Sometimes as a reader when a character die, it hurts.

A a reader is hard, when a character you have read for hundred of pages is killed. As a writer, is even harder. I have learn writing that they are three kind of character killings. The ones you care, and hurt. The ones that you celebrate and The ones that you simply don’t care. Let me explain.

There are characters that you know, as a reader (and even sometimes as a writer) that need to die, but even knowing that, you care for them, you celebrate and cry with them, and you simple cry and feel hurt when they are killed or died. We have all read them, and cry them.

There are characters, that you celebrate, that you are happy when they got killed, that you shout on happiness when finally the writer kill them, because you the reader will had kill them pages ago.

Finally the ones that you simply don’t care. You don’t remember then, even, most likely you need to think harder to remember one.

When I wrote ‘Putsch’; I found those three present, same when I wrote ‘The Writer’. The ones I care, the ones I celebrate and the ones that didn’t matter at all.

As I am working right now the translation of ‘The Writer’ into Spanish, I got reminded of those different killings, and I found that I continue carrying for some of them, and then got me thinking, even as a reader I care for some, books that I have read years ago, some still hurt. I just wish that when the writer show up, and write those the reader instead of not care, find themselves into the ones that hurt or the ones that celebrate… One can dream too.

How I find time to write. Constantly

I was talking to a fellow writer, and he was asking me how I am finding time to write. My answer was simple: I have a TypeWriter. He looked at me and laugh, knowing that I am a tech geek and lover, he look at me and ask again, but add, please seriously.

I went again and answer, I have a TypeWriter, I actually have two, I add, let me explain to you. My first Typewriter is a MacBook. I create an user, that has no privileges, no access, no nothing, this user is called ‘Typewriter’ works only for the objective of me writing, editing and working on books. My Typewriter user, don’t have access to the web, or twitter, or email, actually allow me to open five applications only, Scrivener, Text Edit, Pages, Word and Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing (sometimes I prefer to practice typing instead of writing, if you are going to procrastinate, use things that will be good, practice typing better than Facebook, any day of the week). So when I open that user, I can only type, work, or do nothing.

The second TypeWriter is my iPad. There I work on text files, mostly on PlainText or WriteRoom both from Hog Bay Software.
Since I made my iPad my main machine and you can’t create (yet, I hope on iOS6) different users, I went and remove all distractions from the iPad. I have no games, no movies, not even music.

My play, let’s get distracted device is my iPhone. (Music, movies, internet, games and more are ready for me all the time)

As I said, I have two typewriters, I have consciously make my devices not a super powerful device to do everything, but one that can be more useful to focus on only one thing.

Even that I use these days the MacBook so little, since I spend most of the time in my iPad, I want to make sure that I can focus on the devices and actually accomplish my goals. That’s the reason I had remove the distractions from the iPad, not because I don’t love playing with it, but because I want to sit and work on it.

If you allow me to choose between Work and Play, sadly I mostly pick Play (something inside me has always wish that I pick work, so I learn to trick myself). I learned that many years ago, and it is for that reason that I make sure I have my devices in a way that allow me to be productive all the time.

So How I find time to write constantly, I have set my devices and my work in a way that when I sit in front of them, the only option I have is to work… I have make my devices look dumb, so my brain think he is brilliant again.

A Magical place between writers and readers

As a reader, you dream on that book that will bring you to that mystical place, where time stops. As a writer, you dream on bring the reader to that magic place where everything disappear; that place in witch the world simply stops. That place where you defy gravity. That place where the reader can’t drop the book or stop reading. That place where nothing else matters, where only the word and the page ahead is the thing the reader cares about. As a reader that’s all that we want, as a writer that’s all that we dream.

It’s in that processs of discovery that we wrote a lot of awful scenes, a lot of awful beginnings, a lot of sad stories. It’s trying to discover that place, and bring the reader to it, that we write many things that simply didn’t work and are never going to bring anyone to the magic place.

The problem is, (at least to the knowledge of this writer) that there is only one way to reach that magic place, and it’s bringing the reader to many places that are not. The only way to bring readers even for a second to that place, is to discover all those places that are not magical. It is for that reason that writers write in despite of bad books, rejections letters, bad reviews, and books that don’t sell and never will. We write on the hope that we find that place where everything disappear. We write dreaming that one day, even if it is by mistake, that we will bring one reader to that magical place. It’s that day, when everything we do it’s worth, where all that content that we create and was rejected, all that content that was deleted and forgotten, was worth it.

