Can I hide from me?

pseudonyms-wordplayI did something brave at the weekend, well, brave for me. I gave a friend my recent work to read. Obviously People read my work all the time, when I submit to agents for example but they are strangers to me. Their negative or constructive feedback can’t hurt me in the same way as the people I know and have respect for.

Being naturally paranoid, makes me very closed off from sharing with the people close to me, my friends. It’s the fear of judgement from people whose opinion matters to me. You should think that they are the people I should feel most comfortable with but that’s never been the case, I can give speeches in front of a room of strangers with no issues what so ever, you put me in a room with colleagues, friends and family, I fall to pieces.
This has caused me to think further about the concept of writing under a Pseudonym. I’ve always been intrigued by authors who write under a different pen name. Why do they do it? What’s the benefit? Do they like the anonymity? Does it protect them from feeling vulnerable? Would it have stopped me feeling so hesitant about self publishing had I had written under a pseudonym with my first book?
I recently started to build a persona I would write under should i choose to make the decision to go down the Pseudonym route. It’s a strange concept because right now, I can become anyone, it’s like I’m writing my own character in to my own story, it’s quite an exciting concept. At the same time there’s something nagging at me, although this is fun, I am hiding from what makes me vulnerable, which is why I carefully considered handing over my work to a friend. It becomes a question of trust, a person can hold a lot of power over you when you expose yourself but I guess that’s what we do every time we lay down words to page, writing exposes us. It exposes your desires and demons, your dark side and your inner hero.
These doubts and hesitations are surely the things that ordinarily a person would take and use, to grow, to build on confidence and skills. Realising where your weaknesses are and accepting them does not make that a weakness in itself. Right?
To be honest as I self published a book to understand the process of doing so, publishing under a pseudonym sounds like something I would do as an experiment, just to see, how different it is. I don’t mean different in the physical process I mean different psychologically as a writer, that could be a fun. Maybe I’ll try it with my next one. How else do I get answers to my questions. If anyone out there does have an opinon on this, or does write under a pseudonym please do contact me, I’d love to pick your brain.

What’s going down?

Yeah, I’ve been a little quiet; OK, I’ve been a bit of a recluse for some time now and I’ll be honest with you, at this point in time I can’t promise I will blog regularly but I will try and make it more than once a year!!! (Note, these images are what distracts me!!)

I was always very open about my self publishing being an experiemnt to me. I wanted to understand the process. I’m obssesed by understanding processes, how something works; to me, everything has an explanation and a reason for being and working and the A to B stuff fanscinates me. I like questions and problem solving.

But, the only thing I love more is a good story, a story that makes people feel something, anything and I think my self published work did achieve that. Even now if you’ve read one or both stories and thinking they were rubbish, you’re still feeling something aren’t you??!!!

However, in my haste to tell a good story as stated in one of my previous blogs Lessons Learnt, I neglected other things which is what caused so many mixed reviews. People loving the story but hating the insanely pour spelling, grammar and sentance structure which distracted from the story. I hear you, not good, not professional.

I’m currently working on a new project. In fact, even though I have been completely dormant in the world of blogging over the last year, I have actually been working on said project. It’s different to The Break and Concordia it’s not Fantsy/Sci-fi. I made the decision to write those stories based on my personal prefences and fan girl personality I Love Fantasy and Sci-fi and anyone who knows me would describe me as a Geek (loud and proud!!) but this new project is something I have been wanting to write since I was younger, it is my soul.

That’s why, I want to pitch to agents with this one. I want to go traditional and to do that I want to do something i never did with my maiden voyage of The Break nor Concordia for that matter. I would like to engage with Beta readers. Now, I could go down the professional Beta Reader route but I think what I want to do is open it up to you guys. You guys that have purchased, read and been honest about my previous attempts. You guys that will probably want to be the first to read my next attempt.

