Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Writing and the Internet

The internet is having a strange effect on the writing life. My first novel was just e-published and instead of frantically finishing the next one, I find myself frantically trying to get a website up. People who buy lots of e-published novels just assume that authors have a website. I know that if I'm thinking of buying a story, I'll often go and google the author, and surf on over to her website to see what kind of things she writes. It's a way of figuring out if this particular story is a good purchase for me.

So instead of writing, writers are out there promoting and networking and blogging and building websites. Very strange. I've even heard that agents and editors will check out an authors website.

So now writers have even more roles to fill...

Well, I've put in my time on my website today. Sigh. Time to go do some paying work.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nancy Kress: "Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint"

This is a good, solid book on writing. I have a pile of them in my room. Some of them I almost never pick up, some of them I come back to again and again. I haven't read every word in this one, but so far my favorite parts are brief sections in the beginning in the end. The section "Writing and the Multiple Personality" talks about how a writer has to be three people at once: the character, a writer, and a reader. This idea really hit a chord with me. It matches well with my experience of writing, and isn't something that I've seen discussed a lot.

I also really enjoyed the last chapter, in which she adds the idea of a fourth role: editor. And addresses how to actually like the writing process. She mentions warmup activities, regular writing, finding the right time, and then adds: "The most important thing, however, is your attitude toward your characters. Writing is far more likely to be enjoyable if you are so interested in them that they take on lives of their own. Entering fully into their stories, rather than staying preoccupied with yourself ("How am I doing? Is this any good? Where can I market it?") makes the entire writing process feel lighter, more interesting, and more rewarding."

I loved that. Create character that you are interested in and like, and then writing is like spending time with friends...


Monday, November 27, 2006

Is This MY book?

My first e-published novel--The Sirens: Found--went on sale at on November 21, 2006. I'm very excited in some ways--but strangely disconnected from the whole process in other ways. I have no idea if anybody is buying my book, if anybody likes it. For all I know it's a total failure. Even when I get my first royalty statement I won't know how I did compared to other authors. I wish there was some kind of secret counter that the authors could go peek at. Kind of like the way other author friends compulsively check the Amazon ranking number....

I can see that there are definitely valuable character traits to have, if you want to be a successful writer. One of them is certainly being able to motivate yourself with long-range results. This is not the profession for someone who needs instant gratification.

This is my first blog post, so it's a practice post. <- That means be kind! ;-)