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Elle Clouse

Unique Romantic Tales

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research

The Benefits of Daily Reading

Last term, I took Composition II toward my Marketing Management degree and had to write a paper.  The topic was open so being the book nerd I am, I chose something… bookish.  Also because I don’t like to waste effort, I thought I’d share my final paper on my blog.  Please bare in mind this is academic writing which is very strict on voice and tone, but even I learned something in my efforts to research the topic.  Enjoy.

Continue reading “The Benefits of Daily Reading”

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10 Sites I Use as an Author

As part of my Writer’s Life series, I thought I’d share links that I use either during the writing process or when I’m editing or searching for services.  There are in no particular order.

Continue reading “10 Sites I Use as an Author”

NaNoWriMo Winner Goodies

One of the things that I always enjoy browsing is the Winner Goodies offered by sponsors of the National Novel Writing Month.  Last year I took advantage of the discount on Scrivener after my win. This year I was really looking forward to the book analysis offered through The Book Genome Project.

I submitted Stealing the Wolf Prince, my 2006 winner.

 

My book is classified as an EDBK:

One of the most prevalent personalities, EDBKs are found mostly in fiction. They appear most often in Mystery, Thrillers, and Romance. These works place a premium on plot and character development, and engage readers with their easy use of dialog. They tend to use rich descriptive passages, and their text is welcoming and easy to consume. They strive to engage the reader early, and keep their characters active and moving.

 

(E)xpressive: Your book contains more dialog between two or more characters than most books. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is an example of an Expressive writing persona.

(D)escriptive: Your book in very descriptive, more so than the average. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy is another example of a Descriptive writing persona.

(B)reezy: Your language tends to be easier to read and more straightforward than average. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is an example of a Breezy writing persona.

(K)inetic: Your book contains more physical motion than most books. The Lost World by Michael Crichton is an example of a Kinetic writing persona.

I can get a more in depth analysis if I want to spend the money but I’m happy with my free report for now.  Back to writing for me!    I have a short story to finish.

The NaNoWriMo Game Plan

NaNoWriMo starts in less than two weeks!

To prepare, I’ve created an outline using Holly Lisle’s Professional Plot Outline course, available for $.99.  Since I’ve never actually outlined, I figured I would consult an expert resource.  Now I have my whole novel plotted out, down to the scene, from beginning to end.  The course even pushed my ideas further than originally anticipated to new and fun plot devices.  I am hoping that a complete outline will prevent writers block and keep me on track the whole month.

The next step, I will be adding all my scenes from the outline and sticking them into Scrivener.  I bought Scrivener last year after my NaNoWriMo win with my winner’s discount and promptly forgot about it.  A writer friend, Jonathan Fesmire, mentioned he enjoys the program so I watched the start up video and updated my program.  Scrivener has this neat note card feature I can put all my plot points into.  So where ever I pick up writing, I’ll know where I am and where I’m going.  I could probably write the novel backwards, but I’m not that masochistic.

I will also be using the ‘research’ file system where Scrivener saves your files/images/sound bites IN SCRIVENER.  So it’s all at my finger tips when ever I need it.  I will be using this Character Chart for Fiction Writers to really flesh out my characters.  It’s seven pages long and asks for things I don’t normally think about.  It will stay right next to my writing and I can pull it up with a click or I can even use the two pane option and write while looking at it.  This way, my characters wont have eyes that change color through out the book.  My previous method of keeping a notebook isn’t ideal for me.

That’s the game plan so far.  For being a pantser in the past, I feel that’s pretty good.  If you are participating in the NaNoWriMo, what are you doing to prepare?

One Outlining Method

A friend of mine found a method for plot outlining a novel called The Snowflake Method.  You basically take one concept and expand upon it until you have a whole novel charted out.  It’s a concept that I never thought of before and I thought to myself, that’s nice but I don’t think I can use that based on my current creative process.  There is no one method that works for everyone and that is just fine.

I found myself with some downtime and decided to nail down certain things in Northam, the fantasy world my current works take place.  Things are getting too long and complicated to rely on going back and looking so I started an outline of how magic worked in my setting.  I started with the broadest concept of magic and started to break it down into its many points, adding types of caster, types of magic, sub types of magic, etc.  I’m not going to tell you what I devised, you will have to read my novels to figure that out, but when it was done I realized that I had used the Snowflake Method.

I guess without even realizing it, something I had read about maybe a month ago was still rolling around in my brain and I found a practical application for it.  Since most of my story ideas originate from dreams I’ve had, I am not certain it will work for plotting but it has other application.  I’m sure that I can use the technique for outlining other things in the setting.

So I thought that I’d share the article I found in hopes that you can find use for it.  Like I said, not every method works for everyone but knowing your options will help you devise the method that works best for you.

My Pinterest

I’ve purposely avoided Pinterest since all I heard about it was how it sucked hours of people’s lived away.  By that description, it’s a very scary thing and I didn’t need to risk my time.  A good friend of mine, Renea Mason, who has a very smexy new book out right now that I highly recommend, pointed out that one might be able to use Pinterest as an inspiration board.  

So I’ve done just that, I’ve created boards for every story I plan to write.  Some are finished and seeking publication, some are nothing more than a vague idea I dreamed up.  (Literally.)  Feel free to check out my boards, 😉  I don’t have boards for every idea , just the ones that I found images for.  The boards will expand as I find more appropriate pictures.  

I hope I don’t get sucked into some time vacuum and wake up decades later…

The Good, The Bad, and the Game Plan

Thanks to the very informative website put up by Holly Lisle I know more of what to expect if I chose to pursue a large publishing house. Holly said that as a new author I might get an ‘advance’ of $2k to $5k with a standard royalty on sales of 6%. Most of the time the publisher will print 38k books and send them to stores. The stores will keep them on their shelves about 30 days, then rip off the covers and return them for their money back. All the unsold books then come out of any royalties I might have earned. If I don’t sell more than 50% of the books printed, then the publisher wont print anymore of my future work since it’s not profitable for them. The book could be out of print in less than a year. From what I gleaned, the publisher doesn’t do much promotion of the book.

I spoke with Kristy Denice Bock, who is a writer friend with 4 books out, and she went with a smaller publishing company. Smaller publishing companies do not offer an advance but have a higher royalty rate such as 40% to 50%. Promotion is left solely to the author. The book will most likely no appear on bookstore shelves but Kristy says that only about 1% of books make it into a physical store.

Then there is self publishing, which Holly recommends, where I would have to buy the ISBN and pay for a copyedit and do all the promotion but I’d retain all rights and all royalties. Holly recommends a place, Booknook.boz, which can publish on Amazon, B & N, etc. She cautioned against vanity publishing where the company you publish through owns the ISBN.

So after my freak out regarding the truths of publishing, I have decided that I want to publish through a small publishing company. Then once my contract with the publishing company has come to an end, I will self publish that novel. That way my novel will never be out of print. Of course, that is of the assumption that a publisher will pick up my work. 😉

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