In today’s Journal
* New Free Story Posted
* First Readers (More Info)
* Short Day on the Novel
* Publishing to Paper
* Of Interest
New Free Story Posted
There’s a new free story posted over at Stanbrough Writes. I forgot to post one last week, but nobody mentioned it so apparently my lapse didn’t matter. Which is a good thing. In the future, I’ll post over there as I think about it, but I won’t fret over posting every week.
First Readers (More Info)
In reponse to yesterday’s brief post about what a first reader is or is not, one writer emailed to say I could add him to the first reader list. He also said the post was a great explanation of the job of a first reader.
So I thought I’d go ahead and post a full topic here about the concept of first readers, what is required of them, and more importantly, what is NOT required of them. Here is what I want from a good first reader.
(I wrote this in the first person so it would write more easily, but I personally am not actively looking for another first reader.)
What I Want from a Good First Reader
First, don’t try to spare my feelings. We’ll still be friends, I promise. Seriously, I’m trusting you to tell me the truth.
Second, you know how when you’re reading a novel for which you paid good money, sometimes errors and inconsistencies pop out at you?
Like wrong word usages (waste vs. waist), typos (teh vs. the) and inconsistencies? Maybe the character’s name is Jim but somewhere along the line the writer wrote “John” instead. Or maybe the character’s wearing a blue jacket at the beginning of a scene and a brown jacket later in the scene, without any mention of him having changed suits.
And then sometimes maybe you encounter something while reading that confuses you or knocks you out of the story.
Things like that are what I need to know from you as you read through my novels. So
1. read strictly for pleasure,
2. after the fact, point out any errors or inconscistencies that pop out at you as you read,
a. you can do this in a notepad document if you reference brief segments of text (so I can search and find it) or you can do it by highlighting the problem area with a bold color and adding a comment, etc. Please do not reference problems with page numbers.
3. if you are shoved out of the story, let me know that, where it happened, and why (if you know).
What I Do NOT Want from a First Reader (and Probably Will Ignore Even if You Go to the Trouble of Adding Them so Please Don’t Waste Your Time)
1. Don’t read critically. Don’t “look for” anything. Be lost in the story and just read. This is the most important part of the job.
2. Even if you’re a writer, or maybe especially if you’re a writer, don’t tell me how you would have written it. Best of luck with your version, but for this project it isn’t relevant, and I don’t care. (This is why I don’t do critique groups and very seldom use writers as first readers.)
3. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, etc. UNLESS it gets in the way of your understanding or pulls you from the story. (If it makes you stumble or boots you out of the story, see #3 in the list above).
4.Don’t worry about my “style” of writing, sentence or paragraph construction, grammar, etc. etc. etc. Again, it simply isn’t relevant.
5. Unless you’ve written and published a LOT more novels than I have, I don’t want any kind of writing advice.
6. Finally, in your notes, don’t reference page numbers. Page numbers change depending on your computer screen, magnification, etc. so any reference to page numbers is basically useless.
There you go. I hope this will save you hours of frustration.
Short Day on the Novel
I didn’t write as much as I would have liked on the novel, but I did create a cover and publish Santa Fe: A New Era to D2D and Amazon.
I also decided to revise my Westerns page at StoneThread Publishing. On all the other genre pages, the newest books are at the top of the page and the oldest are at the bottom. For Wes though, mostly because of this Gap series thing, I decided to list the books chronologically from Book 1 through the end.
So there are Wes Crowley Saga books 1 and 2, then the six (so far) Gap series novels, and then the Wes Crowley Saga books 3 through 12.
Publishing to Paper
I’ve decided to start taking my books to paper as well as ebooks. A friend got me started on Amazon. I wonder whether D2D’s process is smoother. (If anyone out there knows, please share.)
I started the process this morning, but there was too much I didn’t know or remember. For example, the text of your original (submitted) mss must fit within the trim size you choose.
So it appears that 99% of everything required for paper publication can be standardized and set up in advance, which means you onlyhave to do the actual work of it once, which is perfect for me.
But rather than taking more time away from writing the current novel to delve more deeply into that, I’ll do so after this novel is finished.
Talk with you again soon.
See “Top 50 Mark Twain Quotes” at https://quotefancy.com/mark-twain-quotes. Good site. You can delve deeper and find thousands of quotes from hundreds of sources.
See “The secret lives of MI6’s top female spies” at https://www.ft.com/content/741772c0-ee76-4d3d-bfcd-4fabc1fb405d.
See “Four Different Challenges” at https://deanwesleysmith.com/four-different-challenges/.
The Journal…………………………………… 950 words
Writing of WCG 7 Santa Fe 2 (novel tentative title)
Day 1…… 2190 words. Total words to date…… 2190
Day 2…… 3049 words. Total words to date…… 5239
Day 3…… 2588 words. Total words to date…… 7827
Day 4…… 3373 words. Total words to date…… 11200
Day 5…… 3317 words. Total words to date…… 14517
Day 6…… 3771 words. Total words to date…… 18288
Day 7…… 3102 words. Total words to date…… 21390
Day 8…… 2020 words. Total words to date…… 23410
Total fiction words for December……… 39824
Total fiction words for the year………… 254798
Total nonfiction words for December… 12790
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 210870
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 465668
Calendar Year 2022 Novels to Date…………………… 4
Calendar Year 2022 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2022 Short Stories to Date… 0
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 70
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. Because It Makes Sense, I trust my characters to tell the story that they, not I, are living. This greatly increases my productivity and provides the fastest possible ascension along the learning curve of Craft because I get a great deal more practice at actually writing. It will do the same for you if only you trust it.