An Author and Package Problems

Hello you. How is it going?

Me? Oh, I suppose I’m alright. I’ve just been editing, and after that tried my hand at writing an Author’s Note. How’s that going you ask? Well I think I wrote a fair amount in one day for it. Probably because it’s been a bit since I actually set down to do writing instead of editing. Two different mind spaces, as I think I’ve told you before.

So what is an Author’s Note? Generally it’s about the book. Any notes that might be needed/fun to have expanded upon that couldn’t fit in the story. Well I’m doing that, but I’m also doing a bit of sharing about the co-author and how we came to work together. I’ve found I like reading a bit about the author in these notes, so I’m doing it too. Sure I could just focus on the book, but heck, I think it’s important to give a little backgrounder on who I’m working with. I’ll see if they do the same, or even if they’ll do a note at all, but I suspect they’ll want to respond to some of my comments.

Another thing I’ve done is reading(of course). Now I don’t shout out too many authors, especially those who are still alive, as an author who has passed is one you can examine entirely, but I do want to share something about this one. I’ve not read anything in recent memory that has this element. What element would I call it? Shonen. Basically the name is of Japanese origin, and I’m using it in the same context used to categorize their manga and anime.

This author has power progression that you find in the best of the anime/manga genre down. Someone who is basically powerless grows into someone formidable, and you are given all the steps in between. I’m genuinely excited to read what happens next, and that doesn’t happen all the time. So kudos.

This author is Will Wight, someone I wasn’t exactly sure of when I first picked up Unsouled, but couldn’t put the series down as it went. And now I’m nearly done with his other series The Traveler’s Gate Trilogy. I think I’ll just have to ‘force’ myself to read his other books. (sigh)What a horrible thing, heh. I think any young adult/teen will have a ton of fun reading his work, and heck, if you’re like me and enjoy a bit of that Shonen flair, you’ll probably love it too.

Otherwise I’ve just been working, and having a one sided fight with the post office. Ordering things online while living in an apartment has it’s downsides, mostly that they sometimes don’t want to deliver packages. Add to that me working at night, and not having access to my car during the day so I can’t pick up my mail at the post office even if I could get myself out of bed when they’re open isn’t helping. We’ll see if I ever get my package. If I don’t I’ll be quite upset. Even after giving further instructions it hasn’t helped, but(sigh) I’ll keep my fingers crossed. This doesn’t happen often.

I hope you all have a great week, and get all your mail!

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: Just doing another read through, co-author is being thorough.

Steven Oaks

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Playstation VR

Howdy folks, I’m back.

Since last I wrote here I received in the mail a Playstation VR headset. Since I have a Playstation 4, it was easily hooked up. Otherwise this would have been a pointless venture. Anyway, I can say without a shadow of doubt that I love this thing, and perhaps it’s not for the reason you think.

I had been wanting a larger screen television for a while. I don’t know why, I already have a 42inch screen, older perhaps, but still functional. However, once I put on the headset the first thing I did was load up Crunchyroll. Do you know what it feels like to be in a large theater alone, and look on that massive screen? That’s what it was like. It was huge, and as any good VR does it moved about as I looked around. I was impressed.

Over the weekend I watched my usual list of shows, these days one of the shows I’m is watching Grimm on Amazon, and it is a wonderful thing. Having the ability to do so also allowed me to keep the television muted while I wore headphones, so I can keep even quieter as I watch things late into the night and early morning.

Also I went on to YouTube to check out their offerings, and some of their 360 VR videos. As long as you find the right ones they are impressive. Of course some are not great, and I’ve learned mostly those that are animated in some way, either cartoony or otherwise, seem to look better. Live action doesn’t seem as immersive for some reason, perhaps due to incorrect perspective as some are recorded much too close to the subject, making things seem larger than they should. But otherwise they can be fun.

There is a downside however. It isn’t nearly as high quality as I would like. I tried out a blue-ray I had on the shelf just to check, and in comparison to the television’s quality it’s much lower. Of course it would be hard to reproduce such resolution on the tiny screens that are in the headset, but I was a little disappointed.

