Aspiring author and random thinker

Tag Archives: Arts

On Reviews: Indie vs. Traditional

So I started reviewing independently published books. Interestingly enough, I find myself automatically assuming a lower quality and giving it a generous rating/review considering that it’s the work of a few people instead of an endless stream of professionals. After writing my first review and giving it a 4 star rating, I started asking myself ‘Should I be as harsh as I’m with other book or should I be giving it a chance?’

The question is an easy one to answer, considering that I experienced publishing my book independently and know how useful these reviews are. No, with traditional books I expect them to be perfect and harshly criticize even the smallest error, but indie books are different. First of all, the writers need the moral support and the reviews help them maintain their motivation, which would indubitably result in the improvement of their craft. Second, it’s a general notion that indie books are less polished that traditional ones. The core concept or idea, however, deserves no leniency in my opinion. Writing can be improved, but not creativity – although behavioral psychologists would disagree with me.

From a readers perspective, I believe that they also tend to read indie books with the same demeanor as I do, expecting them to be of slightly lesser quality than traditionally published books, unless the author is some sort of millionaire willing to spend a fortune on her/his work. So I don’t believe I’m cheating the reviewers by giving a high score for indie books. PS: I never give a 5 star or 100% score to any book that I don’t find myself enthralled with.

As the market for indie publishing quickly becomes more and more competitive, the threshold set for acceptable books and their rating increases. These days indie authors are starting to invest significant amounts of cash in the both post and pre-publication process. Will this market eventually end up similar to the traditional one, or will it remain in a relatively shark-free zone?


On Writing: Weakness Detected

It has been nine days since my book was released and I got no complete reviews yet. However, I got a few reviews so far which were conclusive about one thing, I need to learn how to write better, grammar and all. The writing is too formal for literature and unpolished, perhaps something which could be improved by a good editor. Conversations feel unnatural, something which I could get away with considering the genre I write.

Fortunately, my weaknesses can be improved, considering I am willing to dedicate time and effort to make it so. Having creativity makes the learning process bearable, if not enjoyable, because at least I get to do something I am excited about. So far I have been writing and reading a lot, but I have not yet come to study the craft. I will be conducting some research about books/tutorials/lectures to help improve my weak points and let you know about them.

On Writing: Nearly Finished & Ready to Publish

I have finished my story, as most of the ones who read my posts know, and am currently facing a whole new bunch of issues that require addressing. For starters, the reviewing process is becoming rather tedious, yet not to an extend that would allow me to consider procrastination. I have also started designing my book cover for the only intended publishing version of my book, electronic.

However, there are a few things that I have gotten out of my way. First of all, I have decided to publish via Amazon Kindle my electronic, and only, version of the book. I have also reached a conclusion regarding the pricing of my book. My original intention was to offer the book for free, as I do not seek to profit from writing considering that my skill has not reached the appropriate level for such action. As of this moment, I decided to price it 1.99-2.99$ – namely because several sources noted that free work tends to be associated with a low quality which directly effects exposure.

As I previously posted, attempts to officially publish my first book, not the one hogging the topic of this post, did not go as I expected – namely because there is no reason for a literally agent to trust an unpublished and unknown author. This, however, did not negatively affect my resolve, but boosted my will to find alternative means of getting my work out there.

This has been another post which had only the purpose of logging my journey so far, and I hope that it would not bore you. I would finally like to offer my sincere encouragements to whoever seeks to write and publish her or his work. Do not give up, for refusals in this field are far more than reason dictates, but I believe that the few who make it are either the ones gifted in the craft, or with iron-bound resolve.

Good luck in whatever you seek, be it writing or not.

On Writing: New Appreciation

As I held a book in my hands today and read from it, I realized that writing did more to me than provide an outlet for self-expression; it allowed me to appreciate reading far more than I used to. It is a strange feeling when you start seeing the world from a writer’s perspective. Suddenly, Everything I experience become observed in a different manner. Everything I read is a valuable source of knowledge and self-improvement. After writing over 160,000 words in a span of six months, I am starting to see the world from a different perspective. A pleasant perspective filled with emotion and admiration. Writing really makes you think.

I had a cousin visiting the past week and she told me that she knew some published writers in the US. After having a brief conversation about the topic, she offered to help get me in contact with a few literally agents (a huge step forward). Perhaps I would finally get to know how far I have gone in this writing endeavor.

On Writing: Dramatis Personae

Been having too many characters in my first two books that it was necessary for me to keep proper track of them via a dramatis personae (somewhat like a character appendix). In my third book, which I started preparing for, the new story revolves around a military unit composed of ten individuals. Because of the large number of main characters I decided to prepare their history and characters more thoroughly than I used to before.

The process which I thought would be tedious due to research was, actually, rather interesting. I spent the better part of yesterday researching and basing each of my characters’ personalities on historical or mythological individuals. I also used the big five theory of personality to help me plan their tendencies based on the roles they hold within this unit.

The process started with me just using one of the concepts I came up with in while writing my first book and expanding on it, the unit of ten. Then, I made a list of all the skills necessary for the survival of the group throughout their journey and divided them across the members. Once I was done with the skills, I looked up the names based on their roles; researching historical and mythological figures. Following the naming, I fine tuned the skills to match with the figures; if sufficient information was found by my research. The final step was to add some kinks and twists to each character to make them unique. For example, the leader has this thing with his hair where he stresses to keep it properly combed all the time.

When I was done, I found myself staring at a document of 5,000 words where my characters were described in some detail. Next step for me is to prepare the outline. However, instead of preparing the outline for the entire story, I will be writing a more detailed outline for each chapter or story section one at a time because of a phenomenon I observed while writing my second story. When I was working on my second story, where I decided to prepare an outline before writing it, I spent a day preparing the outline of the story to keep the flow of the events as smooth as possible. Although the events were far more thought out than the first book and the chapters flowed smoothly, I found myself unexcited about writing midway the book; I have simply lost the excitement of writing a new book due to my preparation. In order to prevent this issue, the new book will be prepared chapter by chapter prior to me writing it – hopefully the plot would still flow smoothly.

On Writing: Too Slow

Yesterday was a big dissapointment in terms of writing, however, I did get to work on my artwork for the first book.

I noticed two interesting things as I worked on my new hobby. The first is that I get affected by the most recent book I read, in terms of style of writing.

I also noticed that while writing I get way too many ideas. Currently, I am at a phase where I have the next two books planned in terms of concept, setting and idea – refraining from writing an outline so I can focus on my current project.

I need to read and write faster, way faster.

On Writing: Goal

Started working on the second volume of my book as you all know, I’m currently in the fifth chapter. My goal is to write 2,000 words per day, which is quite a bit. So far I am writing a chapter a day, from a total of fifteen planned ones. I have been successfully exceeding my allocated words per day by an additional 1,000 for the past three days, at least.

This time I plan on proof reading before I finish the book. So far I failed on this task, with the exception of the first chapter.