It is for that second, in witch the reader is lost in our mind, in that fictional word that we create with words. It is for that second (that in most cases we never knew it exist or the reader got there) that we continue coming everyday to write. It is with the hope that one day, you, the reader will discover that secret place that we are trying to create.

In the mean time, we write with the hope that someday someone tell us that they have been there, that the magic place really exist and it’s not that we writers, dream about it, that someday someone tell us that they found that secret and special place that we had been trying to create for many years; that same place that readers and writers dream about.

Big milestone reach

Yesterday, I add to my project list: Prepare launch for Putsch. (My Next Novel)

I as having a conversation this morning with my awesome cover designer about the book, while I am getting ready to begin the next project. Cover is on the works, and manuscript is in final edit stages, to avoid (I hope) the problems I had with grammar on the first novel. I hope the book is much much cleaner. The same editor that is checking this book is the one that check a really famous writer, so I hope we do much better. She will also revise The Writer, so I can update the file by the time the Spanish version of the book came out.

That is another big thing coming soon. The Writer is in the works of being translated into Spanish, so I hope that in the beginning of 2012 you will have it on your hands, or at least on the hand of the people that speak Spanish 😉

Finally, this week (Sunday) The Writer hit the #1 spot on the best seller list on Smashwords. I am really grateful to all that had read the book, buy the book and enjoy the book. In celebration of that milestone I decided to move my book to $2.99 for the rest of the year. Soon every copy of The Writer will be available for that price.

Thanks for the support, thanks for all… Honestly, I am grateful and honored to be able to share these accomplishments and big milestones with you, the readers, soon more to come. (I hope)

Should you write more on the old character or create a new one?

This was the the exact question I ask myself when I finish my first published novel, ‘The Writer

George Mason (the main character) and I spent long hours working together, trying to tell the story, trying to make it compelling, trying to keep him alive. (I write mysteries, trillers and suspense, there is usually someone dead or on the verge of) running and keeping the tension in a high level. But when I finish that novel I was done with George. I am not sure I will ever revisit him, I am not sure we will have that coffee we promised each other we will have in Colorado someday, in a way, at least for now, we where done.

Then I met, Hannah Fisher (the main character of my soon to be release novel ‘Putsch’) we also have spent hours working together, telling a story, keeping the tension and drinking merlot, but when the book was ready, finished, edited, I want it more, actually ‘Putsch’ is the first part of the story. Hannah Fisher and I had continue to drink Merlot and solving issues together, continue running and trying to the best of our abilities, to continue telling the story.

Aside point: It may be the Merlot instead of the coffee that had keep this relation alive, shame on George.

Sometimes, characters need to stay put, you may come back to them, you may never visit them again, sometimes you need a new kind of character to tell the story, sometimes, you need one that drink wine and is willing to get drunk instead of coffee so it doesn’t sleep that night.

I don’t have a definite answer. I am working on the third book now, continue the story of a Hannah Fisher, and I don’t know if after this I will continue telling more of her story or not, but at least for now, there is more to tell, more to celebrate, more to let people know about her, and her adventures. I may get tired of Merlot, and she hates Cabernet, or I may need to get back to sip coffee with George, or find me another coffee drinker for that manner.

As a reader, what is your feeling with you love a character and the writer can deal with him any more?

Bestseller For A Day August 17th – In Leah’s Wake (You can Win a Kindle, and a great reads)

Today, August 17th, is Terri Giuliano Long’s big day! Her award-winning novel “In Leah’s Wake” is getting best seller of the day status. Best Seller of the Day is a program by Indie Book Collective and you can learn more here.

Continue reading and you have the opportunity to get not only a great read, but the chance to win a Kindle!

Let me tell you how this work:

It’s easy AND fun! Today through midnight:

1.  Go to Amazon.com and purchase Terri’s eBook In LEAH’S WAKE for only 99 cents! You can also get some of the four fantastic bonus books, on sale this week ONLY for just 99¢ each: BELLA, THE TRUST, SOPHIE & CARTER, and CHASING AMANDA

2. Every purchase improves Terri’s ranking on the overall Amazon chart. Our goal is to get her eBook, out of the millions of eBooks, onto the Kindle Top 100!
3.      Once you purchase her book, head over to the Bestseller For A Day site and enter to win a brand new KINDLE – Terri’s way of showing appreciation for your effort and support!
4.      Wait! There’s more! How about this? 4 MORE AMAZING reads – only 99¢ each! BELLA, by D.C. journalist Steve Piacente, a hotbed of danger and intrigue in the U.S. Military. THE TRUST by Sean Keefer, an award-winning, knock-your-socks-off legal thriller. CHASING AMANDA, a luminous, must-read thriller by award winner Melissa Foster. And, last but definitely not least, SOPHIE & CARTER, a rocking YA romance by Wonder Woman Chelsea Fine, one of Amazon’s hottest new authors!
5.  If you’re still reading here and not sure you should part with that buck and maybe win a brand new KINDLE, you can go to Amazon and check the 45 reviews of this book that may change your mind. (Did I mention that they are 4 to 5 stars reviews)
If you don’t have a kindle, you can download the Kindle app on almost any device (or read in your browser with the new Kindle Cloud) what are you waiting for, this book will move your heart!…

I am listening voices. I am a writer.

