Fantasy, Romance, and Other Genre Fiction

Posts tagged ‘help!’

Which shelf? (Your opinion wanted!)

So I’ve been struggling with the Soldaris Saga lately.  I’ve been trying to decide if I want it to try to sell it as romantic fantasy or fantasy romance, so I can point the last of my rewrites and editing in the right direction.

Some of you might wonder what the difference between romantic fantasy and fantasy romance even is.  Basically, romantic fantasy is a “standard” fantasy novel with a bigger plot than just the two characters getting together, but they’re a major part of it.  Fantasy romance focuses on the story of the hero and heroine and their happily ever after, using the rest of the plot as a backdrop.  The first goes in the fantasy and sci-fi section at the bookstore, the latter goes in romance novels.   Yes, it actually matters, if I’m going to sell it, because that also determines where I submit.

I have outlines for both ready to go.  Both outlines lead to the same ending, just told in different ways with the focus on different plot elements and subplots.

I have to admit that I’m curious what my audience would rather read (although if I start on one of the outlines and it doesn’t feel right, I will no doubt move right to the other).

Weigh in in the comments, would you?  ❤

A question for my readers

I have more LTUE posts coming; I’m just getting them polished up.   In the meantime, I’d like to take a moment and talk about what I want to do here in the next couple of weeks.

I haven’t updated this blog as regularly as I might like, because I write when an idea for something to talk about hits me.   If you follow me on Facebook then you might recall that not too long ago, I asked what people might want to see from my blog.  From that short list, I’ve started to develop a list of regular features that I want to do.   I’m going to be implementing these changes and probably updating the way the blog looks once I’ve finished my LTUE write-ups.

But before I do that, I want to give everyone who might not follow me on Facebook a chance to weigh in as well.   What do you want to hear me talk about?  What do you want to see in terms of content?   I’ve updated my current poll page with a contact form.   You can even be completely anonymous if you like.  You can also leave a comment on this post.

Here’s what I’ve got so far for regular feature ideas:

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Help wanted: Beta readers!

I am in need of beta readers.

For those of you who don’t know what a beta reader is, it’s someone who reads your draft before you’re ready to submit and offers feedback.

I could force things on my usual fall-backs:  my mother, for example, or my ex-boyfriend, my friends from high school.  But I’m asking for help because I want to a) give them a break from “here, read this!”, b) give other people the opportunity to see what I’m working on, and c) get new perspectives.   (That doesn’t mean that if you’re one of these people and you’re reading this and WANT to be a beta reader that I’ll exclude you.  I do love you guys, after all.)

I need about five beta readers to feel like I’m getting adequate feedback (I can go with more to a certain point, and I prefer not to go with less).  This is an unpaid position, although if my book gets published my beta readers will all get autographed copies for sure.

I have a few things that I am looking for in a beta reader, and a few things that I’m not asking.   (more…)

State of the Writer, 26 Oct 2013

So I’m sure you’ve all noticed that I’ve been very much absent these past few weeks. Or at least I hope you have.  I would hate to be forgotten.

I feel like sharing the reasons for my absence, even though I know I’m not obligated:

  • My job demands much of my time and energy (10 hour shifts plus 2-3 hours commute time), and leaves little for the writing work I actually enjoy–especially with the fibromyalgia also demanding more than its fair share of my time in rest and recuperation.  For some reason, this has to be through mindless tasks where I don’t have to think, like video games or sleep.    Writing seriously (for profit!) doesn’t qualify as restful even though I wish it did; it qualifies as a second job.
  • My job feels like a soul-sucking dead end chained to a desk (not even a full cubicle!) by a phone cord, and my creativity has been drained and underfed by the demands of being an introvert who is attempting to deliver pleasant customer service for hours upon hours every day.   When I do have the time (the easiest thing to get on my ‘need this in order to write’ list; energy and anything resembling creativity are a lot harder to come by), I find myself staring at the blank page for a long and useless stretch.  Or worse, I end up scribbling profanities and expressing the desire to die in a way that would make the goths from my late 1990s high school proud.   I THINK I can still count this as writing practice… but it’s not going to generate any income or publicity for me.
  • In spite of thinking that I had everything under control, but perhaps not surprising given the emotionally draining nature of my job, it would seem that my anxiety/panic attacks are back.  And with a side helping of severe depression, of course.   I’m not doing well right now.  I’ve been waking up every day in flight-or-fight mode, but there’s nothing to fight and nowhere I can run.   This high-adrenaline limbo is taking a serious toll on both my mental and physical health, and I’m not sure how much longer I can last before something breaks somewhere.  It’s not helping the fibromyalgia, that’s for sure.  Nothing triggers a chronic condition like stress.

I’m working hard to overcome the last one, because it is the worst of the three.  Nothing is as awful as being stuck in flight-or-fight mode and not being able to go either way.  It affects EVERYTHING about a person’s life.

That being said, I still think I’m going to take advantage of what’s left of my weekend today.   I have a bit of yard work to do, and then, if I’m not too terribly shaky still, I may attempt a trip to the bookstore cafe to sit and write something besides death and profanities….

Wish me health and luck and good thoughts/prayers if you can.  I really need them all right now in doses I can’t make happen alone.

❤ ❤ ❤

(And PS- if you haven’t yet bought my book, that could help me out a little too!  Share it with your friends/family/etc. as well!  Okay, shameless plug over now.  😛  I love you all. )

A quick question for my readers

Disclaimer: This is not the announcement of the start of a project.  This is determining if there is enough interest to make running a project campaign worth it.

Lately I’ve been thinking about using Kickstarter to help fund the self-publishing of one or more of my fantasy/supernatural books.  (There are other crowdfunding options out there, yes, but I’m leaning toward Kickstarter because of its emphasis on creative works.)

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The Flaw in Spoon Theory

So I’ve discovered the flaw in Spoon Theory, especially for those of us who only have two or three spoons to spend every day to begin with.   The problem with Spoon Theory is that society in general insists on your spoons for the day being spent in a certain way, not necessarily on the things that you deem important to personal growth, stability, and happiness.

Things that have taken up my spoons lately: (more…)

Networking Noob

I ran into an old friend from high school a couple of weeks ago.  His wife just got her first book published, and going to her release event was both reassuring and disheartening.  It was disheartening because I wanted to be published by now, and I know I haven’t put in all the work that I should have to meet that goal.   It was reassuring, however, to know that hey, people I know are getting published.  People I know are actually able to follow this crazy dream.  Why can’t I do the same?

I think the thing that stands most in my way at this point is not knowing the right people.  I don’t know any agents, I don’t know anyone famous who has read my work, and I certainly don’t know any editors, publishers, or marketing experts.   I’m a fairly naturally antisocial person, so getting out of my comfort zone socially is really difficult to do.  But as the old adage goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who.”    I’ve got good material… but it hasn’t gotten to the right person yet.

I guess I’m asking for help.  I don’t know if anyone who has the right advice reads my blog, but I imagine that all sorts of business networking and the like have principles that might be relevant to what I need.  I need to learn how to schmooze, socialize, and network without fear.  I need to learn how to recognize the right people, and then, how to impress them.

Does anyone have any advice on this?

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