I also experienced what I’m referring to as “screen drift”. After a few minutes what was the middle of the screen drifts off to the side, and you have to re-center the video. You can do this by holding the “options” button on the controller and the image will snap back to the center of your field of view. The drifting isn’t noticeable, but after a while you’ll find yourself looking to the side instead of straight forward. Of course this could be in part due to the fact that I was sitting in my more comfortable chair that’s off to the side rather than the couch.

There is also such a thing called the “screen door effect”, and it’s noticeable. This means you can make out the pixels that make up the screen, but after awhile I found it less obvious, and stopped caring because of the massive nature of the picture I was seeing. But if you’re into 4K you are going to be disappointed.

I played a few games, mostly demo’s, as I’m not a huge gamer anymore. The feeling of being there was even more pronounced while testing these games out. Certain ones really make you feel like you could reach out and touch things, and in moments of immersion I reached out a few times and nearly knocked things over on my coffee table.

If you wear glasses you can wear them underneath the headset, and that’s good as I found it nearly impossible to focus without them. However even with my glasses it can be a bit of a nuisance to find the correct focal length, and I wound up smashing the lenses inside against my glasses. Also you’ll want to make sure both your glasses and the lenses are very clean and clear of smudges otherwise you’ll be left looking at a blurry screen.

Having the ability to be quiet yet listen to things as loud as I want and have a large screen is helpful, and wasn’t at all what I thought I wanted. If you have a PS4, I don’t see a reason not to get it if you are in the market for a larger television, though the resolution isn’t the best in the world, though I’m sure it’s as good as any other headset you could get. As for games, from my brief foray into research, Playstation has more than you’ll find elsewhere. Though I’m led to believe that the Vive with its whole room setup has better immersion, but you’ll need a powerful computer to use it to its full extent.

In the end I find the PSVR a wonderful little piece of tech. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but for my use case, mostly watching videos late at night, it’s useful and fun. If you get the chance, give VR a try. It feels like the future to me.

Otherwise I’ve done some editing, and I’ve cycled back around to the beginning of the book again. I’m not sure how many more times I’ll be doing so, but the more I do the better the book shall be. The co-author continues their own editing, and they are much more thorough. So I know we’ll be bringing you an entertaining read.

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: Currently on chapter 36 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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Dragon Ball FighterZ

Hello to all of you. I’m back for yet another of my weekly blog posts.

This previous week I was gifted a game. As I am, and likely always shall be, a fan of the Dragon Ball series, I was quite happy to receive Dragon Ball FighterZ. So far I am an adequate fighter, though I’m no where near in understanding all of the controls. Mostly, as usual, I’m a button masher. This makes me formidable to those who like myself lack a complete understanding of all the controls. However, I fear I soon will fall behind those I fight. For whatever reason I’ve yet to remember any of the specials, though I’ve practiced them. Perhaps I should focus on one character and learn them completely if I hope to remain a challenge to others.

I’ve had a number of matches with the co-author, and I win the majority of times. However, I can tell they are getting better while I remain the same. I’ve even caught them watching YouTube video’s about the game, so I know they are going to be better the next time we fight. We even did a mini tournament and added some CPU controlled opponents, and they wound up defeating us rather easily. I need to practice!

The game itself is a triumph of 3D animation made to look like the regular 2D of the show. While it’s not exact, it’s as close as I’ve ever seen a game get, especially in the Dragon Ball catalog of games. Not that I’ve played every iteration, but I have at least gotten to rent some in the past, and have enjoyed them for what they were. This one to me seems more entertaining, at least so far as the fighting goes.

I’ve played a little bit of the story mode, and I can’t say I’m a huge fan of it yet. That may be due to my own moods, as I just want to jump into the fights. I could care less about the story itself, though probably I should. It seems interesting enough, and the cut-scenes are well done. But apparently I just want to do battle.