Creating stories can be incredible challenging or incredible rewarding and fun. The problem is that not all the time you can simply create, some time you hear voices, you listen to the voices you want or need, sometimes the voices you hear are telling you a story you don’t understand, and when you obsess on the story you want to hear, you get blocked. Writers called this Writers Block.

I have been working on a terror story for an Anthology for Halloween, and this weekend I was looking to finish my terror story, but the voices were fun, they were laughing, they were not in any way terrifying. So I ignore them. I could not write a word on the story.

Tonight, I stop trying to extract the story I want, stop trying to force the story out of the voices, and  be more of a listener. I stop, I did not try to listen to write the story I want it to tell, but to listen to the story they were telling me, and there it was, in the laughs, were the cry, the tears, the fear, the angst that I have been looking the whole weekend, but the one I could not find while trying to write the story.

I am a writer, but I am also a stubborn person, a really stubborn one that insist on ignore all the things that he had learned over the years, that ignore all the time that the voices he hear are not going to tell him what he want to hear, but what they need to tell.

When I am writing short stories or long fiction, every time I insist in listen to the story I think I want to hear, I get blocked, I can’t write, I simply get stuck into this place where the voices only repeat what I am trying to ignore, what they are trying to tell me, and it’s not until I stop ignoring them that the story comes out.

Finally, after two days stuck, I did what I should have done long ago, decided to get quiet, and listen, instead of wait for the story I want it to hear, I sit and wait for the story the voices were looking to tell me. A soon as I stop expecting what the voices should tell me and begin listening to what they want to tell me, the story begin to flow, and the voices began to share with me again.

I have been listening to voices ever since I learn that I could write, as a writer I mean, and they had been quiet every time I had decided that I am not a writer, or that I should quit writing, or when I ignore what they are telling me because I want to hear something else. For some reason I only listen to these voices while the hat of the writer is on, and then quiet themselves when I am not willing to listen, those times they simply stop talking to me.

I am listening voices, my excuse is that I am a writer, what is yours?

Five random ideas on Writing block

Let’s begin saying that I am guilty of all charges on these ideas, the reason I know I am, is because I have been able to learn some of them, but I can assure you that there is a long list of other things I do, that I am not even remotely aware.

  • One of the big issues with writing is the excuses we say to ourselves, writing is hard, tough and difficult, therefore we create great things to procrastinated like writers block, and we make no time to write, regardless of how important write is for us, it is always the last thing in our list, think about it, people are parents, workers, husbands, wives, friends, parents, sons and daughters, then after everything else, we are writers.
  • We writers don’t procrastinate, we have writers block. Writers love to be special, because we tend to be sensible people, we are full of insecurities, therefore we need to feel special, constantly. Because of that we writers don’t procrastinate, there is nothing special about procrastination, writers block instead is cool, and assure us, that we are something unique, writers.
  • The problem with procrastination or writers block is that can last a really long time, most of the time caused for the fear of write poor stuff, we as writers forget that we need to write a lot of bad and poor stuff (let’s be honest, Crap) in order to write and create good stuff, so because we are afraid of write the poor stuff we hide behind the writer’s block curtain. Please don’t allow me to fool you, I have hide behind that same curtain before, until I learn that if I allow myself to write poor stuff I get more confident to write the better stuff.
  • Writers Block is the best excuse writers had invent to said they are afraid, if I have Writer’s Block in some way, we belong to a special club, but also I don’t need to say I am in any way afraid, I don’t need to acknowledge the fear, I don’t need to admit that I am afraid, because what I have is Writer’s Block!
  • Professional writers don’t suffer from writer’s block, basically because they had understood that in order to write good stuff they need to write the stuff that it is not even worth the trash, in order to write the good one, and they know that writer’s block is nothing more than fear with a fancy name.

