I’m trying, I really am (repost)

Concussion photo

I’m trying, I really am (repost)

It’s been awhile since I wrote. I trust you don’t mind. I do hope you missed me. I originally posted this earlier in the week only to discover that while it publicized to my social media sites, my blog subscribers did not receive it. Here’s hoping it’s been resolved.

The after effects of my concussion limit my screen time, and what’s worse, my creative thinking is at an all time low. Frankly, it sucks. I worry that it won’t return soon.

Concussion-photo
Will this headache ever go away?

In looking at my notes for story lines etc., I know that I had a good fix on the story line for each of my notes. Now, when I review them, it’s not so clear. It’s scary; that’s what it is.

Instead, I decided to focus my energies on editing the first draft of my latest book, ‘Lucky Bitch.’ Easy enough. I am managing to get through maybe two chapters a day before I have to stop and rest for several hours. That equates to one hour of screen time for every five or so hours of rest. It’s barely enough to get through the day. Even so, I have to take frequent breaks during my screen time to get anything done. Nerve racking, to say the least.

Back to editing. I use the tools I have available to me, read the book, chapter by chapter, fix the grammar, pay attention to the plot lines, verify the continuity of the story and so forth. All well and good. Right?

Okay, so I get to the second to last chapter, and I realize that I have to rewrite the entire section. WTF? The subject outline of the chapter is all wrong. I covered that plot line in Chapter 19, one-third of the way into the book. Oh, shit! What the hell am I going to do now? My creative thought processes are worthless at the moment. I have no doubt that they will return but honestly, when?

Concussion bannerDoc told me on Monday that I may be suffering the after effects of this concussion for the next two years. TWO YEARS? Oh, my fricking lord. That, after getting a pair of nerve block injections in the back of my neck in an attempt to stop the headache. So far, I’m on my third day and the headache, while diminished, remains constant.

As I review what I am going to do, I’ve decided this much. I will print out the two chapters and hand them out to my beta readers. I’m going to let them tell me which version they like better. Once done, I’ll incorporate the winner into Chapter 19.

In the meantime, what to do with Chapter 43, the second to last chapter of the book. Chapter 43 is intended as a vehicle to get the main character, Mona, away from home for the day, and acts as a setup for the closing chapter, crucial to the book.

So, that’s where I am. I’m jotting down notes as they come to me. Frankly, they’re not worth much at this point. Maybe I’ll stumble onto something. Either way, it may help in the recovery of my creative thought processes. Damn, I never thought I would miss not having them.

So, until next time, this is Richard Verry, Writer signing off and crossing my fingers to get back to where I need to be. Fans, I love you all. Thanks for your patience.

Trying, I really am

Concussion banner

Trying, I really am

It’s been awhile since I wrote. I trust you don’t mind. I do hope you missed me.

The after effects of my concussion limit my screen time, and what’s worse, my creative thinking is at an all time low. Frankly, it sucks. I worry that it won’t return soon.

Concussion-photo
Will this headache ever go away?

In looking at my notes for story lines etc., I know that I had a good fix on the story line for each of my notes. Now, when I review them, it’s not so clear. It’s scary; that’s what it is.

Instead, I decided to focus my energies on editing the first draft of my latest book, ‘Lucky Bitch.’ Easy enough. I am managing to get through maybe two chapters a day before I have to stop and rest for several hours. That equates to one hour of screen time for every five or so hours of rest. It’s barely enough to get through the day. Even so, I have to take frequent breaks during my screen time to get anything done. Nerve racking, to say the least.

Back to editing. I use the tools I have available to me, read the book, chapter by chapter, fix the grammar, pay attention to the plot lines, verify the continuity of the story and so forth. All well and good. Right?

Okay, so I get to the second to last chapter, and I realize that I have to rewrite the entire section. WTF? The subject outline of the chapter is all wrong. I covered that plot line in Chapter 19, one-third of the way into the book. Oh, shit! What the hell am I going to do now? My creative thought processes are worthless at the moment. I have no doubt that they will return but honestly, when?

Concussion bannerDoc told me on Monday that I may be suffering the after effects of this concussion for the next two years. TWO YEARS? Oh, my fricking lord. That, after getting a pair of nerve block injections in the back of my neck in an attempt to stop the headache. So far, I’m on my third day and the headache, while diminished, remains constant.

As I review what I am going to do, I’ve decided this much. I will print out the two chapters and hand them out to my beta readers. I’m going to let them tell me which version they like better. Once done, I’ll incorporate the winner into Chapter 19.

In the meantime, what to do with Chapter 43, the second to last chapter of the book. Chapter 43 is intended as a vehicle to get the main character, Mona, away from home for the day, and acts as a setup for the closing chapter, crucial to the book.

So, that’s where I am. I’m jotting down notes as they come to me. Frankly, they’re not worth much at this point. Maybe I’ll stumble onto something. Either way, it may help in the recovery of my creative thought processes. Damn, I never thought I would miss not having them.

So, until next time, this is Richard Verry, Writer signing off and crossing my fingers to get back to where I need to be. Fans, I love you all. Thanks for your patience.

What Inspires You

The Road Less Traveled

In the wee hours of the early morning, I laid in bed, my mind racing with non-contiguous thoughts. Trying as I might to fall back asleep, my thoughts kept coming back to the word ‘Inspiration’.

