5 self-publishing truths few authors talk about

Suffolk Scribblings

writing-is-hard

One of the hardest thing to watch on social media is an author, usually a debut author, getting excited about their upcoming book launch and knowing they are about to get hit around the head with a hard dose of reality.

They’ve done the right things, built up a twitter or Facebook following, blogged about the book, sent copies out for review, told all their friends about the upcoming launch, pulled together a promo video and graphic, maybe taken out some adverts. The first few days after launch are filled with excited tweets, mentions of early positive reviews and chart rankings. Then, after a few days, maybe a few weeks, the positive tweets stop and an air of desperation sets in as the reality of life as an indie author hits home.

Part of the problem is that the authors most vocal on social media are those that have already seen self-publishing…

View original post 835 more words

Advertisements

Writing Prompt – Nameless Gods

The prompt was to write a story that included gods.

She checked her watch again. 8:15

He said he’d be there.

Punctuality wasn’t necessarily part of his breeding. Neither was keeping promises.

Her heart raced, with a heavy heartbeat as the nervous twisting of her stomach started to cave to her fears.

He didn’t mean it. He never meant it. All of this was just a lie.

She was a mortal, and he—

He was above her in every way. They could never, and would never be.

After another glance at her watch, she decided to head home.

Slipping her hands into her pockets, hunching her shoulders against the chill, she slowly walked back down the sidewalk the way she had come.

~*~

“That’s it, watch.” The smooth voice whispered into his ear.

The curls in her long brown hair blew sweetly, gently, bouncing a touch with each step she took. It was agonizing to see her this way. Her beautiful plum colored coat, gently running with the shapes of her mortal body, her cute plum hat cocked sweetly to the side to frame her face.

He watched her cry, walking away from where he would have been waiting for her. His insides burst in rage. But he held it back, he had to be strong. His father was watching. Always watching.

“We must keep the checks and balances between our kind and theirs. You know what the punishment is for dabbling with humans.” The last word was a sneer. “They are beneath us! Lowly, disgusting creatures. Fighting among themselves to achieve futile dreams of Greatness.”

He closed his eyes and gently shook his head. He knew otherwise. Not all mankind were corrupt. He had found Purity, Innocence, Honesty. Love. And he was never going to see her again.

She was nothing like the endless scores of goddesses longing to be at his feet.

She was something more. Something to be conquered, not succumb to. New, free– and off limits.

“Come away from the window, brother. Come and drink, be merry! For today, you have proven worthy to Father, and we will all celebrate. You shall be King.”

“I don’t feel like celebrating.”

“Why? Because we’re not humans? Would you rather spend your time with them?” He pointed down at the earth.

“Yes.” He shouted, lightning cracking across the room. The anger pulsing through his celestial body threatened to create chaos and madness if his brother did not stop taunting.

A dark snicker escaped behind curled lips, “Oh my dear, dear brother. Do not do this. You should not do this. Neither of us want to turn the tides of the day.” He moved slowly towards the younger immortal, “As it is, you should be thanking me for today.”

“And why is that?”

“Because, little one, it is I who saved your Fate.”

“What do you mean?” Fear quickened his breath, as the anger continued to burn inside of him.

Sauntering to the window, looking down over the world below them, the elder brother let a whimsic hiss escape his teeth, “I am the one, who turned you in.”

“You did what?!” The violent assault of his thoughts yanked his brother by the shirt collar, holding him up against the glass.

“Now, now, come brother dear, we both knew it was for the best.”

He could be so smug. What burned more was that he was powerless to do anything against his brother. The younger god, the immortal god, gods who would never die. Banishment, not death, was their greatest fear. Though he would face neither if he rebelled against the Immortals, dying and coming back here at the end of a life of mortal days did not bode well with him either.

There was no hope in loving a mortal.

There was no hope in escaping this chaotic world of Celestial order.

There was only to live, and to continue to live. Ageless, loveless, and ultimately- friendless. After all of eternity, and more to come, there was a great deal of dirt to be had on one another. And there would be no end to the misery of being a god.

