On Writing and Reading

Hello again.

Well I’ve been reading. Of course you say, especially if you’ve followed me on Goodreads. However I have been catching myself more and more critiquing my fellow writers. Their choices for words, their plot points, and their character motivations. But even more, I’m trying to dissect my own enjoyment. Why do I like a certain story, and why do I have trouble putting down a book?

In the case of the last two books I’ve read it’s a matter of what I see in the world. The rules that they’ve set up, and what a person might do with those rules. Even better is when a character experiments as well. That way we don’t have to wonder, we are shown. And I just can’t wait for the next new discovery. Another thing is mystery. A puzzle if you will. Here are these set pieces, and we aren’t told what they mean in the beginning. We are curious, and want to learn what is really going on, but only so much information is doled out, one piece at a time. Then we get to ask ourselves, what does it all mean?

If you can engage those two things, apparently even if the writing isn’t a masterpiece, it still is good. Good enough that I’ll spend too many hours reading instead of sleeping. Good enough that I don’t feel an hour pass, and when I look up the clock is telling me that I should have been asleep long ago.

Another trick for the sleepless reader, is something I utilized with my first three books. It wasn’t intentional, at least insomuch for it to cause sleeplessness. It was just a way I wanted to write those books. No chapters, no pauses, just a flow of consciousness. My first books have no natural pausing point, so it makes it difficult to find a place to stop. Some of the feedback I got on those was that people just read through the night, trying to get to a stopping point, but since they couldn’t find one, just finished those books in one sitting. Luckily they weren’t huge. If I were to have gone on as long as Robert Jordon I think some may have gone mad. I’ve moved on from that. Now I’m using chapter breaks after a scene is finished.

Chapters can also help the writer. It gives you a framework, one where you can drape your story. In breaking it up, it makes you think harder about a scene. You can then use it to build it up between one chapter and the next. Asking yourself what is important for the story to do here. How does it go from this to that? Currently this is quite helpful as I write with another person. Especially since we are in the editing phase. Since we both are familiar with what we’ve written, we can then try to sort out any inconsistencies. By knowing where the chapter is, we know where it isn’t. By knowing where it isn’t, we inherently know where it should be.

In the end I’m still very happy to be a reader, but I’m also excited to learn because of it. Every book I pick up gives me further clues into writing. Some of them good hints, others obvious no no’s when I start hating something. Luckily recently there’s been little to hate, as I’ve been picky with what I’ve read. But even if it’s a bad book, you’ll learn something. In fact you may learn more if you read something you hate. All those little things that irritate and annoy you will reinforce upon you not to do something so stupid. Then again, it’s all a matter of personal preference, as I’ve seen books I despise be praise way beyond their quality of writing. Maybe I’ll be lucky one day and receive such praise, but in the end the fun is in the writing, and in having it available for others to read.

With that, I’ll leave you this week. I hope you get more sleep than me, but if you have time pick up a book and enjoy.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 83% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon

Advertisements

Just a book update

Hello again. I’m back on my usual day this week. Obviously.

The book is progressing very well, and the co-author continues to turn out edits, and I continue to review and edit myself. I’m looking ahead a bit as well. Contemplating different word-processors and work flows that might be utilized on future products.

Speaking of which, the co-author was struck by inspiration, and could not stop themselves from starting on a new book. We’ve talked about the story a few times before, but they got the itch, so they had to write. They’ve asked if I’d like to work on it as well, and I’ve said yes. Of course I offered my services first, heh. But this looks like we may have a long-term partnership in writing together.

It’s been wonderful to work with them. We both are similar, but different enough that it gives us both something we are strong at, and we can pair them up and have the best version of our vision put to page. I can’t speak for them, but working with them has made me a better writer.

Of course there are other things at work when it comes to my growth as a writer. I randomly look up videos of people talking about writing, and editing. Random things stick, and I implement them just to see what such things look like. The good ones tend to last longer, and it changes me and how I do things. So thanks to other creatives that take the time to note certain things that first timers and newbies may not think of. And it doesn’t hurt to have my insatiable reading habit.

Other than that, not much is going on here. Save my lack of sleep driving me slightly crazy. But this happens now and again. But as for the book, I think we’re looking at months instead of years for completion and publication. My recollection tells me we started this book in either December of 2016 or January 2017, so it’s been awhile. My other books were done a bit faster, but I had more free time then. Given the amount of time we have to work on the book week to week I think we’re doing pretty good. So look forward to updates about the book in the next few months. Maybe I’ll even share the title, and the premise soon.

