The sequel to Sudarium passed the 40k mark a couple of weeks ago and is rapidly proceeding to nearly novel size. I believe I will follow a friend’s advice and combine them into a novel with a title to match the overall story (along with new cover art).
So, if you are one of the two people to have purchased Sudarium (and I already know who one of you is), let me know and I will make sure you get a free copy of the entire story since you already paid the price I will charge for the novel.
There’s a saying that if you want to be a good writer, you should read. Read a lot, in fact. It gives you a feeling for how others write, whether similar or different, and gets you used to what others produce as far as stories go. Your imagination is fine for coming up with a story line, but if you have no clue how to take the next step and type it all up, reading a finished story is an invaluable example.
I would argue that you also have to talk to other writers, too. Or at least visit with them online or read their blogs. There is a lot of useful information out there, and some people are kind enough to do some homework for you and post links and advice on their forums. Some even chat with you. All of this can save you some hard knocks.
My online friend Jana has such a blog and she often takes the time to offer links on her personal blog and put advice and talk about her writing issues in her professional one. She and I write on different subjects (she writes romance and action in a specific genre and I am more general and stick to platonic adventures) but her writing is far more mature in quality (as she has been doing this far longer), and it has been great to see what she goes through to produce her works, both the highs and the lows. It is from her that I gather quite a bit of the information I share here.
No one works well in a vacuum. Encouragement, sharing, compassion, sympathy, and advice are crucial to improving not only your writing, but also your life. Just remember to take the time to thank those who help you on your way, and pay back the kindness by helping others.
Resolutions are great for some people, but I prefer specific attainable challenges over vague promises to do better. Knowing this, a friend of mine challenged me to render a piece of artwork, specifically to redo the cover for Sudarium this year.
You see, the cover for Stories from the Hut was done in one of my favorite graphic programs, and I actually designed it years ago in case I ever worked up the courage to promote my work in some manner. The covers for Maker and Sudarium, on the other hand, were created on the fly in a program never designed to do graphic work and it is a miracle I managed to coax anything resembling art work out of it. My friend thinks both covers give the impression the stories they represent are simple and somewhat childish, which isn’t the case.
So I am putting pencil to paper (mainly because I drew long before I could write or use a computer) and am having fun with the old school techniques. It’s actually been interesting to take these characters out of my mind and put them down for everyone to see. It has definitely been a challenge. After all, sharing my words with you gives you leave to see everything as you wish. Showing you what they really look like takes far more effort.
If the Sudarium cover comes out the way I want it to and represents the characters in the best light possible, I might do the same for the sequel due out later this spring. And finishing that sequel will be another challenge worth doing well. Wish me luck!
I read an interesting personal post from an acquaintance/friend/author who is a far better writer and far more experienced writer than I am. She was discussing crowdfunding books. I had to agree with her thoughts that it might not be right for everyone and that it might not be something she would be willing to fund. Me neither. Aside from issues of trust, thanks to an unscrupulous few, I have no money to spare as I spend too much on my own paper and ink already. (laughs)
Seriously, though, it wouldn’t be easy for me to ask for funding. I am terrible at salesmanship. My main goal is to simply write stories. Whether or not anyone wants to read them (free or otherwise) is not up to me, but the reader, so I decided long ago to stick with Indie publishing and never self publish.
That said, this site is dedicated to writing and reading, so I am dutifully forwarding her links on articles regarding crowdfunding as it might be something of interest to anyone who stops by. This is a tough time for authors. Maybe this information will help.
Crowdfunding for Authors: Is it right and is it right for you?
Publish your next book with crowdfunding
Crowdfunding book wins award
The downside of crowdfunding
Movie sequels can be dangerous. There have been many times I have enjoyed a movie and been satisfied with the ending and then along comes a sequel and I am torn. Do I see it or not? It’s the same with books. Unless there is a compelling reason for a continuation, I am leery of picking up a sequel.
Which makes the rest of this post so funny.
The story I have been working on? It’s a sequel to Sudarium. Considering how much I truly loved writing the first novella and the nice point where it ended, I was hesitant to continue the misadventures of Sara and Vishi for fear of ruining a good thing. Unfortunately, I did leave clues in the first story that need to be explained so I felt an obligation to pick up the pencil again. It’s nice to realize the second one has been just as much fun to write, up to this point. A friend suggested combining the two into a full length novel. I must say that sounds like a nice idea, but that means repackaging, etc., which might prove confusing.
Speaking of confusing, I do believe the first novella has fared rather badly because of its title, mainly because the word sudarium has now become associated with the shroud of Turin, and that is unfortunate. The original slant of the story was the unknown history of things you find in a thrift store – I mean, do you know where the item has been? Who owned it? It seemed rather comedic and dangerous to have an original Roman soldier’s scarf or sweat cloth (a sudarium) make itself available to a young woman and then take over her life with its attached history (and former owner). Most of the people I know who have read it have enjoyed it, but then, because I do know them, they are probably biased.
The sequel will hopefully have a better name, though I am still leaning toward Latin at this point. It will also have the same comedic and dangerous slant simply because sometimes you have to laugh at dangerous things and situations or they overwhelm you. As long as it stays fun to write, I will pour my heart into it.
Also, since I’m not really into writing for the money, I decided to put Maker on sale for the rest of the month. Maybe someday I will finish the sequel that belongs with that one, too…