New Rating System

As I’m reading a ton of books as of late, I chose to come up with a better rating system. It seems more productive to have this in place. So, starting with “Heartsnare,” by Stephen B. Williams, I’m  rolling out my new way of reviewing books. It is a fair system to all authors. This is how it will go. I think it’s a great system, and I can still use it for nonfiction. The plot for nonfiction is usually what the author is trying to explain or their point of the title.

  1. Characters: You either earn a one up to five stars on characters. Are they likable, lovable, redeemable, or relatable? Did they blur the lines with their characters (ex: not all good/bad)? Did they throw in useless characters in the middle of the book with no rhyme nor reason? Did the author accurately spend time with each character to develop them? For SFF (science fiction & fantasy), did the author use abundant character archetypes?
  2. Plot: Does this novel have a good plot? Five is the most an author can earn for the complexities of their plot devices. Did they use minor and major plots? What’s the purpose of a story if it doesn’t have a plot? I know a lot of authors don’t use plots. But there’s always a plot somewhere in a story even if it’s a minor plot. Is it character or plot-driven? Yes, I’m dissecting all books at this point. I want to say this when I read a book… “Wow! I didn’t see that coming!” If you’re able to do that, I’ll give you a five for this category.
  3. Book Covers: Does this book cover have anything that pertains to the novel? One to five stars if the book cover accurately depicts what’s happening inside the book.
  4. Writing: This is very important. Is the author clear? Is it well-written? Do they know their tenses? Did they write in the same tense, or did they change tenses in mid-chapter? Did they use correct grammar and spelling? Did they use too many adverbs? Does any phrase stand out? Is there too much slang? Did the author jump from point of views in one chapter, or did they properly put in a chapter to switch  point of views? One to five stars earned for a well-written story. Redundancy… Does it sound like a broken record? Are they showing or telling? A writer should always show and never tell. If character B is a dick, show me why he’s a dick. Give me dialogue as to why he’s a dick. Don’t tell me he’s a dick with no solid evidence.
  5. Formatting: Are the words falling off the page? Did they use accurate scene and chapter breaks? Is it properly spaced & titled? Formatting can help or trash a good book. How about the table of contents? Is there a table of contents in proper heading 1?

I will take a tally of all five categories and rate each book according to the score. So, if you earned a one on book cover, but scored a five on writing, formatting, plot, and characters; I’ll add up the score. Divide the total number by five and that’s your rating. Let’s try this shall we? 1+5+5+5+5=21/5= 4.2 for a round-down of 4/5 stars. If it’s 4.5, I would round-up to 5/5 stars. They don’t distribute half or partial stars for book reviews.

Diversity doesn’t earn you extra points with me. I love it, but I don’t necessarily need it. All I want is a clear story that takes me there. It needs to flow like water without me trying to decipher what the author is trying to explain.

A book has to be horrific for me to give it a one-star review. Basically, my first rough draft was a bit of a mess. As long as I can read it, I can review it. It has to be worse than the first draft, I stupidly published without editing it at all! Laugh now! Yes, it was my newbie mistake. I took my books off the shelf to properly edit my works. I took many years to study how to write. I don’t bother to edit blogs. But when it comes to my books, I’m on top of that shit. So, unless your book is as bad as that draft of mine, I’ll be okay.


Debut Writer Mistakes

Oh, boy  did I make quite a bunch of mistakes in my new writing career. Trust, I’ve made them all. Let’s do a double facepalm at my mistakes, shall we?

