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Other writing projects/goals?

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WriterByNight View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WriterByNight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 1:25am
Originally posted by jenspenden jenspenden wrote:

I've actually spent the past two years developing one of my NYCM entries into a novel. Some of you might remember it. It was called "The Darkness Whispers." It was my round 2 entry for the Short Story Challenge 2015. Basically it was a ghost story about an insane artist who killed his muse. 

The novel version is quite different from the short version, but still. It's pretty exciting to see some of these ideas from the contest develop into something much, much bigger. 

Goal right now is to have my novel polished and ready to query to literary agents by late summer/early fall. EEKS! 


AND IT IS EXCELLENT! I had the pleasure of beta reading it a few weeks ago. Very well done. I can't wait to see it in bookstores. I'm so proud of you, Jenna. 

As for myself, I'm kind of in the same boat as Jenna with my novel and I have a few other projects in the works.

Love seeing what everyone else is up to :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (8) Thanks(8)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 1:38am
Originally posted by MattrickBT MattrickBT wrote:

I think it really depends how lucky you are and your intended audience. Young Adult, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi has a much more fervent base for self-published work, then again, from my experience, that's what a lot of amateur writers like to write so there is also more competition. Another big strategy these days is writing a series of books to hook customers into (hopefully) paying for the rest of the books so you have a returning consumer base.

I've had people read my stuff before and read a chapter or two and ask me where the horror is, and the horror comes after establishing characters, world etc. Despite there being plenty of horror, gore, and tension in the novel, I probably alienate readers by not giving them that stuff off the bat instead of it being a reward for patience, and giving it off the bat would throw the entire book into disarray :/

I think I've resigned my fate to being an author that probably won't have mainstream success (too graphic/controversial and less accessible) as an author, but I think my novels could be adapted to screen successfully. And, hopefully, I'll be able to adapt one or two myself in the future.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that a large majority of readers are women (I read recently something like 73% of books through amazon were purchased by women) so writing content women would like can help a writer be successful. I'd already wanted to write my very long novel Nova Kane (would be considered Women's Fiction), but that is my novel which probably has the best chance of catching on, I think. And if it does, and I can float by on that drama series, i'll have the freedom to write all the horror I want.

So, let's see...

1. It all comes down to luck
2. You don't need betas and see no value in anyone else reviewing your work
3. When readers tell you that your pacing is slow and geared toward 'what you know is best for them' rather than what they actually find interesting, that's the result of their impatience, not anything you might actually need to work on.
4. Expensive editors are a waste of time for self-publishers (based on your vast library of successfully self-published works)
5. You have no idea how to dis-aggregate statistics (else you'd know that the 'women buyer' figures, in order to have any constructive meaning, have to be broken down by genre - which would show you the extent to which, for example, romance makes up a chunk of that - leaving significantly different statistics for remaining genres) - or don't see the need to, since "women readers" are one big holistic stereotypical block
6. You have no regard for the skill and market knowledge that goes into the many other talents of this field, and are convinced you can do those professionals' jobs as well yourself, because hey how hard can it be, right? You're as good at designing an effective, salable book cover as anyone who has actually done the job professionally.

And yet you feel eminently qualified to instruct everyone in the place (including quite a few repeatedly and successfully published authors, professional editors, and professional writers) what you have determined to be The One True Answer to - darn, so far, just about any question that has arisen.

I can't figure out whether you are trolling, or whether you are a teenager who is just too young to figure out that there is stuff you don't know.  Since I make it a point to be positive and supportive in these forums, I am not going to respond to your stuff any more, and I think you might learn an awful lot if you attempted to engage some of the other folks around here respectfully, rather than the tack you're taking at the moment.

Best of luck to you, kiddo.


Edited by nixie - 19 Jul 2017 at 1:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattrickBT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 1:56am
Originally posted by nixie nixie wrote:


So, let's see...

1. it all comes down to luck


Catching lightning in a bottle isn't engineered.

Quote 2. You don't need betas and see no value in anyone else reviewing your work


This is incorrect and not what I said at all.

Quote 3. When readers tell you that your pacing is slow and geared toward 'what you know is best for them' rather than what they actually find interesting, that's the result of their impatience.


I'm already aware I'm not writing for the mainstream. I'm not writing for everyone. Not everyone will find what I write interesting, but some do. If a reader needs horror immediately then they aren't apt to enjoy my work. I'm fully self-aware of the pros and cons of such an approach.