The only question now is how do I do that? Should I randomly select some followers and ask if you would like to give your feedback on my material, do I want me to just post the first three chapters I would send to agents on my blog for you all to comment on or do you want to voluenteer to help me out? Obviously I would site any beta readers in my acknowledgements, should I be successful in securing an agent and ultimately a publisher this time round.

Bottom line, I have a new perspective and a new goal to keep me focused, I’ve rebranded the blog and will be working on building back up my online platform which I have neglected over the last couple of years and I need your help. So, who’s game?

Lesson Learnt…. maybe

Evening to you all.

Concordia has been available for a couple of months now and so far so good. Which has pleased me greatly especially after the Concordia Book Cover v0.1disappointment I felt after discovering so many mistakes got published in The Break.

As previously mention since changing my job role last year I have started to construct my writing projects in much the same way as I would do my job which has proved useful.

So, as anybody who works in projects knows there’s a little exercise towards the end called Lessons Learnt and after putting out two “Indie” novels I thought I would sit down with a nice spiced rum and construct something similar; expressing my own lessons learnt from experiencing Indie Publishing for all you other budding “Indies” out there.

1 – DON’T try and save money when it comes to the important stuff.

(YES I do know my first book was full of grammatical and spelling errors and NO I wasn’t happy about it). When it comes to editing don’t take the chance.

2 – DON’T take bad reviews personally. Most reviews are actually quite useful as they show you where you need to improve for next time. Occasionally they are just a bad review just because it’s that persons opinion. To me writing/reading is just like every other creative medium, it all comes down to personal taste.

3 – DON’T worry if you have a bad first outing as a writer, you would have still made an impression on somebody and as long as they believe in your work they will be your free advertising to convince sceptics your second outing is much improved.

4 – Do ask people to be honest with you. You need constructive criticism.

5 – ALWAYS go with your gut. I know people say you have to keep writing to improve but I wrote three different beginnings and six different endings to Concordia because I kept over thinking it. In the end what you’ve read is beginning number two and ending number one.

6 – ALWAYS be true to your characters. You should know these people like they were your own friends and enemies. In The Break I did something that I know in reality the character of that person would never have done. So I knew I either had to correct it or explain it in book two.

7 – ALWAYS have a plan but don’t let that plan hinder your creativity, the plan can be subject to change but know your end goal

8 – Know your audience, I don’t mean invite them around for tea or anything but understand who you want to read your work. I didn’t get this right with book one bwriters blockut I would like to think I was closer with book two.

9 – If you don’t know ask. You would be amazed at the resource available out in the Internet abyss, use it, it’s there for a reason.

10 – ENJOY. Don’t force yourself to write if you’ve got “The Block” if something is not working ditch it and save it for a rainy day or another project. If you get hung up on something you can’t work out, you will drive yourself crazy thinking you need to sort out that one thing, you’ll start to hate it which will seriously hinder your creativity. Take a break if you need to.

Well, that’s my top ten to contribute to the world of Indie Authors. I hope somebody somewhere finds it helpful.

I have started on a new writing project, something different to the others I have previously mentioned starting, watch this space for updates.

Once again thanks for reading and for your support.

 

 

It’s Here!

Concordia Book Cover v0.1So here we are again, Judgement Day.

You can now purchase on Amazon Kindle UK the sequel to The Break entitled Concordia.

So tell your friends and anyone who will listen we are live and to get reading!

I hope you enjoy this one as much as the first, I actually really enjoyed writing the sequel, it was quite a ride again!!

I look forward to reading your reviews and as always Thank you for your support.

 

For you guys in the states click here

All Future Ramblings Are Of My Own Opinion

So I’ve been kind of sucky of late with this whole blogging business haven’t I? Don’t worry folks no answer needed! I go AWOL I come back with a blog promising not to do it again so naturally I go AWOL again. I wish I had some amazing excuse prepared like I’ve finished my polished version of my sequel to The Break and it’s going to be out soon but that would be a lie as after finishing reading my first draft I decided to scrap the lot and start again, a hundred and two thousand words deleted in a flash. Best way really I want something fresh and new I don’t want old ideas to taint the new ones. Alternatively I wish I could tell you I had an entirely new amazing project completed my water lilies, my 9th symphony, my thinker, my Bohemian Rhapsody but who am I kidding I have one chapter of a new idea and another four chapters of a different idea to that.

