Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Wordsmith Collective Thursday – Can We Avoid the Shiny & New Writing Idea?

August 11, 2022
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With the first draft of the second book in my crime fiction trilogy off to beta readers, I can rest easy for a minute. Of course, the plan is to begin the third and final book during National Novel Writing Month but… as we all know something shiny and new can always draw us away from the ‘should do’s’ and entice us in other directions.

In common with many writers, I have a stack of manuscripts in various stages of completion. A western romance, a suspense novel, and a YA romance. These manuscripts have been dwelling in digital folders for some time, and I keep reminding myself that they should be revised and edited and then set out into the world. Alas, a new shiny project always seems to take precedence and steers me away.

However, the one shining brightly at the moment is none of these. Rather, it is a prequel to my Rython saga. It will tell the story of how the vengeful witch, Malgraf became such a malignant force. I have mental images of locations, the young Malgraf and her childhood experiences manifesting into story and it is so enticing. I am even thinking which colour I should use for the book cover! As you can see I have a gorgeous blue and green for the other editions, but need a darker feel for the story of the witch, for obvious reasons. A cover always tells its own story and sets the mood for the reader.

So, how do we avoid a new idea? Well, there are several predisposing conditions.

  1. A publishing deadline.
  2. Reader expectation.
  3. To continue the flow of a series.
  4. Keeping the characters front and center to ensure continuity.

These can help drag you away from a new and shiny idea – but not always. It all comes down to your self control and if you are under a contract. For me, I will explore my new story, jotting down scenes etc. and possibly use part of NaNoWriMo to write it. It will be a novella, in line with the other two editions, so will leave me ‘space’ in November to start the final book in the trilogy. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!

How do you avoid a new story idea? Or do you succumb to the excitement?

What’s Your Motivation for Writing – Money, Success or Satisfaction..?

July 21, 2014
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What is your motivation for writing?

Let’s look at each scenario:

money

a) Money – we would all love to be a best seller and have fame and fortune like the ‘big’ names, such as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and the like. However, we need to be realistic – firstly can we manage to get a publishing contract with a big publishing house? How many years are you willing to wait for that? If you use the self-publishing route how much of your time (unpaid) can you sacrifice for promotion? Should you give your work away?

These links will give you an idea of the practicalities of writing with monetary visions foremost:

http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/01/how-much-do-writers-earn-less-than-you-think/

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2008/11/validation-of-money.html

success

b) Success – once again we should temper our expectations. Global sales are a dream we want to make real but maybe measure our success on more of a local level. Do you have your books in local bookstores, the library, offered at local events? The more you attend and promote within your own locality the more your ‘success’ becomes tangible. Articles in the local newspaper could have people approach or question you in regard to your being an author. Social media allows us to expand our locality, of course, but starting small will give us a firm basis from which to start. Never under estimate the power of word of mouth for promotion.

This link has a list of concepts:

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/03/01/definition-of-success/

satisfaction-

c) Satisfaction – Although this is third on the list, I feel it is the most important of all, as having your words, ideas and stories readily available for people to read now and for future generations, is the penultimate success. Our narratives will be enjoyed and relayed long after we are gone. It is our legacy.

A tongue in cheek link:

http://magicalmusings.com/2006/03/27/10-advantages-of-being-a-writer/

Obviously, a mixture of all three of the above would be the perfect scenario.

What do you consider the most satisfying part of being a writer/author?

The Downside of Publishing..?

August 20, 2013
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Nullify – definition: to cancel; to render or declare legally void or inoperative.

invalidate

In lawvoid means of no legal effect. An action, document or transaction, which is void is of no legal effect whatsoever: an absolute nullity — the law treats it as if it had never existed or happened.

As writers, we have to deal with multiple aspects of the writing journey. Once we have ‘finished’ writing our manuscript there is the editing and revision to tackle, followed by feedback from beta readers and more revision. Researching venues to place our story is next on the agenda. Do we self-publish or submit to traditional publishers? If we do find a publisher and they accept our work what is the next step? Well, it’s probably reading a contract with the compulsory small print. I am not, in any way, qualified to give advice on this particular subject. However, I did find some interesting links that discuss the downside of some contracts. The first link is from a site I regularly visit – Writer Beware.

http://accrispin.blogspot.ca/2011/06/getting-out-of-your-book-contract-maybe.html

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/less-than-minimum-wage-for-authors/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/the-traps-in-publishing-contracts/

http://jakonrath.blogspot.ca/2012/05/unconscionability.html

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jan/10/joe-simpson-publisher-ebook-royalties

I suggest getting legal counsel of some kind to read through any contract. The legalese is more than the average person can handle anyway.

Do you have a contract experience you can share?

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