Just a note. The editing is slowing down. I’m getting really picky about what I change and clarify, so there is that. And as this is likely one of my last pass throughs, I’m really challenging myself to make sure things are as perfect as I can make them. So hopefully the finished product will be a good read for you all.

Until next time, have a great week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 83% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon

Manga and Goodreads

Hello all. I’m back, though one day late.

I thought I might miss this week, as I had to work yesterday. Fortunately I was able to rest enough to do some editing today, and am able to bring you this post.

This weekend the co-author was able to get some editing in, thanks to the holiday, and today I was able to read through what they got through. Meaning I’m all caught up with their edits. The story is flowing better than ever, and there wasn’t much left for me to do, though there were a few formatting errors I fixed. That and their word-processor seems to like to fix words to the wrong sort, though spelled correctly.

This time through I’m fixing how things are said. Sure, the original draft was fine, but I’m changing it slightly. Making it sound more natural, and less, well, verbose isn’t the word. Complex statements can be streamlined a bit here and there, and I’m doing that without losing the intended meaning. Also, a missing word can change an entire statement, and I’ve found a couple of instances where one thing was said, but really it should have been the opposite. Don’t forget your “not’s”.

Also I’m still adding things to Goodreads. Turns out they have manga on that site. So I’ve been going through and finding what I’ve read, and scoring them. I think I’ve read nearly as many of them as I have books, so it’ll take some time. That and trying to recall them from the top of my head isn’t helping. So far I think I’ve only been adding my favorites, though there are hundreds that are simply good instead of excellent that I’m not remembering the names for. That and I’m only adding the ones that I’ve finished, as there are just as many that I’ve stopped reading for one reason or another.

Since I’m more focused on novels and not manga currently I’m not likely to read many of them these days. Though who knows, maybe I’ll get back into it. I did spend many a year reading them and not books for the most part. Hence why my Goodreads grew a bit stagnant there for a awhile. It wasn’t until this year that I started reading more than a few books a year again.

I’m still watching a ton of anime, though I don’t think I’ve posted much about it here lately. The interesting thing about reading so much manga is that I recognize many an anime series from them. Almost every season there’s at least one that I’ve read first, even if it was just a chapter or two. As I’ve said, I’ve dropped a lot of them over the years. I usually at least watch the first episode, just to see if they did a decent job at adaptation, and most of the time they do. Though I tend to drop those anime as well. I’ve read it already after all.

Well I think that’s it for this week’s post. I hope you all have an enjoyable week. Until next time.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 82% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon

Updates on Things

Hello there friends. I’m back.

The trials of waiting and finding a new phone have nearly come to and end. There is but one more hurdle to leap over, and that would be getting the correct sim card. Unfortunately in my excitement for a new phone I’d mistaken the size of my previous sim to be that of the new one. Unfortunately I’ve been using an oversized one for many years, and technology has long since pushed ahead of such things. But soon enough it shall be replaced and all my worries shall be alleviated. Or so I hope.

As to the book, it is proceeding grandly. The co-author spent many an hour at it and has progressed greatly in that time. They’ve lingered and leered over our words, and have produced yet more. Blank spots, or at least spots that needed filling in more have been. Myself, I’ve made language clearer and have beautified what was already lovely. Or so I think.

Yet the pace I edit will now linger behind that of the co-author. I mustn’t rush past them again. I’ve already re-read and edited multiple times, now I must focus on their notes and changes. It’s up to me to see the story clear on my end, until they finish and then we shall review together. It isn’t surprising to take as long to edit as it does to write. I’ve done this before, though previous attempts were slow due to the nature of the editors I had before.

No one has the time to edit daily, unless like me that’s all they did. Though I’ve no longer the time myself, as work is a thing we all must do in order to hold ourselves in a household. Financial needs sadly outweigh that of creativity. Luckily I’ve a certain amount of free time to work on writing, most weeks that is. There are times when such things are lost to me, and I work more than the average 40hrs. However since that is not the norm I’m able to sit here and type away.

With that said, there is a possibility that I might miss next Monday’s post. A holiday it is, and as such I may be called upon to attend to work. Tis a thing my job entails, as not a holiday goes by where those in my trade are called upon to perform our job. So if I am gone then, don’t worry. I should be back either the next day, or the following week.