The truth is I have an attention span of a small child (and some might argue a mentality to match) but there are just too many distractions around me over the last six months to be able to really sink my teeth in to my writing and blog about it. Then I got to wondering about why I set up the blog in the first place and concluded that it was initially only to promote my debut self published novel The Break but as I look about over my previous posts I realised I would blog about more than just that process, then I realised I like ranting aimlessly to the void of cyber space about nothing particular. I did after all call my blog The Eccentric Ramblings of an Amateur and so I present to you a new look, I was going to go with a new title to The Eccentric Raging’s of an Amateur but as my rage would only last for around two sentences and then turn in to ramblings I thought the title was well suited as it was!

So with this new look WILL come more frequent ramblings but not just of the writing kind this time, I’m just going to ramble and you guys can read along or not this time, they’ll be no holding back, please note all ramblings will be of my own opinions but feel free to join in being opinionated.

So on the subject of rambling and being opinionated I offer you this simple piece of advice in the event that something makes you extremely angry, engage your Brain and think before reacting, unlike myself who has just sent a complaint E-mail to the NHS without consulting the person who has been affected by their appallingness. In fact I’ve never really been trained in the art that is think before you act/speak which I’m sure one day will land me in some serious knee deep Shite but until that day I’m here for entertainment purposes and pre written speeches!!! Besides surely holding back results in missed opportunities does it not?

Anyway to conclude this eccentric “I’m Back For Good” blog I’m rewarding all my faithful readers/followers with cheapness!!! All the ranting aside I do actually plan to have the Sequel to The Break (Working title Concordia) out for next spring. I thought it would be a good idea to get yourselves acquainted with the first book first and so if you boogie on down to your Amazon Kindle store you will see it is currently retailing at 77p for you UK folks and a groovy 99c for you USA chaps or if your more iTunes you can hop on over there where it’s 99p. This will be the case until the end of the year, have a read let me know what you think, leave a review and all that Jazz and before you say anything newbie’s I am aware there are some grammatical/spelling errors(check out previous rantings for an explanation)

But cheers for the support and cheers for hanging in there with me in my absences’ it’s been a crazy 2012 and it’s not quite over yet!

First Draft Entertainment

Hello there, trust me when I mentioned in my previous blog that after completing my first draft of the sequel to The Break I was going to have a break from writing before going back to it, I didn’t actually mean I would also be having another long break from blogging also!! Seriously I don’t know how some of these guys who I follow do it. Some post everyday, some can post twice a day, I know I blogged about time management but considering the crazy distractions over the last couple of months I have to admit no amount of time management can help you plan for spanners in the works. So from illness & home improvements to a fourth birthday celebration and a new born niece things have been a little mental.

However, I won’t lie mental has been a wicked distraction as it has only been in the last few days I have managed to break out that first draft. I love reading my first drafts I find it incredibly entertaining, so far I’m only a third of the way through and I’ve already decided to ditch the entire first chapter and decide to not kill off the person I’d killed off and kill someone else instead!!!

One of my favorite things to do when I’m ripping apart a first draft is invent a sound track, certain songs just put me in a certain mood for writing specific scenes. In fact I thought it would be an awesome idea to add to the Book’s with extra’s plan, for those of you who haven’t been around, many moons ago I asked why don’t books have have extra’s like DVD’s & Blu Rays So why not a sound track aswell, it would be so cool to realese the sequal of The Break with a sound track of music which lent to the inspiration of certain scences…. How Cool???? Maybe it’s just me!! Besides that just opens up a whole load of copyright issues which I could tell you right now I couldn’t aford to licence!!!