Winter

Winter whitened the darkened earth

The blinding glare would garish shine

With the glowing embers smoldering in the hearth

The stormy gale desperate would whine

Burying deeper the life that is no more

Pale the lace falls faster, faster

Hiding whatever was there before

Oh Winters Edge! All are succumb to you, Master.

Desperate to keep our lives,

We fall before your hand

Bundled up to warm the insides

None before your bitterness will stand

Oh Winters Edge forsake us here

Leave us alone from your torments

Your frost and white out we very much fear

Rid us of your icy adornments

Bittersweet is your bitter sting

And our toes grow numb at your touch

We pray, we pray, that you will summon Spring

Of your trickery we have had enough.

The fireside is our greatest friend

To keep us from your chill

Your vagrant blasts always rend

The doors wide open with your torturous skill.

Writing Tips

Everyone wonders how to become a better writer.

A faster writer.

A deeper writer.

Able to work against deadlines.

I do not possess the answers to these questions, looking for them myself.

BUT I do happen to have a few ideas to help you become a faster writer.

1. Type Songs As They Play

When I was learning to type, and trying to reach at least 80WPM, I started typing to lyrics.  Yes, song lyrics.

Not only did this help speed up my dictatorial typing skills, it also helped me learn to type as I thought.

2. Challenge Other Writer Friends

I have a serious competitive nature.  When a friend of mine started challenging the rest of us to 500 word races, I started to learn how to write things quickly, and put them directly from my imagination onto the page.  I can produce 500 words in 15 minutes.  Once, during a 5 minute race, I produced 211 words.  Legible, and workable words.

3. Write To Get It Right The First Time

Everyone of us will produce more than one draft.  That’s just going to happen.  But, if we write in such a way that we are determined to publish the first draft, we’re going to write it to the best of our ability.  Always remember that you’re going to edit and rework scenes along the way anyway.

The only problem with getting it right the first time, would be those personalities that will edit the first chapter, over and over, and never finish the rest of the book.  If this is you, JUST FINISH THE BOOK.  Then you can work on it.  Get your idea out, and the rest will follow.  Writing it is the first step, so for heaven sake, don’t stop for anything.  Just write it.  Even the greatest of authors struggle with their first draft.  The books on the shelves aren’t Great until they’ve passed through the hands of editors.

So get off of WordPress, and go finish that project you started.  The world needs your book, now write it.

The Ranger Of Severum: Episode 1

Cloaked in darkness, the ranger moved swiftly through the night. The scent of blood lingered in every inhale of cold air, it sent thrilling chills up his spine.

Trillian hopped swiftly onto a boulder for a better view of the battle grounds of Taar. His dark violet eyes scanned the moon washed fields for any sign of life, but all he saw were the carcasses of the trolls of Ganth, which had been left to rot in the open plain. The ranger had been sent back to find what his students had missed in the earlier scrimmage. Unfortunately, their training had turned into a real battle and the young rangers had fled in fear, leaving the experienced trainers and swordsmen to fight off the advancing horde of beasts.

Trillian searched the surrounding forest, but found no sign of life anywhere. He sighed heavily, it had been quite a day and a final kill would ease the tension.

After an hour, Trillian gave up. Nothing was out in the night. Not even the old white owl who haunted the battle grounds of Taar with his banshee-like wail.

“You know,” Trillian said thinking aloud, “if I had been harder on my students, they might have learned to fear me as they do Sideon.” He pushed his dark hood off of his head, letting his hair flow down over his shoulders. His long hair was jet black, naturally streaked with deep red highlights. He ran a gloved hand over his narrow face, massaging his high cheekbones, then rubbing his inset eyes. “Yes, were I as strict as our Master.” He laughed at himself.

Suddenly, a cry of distress in the most melodic voice he had ever heard broke the silence. Instinctively, he ran toward the screams. Drawing his hood low upon his face and replacing his black leather gloves, Trillian slid silently into the clearing from which the screams were coming.