Another great thing about this game is the voice acting. I’ve mostly watched the Dragon Ball franchise in Japanese, and it’s wonderful to hear those voices while I fight. I can’t speak on the English cast, as the current incarnation from Funimation is not the one I grew to love. I was and always will be a fan of the English cast from the Ocean’s Dub. That and I haven’t turned on the English voice-over. If that’s even a possibility. I haven’t checked, I just assume it’s there somewhere.

All in all it’s an enjoyable fighter game. A great intuitive list of skills, though I do have issues with the specials. But even without those it still flows nicely from attack to attack, and combos are easy to come by. With a little more practice I think I’ll get the hang of it. And luckily the game has a practice room you can work on your skills without worrying about being attacked. It also offers a list of specials and how to pull them off for whatever character you are playing as. I think I’ll have to spend a bit more time there.

Besides playing this game, I’ve once again come to the end of the book. I can’t reiterate how much help it is to have the computer read back what we’ve written, as I’ve caught quite a number of little errors that may have gone unnoticed had I just been reading it back myself. Thank goodness for technology.

And with that, I shall disappear back into my own world, and continue to try to make this book the best thing I’ve ever written. 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: Currently on chapter 36 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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Rambling about Writing and Editing

Howdy folks. I’m back.

Not much really to talk about here. The book is still being worked on, and the co-author has written a bit more. I went through the changes, and didn’t find anything really to fix, so there’s that.

Hrm. I have a problem. I don’t feel like I have much to say here on the blog. I suppose I could talk about the books I’ve read or am reading, or even the random shows I am watching, but is that important? That’s the thing, nothing I’m doing seems important enough to talk about. I’m proud that I’m reading so much, as I’ve mentioned before, it is said that you have to read to write. And the things I watch also influence the way I write, but is it important that I talk about that?

You, theoretical person who reads this blog to learn about my writing process, does it matter what media I’m consuming? You certainly have your own tastes, and those will be your influences. But do mine matter to you? Probably not, unless your preferences align with my own and you are on the hunt for entertainment that I like.

Perhaps I’m feeling this way because it’s been nearly a year since the editing(finalizing the draft) has been going on. It’s an extremely important process, and can mean the difference between a good idea that is lost in poor writing, and a good idea that is actually entertaining to read. However it’s extremely different from writing.

Making that first draft, that creative process, is unlike most anything else. It’s not about being correct, or even making sense, that comes later. It’s about looking at all the crazy ideas you have, like unshaped clay, and making a rough shape out of them. Getting all the right pieces together, even if they are in the wrong place, and just trying to tell a story with those ideas.

Editing is about putting all those ideas in the right place. It’s about smoothing out those rough edges, and correcting anything you’ve not shaped correctly. Chiseling away at the bloated mass that you’ve thrown down, until the story is the only thing left, not those random words you may have put down just to keep your word count going for the day. I’ve a bad habit of that, and find excess words in the most random places. This is why I will always say write way beyond what you want your final word count to be, you’ll be pulling out more words than you realize.

Remember, everything you write will have to serve the narrative. It just doesn’t have to be for the story itself, and can be about character development or world building, but there are things that don’t belong. You’ll find those when you edit though, so don’t worry too much about them at first. Let the words flow, and when you put enough together you’ll be able to make something out of it later, but you might find only a short story where you were trying to write a novel if you don’t rein it in a little.

One secret of editing your story is to look at each scene separately. If you were to take it out, would it change the story you’re trying to tell? If not, then cut it. If a cut changes your character in a way you don’t like, then you might want to keep it. You have to make motivations clear. Make sure the audience understands who your characters are. So don’t make cuts that take away from that, but be sure the scene shows that, and has some influence on the story as well. Otherwise you fall into non sequiturs.

Apparently that’s what I wanted to talk about this week. Hopefully it’s helpful in a way, and/or gives you something to think about. 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: Currently on chapter 32 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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Finding Entertainment

Hello all. Here I am again.

