About writing fiction and trying to sell it

My novel was published through Createspace, and I’m rather pleased with the entire process. Createspace is a related to Amazon, which means that any stories you publish through there, become available on Amazon and on Kindle. There are no costs. I didn’t pay a thing. Createspace provided me with free templates for me to paste my stories into, and with Flash wizards to create a cover and proof my book. I could have ordered a free proofread copy of my book, but since it would be printed in the US, it would have taken a long time to get here. I can monitor and edit everything that happens on my book’s amazon page, the sales, the reviews, and the description of the book.

All in all, I’m happy that I live in these modern times where publishing a book is no longer only for people with a professional agent, or for people who flawlessly and patiently jump through all the hoops that the Real Publishers prescribe before they even let their interns read the manuscript. They call it the Slushpile, and we struggling new writers should be grateful when we are elevated from it at their magnanimous whim. Publishers are a lot like music labels. I’m so glad I can just publish my own stories now.

Writers are not like Richard Castle. Most writers, even if they have published a number of relatively popular books, struggle to get by financially. Jim Hines wrote a blog about his income every year, just to give people an idea of the money a writer makes, and last year he created a survey.

My favourite writer is Lois McMaster Bujold, because of this bookIt is by far the most beautiful book I have ever read. And yes, I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman and Patrick Rothfuss too. That’s not my point. My point is that you’ve probably never heard of my favourite book before. Writing an amazing book does not guarantee fame, nor an income. Writers are just like other artists: misunderstood and mostly broke.

I write because it is possibly the only thing I am really passionate about: writing a good story. I am lucky to have found more than one medium; I also write larp plot sometimes. I have no hope of ever being able to sustain myself financially by just writing, which makes me feel like work is a chore I have to do so I don’t have to live in poverty while I write more stories.

Poll: which of my stories should I publish next?

I have made a poll so you can let me know which of my stories you’re interested in. All questions are optional, so you can mark only the ones that strike you and then submit. All of these stories are almost ready to be shown to the public, though I am looking for proofreaders, so leave me a message if you want to proofread any of these and answer a few questions for me.

My novel is now available on Amazon!

My fantasy novel is available on Amazon and as ebook on Kindle. It’s a fantasy story about three young, powerful mages trying to understand what their purpose is in life, and an archaeologist who discovers that one of the gods is not dead, but imprisoned, and there is a conspiracy to release Him from that prison. Feel free to leave a review on amazon or on goodreads, or write something in the comments below.

Destiny is not a story written by the Gods. It is a bright light that shines from the eyes of people who will do great things, and whose names will be remembered. People like Topaz and Jareth, mages who must serve the people to ensure justice and peace. Destiny is the path that lies before them; it changes every time they make a decision, whether it be big or small. It is so complex that only the Gods can fully understand it, because each path branches out to influence others that also change every moment. Jareth’s decision to find answers will eventually lead to an archaeological dig, and to the Curse of the Gods.

Working on Irresistible

Story length so far 2814 words
What’s going on? Lena has just found out that vampires and demons exist, and somehow they die when they attack her. Her boyfriend doesn’t believe her.
What’s coming next? Lena will meet her impossible love interest: the incubus who I’ve modeled after Tom Hiddleston
State of Lena She has a smart mouth but she’s otherwise a little intimidated
Deaths? 2: vampire Fred kills a bum in the park, and then he dies when he attacks Lena
Noteworthy snippet

Nick’s room was dark except for his desk lamp and his computer screen when I entered. He sat at his desk, one hand on the mouse while the other controlled the keyboard. His hair was flattened by his big headphones, his blue eyes glued to the characters fighting on the screen. He greeted me with the absent nod I knew so well. It meant: “I’m in the middle of combat right now, I’ll put the game down as soon as possible”. I splashed some water from the sink in my face and my neck and then crawled onto the bed. After a while, Nick said to his microphone: “I’ll be AFK now, guys.”

He put down his headphones and rolled his chair over to the bed. He embraced me and I told him everything. Everything up to the part where the vampire grabbed me, and what had happened after that. I couldn’t tell him that. I felt embarrassed, I had somehow enjoyed that. The words stuck in my throat, so I huddled on the bed.

“It was like I was in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode. One where Buffy is out of town.” He patted me on the leg. “California is a long way from here, no wonder she didn’t swing by.”

“I’m not joking, Nick! I saw a real vampire really kill someone! And I…” I expected my stomach to churn at the thought of the pool of blood. But my body reacted positively, I was feeling pretty good.

Nick just nodded. “What kind of powers do you suppose a vampire has?”

My mouth sagged open as I looked at him. “Powers?”

“You know, if they’re like Buffy’s vampires, we could defeat them with a pointy stick or by setting them on fire. It would be dangerous, but doable.” He leaned back in his chair as he stared at the ceiling, thinking out loud. “But if they’re like World of Darkness vampires or Anne Rice’s vampires, we don’t stand a chance.”

I gasped, not knowing what to say. He was such a nerd.

He looked at me. “What?”

“This is not out of one of your books. This really just happened!”

writing again

1400 words and counting. Finally I’m inspired and well enough to work on my next book, which is a novel in Dutch. I want to write a modern interpretation of Trilby and it’s going well so far. The detailed synopsis of the book is 777 words long and divides the book into 7 chapters. I have six character and a setting I know really well. The language is a challenge, but nothing synoniemen.net and onzetaal.nl can’t fix. All In all, I feel like a writer again. And happily so.

self-publishing

A friend of mine has pointed me towards a self-publishing service that she’s very happy about. So I’m looking into finally, really publishing my book. So you can all read it. If you want.

So keep in touch. My book is coming out.

Storytelling

I recently discovered this interesting initiative by a German university to start teaching massively multi-user online courses. Free education for anyone who is interested. And the course that interested me most, was of course the one about storytelling.

It has inspired me to continue with that story I tried to write last year, the Cursecaster. I think I’ve figured out why I was stuck and what to do now. A bit of worldbuilding is in order…

I might post extracts from the story here as it progresses.

I haz a sad

I really need to stop questioning my decision to write every time I receive a rejection letter. But I can’t help it. I worked so hard on this, and they still don’t want it…

Tell me Mr Gaiman, Ms Rowling, Ms McMaster-Bujold, tell me how to not take rejections personally. Tell me how to continue believing this is still the best book I ever wrote. Tell me how to keep trying instead of retreating into a corner, wallowing in the knowledge that I just suck.

*holds up sign: will write for hugs*