Tag Archives: feedback

One of those days

We all get them on occasion. I always have a ton of stuff to do, but never quite get to it all.

Last night the Rave Reviews Book Club announced another writing contest. I don’t always enter these, because I don’t always fit the mold. They had one for women writers at one point. Yeah.

This time, it’s about “Building a Better Me.” I’m sure there will be a bunch of redemption stories, maybe some about boot camp, or kicking drugs.

I’m a speculative fiction author. I stayed up late last night and wrote one anyway. I’ll probably get booted off the island, but when they asked about building a better me, I wrote about building a better me. What else would I write, right? Submissions open tomorrow, and I’m sending it in. If nothing else, I can use it for Macabre Macaroni come October.

I also managed to assemble and schedule a hosting post for a guest author. Then I assembled and scheduled the next edition of Lisa Burton Radio. Also on this front, I built the shtick for a future radio show and sent it back to the author. That’s going to be a really fun one, but it’s weeks away from appearing.

I picked through my critiques this morning. There weren’t a lot of adjustments to make, but they always see something I did not.

My wife turned on The Lord of the Rings about 10:00 this morning. It’s just after 6:00 and it just now ended. I cannot write new fiction with that kind of distraction. I wrote another guest post for when The Playground publishes. At least it’s something. If I add a couple of excerpts, I have enough for a blog tour. I won’t pick those until the last minute, but there is one with some creative dentistry that ought to draw attention.

I also tried one of those new Amazon giveaways. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m giving away three copies of Will O’ the Wisp through Amazon. If anyone is interested here is the link. It lasts for 15 days, and if it proves productive, I’ll probably do it again. Most of the regulars have read it by now, but maybe you can tell your friends.

We had the kids and grandkids over for dinner tonight. My wife makes awesome ribs and everyone left well fed.

All in all, it wasn’t a very productive weekend. There’s always tomorrow though. I took a vacation day tomorrow, and would like to add words to The Yak Guy Project.

I also received some feed back on The Playground, and need to address those issues. Distractions aren’t a problem when it comes to edits, so I’ll probably save those for the week nights. The best news is the book was well received. I honestly worry about that every single time, and until someone tells me – I have my doubts. My imagination is pretty far out there, so I never know if I’ve pushed things too far. That capped the weekend on a high note.

I kept all the email from those who volunteered for the street team. It won’t be too much longer and I’ll send out things to share across your social media.

I hope everyone managed more than I did. It seems like a lot, but it’s all little stuff.


Filed under Writing

Putting along

Sometimes people like progress reports, word counts, that kind of thing. This is that kind of post.

Wednesday was my rotating day off. I decided not to post then so John Howell could have the top slot for a bit longer. I checked this evening, and John & Lisa made it into my top ten posts of all time. Thank you everyone who hit the like button.

I wasn’t completely idle Wednesday. I added about 1500 words to the Yak Guy Project. I’m afraid this story is moving slow, but it has some big questions and moments in it. My solution is to write it, and worry about it later. If I need to reduce words in the early stages, I can manage that.

I need to make sure Yak Guy Ted has the hots for the new character. I have my doubts as to whether I’m pulling that off, but it’s functional for now. That way it will cause more damage when he finds out she’s pregnant with someone else’s child.

I’m pretty sure it needs some more metaphorical elements. I hacked one out where Ted is looking at the enormity of the wilderness, and getting a vague idea that the whole world is before him in more ways than one. Too corny?

I’m getting some great feedback on my short story. I really like the concept, and I’m enjoying the exercise in a new form (for me anyway). There is something off about the story, and feedback helped a bunch. I’m waiting to hear from one more before tackling it over the weekend.

With a little luck, I may wind up adding another tool to my kit in the form of epistolary style.

I have a hankering for some old school science fiction. This is the kind from an era where we didn’t know as much as we do today. People may hold that against me, but I started another short story. It involves a guy with a rocket pack and a fishbowl helmet. He probably needs a ray gun too. He lands on a planet, and gets an attitude adjustment.

I’m at 780 words on it with no set target. Yeah, I know he couldn’t pass through an atmosphere like it was nothing, but that’s the style from decades ago. Will people hate it? I have no idea, but I’m committed to writing it. If nothing else, it will be true to the era it reflects.

Yesterday, during my commute, Lorelei (my Muse) sent me another vignette. This one is kind of controversial and vulgar. I don’t know if I’ll write it or not. It’s in me, but doesn’t exactly fit my style. I haven’t spotted any speculative element in it at all. I’ll probably try to abandon it, unless the Muse insists.

In the off chance you’re curious, it involves a trailer trash type family. A young woman is trying to work herself away from these roots. Her mother is explaining what women do to make points with the male boss, and encouraging her to get on with that. Such a great mom.

Maybe this scene and characters will fit into a future novel.

That’s the story of my week. I’m writing this Thursday night, and it will go live mid-day Friday. I have some loose weekend goals, so we’ll see how it goes. Hope everyone is having a great week.


Filed under Writing


Let’s get galvanized

This is a cool word with several definitions. Today I want to take advantage of them.

We’ll take the second one first. I like this word to describe authors. We are all vulnerable when we share our first work with someone. Our parents like it, and we breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe a close friend says he/she likes it. Then it becomes time to share it with strangers.

Maybe you join a critique group, like I did. Maybe you hire someone to edit it, or take on a mentor. You’re about to get galvanized. We have to hear critical things and learn from them. It’s the only way we get better. This protective layer is best applied here. You don’t want your first experience to be in the form of a review.

My critique group is brutal. We all treat each other the same way, and we get along well. We’re all better writers than when we started. We’re all properly galvanized.

I encourage all writers to get this kind of feedback. I still get bruised from time to time, but my protective layer is building up. Yours will too. I’m sure I delivered a bruise or two in my day as well. (But it was all handled face to face, and I didn’t blog about them.)

Now let’s deal with the first definition.

Reviews are the author’s lifeblood. This is even more important for the indie authors out there. I vow to post reviews of the books I read from now on. It’s easy to move on to the next project, but Amazon prompts me at the end of every book. It’s pretty easy to add a couple of lines right then and there. Reviews don’t have to be long or extremely detailed.

My goal is to galvanize you into action. Nobody likes to get trashed in a review. It happens, but we can say critical things without being mean to one another. We can also enjoy a book without gushing to the point that it looks like a fake. There is a reason for the stars between one and five.

For myself, there are blog followers who said they enjoyed my books, but I’ve never seen a review. Do authors watch? You bet we do. I know of one Wild Concept, three Panama’s, and one Arson who’ve dropped me a comment or line. All of these folks said they enjoyed the stories. (The Cock of the South is still on a lot of reading lists, and it’s too new.)

For myself, I’m posting reviews from now on. I haven’t always done it, and I’ve never posted one for a traditionally published book. That all changes today. I’m a big believer in walking the walk. Won’t you join me?

Let’s recap:

  1. Writers should seek out critical feedback, and start building up that protective layer.
  2. Readers should consider leaving reviews. They are what allows writers to keep writing.

PS: Okay, there is a third definition. It involves electricity and muscle tissue. I left off twitching frog’s legs and Frankenstein on purpose, but you can talk about them in the comments.


Filed under Writing