Sometimes distractions can lead us away from our goals. Often times I find myself getting tunnel vision when I am writing an idea and that’s not always the best thing. For the stories I am developing, I had a point A to point B plan and that was not the way it should have been. There is more to a great book than who, what, when, where, and why. An explanation can be developed from those, but not a great story. Sometimes stepping away and doing other things can help you reclaim your idea from a narrow vision and assist you in turning a good idea into an magnificent book.
In October, I purposely stepped away from my stories and kept myself from writing. Why? I felt like I was becoming bored with the process. I still had idea I knew were good, but I felt like something was lacking in my writing. I needed to find a way to develop more than just an A to B story. My first book Rumbling Heart was more than an A to B story and it shows in the quality of the development not only of the work, but also the characters and the atmosphere. Sometimes reading a book can help you reevaluate and refocus on what you are trying to do. In my case though, being able to now see things from a different angle is a double-edged sword.
I looked over my work and even over some reviews and bits of feed back I have gotten over my work. The good reviews are always nice, but it is the bad reviews that always stick with you. Why? Just human nature I suppose. Here is a snippet of a negative review RH got and my response to it.
Negative reviews happen. There is no way around it. Being a writer I accept that and I know there will always be people who either do not understand my work or, for whatever reason, want to find reasons to make it seem as if I did a huge disservice to the human race. I did find it interesting that this person thought her review was constructive. You can see my response to her review in the photo as well. Her response was once again nonconstructive. I liken this review to calling someone names because that is essentially what they did. If you feel the need to call me (or my work) “stupid” without offering any reason as to why you felt that way or any way to improve it, the review is completely pointless. Offering no way to improve on something is about as bad as crying because you didn’t get your way. If I were a coach and I told a child they were terrible at football or whatever other sport I was coaching them in, I wouldn’t remain a coach very long. Obviously you cannot really liken coaching to reviewing a book or a movie or whatever else you can give feedback on. Reviewers aren’t coaches. I realize that. But at the same time people who do offer feedback need to understand that the main reason you give feedback, be it positive, negative, or mixed, is so people who develop their ideas can improve and make things better the next time around. What is the point of simply calling people or their work names? Sounds to me like certain individuals either lack the ability to express themselves or they feel the need to tear someone down.
Success also breeds negativity.
I will not say I am very successful. I haven’t sold a ton of books and I haven’t made all kinds of money at this. It was never really about money anyway. I have over the last year and a half gotten hurtful messages and emails from people who see that I was somehow able to hash it out and write a book. Not many people can say they’ve done that. Sure, some people can write a small story, but my first book was 475+ pages. A little long, but anyone has to admit that writing a book of that size takes time and commitment. My followup to my first book is much shorter, but still comes in at about 300 pages. No small feat. Another big story for me which is about 70% complete will probably come in at about 275 pages. Again, not many people in the world can say they can sit down and accomplish such a thing. I am not saying I should automatically get a great review for the effort, but I would hope that people like me…artists…deserve at the very least a review explaining exactly why our work is either good, bad, or mixed.
A good review does not always have to be positive. If you gave me 1 or 2 stars, but explained why this or that was unappealing to you, I could respect that. Not offering any explanation whatsoever makes me think the person is either just looking to be mean or trolling. In a way, they are kind of the same thing.
If you are a reviewer like I am from time to time, do the artist a favor and explain why you think one way or another. In the end, we will thank you for it and so will other readers.
I was thinking I would release my next refinished work Recorded Butterflies Some time in the early fall. I am rethinking that decision.
I’ve been doing a lot of writing on two separate projects. When I feel exhausted by one I switch to the other. This is going against my regular pattern of sticking with one project till I finish it. I’ve found that the worlds I’ve built in my books are really all the same one. With that thought in mind, I decided to have my new work based in the same world as my current one, but with a whole new cast of characters. I will still finish up the Rumbling Heart series, but the next work after that will have new people, new ideas, and will probably a little more extreme in many regards.
While RH has it’s lighter moments, there isn’t a large amount of comedy in it. The piece I am working on with all new characters is called In Search of the Dream Catcher and it will have more comical or lighthearted bits within it. That being said, I have also decided to make it, at times, much darker than my previous works. There will be a fair amount of grit included in it and I hope it will get people at the very least thinking about certain points and topics. While it’s not a preacher’s piece, it will ask readers to look into uncomfortable situations and have them think about the way the world is. In some ways, it will also consist of material that is even more personal that my past works.
People purposely avoid things that make them uncomfortable. Sometimes they will avoid them even if it means neglecting a friend or a family member. Many of us want to believe that when the chips are down and a friend of ours is hurting, that we will be there to help them. Sure, we all want to think we are the better person. Dream Catcher will drop the situation in your lap and get you questioning your devotion to those ideals.