But what else is there to tell? Hrm. Well if you are the sort interested in such things I’ve attempted to recall other books I’ve read over the years and have added to my Goodreads. I fear I’m missing many, as I borrowed many over the years, and memories of such are only sparked when I see their covers again. And of course due to previous selling and sorting out my own library I’ve lost hundreds of titles from my shelves. But since my mind lingers on such things a random jumble of author’s names come to me from time to time either while I’m asleep or working. Hence the update.

And also since several of my friends have taken to writing as well, we’ve talked of making a little guild of writers. The chance of more people looking over our work is an opportunity I think we all look forward to, and lets us focus on our strengths. Some of us are better at descriptions, others dialogue, and yet others still better at formating our words into reasonable paragraphs and such. Luckily we have a varied background to our reading list, and that too should make us stronger writers. But putting a name to our little group has been a sticking point. Not that we need one, but it’s something I’d like to do. As it is we disagree on the title. But that shouldn’t hinder us, as an unnamed group is just as valid as one named. But announcing ourselves would need such a thing, not that is needed either.

So with that little rambling post, I shall leave you until next time. May you have a wonderful week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 78% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon

Finding a name for music

Greetings and salutations. I have found my way back to the internet.

This week was one that was filled with music. My ears were caressed by sounds that I hadn’t received a name for them to be categorized in, but as with most things they had been.

The first such things that received a name was one called Synthwave. An 80’s-esque sound filled with synth, that apparently was first widely spread from the soundtrack of a movie called Drive. A movie I still have not seen but first enjoyed the music from some years ago.

But this was not my first experience that lead me down this path. First was from an album that had been titled Nivel del Mar – Sounds for Soulsurfers. This collection of tracks from various artists kindled an interest in strange sounds and remixes from other peoples works. They were all categorized as Downbeat, Chill Out, Hip Hop, or Jazz. While you can hear why they would be, there was something different about them. Listening to them you might not see the connection, however Synthwave seems to have come from another genre. That genre being Vaporwave.

The first such instance of widespread internet fame came from a track called Floral Shoppe from Lisa Frank 420. At least in as much as my research has lead me. These early tracks seemed to distort old music to give it a creepy/unsettling feel. Making them sound like they were an old record playing or a similarly old VHS that had been played repeatedly on an old malfunctioning machine, but they at times also gave it a beat. However at that point it was also about the visual aesthetic as much as it was the sound. Marble busts and glitch art abound in their cover art and videos. A strange thing to be sure, however I felt relaxation listening to them.

And to make matters stranger, later a sub-genre arrived called Simpsonwave. These took classic Vaporwave tracks and used them tell a story using Simpson episodes and distort and glitch them. The first one was uploaded and titled Sunday School. And from my limited delving into this sub-genre is my favorite.

But what has this all to do with me? For the last couple of weeks I’ve spent much of my free time just listening to anything and everything I could find in these genres. I find them relaxing, and interestingly enough, when played in a group of friends it seems to stimulate conversation. They don’t drown out conversation, and they can spark thoughts in the listeners. This is very close to the playlist I use to write by. Hence why I find them so interesting. The music I’ve collected to listen while I work on my books have all been either Vaporwave or Synthwave all along. Or at the very least a precursor or an offspring of these genre’s.

Finding a name has made me go back into my library of music and see what I can find. And many of my favorites could be placed in either category. Of course about once a year I tend to get super excited about music instead of just being a passive thing I listen to. So this has apparently been the hyped period for the year, and I felt like I wanted to share my experience. But if you want to know more take some time and watch and listen to what others have to say about the history of these genres. There are many video’s on YouTube that you can find that do a better job than I. Perhaps you’ll find that you too have always enjoyed this type of music.

Until next time, have a musical week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 76% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon

I’m Just Complaining Again

Howdy folks. I’m back again.

So what have I been up to? Well I’ve mentioned the fact that my phone was trying to kill me, again. I also mentioned that I swapped it out for an old phone that I had. One who’s microphone didn’t work, who had a dead spot on the screen, and who’s charging port didn’t work. Well guess what? Now the screen keeps blinking, and randomly pressing buttons all over that place. So if I have your contact information it’s likely you may have received a random text, email, or whatever the phone happened to feel like doing at the time.

