Friday, February 15, 2019

#QueryFriday


It's that time again, everybody! Enter here for a chance to win a query critique by yours truly! Here's how to participate:

1. Comment on this post and at least one other post from this week by *SUNDAY 2/17 at 12 pm*.

2. Leave your email address in the comment or have it available on your Blogger profile. (Or else I can't find you!)

The winner will be announced in the comment section of this post on Sunday.

See this post for additional rules. Good luck!

-Nathaniel

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dear O'Abby: I hate revising. Do I have to?

Dear O'Abby,

I love writing.  I've written more than seven novels now, and I just adore the flow of ideas onto the page and following my characters where they want to go.  But I hate revising.  Which is why I've written seven novels.  Instead of revising the one I just wrote, I freeze up at the thought of it and then abandon it to go and chase the next shiny idea.

When I've gone back and re-read my older novels, they're actually pretty good.  I like them, anyway.  Do I really need to revise?

Thanks!

Non-Editor

Dear Non-Editor,

At the end of the day, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do.  No one is sitting there with a gun to your head telling you you have to revise those manuscripts (if there is, please call the police).

But if you want any of those manuscripts to ever be published, you're going to need to revise.  I don't think any writer ever gets everything 100% right on their first pass.  If you've re-read and you think the story works, and the characters are lively and realistic, that's awesome.

But has anyone else taken a look?  And have you checked for things like inconsistencies in time and place and names?  I re-read a manuscript about three times before I realized for an entire chapter I called a character Harry when his name throughout the rest of the book was Henry.

And then there's grammar and tenses and all kinds of other niggly things that sometimes slip in and need to be weeded out before you send a manuscript out.

Revising is an important part of writing, even if you don't cut whole scenes and rewrite the beginning to fit better with the ending.  Or merge two characters into one because neither of the original ones really pulled their weight.  Or changed the POV because it didn't really work in first person...

And that's only your first few rounds of revision.  After your critique partners and beta readers get through with it, you will probably need to do a couple more rounds to fix things they noticed and you didn't.  If you get an agent, it's likely she will ask for another round or two of revisions too, before she feels the MS is ready to go on submission.

So the answer is yes and no.  If you are writing to be published, revision is imperative.  If you're writing for yourself and don't have any ambition to be published, feel free to skip any part of the process you don't enjoy.

But I used to be just like you.  Revision bored me.  Now I love it.  It's actually almost my favorite part of the writing process.  I love shaping something wonderful out of the word-vomit I spew when writing a first draft.

So maybe give it a shot.  You might just surprise yourself.

XX O'Abby

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Nidhi GS's Debut Author Spotlight Operation Awesome on the #AtoZChallenge Book Tour

#AtoZChallenge 2019 First Book Tour badge Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

WHEELS OF TIME by Nidhi GS


1- Where did the idea for this book come from, other than the alphabet and the challenge?

meditation

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

write from your heart

3- What ignited your passion for writing?

good stories ignited my passion for writing. I read a lot and whenever I read a good book, it inspires express my thoughts and emotions through writing.

4- Why did you take part in the A to Z Challenge the year that your book was "given life"?

to learn new ways of writing by reading experienced as well as new writers

5- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?

@nidgratefulsoul

6- Do you have any other books coming out soon? What other books do you have available?

short stories on Buddhism

7- What is your favorite month?

All months are my favourite, i have a special corner for Jan as it's my b'day month.

8- What most motivates you to read a new book?

heart touching content

9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!

Author name: David Michie @DavidMichieOm
Title: The Dalai Lama's cat
Love because: it has changed my life forever.


10- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

my mentor Natasha Sinha. You have to ask her about it. @NatsCosmicrain

11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

love and gratitude towards life. Every story will resonate with the readers

12- What do you love most about the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?

Discipline for writing.

13- Why did you start blogging?

to explore my passion of writing

14- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

their courage and heart filled with love.

15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks

they are common people yet diverse in their perception about life.

16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?

All of them who took time to read and review my book.

17- What writing goal do you hope to accomplish this year?

finishing one more short story book
Wheels of Time is a #MustRead on the #AtoZChallenge Book Reviews, Tour, and Blog Hop!
18- Why do you think readers should write book reviews?

because we are writing for them.

19- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

be honest

20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

These are 12 people, 12 tales and 12 months. Which says "When The Unexpected Leads to Expected."

https://www.theblogchatter.com/download/wheels-of-time-nidhi-garg/

https://gratitude2wardslife.blog
Twitter @nidgratefulsoul
https://www.facebook.com/buddhistoryteller
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18112173.GS_Nidhi



WHEELS OF TIME by Nidhi GS

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Writing a Reverse Outline

Hello friends! I don't know about the rest of you, but it seems that every time I do NaNoWriMo, I burn out for a while afterwards. And this year/cycle/whatever you want to call it, I burned out for a solid two and a half months. I stopped querying my manuscript, I stopped reading for my critique partners even though I'd just taken on a new one, and in general I stayed in bed about 18 hours of the day and didn't really leave the house.

Yeah. It was bad.