There is another secret, your bad stuff, no one need to read it, you can even delete it if you want, I keep a running file, called STUFF TO HIDE, for those days in witch I am afraid to write, when I can claim I have Writer’s Block. I know I need to write poor stuff, but only when I don’t want to sit and write. When I sit to write I only wish to write great incredible stuff. It is because of that, that I simply put it there, in that file, and write, write like a mad man (but you can do it as a women if fit better). Other days, I think I will write great stuff, and should get published for the whole world, in case you are not aware, there is a lot of the bad stuff that should be shared, and a lot of the great that should be burn and no one should write, but it is at the end of the day, the fear, the fear of not being good, of not been special, or not being a a writer, of not write good enough, in conclusion, a fear of what others think, a fear of not being good enough.

Working on the second book

So, the first book is out. The Writer, and I am done with the second draft of the next novel, tentatively titled: Putsch. I am working now on some of the feedback I got from The Writer, at the same time that I work on the promotion the book, and fixing some of the stuff I have noticed, like real grammar issues.

No one said, that after first book, since were going to get easier, things are getting complex, real complex, but really fun too.

 

We as aspiring writers, take our sweet time to write the first book, enjoy and taste the first book, then struggle to get the energy to push the book while writing the second one, I don’t want to imagine what’s next, after you are trying to push two books and begin the next one, but this is the dream, and in the name of the dream, I subscribe to the work and smile.

 

At the same time, you are hoping to get the comments, the likes, the followers, the people that read your story, the people that enjoy the story, so if you are reading this and had not stop from my Facebook page, please do and like it, same of the book in Amazon, and if you read it, don’t forget to leave a comment.

 

About Putsch, let’s begin with the definition: a violent attempt to overthrow a government.

 

Hannah Fisher is hired to sabotage Rafael Hungria’s government, his employer is seeking control over some energy reserves while develop a nuclear complex and weapon. The problem begins, when Hannah decide to putsch his employer.

 

This is another fast paced triller, shorter than my original novel, actually is over 35,000, that technically place it as a novel, but so fas has been not only a fun novel to write, but a fun novel to re-write, edit and read.

When you are editing, you need to keep reading, slowly, paying attention, looking for errors, with this book, I have struggle with that, getting myself into the reading instead of the editing process, forcing me to get back, and re-read in order to properly edit; but had been fun!

 

What happen after you write the book (and it’s not perfect)

I publish my first novel on May 2011. It’s called ‘The Writer’ and I am extremely proud of it, sadly, my manuscript had some issues, some grammar issues. I freak out. I even tough on remove the book for all the online places that it is right now, hide it until get to be perfect.

I am a learner,  so after I tough about removing the book, I stop myself and make a different decision. My book is only available in electronic version, so when I update the next file, with the corrections all the people that had bough it will get an updated file the corrections. The print version will follow after those get corrected. I feel bad, I do, but I also know that the fact that some grammar issues are distracting to the reading they did not kill the story. I should not have those, I agree, but they are there. About that I can only do two things, back off and remove the book, or fixed them and move forward. I choose the later.

I was born and raise speaking spanish, I learn english when I was 25 (I didn’t speak a word before that) and I have come to a point in witch I am not a great spanish speaker and I am not a great english speaker (frustrating I know). I came to this craft for the long run, I have another team of people working on the manuscript, and a new one will be out early next week. It will be error proof, I don’t know, unlikely,  but it will have less, and will continue going to correction until get’s to the place it should.

Should I be ashamed that I don’t have the team or editors behind?, no.

Should I be ashamed that the book had some grammar issues?, no.

I only should be ashamed if you discover that I am aware and decide to ignore them. It even cross my mind that this will kill my career as a writer, but then I cool down, it will only kill my career if I choose not to do anything about it, my career will be killed only by one thing, Fear.

My career as I writer will be killed:

If I allow the fear of some grammar issues stop me from writing, I will kill my career,

If I allow the fear of not writing anything good ever again, I will kill my career,

If I allow the fear of people don’t liking what I wrote, I will kill my career,

If I allow the fear of rejection from the readers, I will kill my career,

 

But I will not kill my career:

 

If I keep writing, and working into improving my grammar and the craft,

If I continue writing, even if my inner critic think is not good, and I never will write anything good again,

If I don’t write because people may not like it,

If I don’t write because people may not read it.

 

I went that path, I stop writing, and I didn’t like it more over there than over here, dealing every day with the fear, dealing every day with the opportunity is without a doubt more fun than the other option, and trust me, I embrace it, because of fear the other option.

 

I will write, even when I don’t feel like it,

I will write, even if I made grammar mistakes and crimes,

I will write, even if no one ever read me,

I will write, even if people dislike it,

I will write, even if no one ever read it,

I will write, because I am a writer.