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The Soul of a Writer

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Good afternoon (or morning, depending on where you’re at)! I had a rough Sunday night. I got violently ill and couldn’t write or read for the rest of the evening. So that’s why this post is late. Feeling a tad bit better, but still shaky. Let’s get on with this, shall we…

Last week was amazing and a bit humbling. I learned something about how Amazon handles author sales and ranking. If that doesn’t humble you, you must be a robot. Needless to say, a day of no sales can hurt.

I also learned about self-promoting. I already knew that nobody (me included) enjoys being hit over the head with ‘buy me’ messages all day long by the same person. But a casual approach doesn’t work either. It’s finding that perfect, elusive mix. I’ll be working on my marketing messages (I’ll have a special promotion coming soon) so bear with me. I’ll do my best not to hit you over the head or even blindside you. I will continue to provide you information about my books and myself.

Let’s see how I did last week with my writing.

1) LAST WEEK’S PROJECTIONS:

*Continue revising A Demon’s Birthright. The plan is to revise Chapters 16 – 18. I’m at Chapter 20. I was in the middle of revising a chapter when I realized I really needed to show and delve into Cullen’s feelings. I had this big emotional scene and nothing from him. I went to the following day with the female lead. Not cool. So Cullen gets a viewpoint. I’ll be shuffling chapters around as well. 

*Sketch out at least FIVE of the remaining scenes for Restore. Didn’t happen. I added details to one scene, which were needed. 

*Start re-reading of Rescue. I’ve turned on the Narrator function in Windows. Hopefully this will catch mistakes that seem to slip past another set of eyes (extra words in sentences). Can I say Narrator sucks? Seriously, it does. So I’m hitting it the old-fashioned way… reading it myself aloud. That’s what I was attempting to do yesterday before I took ill. The goal is to get beta readers on board by April 18 (if interested AND you’ve read Regress, send an email to sfbenson@authorsfbenson.com).

2) THIS WEEK’S PROJECTIONS:

*Continue revising A Demon’s Birthright. The plan is to revise Chapters 20 – 22. Devote chapters to Cullen’s POV.

*Sketch out at least TWO of the remaining scenes for Restore. Add details where needed. (May 1st I start writing the rough draft.)

*Continue re-reading of Rescue.

3) A FAVORITE LINE OR PASSAGE FROM MY STORY THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED: [Cullen’s POV in A Demon’s Birthright]

Why couldn’t I get her out of my head? You’d think after all this time I’d forget about her. Nope. Her memory tormented me on a regular basis. Seeing someone’s death will do that to you. If I could scrub my brain, it wouldn’t be enough. So I drink and screw around trying to find a little peace.

This is from the chapter I added in Cullen’s POV. I wanted to show that he wasn’t just a jerk. He does have some depth and there’s a reason for what he does. The more you get to know him you’ll love him. He’s a strong man who is at war with his emotions over a girl he’s not supposed to care about.

4) THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED LAST WEEK: Jumping to conclusions. Hey, I’m human, and some of us humans have a problem with waiting. When we wait, we form our own conclusions, right or wrong. As I waited for Amazon to add my title to the Kindle store, I jumped to conclusions (Is there a problem?). As I waited for people to respond and subsequently buy/download, I jumped to conclusions (Maybe the book isn’t that good. I’m a nobody in a big ocean of books. Who would want to read it?).

My husband dealt with his own conclusion jumping last week about something totally unrelated. It’s amazing how I could point out his flaw, but couldn’t see my own. As I told him, and later myself, we’re human. We assume things when we don’t hear a word. Whether waiting for feedback or a phone call about a job, we panic when all you hear are the crickets. It’s not a comfortable feeling. We like comfort. We relish comfort. We crave comfort. All humans do. Some of us, however, handle it with grace. Then there are those of us who drive our loved ones crazy with it. We talk too much. We eat too much. We complain too much. The one thing we don’t do is relax too much. We don’t sit back and say ‘it will pass’. This ‘instant on’ society we now live in has made us expect instant gratification. We want to send out an email and get a rapid response just like with direct messaging/text messages. We want emoticons to let us know people love us.

And that’s the bottom line. We want to be loved. We’ve associated responses with love. When we don’t get a rapid response, we assume people don’t like or love us. It doesn’t matter how thick your skin might be. We all want the same thing. Even my fictional characters struggle with it.

5) SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WIP: I love my characters from The Alliance Chronicles. They are interesting young adults exploring their world and finding their place in it. The characters in A Demon’s Birthright, however, are discovering themselves on a whole different level. It’s make believe in the real world. It’s about acceptance of self and others. These characters have to embrace their truths (just like Tru and Zared), but their discoveries come with magical consequences. This work in progress is stretching my imagination, and I like that.

That’s it for this week!

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