Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Task of Writing

            I know I haven’t written a blog in a while, but I have a good excuse. I have started really writing my second novel and the task of writing has been tremendous.  I am a night person, so I usually don’t get into a good groove of writing until late at night. This fact can be cumbersome because then  I sleep until mid-afternoon the next day. However, it is best to continue on with your “flow” instead of stammering along.  This is why I say it is best to write everyday as much as you can especially if you have a project that you need to get done.

            Writing is a skill that allows your creative mind to explode.  Once that explosion has taken place it is very hard to put a lid on it.  But why would you do that?  I know of times when my flow is so heavy that I write for hours at time, sleep a little bit, eat a little bit, and keep right on writing.  Writing everyday has truly helped me to curb that phenomenon though, yet it still happens sometimes.  As I write, I try to make notes but sometimes I don’t even bother which leads to some awesome material because it’s fresh and stimulating.

            Sometimes though, writing can be a task that you just want to leave alone.  This happens often when I have serious writers block or am so busy with my life that I have no real time to commit to writing.  When it gets to the point where I feel like writing is a just a task, I stop and re-evaluate what is really going with the project I am working on.  As a writer, you never want to feel like your craft is nothing but a task because it will stunt your creativity and commitment.  After re-evaluation and maybe a couple days to let it “breathe” and prayer, I get back into the swing of it.  Usually a couple of days are all I need but there has been a time where months have went by and I haven’t produced one word.

            That is frustrating to anyone but probably more so to writers because a lot of us are introverts anyway.  It can be solved though.  All you need is a will to finish the project and before you know it you are back at it again banging on the keys.  Sounds simple but most times it is just that simple.  My advice is don’t let your skill become a task that you feel you have to do for someone but more so a calling that you want to be successful at no matter what the proceeds.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Christian Romance Writer Part Two

One of the major things that most romance authors write about is sex.  However, as a Christian romance author this may be one of the hardest things for you to express well in your writing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you should not write about sex in your Christian romance novel. Oh no, that’s an absurd idea.  I will say please do it with tact and make sure you remember your reading audience. 

Sex is a topic and action that all Christians agree should be done in the marriage bed.
Still though, you may have characters that don’t know that or are having problems with fornication and this could be a vital storyline for your heroine/hero.  I am suggesting that you do not create work that is overtly erotic in your writings in this genre. It is inappropriate to say the least, and you don’t want to lose your reading audience.

This is probably the hardest part about creating effective Christian romance novels.  It is truly a craft to be explored and not taken lightly.  Sex is essential in relationships and therefore there will be no way for you not to write about it.  Some feel that one must be “fluffy” when it comes to this topic in our work.  I guess I would have to agree however you want to make it realistic and sensual for the reader.  One of my characters in my first novel was a vixen and had plenty of sexual escapades.  However she was living through a spiritual fight within and eventually re-dedicated her life to Christ. 

Writing about sex can be done in Christian romance.  I suggest you do some research and read other authors in this genre to see how others have dealt with the subject.  It is a subject that will come up in the story and how you decide to write about it is up to you.  I would say for our genre, less is more.  You don’t want to create a situation where a reader is turned off by your creative writings that are too suggestive.  This would be the same for using cursing in your writing for this genre which I will blog about later.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Self-publishing, not for the faint of heart

So it’s a new year. That means it is time to get on your grind and do what you got to do to get that book you’ve been harboring published.  Self-publishing is not for the faint of heart.  First things first, you are going to spend more than $100.00, so if you think you are going to get this project done on the cheap, it’s not going to happen. This is true especially if you want to put out a quality product.

How did I decide to self-publish?  Basically, I got tired of hearing no and I had the capital to do it right.  I got started by doing some serious research on what it means to really self-publish.  One thing I found out quickly is that I did not want to be a publisher.  Let’s get this straight first; you can publish your own work by doing all the bonding, purchasing ISBN numbers, and keeping a stockpile of your own product that you have to move yourself.  You can do all that and maybe spend thousands of dollars, or you can contact some self-publishing companies, such as Xlibris where I had my first work published.  If you decide to do the latter, please take the time to research the company you will be doing business with.

If you decide you want to be your own true publisher then I would start with purchasing your set of ISBN numbers.  These are pivotal for getting your work in the market.  After that, I would look into where and how you want to bond your books because this can be the most expensive of the endeavor.  Once you find the prices that are optimal for you and you have the product ready for printing get to work.  I’m not giving a whole lot of information in this blog because I think it behooves all writers to do their homework.  This is just the tip of the iceberg. You will find going this route will be very cumbersome, however the outcome for most is optimal, if you work hard and create a quality product to sell (which is a beast all in and of itself).

On the other hand, you have the option of going to self-publishing companies you can find on the web.  These companies take your work in its word processing form and create the book you want.  First things first, make sure whoever you pick allows you to keep all the rights to your work.  Also, I probably should have said this first, but I thought it was common sense, copyright your work yourself.  Do not, I repeat, do not let the company do it for you no matter how good it sounds or cheap it may be.  It is just better for any author to have all of their own work copyrighted themselves.  You can find these companies by doing a simple web search for self-publishing.  The best ones out are Authorhouse, Lulu, Outskirtspress and Xlibris.  Like I mentioned before, be ready to spend some money and have fun with it.