Saturday, 30 April 2016

Oh look I didn’t fall on my face

Camp Nanowrimo winner, here. Phew… I did it.

Woo… look at that last day. It is the time zone thing, I updated late one night and then frequently the next day and it put it all in one 24 hour period. I didn’t cheat, I swear it.
And a very interesting month it was too. In keeping with Monica’s writing method I tracked everything.

The columns across are times, word count start and finish, words per session, daily total, words per hour and words per minute.
I did 20 minute writing sprints with short breaks in a Pomodoro style of 3 or 4 then took a longer break. I did seem to decline rapidly if I did too many of them, so I have learnt something from that: longer breaks are good. I used my breaks to walk so I've hit my step goals for the month as well. Go, me.
This is my threesome romance. I can’t tell if I’m just good at writing that kind of content, or if I was in a coffee guzzling panic as the end of the month (and the deadline) approached. Meh… either way, my words per hour average for the month is 1155.
So doing the math: if I wrote for one hour every day, I should have 1155x365= 421,575 words in a year.
What? No, no, no, that can’t be right. That’s like 4 entire books.
*frowns at figures* recalculates* admits math is right*
I did kind of let the 500 word a day project go. But I added a lot of words to the haunted house story. It’s now at that read through, this scene should happen before that scene, did I just change the name of a character three times (he was matt, then max, then something else that started with M- mick? Bad, bad brain), oh the math on the character ages and children don’t add up… that stage. Do I like this stage of story writing? No. no, I do not.
My total of all words for the month is 91,191 which IS an entire book.

So, I have no excuses.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Over-commitment update

I swear I am such a dag (aussie word for fool or idiot in an embarrassing way?)
I have never failed nanowrimo and I am certainly not going to do it this month. So after a few days of almost flat-lining, I have written 13k words in three days. Now the site tells me I need to write 2,300 words a day rather than the usual 1,667 to finish on time.
Meh, I can do that. (Watch me fall on my face.)
The other projects?  According to my spreadsheet I have written 45k words so far this month. The 500 words a day one is behind.
And, the haunted house fic now has 70k words. I did lose a whole day when kid 3 and I piled in the car and we drove south to scope out the random small town I had chosen. A good three hours’ drive from our place on freeways at 110 kmph and still three hours away.
It seems that it was not so random. It’s funny how we choose something from a map or off a list and it is only later that our brain connects the dots on why we chose that particular thing. If I remember rightly, and as I remember it NOW, when my mother finished teacher training her first job was in the tiny town of Laggan, NSW at the one teacher school. There she met my father who had grown up in Crookwell, the nearest small town.
And this was the area that I ‘randomly’ chose… Yeah, right.
Thanks for that, brain.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Several days into over commitment

Right… *dusts off hands* How am I going?
Well… I posted a fanfiction one shot tonight - just over 3k words. It was in my draft folder and I had forgotten about it. Cleaned it up, edited it a little, and posted it.
I have been nominated in the Favorite Veteran Author category of the Fanatic Fanfics Multifandom Awards. I’ve not heard of these before, so again, thank you to whoever nominated me! The website is here:
or is it here:
I don't know, one redirects to the other.
Voting starts on the 11th April and closes May 2nd.
I’ve never made it into a multi fandom awards contest before. How cool.
As an update on my word count and recording everything (as per my earlier post)… 12k words in five days. Not so bad… but - and I know that Monica Leonelle will not be surprised by this - my highest word count per hour is when I dictate:  3,743 words per hour.
The kids - all four of them - are the biggest distraction in an open living room where my desk is in a corner and there are no doors I can close.
And this dictating isn’t really high tech. It’s me, huddled in my bed, talking into my chromebook using the inbuilt microphone and the Goggle Drive speech to text option. It’s not very good with commands, so I will have to go back and edit in speech marks and fix a few mistakes. Not sure how I count that in the word count?
I just noticed it has an Australian English option. I assume that means it can translate ‘yew bewdy mate, let’s go down to maccas for a sausage sanger’ accurately. Or maybe not.
So, back to the writing!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

How did I manage that?

