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Elle Clouse

Unique Romantic Tales

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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”

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Avast! Pirate Sites

AvastSome thoughts on pirate sites

I’ve been seeing a rash of pirate website selling deeply discounted or even free ebooks.  I am not going to rant about how unethical these sites are or that you are stealing from the author.  There are a million posts like that.

I’m going to offer another perspective.  As a reformed computer geek, I view these “here today gone tomorrow” pirates sites as nothing more than a virus waiting to infect your computer.  Literally.  Did you know that some sites can infect your computer with a virus or key logger just by visiting?  You might think, I have X Brand Anti-Virus software so I’m safe.  Uh, no.  Since these programs are built by people with the sole intention of messing up your life, they evolve to evade Norton or McAfee, etc.  Hence why your software has updates, to counter the new stuff.  So,  you can get computer bugs.

If you buy a discounted book, the site owner might just take your payment information and use it themselves, especially credit cards.  If you slap your personal information down to buy a discounted book you have no guarantee that site wont turn around and sell it or use it to buy high prices electronics overseas.  Can we say identity theft?

A free download from an unknown site could result in the aforementioned virus too.  Especially if the file is zipped.  So you might think that you are getting a free ebook but instead you get free porn pop ups and a trip to the tech guys to get it removed.  Imagine trying to explain the porn infestation?  Ha ha.  And that’s just the light end of what could happen.

So, in summary, please purchase and download your ebooks from sites you trust.  Amazon, B&N, All Romance Ebooks, the author’s own website, or the publisher website.  Type in the URL to your browser yourself.  Sometimes phishers try to make their site look legit by using an Amazon logo so don’t click funky ads or weird looking addresses.  Protect yourself buy avoiding scam sites.  🙂

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.

Plans for December

So with November done and my latest novel rough draft on ice, I’ve decided to write a to do list for December.  It will help me stay focused and no, it’ s not all going to be writing related.

  • Finish Christmas Knitting:  I am making my boys an Adorkable Monster.  I have two different color yarn for each. One is almost completely done, I just need to sew on the arms and horns.  The other I started tonight and I got one leg done.
  • Finish writing “Unrequited”:  I am working on a short story called Unrequited.  It’s specifically for a submission call to Science Fiction Romance Quarterly but the call is for something steampunk.  If they don’t select it, I might find another publisher for it or just self publish it.  We shall see.  I’m only 500 words in.
  • Edit “Stealing the Wolf Prince”:  I’ve gotten some very helpful comments about my manuscript and it’s going back into editing.  I agree with the comments made and will improve my manuscript accordingly.  Some of them I wanted to work in anyway and some I was worried about from the get go.  Vague I know but I’m not about to reveal spoilers.
  • Take online course Creating WordPress Websites II:  Already signed up.  I start December 11.  SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS.  I’ve always wanted to learn more about web coding and design and I can apply that to my own writing website.

I think I’ll leave it at that for now.  I have plans for as far out as January but my to do lists can get rather fluid.  Lists help keep me on the right path.  I can get a little distracted and way ahead of myself otherwise.  Do lists help you?

Week Two

I’ve made it through week one and I’m right where I need to be as far on words.  Week two is where I really start to doubt myself.  At this very moment I am thinking that I might not have enough story to make it to 50k.  I’m also thinking that my premise it too weak or my characters are lame…  You name it, it’s probably rolling around in my brain.  Week two is about determination, more than any other week I think.  I have to get out of my brain as much as possible and just write.  I might see if I can find some writing sprints to participate in.  Those always help.  Remember, NaNoWriMo is meant to help you get a rough draft, not a polished prize winning novel.  🙂

Productive Weekend

As of last night, my NaNoWriMo novel hit 6k words.  I managed 2k words a day, not a bad start.  I know that there is a least one NaNoWriMo participant who has already reached 50k and that’s just nuts.  In fact, there is another challenge that I recently learned about a competition called The Five Day Novel.  Now, I like a challenge but even I am not that crazy.  I’ll stick with a 30 day novel, thank you!

Day One

Today marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month.  Although I know some people have already been writing since midnight, their time, I am not one of those folks.  I have a day job and kids.  I’ll be writing this evening and hope to get about two thousand words.  Like most people in the beginning of this craziness, I’m going to try to write as much as possible so that when mid month hits and I get the blahs I have a cushion.  I’m also hoping my outline helps me.

Good luck to all my fellow participants!  Keep track of my progress by checking out my NaNoWriMo page or just glancing at the word widget on the right.  🙂

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?

Countdown to NaNoWriMo!

2013-Participant-Square-Button It’s October so the countdown to NaNoWriMo has officially begun!  The NaNoWriMo website has been revamped, the new web badges are out, and people are flooding  back to the WriMo forums.

This year, I will be writing a contemporary sci-fi romance novel called “Sweet Justice”.  I’ve had the idea for a while now and I’ve been working on outlining it mentally for over a year.  Now, I’m working on outlining in a more fixed form, I’ve got myself a bullet point list of events.  Start to finish.  I feel all organized…

Since I’ve been writing nothing but fantasy romance, I decided to mix things up a bit with modern day super heroes, arch villains, and a damsel capable of fending for herself.  No distress here.  Should be fun to see my heroine struggle between THREE love interests!  Mwa ha ha!

And behold, I have written a blurb!

Between secretly spying on her employer, heavy office flirtations with the mail clerk, and an unhealthy obsession with super hero news, Justice thought that things were finally going her way. As the ChemPharm research facility exploded and demolished months of undercover work, Justice took some comfort in the arms of Ultraman as he whisked her away from the blast.

When a drunken midnight calling card meant for Ultraman attracted Blaze instead, Justice has the chance to tell off the lab saboteur. Only instead of searing jibes and insults, sparks start to fly between Blaze and Justice and his abrupt departure leaves her confused and angry.

Will Justice be able to pick up the pieces of her destroyed project? Will Justice have to choose between the super hero and his arch nemesis? And what about the mail clerk who fills out his dress shirts just right?

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