Recently, though, my partner nagged me into being vertical for an extended period of time. I needed something to do, and I'd played way too many hours of video games. So I came to terms with the fact that it was Time.

It was Time to Revise My NaNoWriMo Manuscript.

Ughhhhh.

I started by dragging myself to my laptop rereading what I'd written. It wasn't terrible, and I was pretty pleased with some parts of it that I had thought were dumpster fires while I was writing them. But I just...didn't know where to go from there. I vented to one of my writing buddies that I knew what I wanted to change, but not how to change it. And, like the gorgeous font of amazing ideas and perfect advice that she is, she suggested I make a reverse outline.

A reverse outline?

What is this mysterious creature, you ask? Yeah, I hadn't heard of reverse outlines, either. The idea is that some people make outlines before they write their manuscripts with the major plot points or what needs to be revealed at what point, etc. With a reverse outline, you make an outline after the manuscript is completed. That way, you can get a better sense of where to insert the changes you want to make, and you don't have to be searching through the whole document for that one scene where I think the main character says this to her friend but then her friend is ambivalent, yeah, where'd that go?

Yes thank you I am very organized.

Anyway, if you're stuck in the revision trenches like I was, give this a shot. It might give you a better sense of the timing of your manuscript and just where you should be making edits. Make sure to get down not only the major plot points but also the things they influence, like character reactions that will be important later or information this plot point brings out. Then you can go through and note where you want to make revisions. It's also a good idea to note where you did a good job! It's like encouragement from your past self :)

And because I'd be remiss if I didn't include an example, here's an excerpt from my own reverse outline:

Excerpt from my reverse outline for my manuscript, tentatively titled GIRLS BREAK THINGS. The main bullet points are the major plot points, and the secondary ones are reactions to that plot point. I've also commented on the outline to make notes to myself about other things to consider that didn't appear in the manuscript.

Check out the Dear O'Abby post this Thursday for more information about revising!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Dear O'Abby - I think my publisher is going under

Dear O'Abby,

I've been with a small press for three books now, with my fourth supposed to be published last month.  They have always been really responsive, but recently my emails have not been answered, my release date has come and gone without my book showing up on any vendor sites and I didn't receive any royalty statements for the last quarter.

I've heard about other small presses going under, and these seem like alarm bells to me.What is your advice?

Regards,

Frightened


Dear Frightened,

You're right to feel nervous.  Those things set the alarm bells off in my head too.  It upsets me when I hear stories like this.  My first publisher closed its doors a few years back, but it was very civilized and within a couple of days of the announcement, I had a letter stating my rights had reverted and all final royalties were paid within a month or two.

Are you in touch with any other authors who are with this press?  If so, I suggest you contact them and ask if they are getting the same treatment.  One missed royalty statement could be a mistake, or it could have disappeared into your spam and been deleted by accident.  If lots of authors are missing statements it points to there being a problem.  Especially when added to the missed release day.  Although there could be a good reason for this too.

If other authors are unhappy and frustrated too, and no one is receiving replies to communication, I would suggest all is not well with your publisher.

You should also read over your contract.  There should be a clause in there about what happens if the company becomes insolvent.  There should also be a clause regarding termination and how to go about it if you decide you wish to cancel your contracts with this publisher and get the rights to your work back.

Unfortunately, your publisher needs to respond for you to be able to exercise this.

It may be that this is just a bump in the road.  Some small presses work with a skeleton team behind the scenes and it only takes one person to be out with the flu for a couple of weeks to throw everything off kilter for a while.  But if the pattern continues and new books aren't releasing on time or at all, emails continue to be ignored and royalties are not being reported or paid, you may need to get legal advice.

Even if you never manage to recover the missing royalties, you will want to get the rights to your work back so you can find new homes for your books.

I have my fingers crossed that this works out for you.  Do let us know...

X O'Abby

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Deborah A Stansil's Debut Author Spotlight Operation Awesome on the #AtoZChallenge Book Tour

#AtoZChallenge 2019 First Book Tour badge Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

Twisted Tales by Deborah A Stansil


1- Where did the idea for this book come from, other than the alphabet and the challenge?

Partly from observation of human nature, partly from my own twisted imagination ;)

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Just write. A first draft is just that. Let your words flow and go where your mind takes you without focusing on perfection. Perfection comes much later.

3- What ignited your passion for writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing creatively and from being a child I always had this idea in the back of my head that one day, I’d love to write a book. I think it came from reading a lot as a young child (and that’s never changed).

4- Why did you take part in the A to Z Challenge the year that your book was "given life"?

I did it for the first time the year before and I loved it and I really wanted to get my fiction out there. Twisted Tales was my first book!

5- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?

My Twitter handle is @randommusings29 Writer friends are @JH_Moncrieff and @plynne_writes Both are great writers and really supportive.

6- Do you have any other books coming out soon? What other books do you have available?

I have a new novel coming out this year hopefully.
Twisted Tales 2, Twisted Tales 3, The Joker, The Mirror, The Asylum Tour, Lacey Patrick and the Wizard of Darkness, eBook Like a Boss, Start Your Blog Like a Boss, Optimise Your Blog Posts Like a Boss, Parodies and Piss Takes.


