Friday, September 7, 2012

In Which I Mercilessly Beg For Your Help Again

No. I'm not asking for free promotions, (though I'm not turning any down either). I'm not asking you to follow my blog or pimp a contest(which I also wouldn't turn down). I need writing advice. Desperately. And probably business advice too. IDK.

I wrote a really good short story. It got a lot of attention, and I decided to self publish it. But I want to self publish it well. Every person I've talked to says that to self publish well you need multiple releases in a fairly short amount of time. I want to write the MC's sister's story. I love these characters, and it's the perfect length and piece to self publish following the first. I set out to do this and gave myself a deadline. I churned out 11 pages of what should be a 40-60 page story a little bit at a time(with ELF that's all I can do) and it was still fairly quick.

So last night, I set out to finish the story, or at least get close. Problem. The first 11 pages suck. I think that there isn't enough conflict. I feel certain that's the problem. But given the premise, I don't know how to add conflict. This is the story of a bad girl turned decent by the end. Her love interest is the hero's brother from the first story, and they meet at her sister's house. She's babysitting, but the hero is not happy that his kid is with her because of things she did in the first book and continues to do, so he sends his brother to check up on her. But the brother sees more than a couch surfing dance school drop out babysitter. I know that she will mess up a couple of jobs and end up working at a strip club before the book is over. The hero is there with a business client (client's idea) and sees her. But I have no idea how to get to this point in a way that people will want to read.

Any brainstorming help would be greatly appreciated. And if some benevolent soul wanted to read my first eleven pages, I would give them a serious virtual hug (and of course critique in return).

Oh, on the practical side: Is it better to keep working on this to meet my self imposed deadline and get this to my editor, or would it make more since to shelf it and revise a novel that needs revision? I want to self-publish like a small business, so I need to make decisions that are good for my writing, but also make sense.


  1. I recently got some advice that helped me with a troubling scene. My friend asked, "why do you want to write this story?" In other words what drew you to write this? Is it the characters personal journey or one really cool scene that you couldn't get out of your head?

    Whatever it is, think about how you can highlight that in your writing. If she's a bad girl turned good, how bad can she go before she steps over the line of redemption?

    You mention bad jobs, but what else makes her a bad girl? How can you showcase that? Make sure when giving us a bad girl, you give us a motivation for why she's acting this way. As a reader we need to understand her demons and want to root for her to conquer them.

    I don't know if that helps at all, but good luck!

  2. Maybe you could show her being a bad girl but in such a way that the reader already likes her?

  3. When I have a plot snafu, or plot holes that need filling, I always meditate on it. Do some creative visualization with the girl as if you are watching a film. Often the plot points will float in. If, on the other hand, they are just not coming into your mind no matter how much you meditate, or struggle with it, it's probably time to shelve that story for a while.

  4. I think if you are treating this like a business, you probably are going about it the right way - asking for help brainstorming when you need it. That's what I would do at work if I had a deadline, self-imposed or not.

    I would ask myself what is the worst possible thing that could happen to the character at the start of the story that involves the other guy. If she's babysitting, maybe the kid pukes on her or runs away or says something that the girl ethically needs to act on - or maybe someone is peeking in the window. She tells the guy, and he doesn't believe her. I dunno. Good luck. I am happy to read if you want a reader. (Yes, I am procrastinating writing my stuff, but whatever.)

  5. my first questions is what do you define as self-publishing "well?" to self-publish in a financially successful way, you do want to do quick releases. however, the numbers game does not necessarily equal publishing well. quality - starting with a GREAT cover and ending with a tightly edited story - is my definition of publishing well.

  6. I agree with Jessie. Make sure the quality is great, then worry about how fast you can produce the work. A bad book will hurt not help your career.
    I stopped in for the chocolate blog hop, but must have come by too early. I'll stop back later.