Friday, December 23, 2011

WritingTips 6

The Occupational Hazards of Writing

We are well acquainted with hazards of many occupations. Chemical plant workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals and the always present danger of explosions. The Discovery Channel has brought us the dangers of deep sea crabbing. We can just imagine all of the hazards of coal mining, logging (the most dangerous job in the world) and perhaps wild animal training.
Some of our more sedentary occupations have their built in occupational hazards. Office workers are exposed to chemicals in synthetic rugs and chemicals from printer and copier toner. And of course we can’t rule out the psychological hazards of office work such as being exposed to toxic bosses and/or co-workers. We can see how office stress leads to weight gain and even mass killings. Something is going on in America’s offices and it’s not being talked about at the coffee bar.

Writing has its own built in set of occupational hazards. Most people think of writing as someone lying languidly by the beach sipping a cool drink (perhaps in the south of France--whatever that means), and day dreaming about the next plot. Or some conger up the image of a guy hunched over an old type writer, with a pile of cigarette butts and crumpled papers lying about, grimacing and taking a swig from a bottle. I think the latter is closer to the truth. The hazards of writing:

1. Failed Relationships (What’s a relationship?)

4. Ill health

Writing is not easy. It’s even harder in today’s publish yourself digital world. In the old world of publishing, you got an agent to hold your hand (if you were lucky) and coddle you through the process. Then the editor and you battled to produce a “good” book, which of course meant sellable or saleable. Now it’s all about you and the reader in almost direct and instant interaction. Well the writing might not be instant, but the publishing is and so is the reader feedback when you are writing in the popular genres (romance, urban, vampires). If you don’t want instant feedback, perhaps write poetry or call your book literary. So you ask yourself:

a. Is my character believable?
b. Is there a big hole in my plot?
c. Are the scenes in a chronological sensible order?
d. Are there moments where my dialog sounds robotic and canned?
e. “Oh my god! I’ve used “nad” for and three times!” Yes grammar and spelling mistakes.

Of course it’s easy to correct those errors once your readers happily point them out to you with ratings of one * out of  a possible five ***** stars and comments such as “Did you use your pre-schooler as your spell checker?”

Being prolific and well ranked has some down side too. You’re churning out blockbuster after blockbuster, getting those five ***** nad (haha) AND making that paper. But your diet is pizza by the cardboard box load and maybe diet soda. There’s no time for the gym or sex. So we battle the bulge until fat wins the war.

So nope writing is not easy. I have a sneaking suspicion the only folks enjoying the South of France are the widows and widowers of famous dead writers. However as we head into the new year, let’s resolve to bring balance into our life.

1. Find time to get out of the house at least once every couple of days.
2. Hit the gym twice a week
3. If you must, write like  a maniac 330 days a year, but then take a month off.
4. Take a break between books. (Of course tell that to the muse who’s now the new spouse in your life making you feel guilty)
5. Watch your diet
6. Open the venetian blinds and let a bit of life in.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Amazon Zanies -- Come one Come All - Have A Prosperous New Year

Coming Soon
The Democratization of the publishing world does produce some zaniness out of this world. Yes even the mentally ill can get published. But I like a Democracy. It's all about freedom and choice. As the Pastor says, "The Doors of the Church are now open." The days of having Agents and Publishers slam doors in your face are soon to be a thing of the past. How do you make it happen for you?

1. Write Well
2. Revise Well
3. Edit Well
4. Market Well
Make 2012 your year to get published.
Amazon KDP   Barnes&Noble Pubit  Smashwords  CreateSpace

And now the zany...If this person can navigate their way to Amazon and get published, surely you can.

Re: My book size is small compared to my original document. 
Posted: Dec 17, 2011 9:52 PM    in response to: sunever

First, to answer Mr. notjohn, about me not having a credit card and thus not being worthy to publish, you must understand that not everybody on earth is supposed to have one, did you ever try to get one as a socially assisted? You can't, probably half or more of this planet never touched a credit card and they are as good as you, and that bring me to your second surprise as to the how in hell can I be so incompetent with word as to end-up with a 7.5 MB book! Well, this book is a lifelong investment, I spent 12 years on it, it got a million, yes sir, a whole million words, and that's why it is big, and that's why I'm under social assistance and can't get a credit card, you think you can write a million word books on weekends? I started this book at 26 as French Quebecker that barely understood English, and I didn't have time to make a stash of money for my old days, so I’ve been under social assistance until now to write this book and nothing else.

And another thing you must understand is that when you start such a quest, you don't think of the money at the end, or when you'll be done, and your sole goal and reason of existence is the book, so it just happen one day that you're finished. So one day I woke up and said the book was done, but I woke-up to the reality that I lost contact with the whole world too, I never used the internet in my life before finishing the book, in fact, this is the first ever text I write on a forum. As for the book, nobody ever read it until now, i battled a panoply of publishers at all sauces to come to the conclusion that they were only after money and they didn't want to read a line of a book, nobody ever published a million words book it seems while there are dictionaries and bibles all over the place, and the argument don't even stand as at .9 size it can fit as a thousand pages book, anyway this whole industry is a mess of profiteers, so either I self published for 12000$ while I can't spare 10$ or I abandoned and I would have done all this for nothing. But I discovered Amazon and until now, I’m very happy they exist.

Finally I’ll thank Mr. bkhitch and Mr. bigtoad; each answered half my question, but I’ll mention that I already passed my book through a few different previewers, with satisfactory results, I did mention that the online previewer showed things to be relatively good, nobody seems to have read that phrase, my problem was just that I was not sure about the end result as sold since it was almost half size.

Thank you all for your help. And by the way, if you want to know what a million words book look like as fat paragraphs, “a flower to life” is the book. 

His Book: A Flower to Life
Disclaimer: This in no way represents the quality of Amazon books and stories.

My Stories
My Manhood is Very Important to Me
Betty's House
Red Underwear
The 520i
The Cicadas