7- Please provide something from your book that is EXCLUSIVE to this tour:

Excerpt:
That piece of writing caused more trouble for me than I could ever imagine. It cost me my friends, most of my family and of course my freedom. They feed me the platitudes – “it’s for my own good” “they want to help me”. None of them make up for my freedom. I’m not in prison, at least not in the traditional sense. I’m in an institution for the criminally insane. It’s no different. How can it not be prison when I’m not allowed to leave? I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me take you back to how it all happened. After all, it’s not like I’m short on time.

8- What most motivates you to read a new book?

The cover

9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!

This is such a hard question to answer because I have so many favourite books. I’m going to go with a new one to my favourites list.
Author name:Adele Parks @adeleparks
Title: I Invited Her In
Love because: The characters feel so real, and they draw you into their lives effortlessly. The story is full of twists and turns and it will have you laughing one minute and raging the next.


10- What writing goal do you hope to accomplish this year?

I want to finish up the novel I'm currently working on and write a new short story collection. I'd also like to write at least one more non-fiction book and get started on another novel.

11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

I hope my book does two things; send a shiver down a reader’s spine, and makes them question what they would do in some of the situations. I hope all of the stories resonate with readers in their own ways.

12- Do you have a favorite #bookstagram image or account/ profile?

No, not really. I’m not that into Instagram.

13- Why did you start blogging?

I wanted to get back into writing for an audience. It was only ever going to be a short term thing, but I fell in love with it, and here I am, four years later.

14- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

The characters in the stories all share a twisted nature; one that causes them to do bad things. Maybe sometimes for good reasons, or maybe not. I’ll let my readers be the judges of that.

I think one of the more memorable characters is Karen, who is a mixture of cynical sarcasm, and yet is strangely naïve at the same time. I think this combination of personality traits make her pretty memorable.

15- diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?

I think the Gone series by Michael Grant has such a good range of diverse characters. In particular, I loved Dekka.


16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?

I always enjoy the reviews by Jenni from Odd Socks and Lollipops. Her reviews never fail to make me want to read the books she is reviewing.

17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

I chose to self-publish initially because I didn’t want to have to wait for a year or more to get my book in print through a traditional publisher. I enjoyed being in control of all of the elements of my book which is why I have stuck with self-publishing so far, but who knows what the future holds?

18- Why do you think readers should write book reviews?

I think writing a review is an excellent way to show support to writers whose work you enjoy. Such a simple thing can make such a difference to writers, especially newer writers who are hoping people will take a chance on their work.

19- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

What, as a reader, most sends a shiver down your spine?

20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

Twisted Tales is a collection of twenty-seven short horror stories. Ranging from crazed stalkers, killers, dealing with the Devil and everything in between, this collection shows the darker side of human nature in all its black glory.
Journey through the twisted minds of the central characters as they make their choices, and watch their lives spiral out of control.
Hate them, empathise with them, and stay on your guard. There’s a dark streak in all of us just waiting to come out.


https://goo.gl/FrXC4V
https://www.myrandommusings.co.uk
@randommusings29 Twitter
@myrandommusingsblog Facebook
@debrandommusingsblog29 Instagram
@randommusings29 Pinterest
https://goo.gl/FrXC4V Amazon Author Page- UK
https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewritersdengroup



Twisted Tales by Deborah A Stansil
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01H94D1MS

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

#FirstPageImpressions 02/05/19


It's time for the very first...



#FirstPageImpressions has officially arrived! That first page is so important, and I hope this event will provide some solid feedback. I'm so excited to get this event off the ground, and I can't wait to see your first pages!

Rules reminder:

1) You must comment on the #FirstPageImpressions post in order to enter, as well as comment on one other Operation Awesome blog post from that week. This will be checked, and failure to comment on another blog post will result in your entry being invalidated.

2) If you are the winner, please make it easy to contact you. If you are not comfortable with leaving your email in your comment, then please make sure that your blogging profile has your contact information listed.

3) Entry comments will be accepted until Thursday, 12 Noon, EST. The winner will be selected by a random number generator and announced Thursday evening in the comments section.

4) Your critiqued first page will be returned to you via email in an attached document with notes in the margins within 7 days.

5) If you have won a first page critique, you will not be eligible to win another until 3 months have passed. Critiques will not be done multiple times on the same first page. If you enter again, it must be with a new story. (If you have won a query critique from #QueryFriday, you are still eligible to win a first page critique.)

6) First page means first 250 words, regardless of spacing. If this cuts off a sentence, use the last sentence that will put you below 250 words. We use the word count checker in Microsoft Word to verify this. If your entry is over 250 words, you will not receive feedback.

Friday, February 1, 2019

#QueryFriday


It's that time again, everybody! Enter here for a chance to win a query critique by yours truly! Here's how to participate:

1. Comment on this post and at least one other post from this week by *SUNDAY 2/3 at 12 pm*.

2. Leave your email address in the comment or have it available on your Blogger profile. (Or else I can't find you!)

The winner will be announced in the comment section of this post on Sunday.

See this post for additional rules. Good luck!

-Nathaniel