Time for the next back up phone. This one is even older, and has so little memory that it can barely run half the time. But it will make calls, the screen while small will allow me to read, and it works with wifi and 4G. That being said I can’t install many apps. I just have the kindle app installed, the rest is taken up by android and all the apps that come with that. So if you have tried to contact me this last week with anything besides texting and calls I probably didn’t get it. Heck, even using the built in browser doesn’t work half the time. I have to keep clearing the cache on the phone and browser to keep the phone from lagging so much that I can’t use it at all. Luckily I have an old tablet, that while has its own issues, tends to make up for the phone’s short comings. Though it is a hassle to lug both of them around.

That being said, I’m still waiting on my actual replacement phone to make its way to me. According to tracking it’s still in China, but I knew it would take forever to get here. I just didn’t think my backup phones would keep going to crap. Had I known that I might have paid a little more for the luxury of getting it here faster. Oh first world problems, how irritating you are.

I know I’m spoiled when it comes to having these devices, but man is it frustrating to have conveniences disappear. Perhaps that’s a sign I’m overly attached to them. Then again I’ve always been one to try to adopt the latest and greatest thing. Maybe not the bleeding edge, as my wallet can’t sustain such things, but within a few years time I tend to find myself desiring them.

Without the use of all those social media apps I’m feeling a little less stressed. Certainly the first few days I was craving them. I felt lonely. But then again, loading up a page with all the people you follow isn’t the same thing as talking to them. Now though, I’m not anxiously awaiting the next post. I’m more interested in what I’m reading.

And that’s the thing. I still can use this old phone for reading. Heck, if I really needed to I could use the tablet for that, though these days it seems a bit big for the task. I’d just load it up before I leave to a place without wifi, and I’d be golden. Unless I happen to finish the book. That’s happened, but before I had the option of downloading a new one while on the go. Now, not so much.

There are issues with the old phone, and one of them is the kindle store sometimes refuses to work. I don’t mean it won’t let me read. I mean the store just won’t load correctly, or it crashes when I try to purchase something.

Okay okay, enough complaining for one day. Truly we live in a future world. These issues are really not all that bad. If I really wanted to I could carry around one of the hundreds of actual physical books I own. It just wouldn’t be convenient. But that’s the name of the game these days. And when such things aren’t available to us, we tend to get a little upset.

Moving on. I’ve just gotten through my third pass through of the book. It’s looking good. The co-author was able to do some work on it this weekend as well. Looks like they took a dislike to a chapter and rewrote a bunch of it. So I’ll be checking that out the next time I edit.

Another thing, I finally used the spelling and grammar check for the whole document instead of simply as I went along. You’d figure I’d do that when I was going through it the first time, but I’ve found that tends to mess me up. I like to get to know the story before I start accepting what a computer thinks things should be. And it looks like I was right to do so. I didn’t find anything I didn’t expect. It mostly didn’t like the Norse names I’m using. Other than that, it looks golden. So one more pass through and we should be ready.

Until next time, I hope you all have better luck with your phones.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 75% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon

How I Keep Writing

Hello all.

It has been four years since I published my first book. In that time I’ve released four other books. One of course is the poetry book, which isn’t the usual fare I put out. However the other three were novels. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in this time, and I’m taking great effort in getting this latest book finished.

At least to me this shows my commitment to writing. I had a few times where I wasn’t sure of myself, and I couldn’t think of another thing to write. Those times I doubted I’d be able to write another book. Fortunately I’ve read of such things and took action to make sure I didn’t quit.

One way I’ve found that keeps me actively writing is to write something else. Whenever I feel I have nothing to add, and I’ve really tried at it many times, I switch to a different book. This has led to several partially started books that I go back to now and again. Some are further along than others, and one was a novel I was really focusing on before the co-author suggested writing this latest book together. I feel I’ve grown as a writer since then, so that book will have to be worked on before I really get back to writing it.

Another way to make sure I keep up writing is routine. I write in the same place, same time, and listen to the same music. Does that sound boring? Well there is a reason for it. I learned this from talking to people about meditation. When you want to return to the same frame of mind, such as in meditating, you make sure to do it in the same way you did last time. That way you aren’t distracted by any newness. This has helped me focus only on writing, and not on anything else.

Speaking of distractions, leave your phone elsewhere. Those constant notifications can take you away from your flow. And if you have a way of doing it, stay away from social media and email if you are writing on a computer. Yes I usually have a browser open when I write, and a huge amount of tabs loaded and ready to dive into, but I mostly use it for streaming my music playlist. Those other tabs are for emergency thesaurus use or checking up on some things you’ve looked up before. Don’t go into the black hole of looking things up in the middle of writing, that’ll take you away from the flow. I generally only research things well in advance of a writing session, then I leave the tabs open to go back for notable things and double checking my memory. Taking notes might be better, but having a tab dedicated to one topic tends to help instead of looking at a list of things I want to include.

