Sacrificing Plot for Political Correctness

You know how you’ve always heard the advice that you should keep writing to the end of the manuscript before you even think of editing? Before you delete anything? It’s lovely advice when it works. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t. Writing the sequel to The Broken Prophecy has turned out to be just such an instance.

I stopped writing A Hollow Vengeance halfway through because I just wasn’t feeling it. After some exploration and the advice of my marvellous, patient, and very astute peers, I realized that it wasn’t working because I started writing it from a place of guilt. That’s right. I felt guilty for having focused so much on Damon in the first book. I worried that I hadn’t done enough for Phoenix.

The first draft of Blood of Midnight featured Phoenix as a character who was introduced halfway through the book and ended up just being the main character’s love interest. Thank the Gods that I didn’t stop there and instead took my time to learn more about character development, plot, cliché, and the frustrating lack of good female protagonists in fantasy and fiction in general. I committed to having a fully fleshed out character who could stand on her own, who was three-dimensional, had a personality, goals, hopes, fears, and is just generally not a sock puppet or a cardboard cut-out of a person. Continue reading “Sacrificing Plot for Political Correctness”

They’re Heeeeere

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Woo! I ordered a small stock of my Blood of Midnight: The Broken Prophecy paperbacks from Createspace so I can sell them locally. I hadn’t even taken them out of the box yet and a friend told me to bring one to her house so she could buy it. It seems that most people are still very much attached to the paper-and-ink format of books despite the wonders of ebooks. I sell many more paperbacks than I do electronic copies even though the ebook retails for only 3.00CAD.

Well, I can’t argue. I like the feel and smell of a book in my hands as much as the next guy though if I’m travelling, it’s Kobo or no-go. Readers want what they want and I’m happy to provide.

I had a wonderful 30th birthday celebration. The house was packed with friends playing with Lego, eating pizza and candy, doodling in colouring books, and of course getting in touch with our inner child via alcohol. I like to take the opportunity to have fun and be silly on my birthday. We call them “kidless kid parties” in which we bring together the things that remind us of our youth and forget about responsibility for awhile.

I’d like to share one of the lovely presents I got from my friend Jocelyn.

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This is a custom-made notebook just for me with a dragon eye on the front and my name on the spine. I didn’t know she had such a talent! It’s so cool. She even gave a tutorial afterwards on how to make one of our own. Soon, the Bonavista Writers’ Circle is going to be all blinged out with our own personal writing books. If this doesn’t inspire me to get writing, I don’t know what will.

So, My Book Got Pirated

Yes, you read that right. My ebook, Blood of Midnight: The Broken Prophecy, which is available for only three dollars, got pirated by General EBooks. Not just once, but twice. For the Smashwords/Barnes & Noble version and again for the Kobo version. If it hadn’t been for a post on the NaNoWriMo Facebook community, it probably would have been ages before I found out about it.

This is my face right now.
This is my face right now.

I’m not alone in this either. There are many other ebooks that have been offered up for free download without consultation with the authors. If you have been a victim as well, you should take a moment to read Has Your eBook Been Pirated?, an article by Molly Greene on what to do to protect yourself.

As for me, I’m still reeling from this. I attract very little attention. I’m not in-your-face with my advertising. I don’t regularly google myself or my work. I guess I’m the kind of person who (naively) thinks that if my book is good enough it will be discovered and enjoyed. I priced my book as low as possible while still making a very small profit (about a dollar a book), knowing how it feels to love books but have very little income.

Look, if you absolutely can’t afford my book but desperately want to read it, message me and explain your situation and we can work something out. I’m human too. I won’t be a jerk to you.

If you are an author, especially an indie author, or you know anyone else who is, please let them know about this so they can have a chance to protect their property.

EDIT: A friend of mine also linked me to the SFWA Information Centre where you can find lots of helpful info including templates for DMCA Takedown notices. It’s a site geared toward sci-fi and fantasy writers but the info is applicable to any writer. You don’t have to be fluent in legalese. There is help out there for you.

NaNoWriMo 2014

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BAM!

Yes it’s been another great November for me. I finished my 50k wordcount on the 26th and was able to take a couple days off besides. I took a break from writing for the rest of November and now I’m working at finishing the novel.

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, I strongly suggest you take a look. It’s a blast.

As for Blood of Midnight, I’m going to wait until I’ve finished my NaNo novel to decide what’s to be done about Hollow Vengeance. It’s possible that I’ll publish the NaNo novel first. Hollow Vengeance needs a major rip-tear-and-repair job before I can enjoy it enough to write it in full. I mean, if the author hates it, the reader can’t help but hate it. I would much rather push back the release date than put out something that is crap.

In other news, I’ve signed up for Jill Jepson’s Review and Renew Writing Challenge 2015. I found it so helpful last year that I decided to do it again. It starts in January, so if you’re interested, you still have a chance. It’s free.

Thanks for stopping by y’all.

Shifting Gears – NaNoWriMo 2014

I’ve been struggling with Blood of Midnight: Hollow Vengeance. It’s been going slower and slower until there have been days where I haven’t been writing at all, too intimidated by the prospect of slogging through another chapter. When I began writing the sequel to The Broken Prophecy I very much wanted to focus on the female lead who got less attention than her male counterpart in the first book. It annoys me that there are far fewer female protagonists than male, and even fewer female protagonists of colour. Very often, the only female characters of note end up being the male lead’s love interest and nothing else. I did not want that to be the fate of Phoenix.

But there’s a difference between what you should write and what you want to write. I found myself not wanting to write Phoenix but feeling like I owed it to feminists and women of colour. I rarely ever get inside this character’s head. Is it because she’s female? Is it because she’s not white? I don’t know.

The feedback I’ve had so far from people who have read the chapters from Phoenix’s point of view has been universally positive. They like her. She’s a badass. She doesn’t take shit from anybody. She’s complex. She sometimes makes the wrong decisions and has to deal with it … So what’s my problem with her? Continue reading “Shifting Gears – NaNoWriMo 2014”

A New Life – Short Story

Author’s Note: This is a short story that follows When Casey Met Staruff. Both are set in the Blood of Midnight universe. Hope you enjoy!

A New Life

 

Freden Baysmuth glowered at Casey but the young giant was not intimidated. Having just stared death in the face and won the wounds to prove it, an angry father was nothing by comparison. Bram didn’t look up from his tending to the ugly hole where the arrow had been ripped from Casey’s chest. Perhaps he was just intent on doing a proper job of it, but Casey suspected his elder brother was avoiding looking at Freden.

Continue reading “A New Life – Short Story”

Blood of Midnight Short Fiction Update

The next short story I’d like to present for your reading pleasure will be about Casey’s decision to leave his life of yak-herding to make his fortune as a mercenary. Naturally, his father is not pleased.

As is the bane of my existence, I have yet to decide when along the timeline the story should start. Events for me are a continuous stream, much like real-life history. That, however, is bad storytelling and I wish only to give you the interesting bits to read.

Send some good mojo my way y’all! I’ll get on it as soon as I can.