Thursday, July 17, 2014

Status of Wattpad & Related Things: July 2014

I <3 Wattpad.

Before you start worrying that I've reverted to fifteen years younger, due to the company I've been keeping online lately—I haven't. And Wattpad isn't all teens, anyway. (But even among the teens… *squee* This girl's off to a great start at 13 and already able to write a coherent, cohesive piece with proper grammar!)

Anyway, I've learned three major things about Wattpad, since my last update.

  1. No updates in the first draft of book #4? Even book 1's "read" frequency will tank. Fast.
  2. Updates in the first draft of book #4? Book 1's "read" frequency will hop up and start skipping within 1–2 weeks
  3. And—learned this past weekend—Wattpad HQ actually allows and approves of updates on stories that are merely announcements. This means I can, for instance, add a post on A Fistful of Fire with A Fistful of Water's launch party news, when that comes out.

Um, oops. You didn't hear me just admit that there's gonna be an actual launch party. ALL in your imagination, yupperoo.

(I may have eaten a brownie in the past few hours before I wrote up to this point of this post. Make of that what you will.)

Okay, now on to sugar-free writing—that is, written while I don't have sugar in my system.

My Wattpad offerings are A Fistful of Fire, A Fistful of Earth, most of the Aleyi short stories, Destiny's Kiss, the short story "Full Rune" (which is now free on various vendors), some poetry I don't really have anywhere else, the first draft of A Fistful of Water, the in-progress first draft of A Fistful of Life, and a sci-fi project getting updated once per month.

The major thing Wattpad has done for me is prod me, making sure I get those first drafts done and giving me a pick-me-up when I'm stressed or tired or whatever. Just seeing that people have liked my story enough to read it through helps—and then those who vote and/or comment encourage me further, and it's helpful to see what people notice or connect with.

That said, it's most useful for me for works in progress. I intend to post the entire Aleyi series (which currently looks as if it'll have 6 books)—both for First Draft Fridays and as final projects—but I don't know if I'll repeat that process with anything else, not in that way.

In part aided by Wattpad's Twitter integration, I've also resurrected my Twitter account. I kicked out the spammers, cleaned out my contacts (and I'm about to do another purge round, just to check for anyone else I don't recognize).

This week I've started tweeting lines from something I'm editing or writing, sometimes tweaked so it isn't nonsense out of context. Right now, my tweet might be about A Fistful of Water (tagged "#amediting" and "#AFoW") or A Fistful of Life (tagged "#amwriting" and "#AFoL"). Those will probably be the only two getting tweets until I'm done with one or both.

I also finally succumbed to Pinterest. You may or may not find my pins interesting, though.

But finding Pinterest also has me thinking more about the *cough* thing-I-never-mentioned *cough* and what, exactly, I can (or want to) do for a launch party…and what I want to be doing in the future. For instance, do I really want to rely on Wattpad as my only host, or do I want to have some stuff on other places, like JukePop? (Looking at the ToS for JukePop, I think I'll eventually try to get A Fistful of Fire on there, but I doubt I'll put much else.)

I have another project or three on the back burner, though, that might end up self-hosted. Still mulling on that. It's a moot decision until I've more Aleyi and Darkworld stuff done, anyway. If I hit even my minimum wordcount goals for the next 6 months (which I'm actually on track to do), I may be able to get some special stuff together as early as 2015. We'll see how it goes.

That still has me keeping an eye out on things that might prove useful, like the Patreon site/support model. I've been familiar with it for a while, due to YouTube musician Peter Hollens, whom I discovered due to his collaborations with Lindsey Stirling.

What I did not realize about Patreon: It isn't just for musicians.

I have yet to see how it actually works for any writers, but I intend to look at it to consider in the future, after I'm all nicely caught up on the challenge short stories, and preferably after I at least have 5 of the 6 Chronicles of Marsdenfel out.

(Oh, shoot. A 7th just occurred to me—just now, as I was typing this. Replete with a narrator and title, and it would address something that's I've been concerned about, wondering if it would make it into A Fistful of Air. But any #7—and, actually, A Fistful of Air—might be a novella rather than a novel, so…)

I do have a project I hope to work on in a few years that would fit Patreon or a subscription model pretty well. (It would be a serial of at least 36 episodes total. Possibly 78.) But since that is at least a few years out I have time to figure it out and what method will be best to get it to readers. I did read an interesting post this week about how someone uses WordPress for that sort of thing.

What do you think of Wattpad? (Do you write or read there?) Does some model of reading or writing sound particularly intriguing (or appealing) to you? Do you have some other idea to share, pertinent or not?

And how's your July going?

—Misti

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I'm alive! (State of the Author: July 2014)

…And actually feeling better than I have in months, if not years. Plus my computer's motherboard has been replaced (…twice), and I have a (…slow) backup computer, now, in case that happens again. *whew*

So that means it's time to come back to this blog and resurrect things. I definitely want to revisit the site appearance and maybe even start hosting it on my website, which has gotten a pretty overhaul—but beyond that… *shrug*

What do you want from me?

I have some ideas for what I want to do with the blog now, but hey, y'all are my readers. What do you want to see? Let me know!

In the meantime, here's a snippet from the prologue for the in-progress A Fistful of Water, which should have a release date announcement in the next few weeks:

All Runners know proper court decorum and are necessarily hard to rattle, so William’s expression makes my mouth go dry. “What? What’s wrong?” My voice quivers. “Is it Silva?”

William drops his gaze to the floor for a long moment, then glances pointedly at the side table by the fireplace, where Father keeps his chess set.

A chess set that’s no longer there.

I draw a sharp breath. “Father’s leaving?”

“Likely so,” he says quietly. “Some of the hunting party’s returned, and they found…”

I flinch. I know what they found—or rather, whom. I was an infant when the family made the arrangements that mean I see my father rarely enough as it is, and once she gets here…

My eyes burn, and a sob catches in my throat. “Don’t I get to say good-bye?”

William and my aunt exchange another meaningful look. Even this boy my age knows more about what’s going on with my family than I do, and he’s just a castle hireling. I try not to think about it, but my stomach sours.

“He isn’t back yet,” William replies, “but your mother’s prepping everything for him to leave as soon as possible. We’ll try to get him to stay a day or so, to say good-bye, but Elwyn’s a stubborn one.”

“We?” And since when was my father on a first-name basis with the Runners?

He pauses, glancing again at my aunt. “His Majesty has tasked me to help delay your father’s departure.”

“You?” I ask stupidly, not comprehending. “Not Head Matron Morgana?”

“It’s best she be left out of this.” William’s expression softens. “People ignore Runners, for the most part, so we can be good for certain…quiet jobs.”

“Just be careful,” Aunt Trelanna says. “That woman is vicious.”

If she’s so problematic, why doesn’t Uncle fire her?

William smiles, though it doesn’t reach his eyes. “Yes.”

A Fistful of Water

What do you want to see on this blog? More snippets? More writing process and news? More everyday life stuff? Something else? Let me know!

—Misti

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