Quote 4. Expensive editors are a waste of time for self-publishers (based on your vast library of successfully self-published works)


Again, not what I said at all. I said it's going to require a lot more good fortune for the investment to pay off and no writer should expect to make a bunch of sales, as such expectations can lead to disillusionment and defeat. And it might not pay off for traditional publishers either, but self-publishing should be the last resort.

Quote 5. You have no idea how to dis-aggregate statistics (else you'd know that the 'women buyer' figures, in order to have any constructive meaning, have to be broken down by genre - which would show you the extent to which that number represents, for example, romance makes up a chunk of that - leaving significantly different statistics for remaining genres) - or don't see the need to, since "women readers" are one big holistic stereotypical block


Actually, women love crime stories, mysteries, horror, and thrillers also. Romance may be mostly read by women, that doesn't mean that's all they read. I'm not dissecting a bunch of statistics I don't have. Nothing wrong with keeping in mind that a novel that is also appealing to women can help sales.

Quote And yet you feel eminently qualified to instruct everyone in the place (including quite a few repeatedly and successfully published authors, professional editors, and professional writers) hat you have determined to be The One True Answer to - darn, so far, just about any question that has arise.


I've done nothing but state my opinion. I am sorry I have opinions that you disagree with. I wasn't aware that a writing forum was a place where opinions are frowned upon and shamed. I suppose I was wrong.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (8) Thanks(8)   Quote plkphoto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 4:11am
MattrickBT --

You might feel that you're just "stating your opinion" but in many, many places on this forum, I've seen you force your opinion on people and not value anyone's response. To me, that is not "stating your opinion" -- people here are happy to debate ideas and often do so. But you bash other people's opinions, you don't offer yours as an opinion but state it as THE ONE TRUE WAY that is not open for debate. I know that I'm not the only one that reads your posts this way.

Case in point, in a thread that was designed for people to easily find betas to exchange stories in the middle of the time crunch, you hijacked the thread with this "opinion," which Nixie is citing above:

Originally posted by MattrickBT MattrickBT wrote:

I'm of the firm belief not to waste your time with beta readers, especially in a time crunch format such as this. All that matters is YOUR vision. Perhaps pick one person, a friend or a family member, whose opinion and taste you value, and leave it at that. In my experience, most random people on the internet offer the worst advice and often just placate your effort with empty praise. Time spent dealing with betas, reading their comments, uploading your stories, is time you could spend on your story. Beta readers are killing writing. Not sure why writers are so afraid of writing in a vacuum as people have written for centuries upon centuries.

Now, this forum is not "random people on the internet" -- it's writers. Writers of various skill levels, granted, but all writers. Even a few professional editors. I've found the feedback and beta help here to be invaluable. So have many, many others. We always have a beta thread so people can find others who are in the same boat, in terms of time crunch, and who have some skill that can help you improve your writing. The people here can often offer better advice than someone who knows you well and may not have the same skills or understanding of the problem.

It is even more important to find skilled beta readers with such a time crunch, because you're so close to your story it's hard to see the flaws. There's no time to "step away" from it, and come back with fresh eyes. Having multiple betas is very helpful.

Have a look around, read some of the critiques people have received from the contest in previous years... see if the criticism here is worth it to you -- because I think you'll find that this is not a site where people just provide:

Quote
self serving "I'll critique yours just so you'll critique mine" and lots of praise.

Now, I know there are sites and writing groups where what you say is true, but when someone respectfully disagreed and said why they thought betas were important, you decided to bash them even further (basically implying that this describes the people in this forum):

Quote I've been on many sites throughout the past and I've read some ATROCIOUS writing where people just tell them how great it is, and then when I critique and point out a bunch of problems, they get offended and call me a prick for being honest. Also, the criticism is only as good as they are at writing, so feedback from a bad writing is more harmful than no feedback at all.

It's generally a good idea to look around and see if what you're saying is true before you indiscriminately bash all the people that you're supposedly trying to "help" with your "advice." I've been around here for a while, and you get far better critiques from the people on the forum here than you do in many writers groups. I also know that you get far better critiques from your fellow forumites here than you do from the judges, who are professionals, but who have less time to dedicate to the stories because of that.

The people here are extremely helpful and very knowledgeable. There are a wide range of abilities and experiences. When people express their "opinions" here, they often have a lot of experience to back them up.

On this thread, which was meant for people to talk about their projects, you've hijacked by continuously returning to the idea that people can't make their investment back on editing. The way discussions work is that you put an opinion out there with your reasoning, and others disagree politely and explain their reasons... then the subject drops. You don't continually tell people that their opinion and reasoning are wrong -- especially when some of those people are actually in the publishing business, and know what they're talking about.