Now this is for me personally, but having a window to look out of helps me think. I’m lucky to have always had tree’s and nature to look at, even though I currently live in a city. Just watching the leaves bounce in the wind distracts me and lets my mind build onto the story I’m working on. If I’m ever stuck on a scene all I have to do is glance out at nature and let my mind work. It’s very relaxing to me. Yes distractions are bad, but since it’s just a relaxing scene I don’t have to focus on anything really going on. It’s just nature doing it’s thing. Personally I like a nice sunny day, but rain and snow are good for me too. Though I admit any type of storm can exhilarate me too much, and I have a hard time sitting still.

Mostly I’m saying keep a routine, and don’t let yourself get distracted. That’s what works for me, and maybe it can work for you.

With that I leave you. I hope you have an enjoyable week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 72% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon

Attempted murder by phone

Oh dear, it seems I’m back.

So what will I talk about this week? How about phone troubles.

So a little over two years ago I replaced my phone, as it was failing. The microphone wasn’t working, so I couldn’t talk on calls. The screen had dead spots, so texting was a huge hassle. And the speakers were extremely quiet. So of course it was time to find something new.

I did some research, and looking at my finances decided on getting the Samsung Note 4. When it worked it was a great phone. However when it arrived the battery it came with wouldn’t charge, nor would it allow the phone to boot all the way. That should have been my first clue.

So I purchased a new battery. It worked after that, until the phone eventually started acting funny a few months later. Random reboots, some apps not working, and of course the GPS just failing altogether. After removing the case to see if something had come loose inside, I noticed the back of the phone bulging.

Thinking that couldn’t be good, I took off the back cover and noted the swollen battery inside. Oh dear, I nearly let this phone kill me, or at least burn me. So another battery was purchased, and that seemed to resolve most issues. The GPS was still flaky, but I wasn’t using it most of the time anyway.

A little while later a bulge appeared, and another battery purchased. Even after that the phone still would crash randomly, but for the most part it was working. But yet again the bulge appeared, and those batteries that didn’t, as I was given a few batteries from friends and co-workers from their old phones, wouldn’t hold a charge anymore. And even when they did it was only a fraction of what they should. And even more apps started failing. Email no longer would work half the time, and texting would crash. Even opening the kindle app now slowed the phone to a crawl.

So what to do?

Well for now I’m back to that old phone whose microphone doesn’t work, and texting is a hassle. However it runs well otherwise. But this is only a stop-gap, simply so I don’t have a little explosion in my pocket waiting to happen.

It’s weird to go back to such a small phone though. All the icons seem to take up way more real-estate than they should, and since the dead spots on the screen react strangely any press of a finger could send a text or email, or delete everything I’ve written.

So looking at my finances once more, I ordered something from China. It’ll take a long time to get here, as anyone who has ordered from that country can attest. So until then, I’m on a phone that I can’t take calls on, and whose texting abilities are difficult at best. But at least I can read books on it, and listen to podcasts. Well, listen is a bit of a stretch, but at least it has blue tooth that works in the car and a headphone jack that seems to still work!

Otherwise I’m still editing. And the co-author has been able to do some editing as well. They’re fleshing out the story as they go too, so there will be new things for me to look at when I get back to the spot they’ve gone over.

So with that, I’m off again. I do hope you have a good week, and may your phones not attempt to kill you.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 68% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon

Reading More

Howdy folks. I’m back once more.

Well, because I was curious, I took a look back at Goodreads to see how many books I’ve read recently. Since February I’ve read around 27 books.

Now you may ask why such an arbitrary date. Simply put that’s when I got back on the bandwagon of reading every week. With a new job/position I felt invigorated to read again. Admittedly before then I was still reading things, articles and even manga, but only once in a while would I pick up a book.

The two years before this February I only read around 16 books in total. A huge slow down for me. Though it had been that way for a while. Once I sold my house and moved into an apartment, I wasn’t buying books often. I still longed for the touch of a physical book, so I didn’t go out of my way to read a purely digital version. But now that’s over.

Even without the Kindle Unlimited offer I took I’d still be consuming the written word. I can’t get enough, and I’m excited to find interesting stories I’ve never read before. Of course now and again I’ll peruse some old favorite, but right now I want something new and exciting.

