C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

What to do now that #NaNoWriMo is done

By the way, Crack the Indie Author Code 2nd Edition is out in paperback at $9.99. Smaller format, with jokes.

By the way, Crack the Indie Author Code 2nd Edition is out in paperback at $9.99. Smaller format, but still has lots of jokes.

Start another book. Brainstorm or sketch out another book outline or write a short story or just sit down and see where else you can go at the keyboard. Keep that feather pen scratching. Keep going. 

People will tell you to celebrate. Writers (because we aren’t “people”) will ask, “What else ya got?”

You could take a break, sure. But now that you’ve done NaNoWriMo, don’t you feel you’ve got a good habit going? Habits are hard to break into. To get into the daily writing habit takes practice, just like you’ve been doing all this month. Why stop now? To publish, you must write a lot, rewrite, revise and edit. Good habits are too easy to drop for you to waste all that behavioural inertia you have steaming in your skull engine.

Now isn’t the time to put your feet up.

If you still have some scenes from your NaNoWriMo project that you didn’t fill in right away, you can do those now. Now is the perfect time. The context is still fresh in your mind. Tackle any empty spaces you’ve left behind so when you come back to it, you won’t become perplexed and stymied later. Otherwise, leave your NaNoWriMo manuscript alone.

Why am I telling you to start a new project as quickly as you can?

Because someone might be tempted to dive right back in so they have a novel by Christmas. You know you need some time to cogitate while the manuscript rests for a bit. Otherwise, the Nano haters will run in circles with their hands over their ears screaming, “I told you so!” None of us wants those killjoys to be right.

Besides, if you go back too soon, you might be discouraged at how much work the book needs. Or worse, some might think their rush job is still brilliant. That’s lethal to ever having anyone tell you they’re a fan of your work.

And now for the tough stuff. I’m asking that you hold two contradictory ideas in your mind at one time and act accordingly.

1. Congratulations! You beat NaNo! Good on you! I bet there were days when the words came quickly and days where it felt like your brain was full of molasses. However, you faced down time management problems and got it done anyway. Sometimes it wasn’t easy, yet, you got past 50,000 words! You did it! This is a huge accomplishment!

and

2. Writing a little less than a couple of thousand words a day is no big deal.

Yes, some writers are more precious about their word count and make a great show of how slow they can produce. Mostly? I suspect they’re counting procrastination time as writing time. Screw that. I come from a journalistic background where deadlines are not livelines. We slam it in and knock it out and we’re good.

At least take that attitude with the first draft so you’ll have something to gut and edit. Blank screens have no atoms and pixels bouncing off each other to create new neural pathways and fresh angles to feed reader rapture. The first draft is usually simple, straight narrative. I always find the jokes, dialogue and theme in the second pass.

Professional writers write to deadlines all the time and they do so consistently.

You know that now, so it’s not about what “they”, the writers, do anymore. It’s what you do because you’re a writer. Keep going.

We’re creative. Writing’s what we do to wield god powers and get back at our brothers and sisters. We do it because it’s much cooler at the Christmas party to answer “What do you do?” with, “I write.” Say that and you’ve got a conversation. (Try explaining your wage ape existence in middle management to a hapless stranger and they’ll run for the punch bowl.)

We do it for play, for love and money and hope and for readers. It’s fantastic to find a scene to write that, even as you’re knocking it out, you say, “This! This will melt their faces and make them want to read me for the rest of their lives and tell all their friends! Ta-freakin’-da!

Mostly, writing is what we do because it is who we are.*

*If you didn’t carry out NanoWriMo’s challenge this November, what better testament to your mettle than to do it on your own? Now. You’ll feel more smug and self-righteous this time around. There are twelve months in a year. You don’t have to risk waiting another year for the next party bus to take you to your life’s to-do list.

See you in the trenches in the morning

with 3,000 more words. If it’s a bad day.

Yes, you may stop writing

when you’re out of blood.

Season One of This Plague of Days is the siege. Sutr-X was the pandemic. Sutr-Z's next and it's coming for you and the Queen's corgis.

Season One of This Plague of Days is the siege. Sutr-X was the pandemic. Sutr-Z’s next and it’s coming for you and the Queen’s corgis.

~ Robert Chazz Chute wrote a bunch of beastly books, including This Plague of Days. Season One’s in paperback. If you’re a writer looking for more inspiration, Robert also recommends Crack the Indie Author Code. But he would say that since he is me and we’re all about inspiring writers not to be weak. We’re all about the conquering and hefting the bale and writerly whatnot. And writing about ourselves in the third person apparently.

What? Still waffling? Still? After all that? Holy Jebus! Read this review of Crack the Indie Author Code then, for the love of Thor and for the love of the sweet consumer that is you and your writing career! And your family’s writing career. Don’t forget to get Mom one for Christmas, too.

Filed under: NanNoWriMo, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Another Slice of the Writing Life: Everlast is my soundtrack

A quick-moving plot with lots of surprises and a clear-eyed examination of addiction.

