Going against the norm

As I quickly wrap up the last edits for Twisted Magics, I keep thinking about something that one of the members of my little critique group brought up about ditching my final chapter. His point was because my story has turned into this “hero quest” and those usually end shortly after the final battle.

And I’ve given his thought some serious consideration. I never tried putting my story into one of those neat little boxes. I have trouble explaining what sub-genre of fantasy it belongs in as it is. And I keep thinking of the last chapter and thinking that I should see if I can push it into book 2, but it also starts setting up for book 2. And I want to deal with the aftermath and tie off a few more threads in Twisted Magics.

Not to mention I don’t have a whole lot of time left in my schedule to make such drastic changes. I suppose I could change it from a chapter to an epilogue, but I’m not sure how different that would be to a reader. I know for me, if there’s more story, I’m going to read it. Prologue/epilogue doesn’t make a difference to me as it is part of the story.

As well as I am desperate to put this project to rest. Book 2 is glaring at me like a jealous lover and I’m itching to get the plans I have in mind implemented in the rewrite. I’ve also taken a few days and worked on side stories. I’m not sure how much interest there would be, but I’ve been considering, after I release Twisted Magics, every so often posting a short side story here that could not make it into the book.

Ironically, I have a few of those for book 2 already also, but that’s because the story wasn’t playing nice and I went to the side with other characters to work things out.

What are your thoughts on epilogues? Would you go outside the norm for your particular genre/sub-genre if that is where the story took you?

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Why do you write?

This question has come up lately. Among a number of other questions that I also cringe and don’t want to answer, but this one I think at least needs to be told.

I began writing stuff on my own when I was 10 or 11. Somewhere around there. I was always reading above my grade level.

But not because I was smart. I read to escape. That eventually turned into writing to escape. What I didn’t know was fanfiction at the time (pen, paper, no internet access back then) was how I traveled to other places and with people that I could pretend cared about me and that I mattered.

Yep, classic Mary Sue. Thankfully, all of that horrible writing has since been destroyed. Even the stuff I wrote when I received my aunt’s old Windows 3.1 computer with a dot matrix printer no longer exists.

I wrote to escape. I wrote to get out my frustrations. I wrote to play around with ideas and concepts. I kept my dirty little secret hidden from the people I knew.

My story isn’t anything special and perhaps a little pathetic, but everyone has their reasons for putting down words. Nowadays I’m putting down words because the characters in my head won’t stop until I’ve told their stories.

And now for something completely different

I needed to take a break from critiques, reviews, and editing. Didn’t quite feel up to logging into the game so I curled up and started searching for a new bike.

Unfortunately, the one I’ve had my eye on is too far out of my price range at this time so I figured I better start looking at the big box stores for something cheap but decent that’ll get me through a few seasons.

As for what happened to my last bike, it found itself a new home at the Boise Bike Project. I completely had it with it last summer when the left crank and pedal fell off while riding along the Greenbelt – my daughter in tow. Prior to that I had problems with tires constantly going flat and only having 7 out of 21 gears working. Not even a professional tune-up fixed that problem.

My husband’s bike is still going strong, but he went with a 29″ mountain bike when we were choosing so totally different from the hybrid I had picked out. Now I’m kind of torn between wanting to get a bike like his or get a road bike because I would like to attempt the Goldilocks ride again.

Though perhaps not this year. Haven’t trained at all for it and kinda lost my cycling partner. The ride doesn’t limit on the style of bike (except tricycles, but that’s a whole extra wheel), but I struggled on the 20 mile ride last year. I could never seem to ride as fast as even my husband on his mountain bike with him pulling our daughter’s trailer never mind someone on a road bike.

By the way, shameless plug, but the Weehoo trailers are awesome. Child loves hers.

So as soon as I manage to find the bike pump, I’ll be trying out my husband’s bike and possibly looking for something similar. I have to admit, those disc brakes do look cool.

Let It Go

Yes, I likely just got that song stuck in your head. You’re welcome.

Joking aside, I met with a fantastic critique group last night. Things may get a bit heated, maybe get stuck on something, but the important part to me was that there was no malice behind it. Something another group I’ve been dragging myself to enjoys doing far too much. It’s hard to sit there when people are tearing you or even someone else apart and being degrading in the process.

I usually keep my mouth shut because while I have my opinions, I don’t figure myself a qualified to voice against those who have spent far more time learning the craft of writing. I kind of just get this idea and go. I’ll iron out story structure and whatnot later.

Now though, that means there will be a lot more people wanting to eventually put eyes on my work and I’m scared to let it go. Especially the mess that book 2 is currently sitting in. Will I get book 1 done in time before people want to read? Will they read it?

I’ve still got to read 2 prior books for someone in my little group (normal group is now little group because I feel like making things sound cute). Eventually I keep saying, but critiquing his book 3 is getting somewhat problematic. I just don’t think I have the time to spare right now.

Not with book 1 needing to be wrapped up by the end of the month. I’m hoping to find the time to get all the extra stuff (back blurb, other book matter, etc.) done early so that I can roll into April with just waiting my turn with my cover designer. And Camp NaNoWriMo because I wasn’t insane enough before.

I’m going to use Camp NaNo to try and launch myself on the rewrite for book 2. Still a filler title right now, but it’s sticking better than the old one.

In any case, I’m sure I’m being silly about not wanting to let go.

Marketing #IWSG

As I work on the last round of edits, I of course look toward the future and what I need to deal with once it is done.

Marketing is of course the big one. How do I launch? Should I set up signings? How do I set up signings? Do I need any particular materials to hand out with the books? Will anyone show up to an event? Will they try to bite me?

A friend of mine has already asked for a signed copy and I’m sitting here like “I don’t even have a copy yet” and “I have no idea what to write.” Then I wonder what to write for others. And then I stay up half the night worrying over a small, insignificant detail. But for all of that worry, it points out how socially awkward I am around others – especially people I’m not familiar with. And that leads to worrying about looking like a fool.

There goes the other half of the night.

And somewhere in there, the wonder of when I should start building the remainder of my social media presence. Knowing I should get my picture taken and how much I hate having it taken (when I was cosplaying, that was totally different – I was, and looked like someone else). Then I realize that I don’t know anyone that could use my camera to do it (at least do it well enough that I wouldn’t cry) or any photographers in the area.

Finally, among these and a bunch of other little details that panic my introverted self, I realize how stupid all of this is to be worrying about and that others will likely think me self-centered or crazy. Then I get back to editing and pray that things will fall into place if I take it one step at a time.

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