Monday, July 13, 2015

Happy 1 month, Pearl!

Once upon a time, in a not-very-exotic land called Queens, there was a short, shy-to-the-point-of-stupefication young nerd who realized that she liked stories. Loved them, in fact. Absorbed them quickly.

At age nine, influenced by her best friend who was a brilliant storyteller and the books she loved so much already, the girl decided to try to write a story that wasn't for school.

It was about eight pages long, was a direct plagiarized version of Interview With The Vampire (don't ask what this girl was doing watching movies like that at her age; her parents had no concept of movie ratings), but she'd had fun writing it.

Twenty years later, she wrote and published a novella...

PEARL has been out for a month today. That went by fast! (As opposed to the twenty years of creative writing. That did not go by fast.)

Since this is a "writing process" blog (at least in part), here are the numbers:

-16 sold. Of those, 1 of them was me (checking on the formatting), 15 were from Amazon, 1 on Barnes and Noble. Of the 15 that are not me, 14 were sold on Amazon US, 1 on Amazon UK.

Because the sales are overwhelmingly Amazon, I decided to pull Pearl off the other vendors and use Kindle Select, which requires you to be exclusive to Amazon. This means that come August, when I've hit 30 days of Pearl being in Kindle Select at the same price, I can put it up for 5 days of discounting but still make my desired royalty. Plus, I think it's also in the Kindle Lending Library, too.

So. What else?



In Vic and Nic land, I finally seemed to have hit a point where I don't mind as much that this draft is...well...shitty. I mean, what else can I expect from one of my early drafts, yeah? It's the best gush of writing on this project that I've had in ages, which is awesome. However, there's a lot of work to be done on it.

I am thinking that, when I finish this draft and get to revising it, that I want to make some structural changes. So, let's take a mini-vote:

When you read a book that has a contemporary storyline but also a historical storyline (which is related to the contemporary, but maybe that doesn't become clear right away), does it work better for you if the chapters alternate (example: Chapter One is now, Chapter Two is the past) or if Part One of the book is now and Part Two of the book is the past? 

Also, I've been reading Oscar Wilde's plays because Victoria, who becomes a stage actress in Victorian London, would have absolutely known about/possibly been acquainted with Wilde and his arrest and trial was the talk of London. Plus, it's giving me insight into the language of the time period and I've pulled some really great lines from his play Lady Windermere's Fan, which I plan to have Victoria quote.

This leaves me with this nagging feeling that Nicole's story in the book is a bit lacking in oomph. It's the typical problem I have writing contemporary pieces where the characters start feeling too much like me and my friends and I'm not sure why I decided having a half-and-half feel to this story would be a good thing. It's my typical muddled writing process.

But, as my friend Jess wisely said yesterday, "Finish this first!"

(She was actually telling me that because I told her I had a few ideas related to Pearl-land. Alexandra's mother. Did she really die in childbirth? Miles's second wife, who (before she's widowed and becomes Miles's second wife) was at Lord and Lady Banston's party, at which...things... happened. Jess also said she was curious about what happened at the Banstons' party.

But yes, finish this first.

10 comments:

  1. I was also watching Interview with the Vampire at an early age. Lol!

    You know, I don't know. I'm always in the camp that anything can be pulled off if it's done right - whatever right is. It might depend on how long each story is. Part one being one way and part two being a completely different way may not work as well if one part is grossly longer than the other. I'm not really sure, but I am inclined to thinking that alternating cuts down on confusion. One of my favorite books in the world does that, and obviously, I love it. But I read a book once that alternated in the middle of chapters. That wasn't cool.

    Happy One Month Anniversary to PEARL!!! ^_^

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    1. Well, I *could* also alternate by chapter for part one, let's say, and then after that, alternate by time period for parts two and three. Something like that. I don't want it to be confusing.

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  2. Yay for PEARL! :) Great sales numbers. Very happy for you:)
    I think alternating from chapter to chapter works really well, if the writer knows how to pull it off---and am sure you can do it!

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    1. I think it's because the tones of the characters don't necessarily match and it's easier to pull off alternating chapters/time periods if they do.

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    2. Also wanted to say that Queens is probably one of the most exotic places because of much diversity! Coconut trees, parrots, and and rivers of honey may not be around every corner, but I think the people is what makes Queens very interesting.

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    3. It's still the most diverse county in the country, I think. It was culture shock for me when I went to college in Boston because Boston isn't as diverse even though it's not that far away.

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  3. Happy one month! I think it depends on the plot. If the plot is built on both alternating points of view in different time periods than yes, doing alternating chapters is a must because the scenes have to build upon another for tension, right? If it's structured in a way that 'time' plays a role in the structure than part 1 and part 2. But it's really hard to say since I don't know the whole plot line. So hopefully I didn't confuse you even more :P

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    1. It's not really that intricately building upon each other, only that Nicole discovers things in present day about the past because Victoria is her ancestor and this ancestry is the reason why Nicole's going to get an inheritance. But there are some twists, so trying to figure out the structure is important so I know where to place certain reveals and things.

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  4. I say start in the present. Readers tend to relate better to a contemporary environment, and you'll have a stronger appeal to a larger audience by going that route...unless you intend to appeal directly to historical fiction readers.

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    1. Well, that was my thinking when I franken-idea'd (term stolen from Krystal) these two ideas together. I'm thinking that I might keep part one in Nicole's pov, but I'm still kind of worried about her storyline not being as strong as the historical one.

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Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. Check back soon. I reply to all comments. Happy reading!