"You know it don't come easy."
That's true for almost anything we value. When my kids see me pounding away at the keyboard and ask, "Mom, are the voices talking to you?" they don't understand that not only are the voices talking to me, but that I have to put them into context, build a world around them, flesh out their personalities and motivations. Readers aren't privy to what's simmering in my mind because they're not there. It's a dark and scary place anyway.
But sometimes it does come easy ... er ... easily. <sigh> The latest release came in a rush. I spent four days furiously typing away, reviewing, revising. What we got was an 27,000 word novella. Then I spent a fifth day working away at a cover and promotional graphic. That's tough when you don't have the software that's familiar to you. But I made do with GIMP, OpenOffice Drawing, and, yes, the ubiquitous MS Word.
(Let it be known now: I dislike MS products. I like Adobe.)
So, the novella, titled The Barbary Lion, is finished and posted for sale at $0.99 because that's the lowest price Amazon will allow. Is $0.99 too much to pay for a novella of fewer than 100 pages? I hope not. Look under the Books tab of this website to find it listed with links to purchase.
So, what about the other books pending? Well, they're still in the hands of beta readers. I hope to get Willow, The Dragon Wore a Kilt, The Diamond Gate, and Monterrey Salt out this summer. Fingers are crossed.
That's a lesson I never quite seem to learn. And I'm finding out that I don't much care.
I started reading a book. It was a free download and, such is my experience, my expectations were lowered. I have, to my regret, learned that there are far more dreadful indie authors than there are excellent ones. Anyway ... the the book's premise was interesting, but the execution awful. I never made it past the second paragraph. What little I did read was riddled with grammatical and sentence construction errors further bogged down by a boring info-dump.
So I left a negative review warning other readers of the pitfalls of that book. And, yes, I did state in the review that I did not finish the book and why. It's important to state why.
I look at writing as a craft, much like cooking. It's a skill that requires practice and learning. Just as you would expect a chef to know better than to pair popcorn and grapefruit with Merlot and call it fine dining, I expect an author to understand the rules of composition and to use them with competence. That means knowing when and where to capitalize words and use apostrophes and commas.
It's been said that my expectations are too high. I think general expectations are not high enough. You wouldn't patronize a restaurant with a chef who can't cook; why patronize an author who can't write? Just because you have a good idea doesn't mean you have the skill to carry it out. Writing is hard word, it's skilled work. If you aren't skilled, your audience will know and lambaste you for daring to promote yourself as such. And so they should.
Arrogance has no place here. Grow a thick skin, take your lumps, learn from the criticisms of others, and develop your craft.
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