There’s a lot to be said about developing pacing in a story. Far more than I’ll attempt to deal with today. I just want to talk about a couple of things. So first, what about pacing? Why is it important?

It’s the momentum and progress of your story. You want to keep the excitement going, keep readers wanting to turn pages, draw out tension and ratchet it up, and build a riveting tale. Pacing is the speed at which you reveal things, have action, and move through scenes. Some books are “nonstop thrill rides.” That means that there’s something happening all the time and most of the time it’s scary or unnerving. Then there are stories that are more introspective and slower builds. The things that happen are lower key and not as dramatic or life-threatening, and yet if you care about those characters and what they’re going through, you’re […]

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By the seat of my pants

You’ve heard the discussion before, I’m sure. Is pantsing better or plotting? And I’m here to tell you, I have no idea. I can tell you my experience with both and what I wish for and what I’m doing now.

I used to plot my novels. Don’t get me wrong. I was no John Pitts*. I did not outline a very detailed way at all. It amounted to mostly this happens and then this and then this and so on and so forth. It was easy. Looking back, I think that may be because either I jumped into the story before it was fully formed and did a lot of pantsing on the way, the stories were a lot smaller than the ones I tell now, or, and this one is the most likely, I didn’t have a fully formed sense of the world and characters and so I filled […]

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Success–what exactly is it?

I need to say before I start, that at the last minute tonight, we decided to run off to the mountains to dig for rocks for a couple days. So any comments I will respond to when I get back. Hopefully we come back with cool rocks.


I’ve been talking about self-publishing for awhile, and now I want to wrap that up with a discussion of success. How do you know if your book is successful? How do you know if your career is successful?

Here’s the truth: there’s no single target that you’re trying to hit, all the targets move, and only you know what they look like.

Let’s start with that third one, because the other two will become clear in that discussion. Only you know if you’ve succeeded because only you determine the metrics of success. Is it to be published by one of the Big […]

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Self-publishing Part 4

For the last couple of months I’ve been talking about self-publishing my first indie title. At the bottom of this post, I’ll put links to the other three parts in case you missed them and want to go back and have a look.

The Incubus Job released a little over a week ago and I want to talk about a couple of miscellaneous issues that I ran into in the process. Things I learned, as it were.

First, where to upload to and setting up accounts. The most major outlet is hands-down Amazon. If you aren’t selling there, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Typically you make 70% if you price above $2.99 and 30% if you price below. You can go into the KDP Select program, which potentially will pay more and pays according to how much of your work is read. To join that program, you cannot […]

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Self-publishing Part 3

In the previous posts, I’ve talked a lot about getting the book ready for publication. Today I want to talk about the cover. Let’s first start with this old chestnut: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Probably good advice, but most of us absolutely judge books by their covers. Some of us (like many of us) won’t even pick up if the cover doesn’t signal to us that we might like the book.

Which brings me to my first point. The book has to talk to your target audience. A lot of publishers wonder ‘how they will position’ a particular book that doesn’t quite fall into a particular category. Or you’ll hear people say that a book ‘hasn’t found its audience.” The cover is the key to solving both those issues. Different covers signal different things. Take for instance, romance:

So here is a random sample of some […]

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Self-publishing Part 2

Last time I talked about starting the process of self-publishing. For me, anyhow. This week I want to dig into the nitty-gritty a little bit. Before I begin, however, I want to mention that I’ll be talking only about the e-book stage. I’ve not yet embarked on developing the print version, but when I do, I’ll talk about that process. Frankly I’m a tiny bit terrified of it, but then I’ve been terrified of the self-pubbing process from the get-go. I’m not entirely sure why, except maybe that I’ve always imagined this mysterious and complicated process behind the scenes. It’s somewhat complicated, but once you break down the steps and also hire out parts of it, it turns out that it’s not so scary.

Let me remind you of the list of steps I gave in my last post:

get the book beta-read and edited (I did this in two […]

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Self-publishing Part 1

As I mentioned last time, I’m working on publishing my first self-pubbed book (I was going to write self-pubbed publication–I need caffeine, obviously). I’ve wanted to publish something myself for some time, but I’ve had no time to write outside of my contracts for . . . well, a long time. Luckily, my contracts allow for me to publish independently. But that’s more of a business topic for later, or better yet, our intrepid Money Mondays duo might take it up for me. Hey Faith and John! 😀

All right, so I wanted to self-pub. You might as why. Go ahead. Ask. Well, I’ll tell you. There are several reasons. The obvious one is that I’d make a lot more money per sale doing it myself than going through a publisher. Always a nice thing. Plus the money comes in more frequently, which is to say, every month rather than […]

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