Luckily I’ve been able to find quite a number of lovely books. Some are well written and interesting, others are simply interesting. I may not agree with the messages some are obviously fronting, but still it’s always fascinating to see how some people justify, or reason their way into believing such things. So I’ll keep reading.

A book, at least to me, is a glimpse into another persons mind. It may not be what they think about our world, but it does show how they think. Or at least how they think other people think given the stimuli they write into a story.

This is very valuable. It helps me write, and it helps me try to understand everyone I talk to. There are so many ways we can think, and if we can all see those paths we have a greater chance of understanding one another.

It’s my wish that all problems can be solved with conversations, but that of course depends on the disagreement. Living in a world of resource scarcity can lead to violent outcomes when things can’t be shared in a way that both sides can survive, but anything else should be handled via dialogue. But unfortunately most strife is due to the limited nature of our production, if not simply resources. If that could be solved we’d have a greater chance at a utopia. Though I’m doubtful of that, since at least in my opinion, we are a people who grow in strife.

But all that aside, the book is going well. I’m nearly done with my third run through of edits. At the end of this run I may start work on another book, while I let the co-author have a go. I’ve a few books I want to get back to, and a few more that I want to start. We’ll just see which one strikes my fancy at the time.

With that I leave you once more. Have a great week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 64% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon

Formating

Hello all. I’m back once more. Here we go.

So as you may know, if you’ve been following this blog, I’m editing the latest book. As I do so I’m also working on formating it for readability, and attempting to match it to other books. Not so much because I’m trying to conform, though I am, but more to make it match up with other books in the genre I’m writing in for readability purposes.

I’ve only noticed that it’s not always such with other genre’s of writing because a friend of mine wrote a book as well. When I was reading it I noted how it did not follow the rules that I had been using, and wasn’t like anything else I’ve read. Now this could be because I’m used to a certain style, or it could be that I’m unfamiliar with other was of writing a story. But to each their own.

I bring this up simply because I happen to find the formating that I’m used to more readable. Hence why I tend to use said formating in my own books. Of course I’m not infallible, but I do my best to make sure the audience can understand who is speaking, and what is going on around said character(s).

But of course there are times when the intent is to mislead the audience. Doing so to give them more of a sense of tension, or to confuse them because of narrative necessities. It also matters what tense or perspective you are using.

As is the case in the genre I write in the most common perspective is 3rd person, with 1st person being a close second contender. Those often times are the easiest to write for, as you know who is telling the story, or you are given an all-seeing eye that can talk about multiple perspectives. Not often are they mixed, nor is any other style usually employed. But of course all things are left up to the writer.

I’ve seen such mixings used to share information, but not as often. Mostly when a story is being told inside a story. Flashbacks can, and often do use this type of shifting narrative. But if it is not outlined to the reader, it can lead to confusion.

But back to formating, mostly I’m referring to breaking the story apart into readable paragraphs. If they go on too long the reader may lose interest, even if they easily read the same number of words if they were broken apart. I’ve noticed this in myself, and have noted how my eyes only want to scan a few lines at a time. Though, amusingly enough there are books composed of a single run-on sentences. Though I wouldn’t recommend. I assume you’d have to do so with the first person perspective if you were to do so, but as usual, it’s up to the writer. You’d certainly increase your words per page if you were to only write using a single sentence.

However, the best piece of advice that I’ve ever received, and still work on today, is breaking my paragraphs up. Early on in this blog I would write perhaps a paragraph or two. The post would be something around 1,000 words, and would look like a huge chunk of text. A friend took a look at them, and complained that it wasn’t readable, and explained that there was no need to keep them in such large chunks.

Taking note of his complaint, I scoured the Internet, and reviewed in my head many things I had read up to that point. And he was correct, I too didn’t want to sit down and read a paragraph that went on for pages. And from then on I did my best to break things up. Finding spots where my subject changed, or where I had changed from one side of an argument to another.

And this is where you find me today. Still remembering that lesson, and still attempting to make what I write into readable chunks instead of large run-on paragraphs. I thank them for that lesson, it has made a world of difference.

And with that, I shall leave you until next time. I hope you all have a good week, and may your stories be readable.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: An estimated 60% into editing

Steven Oaks

Follow me on the things below.

ce70Twitter-icon Connect-with-SDK-Welding-on-Google+ Tumblr-Iconurl goodreads_icon_256 YouTube-App-Icon