So I know I’ve talked about the endless pushes to cut, but adding can have value too. Sometimes that value is in subplots and complexities. I think of the try-fail cycle often as I work on plotting things. These are reading about it things.
I love this podcast, I do keep looping back to it over and over. This discussion of pantsing talks about my favorite thing which is “yes-but/no-and.” This focuses on the try-fail cycle. Having a character just succeed and succeed is boring unless those successes just make things work. Successes that make things work are fantastically useful. Failures that make things worse are also useful.
(Yes, I’ve written on this before. This is more links and resources about it, hopefully helpful. It is something I think I will continue to come back to over and over. Character I don’t feel like I struggle with quite the way I struggle with good plotting skills. The thing I think that would make me better, weirdly would be doing something like running a tabletop roleplay game campaign, but that is a TON of work and requires knowing a LOT about the rules of the game. I am always in favor of throwing out the rules for a good storyline, which people who have been my GMs clearly know, but I think that works less well when you don’t have someone going, no no, there are rules, this isn’t all about the story.)
I feel like this is a very controversial stance. Or maybe just not a very cool one. At least in my spheres, I hear a lot about travel. How much fun it is, how it makes you a better human being, how it makes you more open to the world, how you haven’t really experienced life until you’ve been to every country. (Maybe exaggerating for effect, a little.)
I’m really glad the people who like it, like it. Good for them. But I want to stay home.
Home is safe, home is full of routine, safety, consistency, known factors. I know a lot of those are basically dirty words. But the routine of getting the same thing for breakfast? Lets my brain spend the energy it would have spent on that thinking about how Jenna would respond to a statue in her park getting up and challenging her to a duel.
Travel is full of tiny decisions all day long eating away at your brain power and exhausting. Which is fine if you are getting your brain power worth of enjoying spectacular views, or eating amazing new food, or talking with different people, or visiting museums or theme parks. Whatever is the thing that makes you go, oh this is awesome!
Those things just don’t appeal to me. I love the views where I am, and I try to partake in them often. I enjoy surfing through photos of breathtaking locations online. I know it isn’t the same (yet) as being there in person, but I do enjoy that. I try new food, I will go out with a friend to a new place and try new things, I know that is on my agenda and do it. Not all the time, but I do. (My favorite coffee shop changed menus and I’ve been trying a new item each week, I’ll pick one thing and settle on it for 90% of the time after I’ve tried it all.) I talk to people online, it’s manageable! And museums have amazing collections online, with much smaller lines, and just as much detail.
My kind of travel
I do try very hard to expand my world and travel through books, articles, podcasts, and even videos. Exploring what is out there, exploring the inner world, exploring the magical, fantastical, the future.
I read. I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I can do that while walking along the beautiful local sites. And still come home and sleep safely in my own bed.
It doesn’t make me a bad person. Plenty of other things, sure, but not this. It is also important, I think, to remember that the ability to travel is not something everyone can do. (And don’t talk to me about the magic of working around the world, there are a whole bunch of assumptions that go into that too.) So travel isn’t a magical thing that is the perfect solution for all problems and all human interactions.
I happen to be a person who doesn’t do well with travel. I’m glad that others have the opportunities and take advantage of it. I would also be one of the first people to push someone who has never traveled and has the opportunity to go to another city, state, country, continent GO! Try! Experience. And if you don’t like it? I’ll go out to eat at the new restaurant down the street and we can see how that goes instead.
And I’ve got a few personal questions I’ll never hear the answers to, but that didn’t stop them from keeping me up last night: How many victims this weekend were just outed to their families from their hospital beds? How many of them prayed their mom would come to visit, or their dad? Those are the victims I’m praying hardest for today.
I’ve been…putting off my next real authorly project which is to do the recording on a book I’ve had sitting on the shelf for a year and a half or so. Instead I’ve picked up a couple of jobs on ACX, and I’ve read a ton of descriptions. So I thought I would put it off some more and give some tips on finding a narrator on ACX.
I’m not really an expert, I’ve only been doing it for about a half a year and I’ve only got a handful of books to my name and pen names.
These comments are really focused at authors looking for royalty share. Which means that the narrators aren’t getting paid anything up front and only make money when they author makes money.
First some really good things I’ve seen authors do.
show that you are marketing (things I like, say that you have an email list, or are active on social media, whatever – if you are planning to do ads, you have another book coming out and will be promoting this one? All great things! Authors who put a brief marketing plan? Oh yeah, so much awesome.)
tell narrators what you are looking for
tell narrators if there is adult content (and a little idea of what kind of adult content is awesome)
explain that it is a series and you’d like the same narrator for the whole series (a timeline is super bonus for this)
think through if you want a male or female narrator (a female narrator for a male 1st person pov is a little odd, I can do a husky masculine voice, but I mostly think you aren’t paying attention – if you explain it, this is fine)
say that you already have a narrator
say up front if you have a goal date (new book release, signing, whatever)
respond, thank the narrator even if you don’t select them, especially if your book has been sitting for over a month, you want to build potential relationships here
reach out to narrators if you have a shorter deadline, you don’t have to just sit there and wait, a proactive author is a good thing here
Soon. I will start recording Dangerous Metal soon. But first, one more quick project!
It is Friday and that means another challenge from Chuck Wendig. This time it was a knock on the door. Never one to follow directions I went for a crash into a door. An axe. A couple peregrine falcons. A bear. And a fire.
The impact on the solid pine door reverberated through the house.
Faye was out of bed and running to the front door in a heartbeat. She flung open the door and stared down at her half boy, half falcon son. His wings twitched and stretched out as they tried to shift to arms.
He croaked out the worst word. “Fire.”
She shifted in a moment. She couldn’t stay. He would be ok. He had to be.
Her husband came out of the bedroom.
She dove off the edge of the porch and spread her wings. He would stay, he would raise the alarm, he would take care of Jacob.
Faye angled toward an updraft. The gulch. There were always fires in the mountains, but fire could go from small and local to drawing unwanted attention quickly.
She spotted the orange lick of flame and pulled her wings in. Faye aimed for the fire and let her instincts take over. Her speed increased.
Cedrick Custod is the youngest living protector of the world. Though blessed from the beginning by their creator with power and author to defend their world, the rest of the Custod has been wiped out by evil sorcerer Heklis. It’s up to Cedrick to save his world, but he doesn’t know it. His talents and passion for magic are their only hope, but his father refuses to let him use them. Can Cedrick find out why in time to save his world? Can he find the source of his powers to enable him to overcome Heklis’s? Could wicked sorceress be the answer to his plight or the death of him? Can Cedrick find out in time or will he watch it fall into darkness.