Writer's Notes: Craziness, Depth, Emotions, Formatting & Pricing
There's so much stuff going through my head as far as writing goes this week that I'm having a hard time distilling it into one coherent theme to post about. I don't think I'm alone in that either...in the past two days alone, I've read Chuck Wendig's (serious language warning on that) post on why writers are all crazy (guilty, though not quite to his extent just yet), and an article about how creatives are more prone to mental illness by their very genetic makeup. The interesting thing is, it seems that you can't have one without the other in a lot of cases, so they're trying to figure out how to unlock that creative thinking safely, rather than with booze or drugs (Which is what a great many writers use and have used historically. Though personally, drinking while writing just puts me to sleep. I know through experience.). I hope they find the answer to that - then again, it sort of scares me too. If everyone on earth was working at the creative level that artists and writers work at, I think we very well might drive *each other* insane...
As far as craft goes, I've been thinking about depth of story. Which all sounds very deep (ha!), except it's mostly just internal ruminating on how I can add more "?" to my stories - and if so, do they really need it? All of them? Or just some? I write page-turners (or that's the goal, anyways, and at least some strangers have confirmed that - not that I'm reading reviews much anymore, mind you, but occasionally I scan...), so there's a balance that has to be maintained there. My brain has been chewing on ways to deepen plots while keeping them moving at a decent clip - I don't want to sacrifice the action/adventure movie feel of my rom. suspense books just for the sake of something that may or may not need to be there.
I've also been pondering the new erotica story I've started...my characters have to have a very clear emotional arc in those, because that's the essence of the story. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes not...but I have a good feeling about this one, which actually worries me, because those are often the hardest to actually convey in words.
As far as my suspense/thrillers go, I've been thinking about the dynamic between my heroes and villains. It needs...something, and I suspect it's more to do with my heroes, which is disconcerting. Bad guys fascinate me from a psychological standpoint. I need to find a way to be fascinated by my good guys too.
And of course there's business-y stuff swirling too...I have four books to release just as soon as I can get them all packaged up, which always makes me resent the time it takes to format the text. Last night I spent four solid hours formatting two collections for print - which means I didn't get any writing done, and I missed my workout and virtual gaming too. I hate that. It's not that I dislike the act of formatting...overall it's fairly straightforward aside from headers (which are *going* to be the death of me someday). I just hate the time it takes...I have precious little enough of that already, and collections take longer due to my ineptitude w/the aforementioned headers. Someday when I'm making decent bucks from my books, I'll happily hand off my formatting to someone else. For now, I'm considering teaching my husband how to do the job.
Finally, I'm psyching myself up for the inevitable drop in sales & income for a few months after I raise the price of Tempest this weekend. I'm publishing my flash collection at .99 cents (where it will stay permanently), and Tempest (which is 26,000 more words than the flash collection) will move up to my "novella" price point of $2.29. I feel very strongly that price should be based on length (ie, how much story you get), and to that end, I can't feel good about selling a novella-length work for only .99 cents long-term (I have no issue with short-term sales, etc) when I have shorter works out as well. Other authors will do what they want, and normally a super-low price point is used for gaining traction, making bestseller lists and being "visible". But I don't have a burning need to make the bestseller lists, or even to sell a bunch of books at once - I'm happy selling a few copies of each per month to people who might actually read them, and just building slowly as my offerings grow. It's taken me awhile to get to that point - the point in which I realize it's just going to take as long as it takes and I may as well sit back and enjoy the ride - but I'm there now. It's a good place to be, really. A powerful place.
Even so, it's still hard mentally to see sales drop to nothing (as they always do when raising prices) for awhile. But it will be worth it in the end.
So that's what's twisting in my brain this week. Scary, eh?
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