Monthly Archives: May 2014

Impatience

One of my continuing challenges I have is my impatience.  I am impatient with my career.  I am impatient when I read.  And I am impatient when I write.

One of the things I have tried to temper when I began writing novels were my expectations.  Ignorance is a bad guide and I have learned from past experiences that hoping to accomplish something is very different than knowing how to accomplish something.  Basing expectations on hope will set you up for failure because it is not tethered to the real world.

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So, I spend a lot of time learning how a thing should be done before telling myself when I should accomplish that thing.  That being said, I’m still behind schedule.  If I had stuck to my original (and ignorant) plan, I would be publishing my first novel this week.  Gabby Wells: Water & Blood was originally scheduled for release on June 4th.

Then I started learning more and more about self-publishing.  I started reading a lot and listening to about ten podcasts a week and learned about sales funnels and permafree and mailing lists and building tribes and street teams.  That led to the idea of writing a novella as an entryway to novels.  That led to writing five novellas.  And that has altered my expectations.

All of the changes have been for the right reasons, but my impatience doesn’t really care about that.  It wants to be done.

I’m also an impatient reader.  I fight the urge to skim through in order to find out what happens next.  I must force myself to digest every word because, now writing novels, I know how much time and effort each of those words represent.

But my impatience doesn’t really care about that.

It is no surprise, then, that I am an impatient writer.  In my first draft I am very much a heads down, get from A to B as directly as possible so I can move onto the next thing that happens.  Only after the plot is complete do I go back and look for the many ways I can elaborate character or intention.  All of those layers take time.

But my impatience doesn’t really care about that.

So, as I am knee deep in daily writing, fighting to go straight from A to B, I force myself to try and be patient.  I know what is supposed to happen in all five novellas.  I know what is supposed to happen in all five novels.  I just can’t wait for them to be done.  Unfortunately (actually, fortunately) those pages are waiting on me, an impatient writer, to fill them with the stories I see in my head.

As much as I remind myself, my impatience doesn’t really care that.

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A Personal Thanks

I would like to take a moment to thank my wife, Dea, for her unending support, not just in art, but in life.

I’ve had Crohns disease for over half my life and, sadly for her, our entire marriage.  This week I had to have yet another procedure and, as I lie in the hospital bed, Dea stood next to me, holding my hand.  As I looked at her, I thought back and tried to count how many times during our marriage she has stood over my hospital bed.  Four surgeries.  Countless other tests and procedures.  Weeks and weeks in hospitals as I struggled to recover.

One time, her sheer force of will and immense love brought me back from the edge. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for her.

So much of our marriage has been spent with me lying on a hospital bed with her standing next to me, supporting me and loving me.  I couldn’t have been blessed to marry a more supportive and caring woman than my wife.

She’s priceless.

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Podcast 12 – Teen Beta Readers and 145,000 Words

Author Pete Bauer and Dorothea Bauer discuss the impact of the novellas on the novels, causing for a rewrite of novels 1 and 2.  Plus the lessons learned from Teen Beta Readers.


Running Time: 41:59

  • Teen Beta Readers
  • Specific Expectations
  • 145,000 Words
  • A Professional Endeavor
  • Art Show
  • Facebook Art
  • Polite Critiques
  • Annoying Analysis
  • Aging Well
  • Novella Novels
  • Semi-Mysterious Mysteries
  • Lost & Found
  • Inspiring Stories
  • The Center of Attention
  • Communicating Art
  • Evolving Industry
  • It Clicks
  • Reading Consumption
  • Traditional Limitations
  • Author Earnings
  • Give and Take
  • Truthful Characters

 

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Pet Peeve

I hate wasting my time.

It’s a pet peeve.  Just ask my kids.  The two main lines they knew not to cross were:

  1. don’t disrespect my wife (their mother)
  2. don’t waste my time.

I’m not saying all of the time with my kids had to be focused and serious.  Of course not.  Spending an hour having imaginary tea with my daughter or spending countless hours with my son at the ball field is absolutely NOT wasting time.  It’s what time is for.

wastedtimeBut, fooling around when they’re helping with chores?  Wasting my time.  Making me run to Walmart at 12 AM because they realized they needed to write a paper that is due the next day and didn’t think to check if we had printer ink?  Wasting my time.

So, to find out the podcast we recorded last night had to be scrapped due to a microphone issue, well, to say I was happy about that would be an understatement.

