Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday ROW80 Update: What to Write Next?

This week in reading, writing, blogging, and more!
ROW80 goal: 4 times a week, 1500 words. May substitute a day of editing when needed.
Barely met this one. I am firmly in the "Invention" phase of the final Gifts book. In a lot of ways this is the most fun for me. It's certainly the most experimental. I did a lot of writing by hand, freewriting, character conversations- that kind of thing. I have a couple of outlines going and am working on the really detailed story  right now.
I keep returning to the question of what to write next. I just cannot get into my Whitfield ghost story novella. It's a shame because it's substantially complete. It's also just kind of lackluster, and if I can't get on board with polishing it or kicking it or whatever I need to do to it, then I really just need to shelve it. I have two other story lines that are almost literally consuming me, and I can't decide which to pursue: vampires, and space. I'm really excited about both of them, but I think the vampire storyline would be more in line with my current audience's tastes. Maybe? At any rate, I'll be adding fuller descriptions and graphics to my blog soon.
Darkness is doing really well. I got one of those glowing reviews on Amazon that just make it all worth it. I know we're not supposed to respond to individual reviews (I didn't!) but I so wanted to. Making a reader happy is an incredible rush. Sales are good, too. Amazing what a difference that 70% makes to your bottom line.

ROW80 Goal: Blog twice a week
Met. Besides ROW80 writing posts, decided to try a series of Free Friday posts. Lots of people do Free Friday finds, and if you have a book or something else you'd like me to shout out, by all means let me know. I'd like to add in music too, and whatever other quirkiness comes my way. We'll see how it goes. Still working on Better Know a Villain.
Speaking of blogs, I visited Kait Nolan's Pots and Plots looking for no-cook and crock pot recipes and discovered her Cake Batter Ice Cream. We're stuck in a serious heat wave, and I vowed not to turn on the oven until it passes. Ice cream could count as a meal in such serious heat. This recipe does not help the situation, as I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Must. Resist.

Read and review at least one book in my genre every week. Done, and then some.
Wake Unto MeWake Unto Me by Lisa Cach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A YA ghost romance. I liked the protagonist; she never quite loses her melancholic edge. The author centered much of the novel around a strong female world- another plus. The bonds between girls at the school was one of the book's stronger points; I especially liked the character Naomi.
The logic was a little difficult to follow, though. The whole ghost rationale was more than a bit mystifying. How can someone be dead and alive at the same time? That really was the one hitch for me. Beyond that, a nice little read.

Compis Compis by Kate Copeseeley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Copeseeley's book fills a glaring void in today's YA- speculative fiction that does not center itself on sexy but dangerous mythical creatures. Instead, her Compis world is very layered. The Five Tribes have a long history with distinct traditions. Copeseeley weaves details about her complex world into the narrative without awkward narrative lumps. The pace is brisk as we switch between three main character's point of view. The characters themselves are well-developed, and nuanced enough to edge the book into the adult SF/F category as well as YA. I recommend this for any fan of SF/F, or for any YA paranormal fans looking for a change.

On the shelf: Melissa Marr's Graveminder, Amanda Hocking's Virtue, and Tessa Gratton's Blood Magic.

The Business of Books:
ROW80 Goal: spend @ least 30 min. 5 days a week
Met. It's almost automatic to blow past this. I suspect that's true for most Indie writers. The newest thing this week has been the fun adventure of uploading to the Apple store. I think that probably deserves its own post, but the short version is that its complicated. In typical hard headed fashion I decided to try it on my own, without going through a third party like Smashwords. We'll see how it goes. Am also in the process of setting up with Also compiling a spreadsheet of book bloggers, Indie authors who do interviews/spotlights. This requires learning Excel, so I'm taking baby steps here. Excel really is a skill I need. It will make it easier to track daily sales.

So that's it for this week's ROW80 report. As ROW80 II draws to a close, I'm going to have to look back at my overarching WIP goals. I really had planned to have at least my novella out by now. The delayed release of Book II made that impossible, though. So that's one goal I won't be meeting. I'm pretty happy with everything else, and I'm tweaking my goals for Round III. Hope to see you there. Have a great week.


  1. Compis is on my TBR list, so I'm excited to hear about it.

    We seem to be at similar stages in the 3rd book scenario! Creation-wise, that is. :)

    As for that novella, if it's a struggle then leave it for a month or two and see if you need a different headspace for it. I wrote Verity years ago, failed to fix it last year, and I eventually ended up reworking it pretty much on a whim this year, and in the end, it was much easier once I left it until I was ready for it.

    I'd go with space on the new shinies, but vampires might be more relevant. If both is an option .... :D

    I'm glad things are going so well - and this is the dip in the year. Next January will be the opposite of rubbish for you. ;)

  2. When I was about 2/3 through the second YA paranormal, I was so sick of the genre I wanted to write a ridiculous, over the top space opera. Singing space mice riding dragons that blew bubbles instead of fire- so yeah, shelving things is good advice, or I'll regret it on many levels. :) I'll have to check out Verity. Thanks for the head's up @ this being the dip in the year. Things are good, but Amazon seems to have developed a case of ranking/numbers schizophrenia or something.

  3. I'd definitely shelve it for awhile and then go back to it. I did that with one of my other pieces (after only several chapters in) and I'm back in love with it and adding more to the story.

    You know I'm right there with ya with the heat. Apparently, our a/c it's not an easy "fix". We need a whole new outside unit!

  4. Oooh, Claudia. I'm so sorry. Did you get a second opinion? One guy told us that and mentioned 3-4,000. Called in another guy, who cleaned it and filled it with freon. It seems to be working, but we've got our fingers crossed.

  5. I feel your pain with being unable to get into a book; I spent a year trying to force out more of my first fantasy trilogy after getting stuck on it, but all I ended up doing was making myself more frustrated and discouraged, and I ended up having to walk away from it altogether. I hope to go back to it one day when I have more writing experience under my belt.
    I really wish I had some sort of eReader, among the ROW80 crew I see so many books that look like they'd be awesome reads, but I don't think I could face up to reading an entire book on my computer screen.
    That being said, I would totally read a book about singing space mice riding bubble-blowing dragons.

  6. @Rebecca- I'm finally starting to look into print. I've had a few people ask, and I'd like to be able to give out physical copies.
    I would totally name a dragon after your dog. He is a dead ringer for a German Shepherd I had as a kid.