Another week has passed, and boy am I tired. I had another weekend of day-shifts, and it sure does take it out of me. Long hours in a time where I see the sun after I usually only ever see the moon certainly doesn’t help my sleep schedule. Honestly it wasn’t so bad, just boring. But again boredom is way better than certain types of excitement, so I’m not going to complain too much.

Anyway, what have I been up to besides working ‘strange’ shifts? Well I finished up watching the episodes of Fairy Tail on Netflix. Decent shonen show, I’ll probably continue it on Crunchyroll here shortly. Also the co-author recommended the animated Castlevania on Netflix, and I watched several episodes last night/this morning while I tried to reset my schedule. I think I like it. I like the writing so far, though I will say some of the delivery doesn’t sound quite right to my ears. Then again I’m generally used to listen to Japanese when I watch something animated, so perhaps it’s just that.

Other than that I’ve been reading, of course. Since I’m a glutton when it comes to the written word, I’m starting to worry that I’m not going to find something enjoyable to read again. Not that I’ve gotten quite there yet as there is a vast ocean of books to read in the Prime Reading category, so I should be able to find something to please the palate. But since my pleasure lies in the sci-fi/fantasy category, and as huge as their collection is, I’m still having difficulty deciding what next I should read. I can’t rely on going through all the books from authors I’ve already enjoyed, as much of those you do have to pay for. So I’m hunting and clicking around much of the time trying to locate a hidden gem. I’ve found quite a few, though I’ve also dropped a number of books that just didn’t do it for me for one reason or another. I just wish there was an easier way to find good books on Amazon. Certainly they have their ratings to go by, but while others may have enjoyed something, it doesn’t necessarily mean I will. As my Goodreads list grows I wish it did a better job at recommending. Oh well, I suppose I’ll just have to keep hunting on my own with little help from algorithms they implement.

We’re still editing, so there’s that as well. It’s going much smoother for me this time around, and I’m not finding too much to change, as I’ve said before. The co-author keeps adding things as well, so I’ll be checking those changes out soon. But mostly I’ve just been re-wording things, and trying to decide if I should add anything, or if there is anything that should be removed. Right now, after re-reading this book around five times, I think it doesn’t need much changing. Of course the co-author could come to different conclusions, but luckily we generally agree on such things.

And with that I shall leave you to it. Have a great week, and I’ll keep working on the book.

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: Currently on chapter 28 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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Still editing, still enjoying

Howdy folks. I’m back.

So, what have I been up to? Well I’ve been editing of course, though I’m mostly going over well trodden “edited” words at this point. There’s very little that I find that needs fixing, and mostly it’s just me re-wording things so they seem more pleasing to my tastes. Only rarely am I finding anything that needs any work, though amusingly enough mostly it’s the addition of ‘the’ before names. I suppose when the co-author and myself are writing we are used to using a descriptor as apposed to a name so we’ve been putting ‘the’ there, but looking back they are easily spotted and discarded. But it does make editing amusing when you here someone referred to as “The” so and so. So much import, for no reason. Heh.

I still can’t express how helpful it is to have an audio version of the book to listen back to while editing. The human eye will not catch any errors, especially after re-reading when editing so often, as our brains will re-word everything into what was meant as apposed to what is there. I wish I had used this method for the last several books, as I assume I’ve missed things I shouldn’t have. But here we are, and I get better each time I write. Perhaps one day I’ll look back in embarrassment at what I’ve already published because of such errors. But the truth is I’m proud that I was able to write at all, and without those first books I’d not be who I am today.

Speaking of this book, the co-author continues to edit. They keep adding to it, and I keep going back to the section they’ve worked on. It’s interesting to see what they change, though mostly it’s to add a bit more characterization. They are very good at world building, and in a subtle way that I still struggle with from time to time. An example would be for me, I’ll write a scene, focused mostly on words, but they’ll put in the background, and focus on what they characters are physically doing. I guess I’m an oddball, as while I read another writers book I almost entirely focus on what characters are saying, and only as necessary am I paying attention to what they are doing. So much so I find myself going back through a paragraph to understand what I’ve just read because I’ve missed something. This is something I’ve been aware of for a long time, and I’d like to think I’ve gotten better, but it still happens from time to time. But since I read so fast it hasn’t made a huge difference in my enjoyment, so I’ve probably haven’t tried hard enough to fix this.