If you want us to respect your opinion, then respect other people's. Almost everything you've posted in the forums here (as someone new) has been either a disagreement with something someone has said or a boast about your own skills. 

I know I'm not the only one who has found many of your posts extremely aggressive and dismissive of other's opinions. We welcome discussion here, but please try to be less aggressive and understand that there may be more than one "right path" and not everyone needs to follow yours. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote plkphoto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 4:27am
Returning to the original purpose of this thread:

I've got a few of things going at the moment, that are all somewhat related. 

I'm working on the first novel in what I hope to be a 9-book series, if all goes to plan. I've got the basic series outline and plot outlines done for each of the main books. I've got detailed plans for the first and second novels and am about 70k into the first (it's sci-fi and I tend to overwrite a lot on my early drafts, so I expect the first draft to be between 150 to 200k when done... and trimmed back to around 110k by the time I get to a final draft). I just got to a new setting, though, so I've stalled a bit while I catch up on some research to fill in a few plot holes that I can see looming on the horizon.

I'm also working on a short story collection that will be tangentially related to the novel themes. I realized I have nine stories that all circle around the same theme with a bit of tweaking (half from NYCM stories and half from other prompt competitions I do), so I've decided to develop them all a bit further and shop them around as a collection. Also as a way to break into the market before trying with my series (or alongside the first novel of my series).

I'm also collaborating with my partner on a non-fiction guide book. He's taking the lead on that one and helping me with my fiction in return, but it's on a subject that we both know a lot about and have both worked on... and also relates to the research for my novel, so it all goes together somehow. Smile


Edited by plkphoto - 19 Jul 2017 at 4:27am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndrewShootsScores Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 10:05am
Originally posted by ShroudedWolf ShroudedWolf wrote:

I just finished my rough draft of a flash for the Midwestern Gothic contest. I've really enjoyed the contest--plus it's free. :) Round 3, the last round, is still open for anyone who wants to take a crack at it. You didn't have to participate in all rounds, and top 2 stories in each round will be published. One caveat: You have to be in, or from the Midwest United States to participate. 500 words based on a photo prompt.

Thanks to your post, I stayed up an extra couple hours last night and wrote a really fun little story for this. (Or, rather, I should say... I had fun writing it!) Thanks for mentioning it here... and good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jenspenden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 10:09am
Originally posted by WriterByNight WriterByNight wrote:

Originally posted by jenspenden jenspenden wrote:

I've actually spent the past two years developing one of my NYCM entries into a novel. Some of you might remember it. It was called "The Darkness Whispers." It was my round 2 entry for the Short Story Challenge 2015. Basically it was a ghost story about an insane artist who killed his muse. 

The novel version is quite different from the short version, but still. It's pretty exciting to see some of these ideas from the contest develop into something much, much bigger. 

Goal right now is to have my novel polished and ready to query to literary agents by late summer/early fall. EEKS! 


AND IT IS EXCELLENT! I had the pleasure of beta reading it a few weeks ago. Very well done. I can't wait to see it in bookstores. I'm so proud of you, Jenna. 

As for myself, I'm kind of in the same boat as Jenna with my novel and I have a few other projects in the works.

Love seeing what everyone else is up to :)

Thanks, Maria! You're an AWESOME beta reader. I've incorporated so many of your suggestions to make my novel stronger. Can't thank you enough! 

Looking forward to reading your novel! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patsy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 10:52am
Am doing Fiction War this weekend Confused 
And working on finishing my Mag Mor novel that got second looks in the Ignite the Flame Contest, where hopefully someone may be interested in picking it up for publication.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ShroudedWolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 11:38am
Originally posted by AndrewShootsScores AndrewShootsScores wrote:


Thanks to your post, I stayed up an extra couple hours last night and wrote a really fun little story for this. (Or, rather, I should say... I had fun writing it!) Thanks for mentioning it here... and good luck!

Great! I wrote one last night, but my beta readers are confused about it. I'm considering just writing a new one, but I'm not sure yet. I may be able to salvage it. I really liked the idea.
CH1:G58"Unexpected Repairs" Suspense

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LyndaD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 5:01pm
Originally posted by steph9289 steph9289 wrote:

I am doing a different writing contest this upcoming weekend! I found out about it through this forum! It's called Fiction War. It's a similar concept: 1000 words in 3 days! They are still accepting new people! Link below if anyone is interested. :)


Thanks for sharing this!  Thought I'd give it a try as well -- then found out both my usual betas are unavailable!
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