So we have a few new characters floating around in the Sequel, six in total to be precise, obviously characters that play a key role in the narrative not your average coffee shop owner!!!!!! As you know I was rather concerned previously about enjoying writing the new characters too much that I would gradually focus more on them than the ones that the story is actually about. I no longer have this worry, after now completing the first draft I found that the balance just comes naturally. I think it comes from knowing your material, especially since the sequel visits a completely fictional environment, as the place is unfamiliar and the reader can’t relate to it you find yourself using your characters more effectively than just telling the story so the challenge was never introducing new characters the challenge became introducing the new environment but by using the charcaters I was able to interpret that world from my own head through them to you!! I’m sure when you read it you’ll no what I mean!!! But don’t get your hopes up we’re a long way away from publishing still.

I’ve been thinking about the cover and as you know I keep going on about wanting to learn to draw and keep saying I was going to post something to show you. This is so not going to happen people!!! My drawing skills are reminisent of something I did in Primary school age 6!!!! So naturally I will be hiring a professional!!!
So on that note I’m off to do some more re-writes providing the sun doesn’t come out and I get distracted by the garden again!!! Just wanted to let you guys know I’m still alive!! and the sequel is still in the works!!!

Doesn’t Time Fly

My new view from our bedroom window!

I’m back people and I must say it doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly a month since I warned you all I would need to go radio silent due to the big move, which did not go as planned but we’re in now that’s all that matters, so people keep saying, I say, how do you sue a solicitor but that story is for another day! On a more positive note I’m now surrounded by the most inspiring scenery, I’ve seen my first barn owl that wasn’t in a book or on TV, in fact it likes to land on our back fence now and again!!! and I’m loving the rural life, I can’t wait to own chickens once the jungle of the garden has been sorted!!!

It’s very strange in this day and age not having the internet around all of a sudden, I mean I’ve been able to check my e-mails on my smart phone (modern technology amazes me!) but it hasn’t been the same to just sit down at the computer and surf. I do however find it disturbing how much we rely upon it, it has quite obviously become part of everyday life. We ended up using a family members computer so we could set up all our utility bills online for the new house. This was because it was the fastest way to do it, when we phoned these places you had to go through a zillion automated messages, press 1 for this press 3 for that by the time you’d finished punching in numbers you were left on hold for half an hour before you could speak to a human being, yet on the internet we’d set up all our utility bills in 20 mins. It’s almost like the company’s don’t want to speak to you anymore and set up all these barriers to force you to do it online!!

It wasn’t like I didn’t have plenty of distractions to deal with in my absent weeks from the blogging world, there was Wimbledon, where I cried when Andy Murray made it to the final and cried some more when he lost to Federer in the final. Yep I admit I cried at sports, is there a group I can attend for this??? Well there’s still the Olympics and next year’s Wimbledon!!

However as I set up this blog to promote/discuss my writing projects I guess the biggest thing I should share with you all is I now have a completed first draft of my sequel, granted it’s a little all over the place as first drafts tend to be!! but now I’ll just do what I always do put it away for a few weeks and go back to it with a fresh head ready to rip it to shreds!! I think the most difficult stage of any writing project is to be able to go over that completed first draft and be objective, I mean you’ve spent weeks and months creating this baby you’ve poured your entire soul into it and then when you re-read it in full you realise, actually chapter 6 is crap, I don’t like how that character got from A to B in chapter 12, why did I write character X into the story she has to go she’s useless and also to think about the reader as opposed to how you read it. I find this the hardest because its hard to get the balance between being a little cryptic to keep your audience intrigued and making it way to over complicated that it confuses your audience, alternatively you’ve dumbed it down so much you realise you’ve written a book for primary school kids!!!!! I’ve also managed to gather some great material for the book with extras idea I had a while back, I have several alternative endings I would like to try out so naturally they’ve all gone in the folder for that project.

Anyway, naturally now I’m back and I’ve finished my first draft, you can expect to see more posts ranting about similar things from the beginning of the year, I need to start thinking about cover design and most importantly who I can go to for editing this time around so I don’t get conned again as I did with The Break!