A quick-moving plot with lots of surprises and a clear-eyed examination of addiction.

Listening to: Everlast‘s I Get By

Thinking about: My to-do list

Wishing I had: A to-don’t list

Regretting: How much Christmas shopping I had to do at the Dollar Store

Impressed by: How much Christmas shopping I did at the Dollar Store

Believing in: The power of Coffee and what we can do for each other

Daunted by: How many steps I have to take to satisfy the Fitbit‘s demand of 10,000 steps today

Looking forward to: Writing Hollywood Jesus

Feeling bad about: My little boy asked if I would work through Christmas Eve (No. I’ll be with you and the family, son. Promise.)

Grateful for: Readers and listeners

Hoping for: Happy buyers, Likes & getting added to Wish Lists

Waiting for: A mailing address to send off a promo copy of Higher Than Jesus

Scared of: Revising my apocalyptic coming-of-age thriller (It’s ambitious and huge)

Glad of: Completing the last (and maybe the oddest) All That Chazz podcast of 2012

Sad about: Newtown

Happy about: The Masquerade Crew helping to make My Year in Indie Publishing: Lessons learned go viral

Ecstatic about: ChazzWrites.com is a finalist for Best Self-publishing Blog of 2012 (and please consider reading the blogs on this list.)

Getting: Back to work

Murders+Among+Dead+Trees+1121-1~ Robert Chazz Chute is a crime novelist and suspense writer who has eight books for sale, one of which is free until Friday at midnight. Get a detailed rundown on the paranormal suspense and strange contemporary fiction in Murders Among Dead Trees here.

Or take a darn chance and download Murders Among Dead Trees free here. 

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Life & book marketing update shouted from a speeding car

Happy Sunday. Things are moving somewhat quickly as I start making transitions to writing full-time. I have a marketing plan: It’s important to be prolific. I believe in being available across as many e-platforms as possible (and zero DRM). Having just one ebook up won’t cut it. Being prolific allows cross-promotion (e.g. You like this? Then you might like to buy that, too!)

Over the coming months I’ll be offering individual short stories (at 0.99 each), a collection of short stories ($1.99 or 2.99, haven’t decided yet), a novella ($1.99) and another collection of short stories with a quirky hook I can market effectively ($2.99). At some point I’ll package the aforementioned individual stories—there are six—in another book (conveniently priced at $2.99 probably.)

There are several full-length novels that are written and need revision before they’re ready to be swallowed by the masses, but most of them are for next year.

A few things about the slingshot launches:

1. I’m doing a soft launch until I have a bunch of ebooks available. Then I’ll be carpet bombing (more details to come in another post on what that means.)

2. I will be launching another website in addition to this one. Chazz Writes is all about writing craft and publishing and I intend to continue. However, I have broader plans for the new website that will expand my mandate and goals. I’ll be talking about a lot of different things on the new site.

3. And I do mean talking. I’ll be incorporating video and podcasts. Fancy plans with pants to match. More on that closer to the new website launch.

4. I want to do  a hard launch of the first novel in my line, but I’m not sure if I can pull it together for Christmas. There are more than the usual variables. For instance, I need to get permissions to use the names of a major Hollywood star and a major porn star. (Yes, I’m familiar with the rules of fair use—and both characters as they appear in the novel are adored by the hero. However, this isn’t a fair use issue. It’s a Smashwords rule issue.)

5. I’m not in the least interested this year in printing books with which to assail bookstores. It’s a lot of work for less reward. It’s an exciting venture I do not, at present, have time to pursue. (And yes, I’ve looked at the numbers.)

6. However, I will need printed Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) for promotional purposes when the hard launch takes off. I’ll be using CreateSpace to print a few sample copies since there is no punishing fee for each revision. For bigger print runs, once the formatting is solidified, I’ll switch to Lightning Source.

If you’re wondering how I’ll get it all done, sometimes I wonder, too. Then I remember that I’m severely underemployed. (Except for the soul-crushing poverty, it’s a fantastic advantage and a real time saver.)

There’s more to the book marketing and promotion plan and I’ll share it with you as soon as I can. In the meantime, back to my editing suite in the batcave beneath the bunker under the Chuck E. Cheese.

Thanks to my buddies Jeff Bennington, author of Reunion, and author Rebecca Senese (look her up, she’s a fountain of short stories), for clarifying my strategy on the issues in #6. Both these lovely people have guest blogged here. You’ll remember Rebecca did a great job summarizing the workings of Smashwords and Jeff compared CreateSpace with Lightning Source. (If you don’t remember their posts, search this site in the search box top right. Sorry! I’d link it for you but I’m in a huge hurry just this minute. I bet you can guess why when you see this tiny portion of my to-do list.)

Jeff tells me he will do me the honour of another guest blog soon. I think the discussion will be about book promotion and what he found effective for his massive push for Reunion

Filed under: authors, blogs & blogging, Books, DIY, e-reader, ebooks, getting it done, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, What about Chazz?, Writers, , , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

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