Another thing I find so fascinating about this book, is that I find it difficult in recognizing who wrote what. Sure, there are a few things that stick out, and I know for sure there is an entire chapter that was written by the co-author, though I think I put in a few things there myself. It’s a great chapter by the way, but we blend together so perfectly we entwine our words, it’s nearly impossible to tell who wrote what. Together we are making a really good story. At least in my opinion. I can’t wait to have it published so you all can enjoy it.

And with that, I think I’ll leave you for now. I hope you all 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: Currently on chapter 23 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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Why I drop books

Hello again dear readers. I’ve come back again with another post for you.

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about reading. Before this year I’ve only given up reading a few books. Part of that was because either another or I spent hard earned money on them. A few, were terrible, but I pushed through. Some still linger in my thoughts, either as they were so dreadful, or they were on subjects that just either didn’t interest me, or were too vulgar. But for the most part, I felt I could last through anything.

But now I have a nearly limitless banquet of books via Kindle Prime, I’ve taken to being a bit more critical. Certainly there are interesting or clever things to learn from these books, but while I do read with that in mind, I also don’t want to waste my time on reading things I abhor.

Of course there are things to take away from a book you dislike, especially for those of us that write, but eventually it’s counterproductive. I can last through clunky writing, but I can’t stand bad characterization. Take for example when a person is attempting to write someone as if they were a genius, or at least brilliant. If I spot anything less than clever it takes away from my immersion. Of course clever people can do unintelligent things, but when they consistently make poor decisions, it really irks me.

To me it’s characters first, and story second. Yes a story needs to exist for a book, or at least some sort of narrative, even in a biography. But, truly if you can’t write a person, believable in their own world and from your own words, then that isn’t a book. That’s a collection of things that happen to an ever shifting blob of a person. Not a character, and not even a person really, but a thing that reacts the way you want the story to go.

When I write I do so with the idea of a story, but a clear picture of a character in that world. I let my concept of that person lead me around said universe, and see what happens. Yes I try to make sure they follow the path I want, but with as little encouragement as possible.

Without a believable character you lose the ability to empathize with the perspective of that person you’ve created. They are there so the audience can live in that world to. Perhaps not making all the choices the audience would make, but at least making believable choices. Otherwise you are left with a broken story.

This of course is all from my perspective, and I realize other people enjoy an interesting world more than they do characters. However, try to think back on any book you’ve truly enjoyed. Do you remember the people written there, or do you remember the world? Obviously there have been certain books I’ve read when I was younger that I remember the world more, those being more hard sci-fi, but for the most part it’s always been about how those people deal with those interesting worlds. I have more of an investment when reading about characters that have personalities, but again that’s just me.

So from my viewpoint, if you are to write, invest in your characters. Don’t make them too plain, nor too over-powered. Make them real, or as realistic as your world allows. Grant them individuality, and your investment will grow into a believable story.

Until next time, I hope you 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: Currently on chapter 19 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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Different Styles of Writing

Hello once more. I’m back for yet another blog post.

So what shall I write about this week? I’ve not much to report. The editing is still going well, and since I missed out on using the text-to-speech program for the first half of the book I’m doing that now. Surprisingly there are still a few errors, mostly missing words now and again, or additional ones that seem to be more of a garbled mess when they are spoken as opposed to simply reading them.

