It started out innocent enough. I was on my way to visit my cousins, whom for easy identification I shall call sister Olga (she is like a sister to me) and brother Kirill (we spent a lot of time together as kids, growing up, and I always considered him a brother). I was excited. I haven't seen them for three years. And I was also worried. I dreaded the talk to turn to my father, and them avoiding it, as since I confronted my father about sexually abusing me when I was a child, about seven years ago, my close family has ostracized me, and it's only my cousins who stayed in touch with me at first, before my sister Nastya surfaced (she had a lot going on in her life back then), and then my mother and stepmother, my other cousin and my aunt. But it was Olga who fully supported me. Kirill never quite believed me and always shrugged it off as "the business between you two," meaning me and my father.Read More
And now to style, the beast that's as elusive as it's present in everything we write. I'm still trying to determine what my style is, and from what I've read so far, it's how I tell the story in its bones, not trying to tell it some special way but simply telling it as is. That's when my style comes out. I used to try very hard to be ornate and whimsical and poetic (Siren Suicides), then I tried to be witty and sarcastic (Rosehead), then blunt and brutal (Irkadura), then funny again (The Badlings), and so now in TUBE I have slashed all of this trying and concentrated on simply telling a story.
Many times I'd be frustrated to the point of tears when I would see in my head exactly what I wanted to say, but the words wouldn't come out simple enough. I was trying too hard. Slowly a pattern emerged. I started noticing certain turns of phrases or pairings of words in the other novels I've read, and I started collecting them in a little file, and that little file grew and grew, and then I began categorizing it into chunks applicable to particular novel, so glance at later, while I was in the middle of writing and got frustrated and needed inspiration. Below are the truncated (they are very long in the original file) paragraphs as I use them in the Style sheet for TUBE (note, these are not my words but words taken from other books, and it's impossible now for me to pinpoint the exact sources):Read More
I thought this was going to be a straightforward post, but the more I read about theme and the more I work at detecting it in the novels I read, the more I see that it's an elusive truth that is multilayered and can mean many things to many people, and even to the author it's a truth that can be appear as a singular vision, or can change and fluctuate and focus and dissolve and continue forming as the book is written. As such it is a feeling, an understanding of the world in a particular way that stems from one emotion and grows into a statement which rings true for the book. It can start with one word, the idea I have played around with in this post. For TUBE it's fear. Everything centers around fear. And there are layers on top of that fear that manifest in multiple ways, the main three of which are plot, structure and character (this I have picked up from Theme & Strategy by Ronald B. Tobias), but the emotion remains the same. I'll peel it apart for you so you can see the layers.
1. PLOT: Face your fear to overcome it.Read More
So Raychel Rose asked me: "Do you have a self-publishing to do list on your blog somewhere? Or plan to..." And I thought, shit, what a brilliant idea. I need to write one and then check back on it to know what the hell I need to do before I publish a book so I finally hit all the dates without holding it all in my head and forgetting stuff, like forgetting to create a Goodreads giveaway on time, or forgetting that printing an IngramSpark proof takes longer than printing a CreateSpace one, and so on.
Well then, I'll attempt to dump all my wisdom here, and if I missed something, go ahead and add it in the comments, or just share what your to-do list is, or ask me to clarify anything in detail, and together we'll get this puppy good and proper.
1. Finalize your book title (3 - 4 months before publication).Read More