Inspiration

Greetings. I have returned.

Another week has passed, and in that time I’ve read a few books and watched a few things. And of course I’ve worked. Longer hours than the average week, and in the daylight no less, have left me tired. Editing was still done, but the weariness I feel perhaps has made it a little more difficult to process such things.

This time around I’m implementing an audio component to my editing. Meaning my computer is reading aloud the words. So far I’ve caught a few things that didn’t sound correct when spoken, so there is that. Though honestly they could have stayed, but I suppose I’m trying to make this book the best it can be. Perhaps I’m worrying too much about it, but a little bit of perfectionism never hurt anything. That is as long as you know nothing is perfect, and know when something is good enough. Otherwise I’ll be editing this book until the end of time, and I have other things I want to write.

Speaking of writing, I finally realized what I should do with a book I was working on before this one. I was watching an anime, one that has very little to do with this half-finished book I’m writing, and something clicked. Certain story elements stood out to me then. This happens now and again, and I’m thankful that I cast a wide net for the media I consume. Perhaps not in the literature field, but certainly the sources I entertain myself with. It’s interesting to see what different cultures think of as important, and what they focus on. Just a tiny little shift from the norm, and there you have it. An idea.

It makes me want to take up the keyboard again, and write a story instead of the constant editing for this book. However, I’m a single-minded worker, so I’ll put the editing first. Luckily I’ll have something to work with when I get back to writing. But this means I’ll likely want to be working on my half-finished book as well as the new book that the co-author has in mind. Since our pacing is different, and since I’ve seen how effective working on a couple of different projects at a time might help any difficulties one may have in having writers block, I see this as a good thing.

If you ever find yourself stuck, take some time to work on something else. I’ve done that now and again, and that’s perhaps why I have a few projects in the works that are only partially thought through. I have three books that have several chapters written, and one that simply has one. Of those one is nearly halfway finished, or perhaps a third, it’s hard to tell with the way I write. I didn’t set a word limit, nor did I make an outline, other than in my head, so knowing how far along I am is difficult. Perhaps when I get back to it I’ll do both, and see where I am.

That being said, another thing about writing, write down your ideas, you may forget them. You wake up from a dream that was really interesting? Write it down. Have a notebook, or use your phone, but always make a note. Stuck on a book, and a random thought strikes you, back it up to paper. You may not use the idea, but you’ll have a direction you can work from, or perhaps you’ll use it for another book. You can’t count on inspiration when your writing, so trust those little thoughts you have when you aren’t working.

Besides the entertainment value, this is why I like to read, and to watch movies and TV. Heck inspiration comes from random YouTube videos as well. I never know when something interesting will appear, and the story elements, or structure, might spark something within me as well. Not everything will work, but it will let your mind have more information to work with. So yes, it may seem I’m just wasting time watching some random anime, but to me I’m researching. At least that’s what I tell people.

So with that, I’ll leave you. I hope you have an enjoyable week. Until next time, good-bye.

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 85% into editing

Steven Oaks

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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.

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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.

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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