I think that perhaps this has been the most effort I’ve put into editing. Likely because it’s not just myself involved in writing the book. I’ve never been too concerned about how I am perceived, I already know I’m not perfect, but the co-author deserves my best efforts. I could have easily stopped my own editing and moved on to another book at this point, but I’d like to think continuing to edit will make this book shine. I’ll just have to keep it in mind for the next thing I write, as I think because of the extra work I’m putting into the book has made it so much better than things I’ve written before. My fault entirely on those previous occasions for just giving myself a specific number of run throughs I would do, but now I can set the bar higher for myself.

As to writing, there are two thoughts on how to compose a story. One is to meticulously create an outline with all story beats laid out, and then to write the story in between each section. I’m not one of those persons. I’m the other, crazy type that lets the story grow mostly on its own. Certainly it would help direct the story, but for me I just like to create a character and watch them explore the world I make, instead of already deciding what they’ll do. Sure I have a beginning, an ending, and a few scenes already thought up for the middle, but mostly I set my pieces on the board and see what happens. That’s the reason my first few books seem closer to a stream of consciousness than anything else.

This way of writing does involve certain issues when it comes to editing though. When you have an outline you already have the world worked out, and all items are in their place. You can simply look back while you write at your little diagram and expand upon what was written there. The way I write I find that I miss a few things here and there, like little things a character picks up, and then I might forget to mention those things ever again, or perhaps they’ve dropped them, and then I’ll later have them pull it out when they shouldn’t have them. That’s where I think something like an item sheet would be helpful. I just wish there was a program that had a character sheet that would have save states for each chapter, then I could just look over and see what each character has on them. I find it mildly frustrating going back through entire chapters looking for mentions of what I’ve given or taken away from these people I’ve made up. I’ve been relying on the co-author to catch me on any mistakes there, as apparently I’m more concerned with dialogue than anything else. I’m lucky to have them watching my back.

In the end I think I’ll start using a hybrid of both styles of writing on any future book. One where I write out a basic outline, and yes, I think I’ll even make a character sheet with traits and inventory. I already have several programs opened when I write, what’s another one to clutter the screen? Luckily modern computers can handle such things, as when I first started my journey as a writer many years ago I only had a word processor opened, and I was lucky to have a stereo nearby to play music.

Now I can do all that in one place, and have an even wider selection of resources to call upon. Admittedly I at times miss the simplicity. It was a distraction free time in my life, but now with all the things I can look up on the Internet to double-check myself, I at times find that I’ll fall down the rabbit hole. There is so much to learn, and so many interesting things that I wasn’t aware of. Much of which is no use to what I’m writing, but it’s still fun to know things. But knowing something can only add to my ability to write, and never will diminish me, though it might distract me.

Until next week I’ll leave you with a wish that you have a great one. I’ll see you 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: No estimate available, we’ve gone beyond where I thought we’d be done editing.

Steven Oaks

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Growing as a Creator

Hello. How’s it going?

Me? Well I’m alright I suppose. I’ve gone through the book at least four times, and I’m doing another pass to meet back up to where the co-author is. They’ve been able to edit and review a bit more since last time, and even listened to my advice about using text-to-speech to help edit. So there’s that.

Else-wise I’ve just been reading more, and going through the book in my free time. You could say we’re well on the way to having this book ready for release. We are definitely more than halfway through editing, but that may not be saying much. It took about a year to get the first draft finished, and we’re only in the 10th month of editing.

Now some people say it should take at least much time to edit, or revise, your first draft as it did to write it. I’m not one to hold with absolutes when it comes to creating things. Certainly I think their rule speaks on the side of caution, no one wants to release an imperfect creation, however it is up to you the creator to decide when such things are done. Unless of course you are working with a publisher or team to complete a book or such thing. I do suggest putting a large effort into making sure you are releasing something that is as perfect as you can, but don’t beat yourself up too much if there are errors. Yes you should put some due diligence into editing, but you won’t please everyone.

