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Old 11-15-2016, 05:39 PM   #15
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Not self published nor have I written an entire book but I have had articles published in several fields.. including at least one that I am 100% unqualified in but someone who is read what I wrote and used it as part of a book he was writing.

I've also contributed to other books... (I have a lot of author friends). (I also read a lot of authors).
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Old 11-16-2016, 12:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider1046 View Post
Thought I'd sit down and pound one out, have got two typed pages, single-spaced, and still going, but taking longer than I figured.
I may just win this bet
Go, go, go! I'm rooting for you!
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim T. View Post
Six Word Novel:

For Sale: Baby shoes; Never Worn.

(Attributed to Ernest Hemingway, but never authenticated.)
Raises all kinds of questions about what a novel is, what a short story is (why is this considered a novel and not a short story?).... and -- despite how many lines we try to draw, they're all blurred, don't you think?
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:10 PM   #18
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Tom in Vegas and wa8yxm:

It's all good, isn't it? I keep thinking of Gloria Steinem who once said she loves to have written -- more than she loves writing. I know it holds true for me. That sense of accomplishment (whether anybody reads what I write or not) just keeps driving me to write more. And when somebody enjoys what I've written -- well, nothing much tops that!

Tom -- Are you planning to write more? What drove you to write the books you've completed? What kept YOU going when you got discouraged?
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:23 PM   #19
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rider1046, remember, even if you only get to write 5 words a day, it'll eventually get done. Hopefully, you can get a few more than that in but if you just keep working at it, it will happen.

ellenbehr, I actually have two more books in the works at the moment, one is the next in the series, and the other is a spin off. As to discouragement, you can't please everybody, once you realize that, you keep moving forward. I've been told everything from I'm a good writer and people love the series to I should take a class... but I'm still plugging away.

As to what drove me. It's a long and funny story, but I wrote my first novel just to say I did. I always loved writing stories so it was a goal when I realized that self publishing was possible, thanks to the then emerging ebook market. As to the rest, 2 1/2 years after I wrote the first one, I got a few emails asking when I was going to do a sequel. What? Actual fans? That spurred me to write the next and I'm still pluggin away. Don't get me wrong, I'm a b-lister at best, but I really enjoy writing and I like to think each book is better than the last.

I learned the self publishing biz the hard way, too. But they're are plenty of decent self published authors that will share their knowledge if you look round. Local writers groups and the like.
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:55 PM   #20
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Tom -- I agree with everything in your comment. My first book was a literary novel, which came out of my MFA thesis. It got great reviews (even the NY Times Book Review), was sold in bookstores around the country, caught the eye of a few readers for the film industry, and then died a slow death.

I struggled with book number two.... then realized (after writing a nonfiction book for my professional colleagues) I was struggling because I was trying to write something that fit what others were expecting of me.

When I started writing what I wanted to write -- at that time, short stories about people full-time RVing, because that had become my real-life world -- I relaxed, had fun, and remembered this is why I started scribbling stories down when I was six years old.

We might have fans and an audience of readers out there, but we're fooling ourselves if we think we should write for anybody other than ourselves, don't you think?

I'm going to check out your books!
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Old 11-19-2016, 01:15 PM   #21
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When I was a kid, I was told to write like I speak and about what I know. And to view writing as a opportunity to speak freely, something kids don't always have. I believe there was some wisdom there. I've not published, but been comfortable with the written world since I was a kid.
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Old 11-19-2016, 07:07 PM   #22
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ellenbehr... I agree for the most part. Staying true to yourself is important, but you have to know what your readers want as well if you start building a fan base and incorporate that into your writing if you want to keep them as fans (and sell books, especially if you are self published).

Case in point, I had a bunch of readers that wanted to know what my character was doing in respect to certain parts of his life. It intrigued me that a small group of people were so into the character. I spun off part of a book I was working on into a 46000 word novel that answered those specific questions. I also used it to write in a multiple first person perspective to get into the heads of the characters that they were asking about. Most fans loved it, as it was directed specifically at those issues. Others, not so much, as I also changed the direction of my character in the book a tad (that was going to happen anyway but it was a little more abrupt since the book highlighted it). Some folks hated the multiple first person.