I have over committed myself this month. I signed up for camp nanowrimo. 50,000 words in a romance idea I had ages ago and had sketched out some basic story ideas for. That’s 1,667 words a day.
I promised my therapist I would write 1,500 words a day for the Aussie haunted house romance story that I stalled on and that a first draft will be done by… you guessed it… the end of April.
And I’m doing an Udemy course with Harry deWulf in which the homework is writing 500 words a day for yet another story. I chatted with Harry online and he gave me a voucher to the course. Yay. He’s a literary editor; the one who helps you iron out the story problems BEFORE you waste your time writing a huge chunk that has to be deleted later.
I have often joked that my inner critic sounds like my ex and it really is becoming a problem when it has me so cowed I can’t finish any of my original fiction and I am making myself, and everyone else around me, crazy over this. So I am doing something I have never done before; talk to someone professional about it. I always feel drained after a session, so I guess it is digging out some old wounds. That is probably a good idea, too.
In order to have public accountability for the Aussie story, I am posting the rough first draft on Wattpad if you want to check it out.
And for the icing on the cake, I am following suggestions in Monica Leonelle’s book Write Better, Faster: How To Triple Your Writing Speed and Write More Every Day in which I use Pomodoro time sprints of 20 minutes each and track everything: where I am, what I’ve just done (walked, ate, consumed vast quantities of red wine), which program I’m writing on, music or silence, what distractions there are (the kids - always the kids), etcetera. The spreadsheet calculates how many words a minute I am producing so I can say conclusively (after some time) when how and where I write the fastest.
With my luck it will turn out to be half drunk with music at full volume in the middle of the night, eh?

Harry deWulf
he’s just started a YouTubechannel as well

The House of lost hearts

Monica Leonelle
Her website - a lot of info is free on here if you can’t afford the book

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Non-Canon awards 2016

What a fabulous surprise. I was nominated for the non-canon awards and then I confess, I just forgot about it. Usually I try to write a one shot and tell everyone to go and vote. So I didn’t have very high hopes but I got third in the Royal Author category - that’s the one they put you in when you are too big to go anywhere else. *grins*
So thank you to everyone who nominated me, and voted for me. I'll be home for Christmas was nominated for the Royal fic award, too, but missed out to other deserving favourites.
Thanks again.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016


I haven’t been in Wattpad for a while so it was a pleasant surprise to log in and see that ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’ had passed 6k reads. Nice… and it had amassed 452 gold stars. Woot woot.
Well done, Josh.
The next most popular? It’s my Paul one shot ‘Wake up and smell the coffee’… of course it is.
Links: wattpad

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Vampire novels

People keep saying that nobody wants to read vampire novels - that they are so five years ago, when Twilight was all the rage.
I may have picked a bad month to buy a program called KindleSpy. It reverse engineers figures from Amazon pages; uses the number of sales and all the information about price etc. to generate sales totals. It is meant to give you an idea of what genres are selling well and which it would be hard to compete in. All useful stuff for self-published authors who are doing all of this stuff themselves.
This month the Amazon kindle charts have been OWNED by a self-published author named Bella Forrest. *eyes narrow* Is that her real name? Bella was the name of the main character in Twilight, remember? There is no author page so I assume that it is a pseudonym.
My friends on Goodreads have this in the ‘so bad its good’ category or are unimpressed. But clearly there are enough readers to be pushing a lot of sales in this series. They've got something right.
At any rate, Ms Forrest has seventeen of the top twenty titles in the Amazon category of paranormal vampire romance. There are twenty two novels in the series so far. The first ‘A shade of Vampire’ was published in 2012 and is set at 99c, the rest at $3.99. They are selling like hotcakes and Amazon literally has a big red ‘hot’ tag next to it. That can only increase sales, right? KindleSpy does the math for me and it pulls in at a total of more than two and a half million dollars. That’s just for the top twenty books and only for the month of January 2016.
And here’s the kicker - that’s only on Amazon US. It doesn't count sales on other platforms. Here in Australia we have to buy through a different kindle site and Amazon UK has its own sales tables as well.
Maybe you shouldn’t ditch that vampire novel you started? It looks like there is still plenty of life in that undead corpse.