Sunday, March 25, 2012

Amestraton in retrospect

Well, it has been roughly five months since No Place Like Amestraton was released. Quite bluntly, it has not done nearly as well as I had hoped.

I'm not a blabbering idiot though (okay, I might be blabbering), so I think I know what the problems were. I have gotten reader feedback on the issues they had with the novel, and they noted a couple of key points.

The first point is the length. The novel is very long, listed as over five hundred pages on some stores. This was not completely intentional. When I did a rough calculation, I estimated it at somewhere between three hundred and three hundred fifty pages. Of course, I was basing this off a dead tree book, not an e-book, so that might have been part of the problem. Blame it on unfamiliarity with e-books in general.

The second issue was that I was not always the most eloquent writer. In part this was intentional, to give the book a slow-paced feel. Unfortunately, due to my miscalculation of the length, the effect no doubt turned off many a would-be reader. Coupled with an occasionally awkward word choice (which is embarrassing in hindsight), and this is understandable.

One other point I took note of on my own was the title. Seriously, who names a fantasy novel something like No Place Like Amestraton? I might as well named it Elves and Egos or something ridiculous like that, and probably would have gotten more attention.

(If someone ever actually writes/has written a novel named Elves and Egos, I would totally buy it unless the price was something insane.)

So, lessons were learned, but the damage is not irreversible. With my current project, I am trying to correct for these problems. Will I succeed? Well, you'll have to wait and see.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I'm talking on sunshine, whoa-oh

Well, I suppose this is the part of the blog where I don't have all that much to say and I'm searching for something to talk about. But since I'm not the type to force that issue, this will be brief.

I will say that I'm currently looking into getting involved in a short story anthology. I'll provide more details about that when they become available (which should be in a week or two). I'm excited about it, since it means a chance to put out more quality (in my ever-so-humble opinion) work.

My new novel is coming along nicely, and I'm rather pleased with how it's shaping up. Of course, my pleasure kind of means nothing until I can get people to actually read it. Which means finishing it first, of course.

Of course, not everything is sunshine and rainbows...although it might still be sunshine. I'm worried about the weather. It's too early to crank up the air conditioning - and yet we're already looking at a very hot spring. Summer is going to be brutal, I can tell that much already.

The amusing part being that, when I was a kid, I always thought of summer as my favorite season. That certainly not the case with this kind of heat out there. I guess that shows how much I've changed since then, huh.

So, while I try to keep cool, I'll try to write more cool stuff too. (See what I did there? Dur hur.)

Enjoy yourself, but don't let the sun fry your brains!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I won't lie about lay

Warning: Grammar Nazis, turn back now. This post may offend you.

One of the issues that has come up as I get my material proofread is that my grammar is occasionally not the most stellar. It's a fair issue, as mistakes do slip through. I'm not perfect, no one is, so I try to make sure any errors are caught.

However, on occasion I'm willing to let some "technical" errors slide, in the name of informality. As long as it sounds good, there shouldn't be any issues. The main case of me doing this is with the words "lie" and "lay".

I'm not going to explain the technical details of all the scenario cases here, but the general rule of thumb is that, in the present tense, you use lie when referring to doing it yourself, and lay when doing it to something else. Lay is also the past tense (or some form thereof) of lie, so you have that issue.

In short, you probably need a chart just to determine what to use.

My reaction, of course, is to chuck those rules out the window. The English language is confusing enough as it is, thank you very much. The last thing I want to do is have to constantly check every time I use a certain word.

Thus, I have developed my own rule of thumb. It's really simple: Lie = telling a lie. Lay = physically laying down (be it yourself or some other object).

I know, I know, it's not the Queen's English. Still, I figure it makes it a lot simpler for me to write that way. And I doubt it makes it any harder for my work to be read (and possibly the opposite).

Some other authors might disagree with me, but hey, they aren't writing my books, are they? (I hope not.) As long as I can write well in most other aspects, I don't think there's room to complain.

Now, I'm off to go entertain myself for a few hours, before I lay down on my bed and sleep.