for my first erotica, Lizzy’s Lesson, and on those roads are offshoots of other stories as well as full detours for work, and kids, and life in general. So now I’m looking at these HUGE stories and am getting anxiety over it. Should I continue and write when I can? Should I sacrifice family and work to write more? Should I throw in the towel and not write at all unless it’s lesson plans and notes to school? These are some of the thoughts rolling through my head and I get all, “yeah, whatever,” about it. I love when writing isn’t a chore, when it flows and comes out faster than my hands can hit the keys, not when I’m all meh about it and I have to shove each letter out like I’m passing multiple kidney stones. 

So, here is where I’m at, and no I’m not throwing in the towel but I am scared of how huge the task seems and I don’t understand how other indie authors are able to put out a book a week. Do they do nothing but write? No kids, no significant other, no work, no life, just words–and not even that good of words–flowing forth twenty-four-seven? It’s mind boggling to think of. Lucky for me small things show me I should keep going, no matter how slow the progress, and never give up. For instance, a silly quiz saying I should be a writer, or the fact I still get consistent downloads on what I consider mediocre work. Those small things help keep me moving forward and as long as I take it one step at a time eventually I will see the end of that road, even if it is years from now.