Saturday, October 27, 2012

More opportunity to voice your opinion.

A couple days ago I asked about covers. Today, it's about the description for Freedom Does Matter.

A year and a half after Mercenaries: A Love Story, Beckie Sverdupe has been working with her fiancĂ© Ian Jamse while attending college. While enjoying her summer vacation, she gets a message: while negotiating an Egyptian land dispute, Ian’s been shot!
Beckie conquers her fear for Ian by stepping into his position at the negotiations. The first day, she successfully fights off the same assassin, and captures her. Beckie discovers that small victory will swirl her into a maelstrom of revenge, intolerance and hate—chaos which she must calm before she can react to the threads unveiled. Fraught with natural disasters and horror in Egypt, beatings and acts of war in London and heartache and intolerance at home, Beckie’s quest to complete the negotiations and expose the assassin reveals, not only personal demons which she must subdue, but a credible threat to the fragile Middle Eastern peace which must be defused. Freedom takes on a new meaning for Beckie, who’s never faced the loss of it so starkly.

Freedom Does Matter is an older YA or NA action adventure, and is recommended for readers 15+ due to language and adult situations.

As always, comments are welcome, especially if they give me an idea about improving the description.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Little Help

The muse didn't completely disappear; I have enough of an outline to start and perhaps finish NaNoWriMo writing Background Check, the third of the Mercenaries stories. Waiting for Halloween to be over.

I can start that because the second book is out for critting at It's been through my two beta readers. Thanks so much to them for their willingness to be abused, and point out when it happens. I made many of the changes they suggested; now we wait for additional suggestions.

I made a slight change to the title of the second book. It is now Freedom Does Matter.

If you've gotten to here, maybe you're wondering what help I'm looking for. This is pretty easy. Below, there are five thumbnails of possible covers for Freedom Does Matter. They should come out about the same as the one Amazon uses, so, do any attract interest? Do you like any of them? Is there one that seems better than the others? Let your opinions flow. Below the thumbnails is one full size image. Opinions welcome on it as well. The two with no text beyond the title would have that added.

Have at it!

The not quite full size image of the third one:

Thanks for any opinions you are willing to share. I'll be back in a day or so asking about the blurb.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Miss Her

The Muse.

I've gone through the two beta readers' comments on Freedom No Matter, and made a long ton of changes based on their suggestions. I also gave them more work (that I hope they'll be able to fit into their schedules) asking if changes fit, and what did you mean by... and well, of course you're right, that was just [fill in your own inappropriate adjective].

I want to point out once again how much help these people give. In addition to taking the time just to read the work, they also mark errors, make suggestions, and tell me where they think the plot went astray. It's a lot of work, and I can't say how much I appreciate it. I'm sure every person writing is just as beholden to her or his beta readers; I just hope everyone remembers to say thanks, loud and clear! Even better: do an equally good job when asked to return the favor.

My readers have pointed out significant problems with my work. That's good. What's not so good is that it now falls to me to figure out how to correct them. In a day or two, I'll begin hitting Delete until I've found the focus that I slipped by earlier.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was waiting for my reader to finish before thinking I understood at least some of the issues at work (Focus, focus, focus!). The verdict is in: the second half is better than the first. The inflection point, Chapter 17, corresponds to my beginning to use a new tool. I hasten to add that the tool isn't as important as the provider wants us to think, but for me, it made it a lot easier to do what I haven't really ever done before: create an outline of the story before writing it.

I can hear the heads butting the desks and tables now. Of course the focus will be better when you know what you're writing. And on and on. Or perhaps the cry is: pantsers will rise again. Maybe.

The tool that made it easier for me to adapt is Aeon Timeline. I found that being able to outline in a chronological context made that part of the job both easier and more useful. I think, with my limited experience, it works better for more complicated story lines, or rather, it has more utility for those scenarios. It also links with Scrivener, back and forth, although I haven't figured our how to use that feature to its fullest. It's a Mac only tool right now; read the developer's blog about progress on the Windows platform.

Check out their websites, linked above. Trial versions are available if you think either of them might help you, too.

As for the Muse, she's been flitting in and out. We're working on the timeline for Background Check so I'll have a little structure when NaNoWriMo comes along. She also got me to start a short story completely unrelated to anything, but snuck out before saying how she thinks it should end. Working on that one, too.