Wednesday, November 26, 2014

He wrote about the sea, but all that came out was a dry desert.

I really have to work on my writing style and technique.  My writing is extremely dry and boring.  I have discovered that I tell too much and show very little.  Additionally, my characters show little of their personality and hardly ever speak.  I find that I narrate my stories almost completely and that is boring.

Having read countless articles and how-to's on this matter.  I think I've the solutions and fixes worked out.  I just need to work them out in my novels.  Presentation and timing in another issue.  In the current novel I'm working on, the main protagonist doesn't even appear until chapter 2.  Chapter one is spent entirely on describing the surroundings and the other characters related to the story.  There isn't even any dialogue until page 7 and that is short.  The dialogue picks up and the balance between narration and dialogue starts forming, but at this point, I have already lost the reader's attention.

I need to rework the beginning of the book.  It must instantly grab and hold the reader's interest.  I feel I did a beautiful job describing the scenery, but I doesn't need to be the first words.  I must rework it elsewhere in the story, So I removed the first two chapters and am starting the book where the action starts.  The characters description and scenery will be gradually worked in throughout the story as needed.

Major changes have already been made in the current Novel.  I changed the main protagonist from being a male to a female.  The story is about a viking slave desiring their freedom.  The character not only gains her freedom but becomes a legendary shield maiden.  There are plot twists, subplots, and turns to make it memorable tale.  I believe it to be a good story, it just needs to be written better.

Thoughts and frustrations from an aspiring writer....

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Distracted Writing Nightmare

It is so hard to get any writing done with all the distractions.  The TV in the background, the kids, other gadgets in the background.  Worry about this and worry about that.  What's this kid doing?  What is that kid asking from me.  This kid is bored and just wants some attention.  Can I make them this, can they have some of that.  What do I want for supper, asks the wife.  Am I going to cook this for this holiday.  So and such is doing this at work and I must be informed of it.  What time is it?  I have to pick this kid up from school.  The dog has to be walked....again.  Why are the kids so quiet now, I have to go check on them.  I have to clean this mess up.  Now it's time for me to make a meal already, didn't they just eat?  What is it with this damn phone...  I can't ignore the phone in case it's an emergency. 

I honestly don't know how I get any writing done and definitely know why it takes me forever when I do.  But where do I find the time?  I can't wait until they go to bed.  By time it's bedtime, I am exhausted as well.  Plus I must get up early with them.  So there's no waiting for them to go to bed and writing.  there is no free time during the day, as a child is in need of something every few minutes.  Autistic kids are extremely high maintenance.  There is no where to take them for a short period of time.

So how do I do it?  I am writing this not just to vent....okay, maybe a little.  But I know there are other people out there that have the same sort of problems.

So how do I get any writing done?  I keep my writing program open all day and work on it in between doing this and doing that.  As a "stay at home dad,: you'd think I had all the time int he world to write.  It simply is not true.  Little writing takes place during these periods.  It is done sentence by sentence.  Sneak in a paragraph here and edit another one there.  Then in the evening after dinner, I grab my laptop and go into the room, shutting the door behind me.  My wife is home now and she can deal with the ever needing kids for a couple hours.  They are usually busy with the TV.  But even then, it's no so.  Someone is at the door or in the room every few minutes needing something.  It doesn't matter what I say or ask, whatever it is will only take a minute and it's important.

So I persevere.  Many days, I have the writing program open and write....nothing.  The kids are taken care of, the laundry is done and thank goodness for whomever invented the crockpot, because the roast is on and I don't have to babysit that - although I still have to peel the potatoes and cut french fries for those that won't eat anything else.  I'll get that in a moment.

Never give will happen.  It just won't happen as smoothly and as quickly as I'd like.  But I never give up and write whenever the opportunity presents itself.  That is how I write with all these constant distractions.  It can be done, it's just not very easy.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fantasy Book May Not Be Appealing to Female Readers.

Just when I think I have neared completion of my historical fantasy novel, I  come to an epiphany that brings it all to a screeching halt.

The book is about a thrall (Viking slave) whom wins his freedom by becoming a hero.  Simple enough.  It's got all the cool stuff: Vikings, axes, zombies (draug), trolls, and strange fey creatures such as gnomes and huldras.  Creatures of Norse mythology with historical realism to the storyline to make the story believable.

So what's the problem?

Although it was completely unintentional, it's a guy kind of book.

And the problem?

Men don't buy books.  Men seldom read, or at least those that do are in the minority as far as readers and book purchasers go. The numbers are undeniable.  On average 67 to 71% of book purchasers are female.  I remember when I was a teen and helping out at my grandparent's bookstore.  Most of the customers were women. When I worked at Bracken Library at Ball State University - most students patronizing the library were in fact women.  The males were there only long enough to get whatever basic research information they needed and left.  The females always stayed longer and along with their books needed for research, also grabbed some personal reading materials.

The story features a male that saves the day surviving the wilderness full of things that want to kill him.  He eventually saves the day by slaying the creature wrecking havoc on his village and is freed.  Not only freed, but recognized as a hero (which jumps to book two of the series).

What's the problem with that?  The problem is that women don't read such books.  It's hard to even get them to watch the Hobbit.

But many women watch "The Vikings"

Yes, because it has a heroine - Lagertha.  Plus half naked muscular viking men helps, but that is a T.V. series.  It's not reading.  If it were in a book series, how many female readers would it have? Few.  It would have as many female fans as the Chronicles of Gor have, which is not many.

I am considering adding a heroine.  It may not be possible,as it may change the entire story.

Just thoughts......