First, I kept thinking what inspires me. I also thought about the definition of the word. Jumping around, I landed on thoughts of topics in everyday life that might inspire me, inspire you or just inspire anybody. At times, I thought about those posters that companies put up to inspire and motivate their workforce.

As the night slowly moved to morning, I decided to write a blog on the subject. But what specific might I write about that would be of interest to you, the reader? As a result, I put off writing this blog until I could answer that question. Since I don’t know you, let me tell you about what inspires me and try to integrate that into what your inspirations might be. I don’t know any other way to say it. Therefore, here we go.

So, what does inspire me? Everyday life, events in the news, porn, family, friends, work, my career and everyday conversations with my people of all types and relationships. It can be an ad on television or a memory from my childhood.

I’ve written in the past that my mind is constantly filled with thousands of images that flies through my noggin, bounces around a bit before being replaced another. This happens on a daily basis. The ones I find interesting, I try to capture for later followup. Many of those never see the light of day. But those that do, become inspiration for follow-up study and potential implementation into a story or painting.

The problem is, with so many sources to draw from, I have to be careful to use that latest image is inspiration for something unique and creative. In other words, I have to very careful not to plagiarise the idea and duplicate someone else’s creative work. It’s hard but I strive hard to make it happen.

I’m also a perfectionist with my craft. In my paintings, I like realism. I like to make my compositions look as real as possible, even if the subjects are magical and mystical creatures or devices that could not exist in real life. In my stories, I spend a lot of time researching my idea and searching for other works to see if it has already been done. As I write, I keep careful notes to ensure that physical characteristics and experiences of my characters remain consistent. I don’t want to write that a character is tall in one chapter only to be short in a later chapter.

Then, be it a painting or a story, once the work is done, I review and scan and check to make sure that every detail is accounted for, every word is the right word to use in intended context. Is it the right color, perspective or composition. Do I need to rewrite this segment, repaint that corner or what have you.

Be it paintings or stories, it is this editing that important to me. I hate putting out inferior products. Even in my work, I write programs etc. The actual coding is only 30% of the software coding. The rest is planning and testing. The same goes for my painting or writing. I plan about 30% of the composition, I write or paint for another 30% or so and the rest is in the polishing.

In researching this blog, I came across the following quote by Johannes Brahms.

"Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind."

I like that because I lean towards the craftsmanship. Every stroke of the brush, every letter of every word, is meticulously placed to achieve my desired goal. At some point, the project must end, mistakes and all otherwise nothing would ever be finished. I strive hard to be better at my craft. I strive to make a new work be better than the last. Most importantly, I’m not afraid to make a mistake. It is my mistakes that allow me to grow and improve.

So, how does all this relate to you, my reader. I honestly don’t know. I’m only trying to understand you through what is important to me. If what inspires you also inspires me, then we can make a connection. I feel that we already have something in common, else you wouldn’t be reading this. So, tell me, what inspires you? I really want to know.

Till next time, this is Richard Verry, spewing out thoughts that will hopefully help me understand what makes you tick. As I travel this road of inspiration, I hope I meet you and together, share ideas. Till next time, have a great day.

Book Editing Question

So, the nagging question that has been on my mind is whether which is better? Pay a professional editor or use a personal contact who is very good at editing but who is not a professional in the field.

So far, I’ve been using the later for several reasons.

  1. Broken-Steele-Front-Cover-6x9-web
    On sale now at Amazon

    We argue about sections of my books and whether they need to be there at all.

  2. How to improve the story by helping to rewrite sections, large and small, while still keeping the intent of the section.
  3. We can work together editing  regardless at any time of day, even well into the night or first thing in the morning. Even before my morning coffee (ah, who am I kidding, not).
  4. By using someone I know and trust, we can discuss the bigger plot lines, intent and direction of the story along with a host of a number of little things that I can’t think of right now.
  5. We can discuss future story lines which I can turn into an outline for another book.
  6. Of course, the usually finding and correcting spelling and grammar errors.

The big question on my mind is this.

Does using a paid professional editor significantly improve the end result which translates in more sales?

What do you think? — I really want to know.

Finished my draft of ‘Broken Steele’

Whew! This morning I finished my draft of my new novel, ‘Broken Steele’, book 2 in the ‘Mona Bendarova Adventures.  Next, I’m on to the arduous task of editing it and preparing it for publication. Yes, it’s true. I am an independent publisher under the brand ‘maggicalExpressions’.

First, I’ll be doing a once over edit looking for obvious errors and inconsistencies, which I am sure exists. Next I’ll be doing a more in-depth with my favorite person in the world, my partner Janet. She is quite good at helping me edit and was a huge help in preparing the last book for publication.  I’ll also be sharing it with one or two others who promise to help me edit it.

Which begs the question. To edit yourself or hire an editor? What do you think?

As an independent publisher who has yet to make his first million (alright, hundred) in royalties, I’d like to know. From research I’ve found all over the web, the recommendation is to not self edit but hire an editor.

Since I don’t have the money to do that, I have to resort to my own means to edit my books, and for that matter, design the book covers and everything else necessary to publish.

The second question that comes to mind is, if you hire an editor, how long does it take to get the book back and ready to publish? For that matter, does an editor format the book as well, or that still my responsibility?

What do you think?