With all this new information, I am also announcing that with my next release, I will release not one book, but possibly as many as 4 all at one time. Why you might ask?
People don’t like cliffhangers.
I’ve discovered while writing that often times you are forced to end a story at a critical juncture. While it can add to the dramatics of the story, it can also serious annoy your readers. I know, back when I used to watch television, I hated when a series finale was ended with a cliffhanger. It would make me feel ripped off and now suddenly I am being asked to wait all summer till the fall premiere to find out what happens. Don’ you hate that? It’s even worse for something like a movie or a book. In some cases, you have to wait years to find out how it all ends up.
Rumbling Heart, I feel, is a good enough story with a satisfactory ending…and I could have left it right there and I think people would have been alright with it. But no. I had more to write so the story continues and when I am finally done telling it, I don’t want to leave my readers out in the cold. It is my wish to release Recorded Butterflies, Emily Martin, and A Little Pain all at once so if people want, they can read the entire saga one right after the other without having to wait months or years to find out how it all ends. I am forced to break them up into separate books. Otherwise, the story would be about 1600 pages long…and that’s a REALLY big book.
Dream Catcher, as I mentioned, will be in the same world, but with different characters. I am not ruling out bringing back some of my older characters. But I’d like to be able to set them aside so that they don’t overstay their welcome. I think of it as sort of like a television series that’s jumped the shark. You and the rest of the audience knows that it should have ended way back in season 4, yet here it is in season 8 and the characters are turning into shells of what they once were. I never want my characters to end up like that. Can they come by for a little visit? Sure! But once ALP is released, that will be pretty much it for those characters. Could I revisit them in say 10 years? Maybe. We’ll just have to wait and see how that plays out. Until then, I am working like mad to finish up these two final works. Release date? I’d like it no later than December, but sometimes it takes a long time to figure out the best way to make things right.
Here it is. Simple, nothing splashy. Just the way I like it. Can you find the butterfly? You will probably miss it the first time.
In case you all haven’t had the opportunity to check out Ruby’s book We Are All Retarded, now will be your chance. Starting July 5th, her book will be free on Amazon.com. That’s right, 100% free. I must warn you though. It’s a book for adults only and you will probably be offended at least once. You’ll laugh the rest of the time. She’s harsh, she’s raunchy, she’ll hopefully make you think about how retarded we all really are. You can see her book listed on Amazon by clicking here.
Remember! Starting tomorrow, July 5th, you can pick up the book for free so don’t miss out!
Here we are again. Some changes have filtered through so let’s see what we’ve got.
rumbling heart novel
ruby jones website
It seems Ruby still has a stalker. The best thing he can do is buy her book and read it. It’s not half bad either. So to Ruby’s stalker, go buy her book. If you’ve already done that, get your friends to buy it.
I know the first thing people are going to think. No, I am not bitter. I enjoy other people’s success. When people become successful, I am genuinely happy for them. That being said, I do find it ironic that people who don’t put as much hard work and dedication into their writing are somehow making it.
I am reading a book which will remain nameless as I don’t want this to come across as lashing out at this person. I do not know them personally so this is not a personal attack. Their book is doing very well, hanging around in the Amazon top 100. I pick it up and start reading it and think it’s not so bad…except for the editing. I am in no way taking away from the story as it seems decent and is keeping me interested, yet the editing is almost non existent. Virtually every single page has errors on it. I am not making this up. Pick a page and there will be an error on it. Quotations are incorrectly used throughout, periods are in the wrong places, ellipses are used and spaced incorrectly…yet it’s top 100.
Maybe I am being just a bitter pill. I work for almost 2 years on a book and go line by line, making sure it’s virtually error free, yet a book that would be rejected by a college English teacher is making it. Like I said, her story isn’t bad. Of course I would think mine is better, but it just pains me to see that more of us indie writers are still carrying this black eye because of terrible editing like this making it out there. The saddest part is I doubt anyone except writers and editors are even really noticing or caring. Call me old fashion, but if you are going to write a book, at least make sure you edit the hell out of it. A few mistakes are fine, but every page?
Sitting here and waiting for my book to arrive is gonna eat me alive. To know it will be available in print is beyond exciting. I ordered my proofs and that’s why I can’t sit still. Could also be Parkinson’s, but i doubt that. Technically, my meds cause Parkinson’s symptoms, but let’s not go downhill. Apparently, the books have already shipped and should be here in a few days. I ordered three copies so I can give a couple away. I want to keep one for myself so I can always have something from my writing days.
Rumbling Heart is now live on three major book outlets. Go pick it up if you like! I am sure you all will enjoy it!