Ask and you Shall Receive

Funny thing has happened twice recently. People have asked me what I’m writing. No one asks me this. First, because no one really cares. Second, because it’s just not something I talk about with anyone. The answer has been nothing for some time now.

But I just recently told y’all I’ve thought of a new idea, which I have. It’s still just a basic premise. 2017 has a long way to go. I’m confident I’ll finally be able to tell those few curious people that I’m working on book 2. And knowing that is a rather nice feeling.

How Many Words to Make a Book?

The other day I wrote a post about perhaps not finishing a book I’d started. Multiple people told me about what they do when they don’t finish reading books they start.

One person said if she makes it to page 200 and still doesn’t like it, then she won’t force herself to continue. Which is fine, no one says you have to finish every book you start. But she proceeded to say that her reasoning behind writing a review for the book she didn’t finish and also including it in her list of read titles is because 200 pages equals 50k words, what she called the “rule of thumb for the length of a novel”.

UH NO.

Before the advent of NaNoWriMo no one would actually believe 50k words is the magic number in which your words and chapters become a novel. And just because people say it doesn’t make it so.

There’s a site I once discovered (I can’t remember it now) that would tell you the word counts of books. I played around with it for a bit and found just about every title I entered was well over 100k words. What if your favorite authors actually believed this. “Oh, I hit 50k words. ALL DONE!” It’s laughable that people believe this nonsense.

I just read an article on Writer’s Digest about word counts and the author of the article identified a good word count range for lower Middle Grade as 20k-55k words, but said anything written for a 12-year-old or older should be higher. Every other genre should have significantly higher word counts, in his opinion. Some well over 100k words.

Do you think 50k words is the “rule of thumb for the length of a novel”? I definitely do not. And have never heard an author or publishing professional identify it as such. But what do I know, right?

A Second Book Idea?

Could it be? Have I finally thought of a new book idea? Yes.

A little back story here. I self-published my book more than three years ago. I didn’t come out of college with the goal of securing a good job or traveling the world, I came out with the single goal of writing a book. Some of you will recall the original name of this blog as Write me a Book, John!.

After I published my book I immediately began work on book 2. Cause I’m obviously a prolific author. I soon realized the second time around was different. The drive simply wasn’t there and the story itself wasn’t clicking. I made it about 30,000 words into that first draft of my second book when I abandoned it. My memory tells me I wrote myself into a corner I couldn’t get out of.

Early yesterday morning I came up with a new idea. And who knows, maybe I’ll get started on it sometime soon.

There are plenty of writers out there better than me. Better stories. Better ideas. Better writing backgrounds. Which means I have plenty of room for improvement. Leggo.

What do you do when you’re discouraged with your writing? I did nothing and it’s cost me nearly four years.

Just a Feeling

Once upon a time I was a writer. During high school. During college. Immediately after graduation. Writing was a constant for several years, though I have no idea where the enjoyment came from. Things just happen sometimes.

And sometimes they just don’t. I haven’t written anything of substance in almost three years. But something changes in your mindset and perspective after you read your own work, which I did this month. It takes you back to the hours spent staring at your computer screen just thinking. Thinking of what’s supposed to come next in the story, and thinking of where it’s headed.

I was also taken back to how excited I was to be writing a REAL BOOK. I don’t currently have any ideas swirling around inside my head, but I think I’m the slightest bit closer to getting back into my writing than I have been in some time. Encouragement and nice people don’t mean anything at this point because it falls on my shoulders and no one else’s. Either I’ll do it or I won’t, and nothing any person says is going to change that.

Do all Book Genres Share This?

I’ve thought about this quite a bit. It’s the one thing I can say all genres share. Every well written book in every genre is actually a mystery book.

What I mean is just about every author aims to leave the reader guessing by not being predictable. Mystery is mostly crime fiction at this point, but that’s an arbitrary classification. Any author who keeps their cards close to their chest throughout the story is actually writing a mystery.

Not every book is a mystery and not every author writes them, but I’d argue that every genre is full of mysteries and mystery writers. Even if these works are classified differently.

What do you think?

Answer a Question and win big

There’s a new literary prize in town, and it’s offering a nice prize. The concept is simple. You answer a question and submit a proposal on how you’d expand your answer into a short book. The winner receives $100,000 and a publishing deal. Not bad, right?

So, here’s your chance. Answer the following question, “Are digital technologies making politics impossible?”

Send your response to ninedotsprize.org and prepare for the win!

You could also be funny and just say yes or no, though I wouldn’t recommend doing so. 😂

The inaugural prize will be awarded in January. 

Kickstarter for Books

If you’re familiar with Kickstarter, then you know exactly what I’m about to describe to you even before I do. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that allows people to pitch their project to potential backers who then decide if it’s worthy of backing. There are a number of similar sites out there.

Now there’s also Inkshares. Which is exactly the same concept, but exclusively for books. As an author you post snippets from your book on the site in an attempt to build up a following. Then ask them to help fund the project.

Two things immediately popped into my head when I read this. First, there are already so many crowdfunding sites out there that this is likely to get lost in the mix. Second, there are crowdpublishing sites run by major publishers that publish books based on ratings and reviews by readers. Readers don’t pay anything, they simply read a sample and leave feedback.

This site will likely be touted as a nice mix of traditional and self-publishing, but it isn’t. The editorial board will only edit the book if it reaches 750 backers or minimally if it reaches 250. I don’t see anything traditional about that.

I think authors would be better suited to try different platforms before this one. It just doesn’t sound like a winner to me.

Would you use Inkshares to potentially publish your book?

Publishing Infomercials?

I’ve never been one to sleep at what most might call a “normal” hour, which means if my TV is on there’s a good chance the late night infomercials are trying to sell me something. Honestly, I’ve not once bought anything after watching an infomercial. The prices are rarely reasonable in my eyes.

But last night I had my TV on and caught a glimpse of a publishing infomercial. Are those a thing now? I can’t even tell you what they were selling, though it was likely some kind of book or kit that’s supposed to give you all the self publishing secrets to success. Other infomercials are pushing a product, but I can’t imagine this self publishing whatever it was having anything of worth. It seems to me that someone is trying to capitalize on the mindset I’ve encountered so many times from those considering self publishing. Releasing something as soon as possible in order to make money as soon as possible. The TV product most definitely attacked the latter of the two.

First, have you ever bought anything after watching an infomercial? Second, would you buy a guide to self publishing after seeing it on an infomercial even though there are plenty of extensively researched guides available at your local bookstore or online?

Stephenie Meyer to Release new Book

Welp.

Stephenie Meyer is releasing a new book later this year. But thankfully it has nothing to do with werewolves or vampires or poorly written female characters. It’s actually a thriller.

Wait, what?

Yes. The author who gave the world Bella and Edward is now giving us something we all want. A novel for adults. I was surprised when I read it’ll be her second novel written for adults. The Host was evidently the first one, which was always shelved in the young adult section at my store.

I think it’d be wonderful if she does what other prominent authors have done and starts writing in every genre imaginable. Because we need more of those authors, right?

Do you have any interest in Stephenie Meyer’s new book The Chemist?