To his horror, the young woman crying out for help, was surrounded by three of the druid knights from Câr. A small hunting knife glinted in her hand, paling in comparison to the broadswords the druids pointed in her direction.

Trillian strung an arrow on his bow, then hesitated, intrigued to see how the situation might turn out.

The woman threw her dagger at one of the knights, which missed its target and stuck fast in a tree just beyond him.

Seeing she was now miserably weaponless, Trillian intervened, bringing down one of the knights with his skillful aim. The other of the two turned, taken off guard as another arrow hissed through the air.

One of the knights grabbed the woman and carried her off into the trees as the other stood guard, carefully avoiding the volley of arrows rhythmically flowing in his direction.

Once the knight and woman were safely hidden in the forest, the druid hissed sharply, “Show yourself! You who dare to take away our prey, did you not see us here first?” Each “s” was spoken in snake like breaths of air through the knight’s teeth, which clashed brightly against his black lips and glowing green eyes.

Trillian knew better than to speak. These demons only needed to hear a voice to kill an enemy.

He moved swiftly out of the line of fire, lest the druid decide to throw some form of magic in the direction from which the arrows had been raining.

“You are a smart one, I will give you that. I sense your presence, but your silence disavowals my ability to summon power against you.” Raising his hand, the druid sent a ring of blue fire in the direction from which the arrows had come.

Trillian heard the mock sound of laughter in the voice of his adversary, as he stole silently around the druid.

The druid hissed, “I feel your breath, so I know you are still here. Why don’t you fight like a man and show yourself?”

Trillian dodged a radius attack of purple smoke as he slid around a tree. He tipped an arrow in the vial of poison he carried with him, strung his bow, and spoke softly to the arrow, bidding it fly quietly and quickly. He aimed for the druid’s heart, letting loose the arrow. It landed perfectly embedded in its target.

The druid cried out as he removed the arrow, grunting angrily as he realized the poison had already released into his body. “That is not fair. What did I do to you?”

Trillian tipped another arrow, as he ran stealthily to another location.

A burst of flame disintegrated the tree Trillian had been hiding behind.

The druid was losing strength. He whirled about, “Where are you?” sending another radiant plume of smoke into the forest.

Trillian held his breath and hid behind the tree to escape the toxic fumes.

This time the druid walked in and out of the trees, shadowing them with an inky black liquid.

Trillian recognized the fluid as Leuth, a cruel poison that melted any form of flesh, fur, or fabric that touched it. He strung his second arrow, and it hissed quietly into the back of the druid, siding into his heart.

The druid gave a blood curling cry as he shrunk to the ground.

The ranger waited for a few moments before coming out to examine his kill, satisfied that the druid was indeed dead, Trillian kicked the body harshly. “May the fires of Hell be comfort to your damned soul.”

He hurried with swift soundless steps into the forest to find the last druid, and the woman brazen enough, it seemed, to have traveled at night by herself.

Record Timing: 211 words in 5 minutes

Written during a word race, “Write as many words as you can in 5 minutes”

The cries across the battlefield were drowned out by the artillery.

As Greg found himself facing down death, he wondered what it would be like to die.

Suddenly, her face appeared. Smooth, white skin almost like porcelain. Bright blue eyes that reminded him of the sky. Long copper curls that danced wildly in the wind the day he asked her to marry him.

And in that moment, he realized, he did not want to die. These games Politicians played with other countries– they were not for him. They were not for any of his battle buddies lining the field as cold, dead corpses.

Backing away from the scope on his sniper rifle, he made the final decision.

He was going to run.

Dropping back from the front, where everyone else was dead anyway, he sprinted as fast as he could in the opposite direction.

The trees just ahead were good cover until he could figure out what to do next.

Another explosion sounded in the distance as bombs were dropped from enemy planes.

This was it. Do or die.

And right now the will to live long enough to be court marshaled was enough, just as long as he could taste her beautiful lips, and hold her body close once more.