Now we’ll have to re-record.  More wasted time.  Well, not totally wasted, as I think they have value and people seem to enjoy them.  But, you know what I mean.

Anyway, that’s my vent for today.  I feel better.

Time well spent. 🙂

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Word Count & Novella 3 (Really 2)

I finally finished the first draft of Skyway, one of the novellas of our five novella series.  It’s placement in the series has shifted, as I mentioned before, moving from novella #2, to novella #4.  The current word count is just over 40,000 and will probably need another 2,000-3,000 when all is said and done.

GW-Wordcount-051814

That means the third novella I’ll be working on, titled Lost & Found, will actually be novella #2 in the series.  I’ve sketched out the storyline and will now work on a chapter-by-chapter outline before diving into daily writing.

As for the first novella, The Homecoming Incident, which also still happens to be novella #1 (haha), it has been out with our teen Beta Readers.  Quick tips about teen Beta Readers.

  1. They don’t understand the concept of time.  Agreeing to read it in two weeks has meant trying to get them to do it four weeks later.
  2. They don’t give detail.  We offer our beta readers an anonymous survey to fill out so they could be free to share their true feelings.  Teens, however, aren’t really chatty, especially in a survey.  You get a lot of “I like it.” Or “It was cool.”  But, not a lot of detail, like you get from adult Beta Readers.

Lesson learned.  On future surveys, they’ll be longer and ask very specific questions that will give us the info we need.  Since they’re our target demographic, we’ll be patient.  But, be forewarned 🙂

Two novellas down, three to go.

 

 

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Book Cover Overlap

Book covers are one of the most important components to getting a potential reader to check out your book.  Especially in the online, thumbnail world of perusing ebooks, people really do judge the book by its cover.

One of the things that has made self-publishing a success has been the ability for authors to outsource the work normally managed by a traditional publisher, such as editing, book covers and marketing.

If you are not gifted in Photoshop, finding an effective book cover designer is must and many of them use their skills to pull from existing stock photos and rework them into something powerful.  However, pulling from the same pool of stock photos can cause some overlap.

Months ago I read a self-published book called A Pius Man and today I heard a podcast about an author who self published a book called The Cleaner.

covers3
This is the first time I’ve seen such an obvious overlap of material in book covers, but with more and more people creating and self-publishing their own works, I wonder if this issue will only increase?

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Word Count & Tossing Out 145,000 Words

I finished up the first draft of the novella Skyway this weekend.  It ran long, as I expected, and will probably be even longer when I get it through the Beta Readers.  But it’s a fun ride that starts out with a kick and throws in cool plot twists at the end of nearly every chapter.

Since the five novellas setup the five novels, the big decision this weekend came from the fact that, after having penned almost 70,000 novella words so far, that the 145,000 words I had already written for Novels 1 & 2  had to be thrown out.

The first novel, Water & Blood had already run through the first group of Beta Readers and the second novel, Shadows & Lies had already been hashed out once at around 80,000 words and was in the process of a second rewrite.  Both of them needed to be trashed, leaving a fresh, clean slate.

Because of that, I changed the graphic below to focus on the novellas until they’re all complete.

GW-Wordcount-050414The plots of the trashed novels will remain the same, but the actual way the story unfolds will need to be updated to take into consideration the content of the novellas.

Am I happy about losing years of work and over a hundred thousand words?  Nope.   But, it’s the right thing to do, so there wasn’t really another choice.

 

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Book Review – One Day in Budapest

One Day in Budapest is the fourth book in the ARKANE novel series by author J.F. Penn.

OneDayBudapestPenn crafts a powerful story about the tenuous nature of society when deep seeded hatred flows beneath the surface.  One Day in Budapest follows ARKANE Agent Morgan Sierra as she teams up with Zoltan Fischer to uncover the conspiracy behind the theft of the Holy Right relic of St. Stephen and its use to foment old hatreds against the Hungarian Jewish community.

Penn’s novella is well crafted and involves such deep and subtle detail that can only come from someone who has been there, visited the locations, understands the culture and knows how to present a possible future if bigotry and ignorance were to reign.

The fast-paced story shows how quickly mob rule and generational bias can boil over into something ugly.  This possibility exists in every society and Penn does a wonderful job to show how only a couple of pieces are required to thrust the ugly parts of society to the surface.

The characters are rich and well formed, making this book a very enjoyable read.

I also had the additional pleasure of listening to the audio book, which is exceptionally well done.  Either reading the book or listening to it are both great options.

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