Anyway, I went back to the original format in my next books but it allowed me to have fun with the world I had created as well as give my readers (the few that I have... lol) the answers they asked about. Now I can spin off some of those characters into different stories in the same world I've created in hopes of reaching a different audience. It also set the tone for future books in the same series as the hero had new things to deal with and overcome.

Anyway... it's all a journey and I'm having a blast doing it. So as long as I can have fun and people keep reading I'm going to keep it up. Maybe one day I'll make it to a best seller list other than Amazon, but whatever the case, like I said, I'm having fun.
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Old 11-19-2016, 08:13 PM   #23
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I played around with some character development software, story board and even a screenplay software. I think they might work for me, but I rarely pull the laptop out anymore. I have gotten fairly quick with thumbs. Maybe there's a app for that.
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:41 AM   #24
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Tom -- "Staying true to yourself is important, but you have to know what your readers want as well if you start building a fan base and incorporate that into your writing if you want to keep them as fans (and sell books, especially if you are self published)."

Absolutely. But it has to start with you, I think. One of the reviewers of my first Rollin RV Mystery said she wished the book had more background about the main characters -- why they chose to full-time RV, especially. I thought about that for my second book in the series, but generally didn't address it in this one, either, mostly because it wouldn't fit without interrupting the storyline. So I appreciate her criticism/suggestion, but I can only feel right about addressing it when it fits for me.

But we all approach our work in different ways, don't we? It sounds as though your readers had an idea that worked for you and you went with it. I think that's great!
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:44 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaggship1 View Post
I played around with some character development software, story board and even a screenplay software. I think they might work for me, but I rarely pull the laptop out anymore. I have gotten fairly quick with thumbs. Maybe there's a app for that.
Steve and Annie -- I've checked out some of that software online, but keep wondering if I'd really use it. Some people swear by Scribblr (I think that's the name??) but I guess I've been using plain Word (and before that, blank paper) for so long it still works for me.

Did you find the software helped? In what way? And aren't your thumbs sore???
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:51 AM   #26
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...In 2012 we began publishing a series of anchorage guides that have been doing very well. The guides were conceived, published and distributed from our boat and RV.... Chuck
Chuck -- How cool is that?!? In many ways, the nonfiction book I published back in 2009 or so was the most successful (money-wise) book I've done. Like yours, mine was written for a very specific audience. That actually made it easier to market and promote, and eventually sell. But I also knew I was sharing information that helped people.

Are you doing the printing and spiral binding onboard, too? Did you decide to do that to cut your overhead? Or because you wanted control you can't get with print-on-demand companies? Just curious about your decision to keep everything in-house. They look beautiful!
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Old 11-20-2016, 01:08 PM   #27
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flaggship1 - I tried some of those apps, like Scrivener. Some love it but I always go back to Word.

chuckbear - That is awesome. I'll have to pass the site to my uncle, he sails all over.

ellenbehr - Didn't mean to overstate it. I agree, first and foremost you're writing your own stories. That's where the fun is, besides, you're going to be in trouble if you start trying to change every time someone gives you a review.
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Old 11-20-2016, 05:00 PM   #28
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Steve and Annie -- I've checked out some of that software online, but keep wondering if I'd really use it. Some people swear by Scribblr (I think that's the name??) but I guess I've been using plain Word (and before that, blank paper) for so long it still works for me.

Did you find the software helped? In what way? And aren't your thumbs sore???
I think they can be helpful in a number of ways. Character development is one. Organization another. Clearly you don't have to have something like this..

Some people would hate it, others love it. My feeling is, it couldn't hurt.

What I liked about screenwriting software was the way scene devoplemt is "created". What music was playing on the jukebox when the small TV in the corner switched to breaking news and the couple leaving the bar stopped cold in the doorway. Which had nothing to do with what the characters are doing really... just life happening around a plot or scene.
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