Let me go back to my first three books. Those I wrote to prove to myself that I could do it. I’m sure those that have read or will read them in the future will find grievous mistakes, probably in sentence structure. I did my best, and had several people read over it, while I wrote and after, but as humans we won’t find all errors. As to how it’s written, well, I’ve not come across anything too similar. It likely rubs people the wrong way, and I don’t blame them. As I’ve said I wrote them to see if I could, and since I’d never written something as long as a book, I wrote what I knew. Myself, and my own stream of consciousness.

Now a few more books under my belt, I don’t think I could even write like that again. Maybe if I’d held off until I got a bit more experience under my belt they’d be better, but they wouldn’t be the same. I like them, though admittedly it’s embarrassing to look back at them with my ever-growing critical eye. However, to me, they are a glimpse of who I was, and what I was thinking. Certainly there are huge swaths of things that haven’t changed in me since then, but it’s those differences that I find interesting. The political climate, religion, and all those things that were important to me at the time. But always the search for truth, be it universal or personal, are always inherent in what I write.

Working with another person so closely has changed the way I write as well. Hopefully I’m learning a little on how to write like them, and if I have anything to add, they are learning as well. In the end, each book I write I grow. Until I start writing worse, heh. But I’ll keep writing, and keep reading. I learn something everyday about storytelling, and try to incorporate each thing I find enjoyable in things I read and watch, and this is why I have a feeling this next book will be a better example of what I think a book should be. And the next one will be another step.

Whether or not another person finds each step in my progress better or worse, I get closer to what I think of as good writing. So don’t give up, keep working and get better. No one starts off perfect, and no one is perfect no matter how good they are. We are our own worse critics, but that helps us to try to achieve the best version of ourselves.

I hope you all have a good week, I’ll see you 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: No estimate available, we’ve gone beyond where I thought we’d be done editing.

Steven Oaks

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Distracting Boredom

Hello again. I’ve returned.

I’m nearly at a loss as to what to talk about, as my life hardly changes week to week. That’s not a horrible thing, but it does bring a certain amount of stagnation into life. Even if I’m reading much more than I used to, I suppose that would be my only outside stimuli other than work. Work being the same thing everyday, for the most part, doesn’t grow me much as a person either though.

So what do we do to combat this stagnation? I like to learn things, and the Internet is a useful tool for such things. But I do that constantly, so is that really changing? I suppose going out and having new experiences would help, but since I work nights and sleep during the day there are limited opportunities left to me. That and I’m not a fan of parties or concerts that might be available during the early evenings when I might be awake.

I suppose I’m a homebody then. I do enjoy the occasional gathering of friends, maybe twice a month or so, but I’m still rather drained by it. I have my routines I like to keep too, and having friends over, no matter how much fun and stimulating our conversations are, I’m still a little tired out by it. But of course doing the same thing over and over again can lead to boredom, and this feeling finds me far too often. Eventually I get frustrated and mad at the world, or myself, and don’t know what to do to alleviate such boredom. Watching television can only hold back such emotions for so long.

Reading seems to be better equipped to distract me, but that’s just a distraction. There’s some underlying issue that must be faced. But then again I’ve always felt this sense of boredom. There are very few things that push such emotions away. One such thing that has helped has been road-trips. I usually like the journey more than I like the destination, though my last vacation(years ago) was fantastic all the way through. However being in a car listening to an audio-book, or podcast, or just having a conversation while watching the world rush by revealing new places is one of my favorite things. But having a job, and not much money, I’m not likely to experience one anytime soon.

Then again life ends for us all. We should fill it with things that we enjoy, and experience as much of it as we can. There’s no point to it, unless you make one for yourself. So I suppose finding distractions and entertainment are a good enough reason to do something as anything.

I guess that’s just another reason I write. I enjoy it, and I’m creating instead of just consuming. I guess it’s my little way, perhaps an unremarkable way, of giving back to those that have come before. I read what they’ve written. I watch what they’ve made, or look at their art. And if I can give back to someone else what they’ve given me, then I’ve done at least a little something for the world. And maybe all of us should try to make the world a little better by adding to it.

Remember I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together. Keep your stick on the ice.

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 94% into editing

Steven Oaks

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