  1. Publishing my very first book: They tell you not to do this. If you do this, it’s going to be ugly. There will be a ton of mistakes that you don’t realize until you press the “publish now” button. I know you’re excited. That elation you get from finishing something so pivotal. Oh, Lawd… if I could rewind 2011 and do it all over again. Surprisingly, it received 4.2/4.3 reviews! And yet, it is/was a complete mess! I got lucky. Damn lucky!
  2. Publishing my first rough draft: “You didn’t!” Oh… yes! I did this one too! “How could you?” I know! I didn’t know a damn thing about books! I didn’t have a mentor. I did it all on my own which refer back to the end of number one. I was lucky not to be raked over the coals. For a rough draft, it didn’t do too bad. I still won awards. All with a first rough draft.
  3. Bad Grammar:  I thought I had impeccable grammar skills. Until I realized that the words “then and than” were wrong. I seemed to forgot everything from my English classes. Apparently, I mixed up “pique, peaked, and peeked.” I still struggle with my commas today. At least my comma placement improved over the last couple of years.
  4. No Editor:  I’m a stubborn person, and I foolishly went without an Editor for the longest time. I still don’t have one, but I need one. I’m still shopping around for the perfect Editor. It’s hard to find one of those creatures. Even if you think or believe you’re a grammar-know-it-all, they will find your mistakes and expose you. KABOOM! And everything you wrote, you doubt.
  5. Making Bad Book Covers:  Now some of mine weren’t bad. They really weren’t. But when I first started to now… it’s been a long journey of finding that perfect book cover. For Epic Fantasy, you need to spend the money if you hope to self-publish that bad boy.
  6. One-Dimensional Characters:  This is how bad it was! They had no personalities. My characters were FLAT! Now all of my characters have personalities, problems, issues, flaws, and something redeemable in all of them! Ugh… Can we please redo 2011? Research character archetypes. That will get you started. You need those if you choose to write a fantasy. Who is going to be the hero/heroine? Who is going to be the jester? Who is the martyr? That’s what I mean by character archetypes. And you can mix those character archetypes, too. The possibilities are endless.
  7. No Chapter Titles: Yep, for my early book readers, there are no chapter titles. It just says “Chapter 1” and so forth. Now my chapters have titles.
  8. One BIG Chapter:  I put ten scenes without any chapter breaks in them. You didn’t have time to take a piss, eat, or shit. Scenes should only be three per chapter. The max word count per chapter is 5,000 words, MAX! Mine had 17,000 words per chapter. Oops! I really didn’t understand what I did wrong. Now I have 72 chapters and it makes an easier read. I still need to cut shit out. I try to stay within the 3,000 word range now. Any longer, we’re cutting that scene down. There is a thing called “page break” and “chapter break.” Chapter breaks are used when a scene dramatically changes. You need those. You can use whatever you like to divide the scenes. Keep it down to three scenes… TOPS! My book went from seventeen chapters to seventy-two chapters. That tells you something.
  9. Word Count Overkill: For a debut author, you need to cut that shit down to 100,000 words or less if you’re working on an epic fantasy. Some other genres is much less than that. The appropriate word count is 50,000-120,000 words depending on your genre. Right now, my book is sitting at 160,850 words. It used to be 179,000 words. I still have to kill scenes if I want to take the traditional route. I most likely won’t with this series. But still, I need to cut out more scenes. It’s way too long. Ain’t nobody got time to read a 550 page book! Come on now! Not with chasing around kids, a full-time job, and whatever takes you away from reading. In the old days, they can get away with it. Not in 2017. Yes, it would be War without the Peace if that book was published today. Literary agents won’t make an exception to that rule. They won’t bend for a 160,850 word count. Not today! Not when you have to compete with e-books, publishing, and editing costs. Your book takes up a certain amount of space on a shelf. Don’t be greedy. If you can, cut your book in half. If you can’t, you need to start cutting down that book. Now, if you were J.K. Rowling, you can publish whatever you want. But chances are you’re not. Debut authors MUST cut it down. If you can’t do that, good luck in finding that literary agent. You’ll find your manuscript in the reject pile immediately. Like I said… “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
  10. Genres? What Are Those? In the beginning, I couldn’t tell you what genre my books were in because I didn’t understand the purpose of a genre. “Well, I’m a cross-all-genre-writer!” That’s a good idea, but don’t do it with your book. Now is not the time to do that mess. Before you put the pen to paper, pick out your genre. Make sure your book fits that genre. So many authors put their books in the wrong genre! The shocking thing is that traditional publishers release those books in the wrong genres. Now I can say with clarity, “My series is epic fantasy as my main category, and Paranormal Romance is my secondary category.” It took me years to figure that out. Like 8 years.
  11. Age group? Huh? I didn’t know who my target audience was. I didn’t understand that at all. Now I do. Target age groups: NA, YA, MG, MA, General! People still struggle with age groups. I didn’t know what my series age group should be for the longest time. It isn’t a section you check off, it is your TARGET age group. Meaning the age range for people to read your work. The next is who you want to sell your book to for the age range.
  12. MG (Middle Grade): Middle Grade is for ages 8-13. Do you want this age range to read your book? You don’t want to put an erotic book in the MG section. No, you’ll face daggers from pissed parents.
  13. YA (Young Adult): Young Adult is for ages 13-21. Young Adult is quite popular these days. This is a very lucrative genre. Don’t write erotica in this genre either. Do you want a 13 year-old child to pick up your erotic novel? I think not. If you’re going to write romantic scenes, they need to fade to black. Kids don’t need to read about that stuff. Yes, they have high school drama, bullying, and popular/unpopular kids. Those are themes to consider when writing a novel.
  14. NA (New Adult): This is for the target age range of 18-30 somethings. 30 is a little too much for this genre. These usually cover your high school graduates, college kids, college graduates, motherhood, or they switch from job to job. This is the “undecided” group. Now you can use your young erotica in this genre. Anything pretty much goes in this genre. That’s why people prefer to read Young Adult over New Adult. And this is where my series sits because I have “undecided” college kids as my main characters. They change their minds quite often as they develop with age and time.
  15. MA (Mature Adult): This is for the settled class. Yes, they have erotic tendencies. These people have life figured out by now. They know what they want sexually and go their shit together for the most part. Hopefully, they do. It can contain 18 and beyond 30 somethings. There are some mature 18-year-olds out there that do the right things.
  16. General: This just means everyone can read this book. Don’t use sexual themes in this genre. It’s friendly enough for the MG and YA crowd to read. It isn’t too complex or hard for them to digest information.
  17. World Building? What’s that shit about? I tried to get away with not building a world in my epic fantasy. You obviously can’t do that if you’re writing an epic fantasy. I was being lazy as fuck. If you’re going to write in ANY fantasy, make sure you build a world. If you don’t, you’ll be labeled a lazy writer. I admit it! I’m the first to admit it! I had a city, but no country, or why these supernatural creatures were there in the first place. In Epic Fantasy, you need maps. I didn’t do that either. That’s my EPIC FAIL! How dare I besmirch the good names of Tolkien and Martin! They are the current leaders in Epic Fantasy. Now I built my fantasy world. It only took me 8 years to create a dynamic world. I also alternate in between two fantasy worlds. Now I have a country, cities, and dimensions. Everything has a name to it. I have towns, cities, who lives where. Different races, and different archetypes! GO ME! Developing an epic fantasy does take many years. You can’t write one overnight. You could, but it isn’t recommended you do that shit.
  18.  SERIES: Yes, I started with a series! “Well, E.L. James did it, why can’t I?” Never ever start with a series if you’re a debut author. Even though James did it, she still faced numerous criticism over her series. To me, it wasn’t well-developed. It has a ton of problems in it. I don’t believe a quality Editor actually edited her work. There are so many errors in the series, it makes me think that it was all a bad rough draft. Had she took the time, I’m sure her series would not be as bad as it is today. Either way, she still made her money. Proof that all you need is a great marketing scheme, and no real quality Editing. I believe she could have done much better than what she did. If you don’t mind your name shown in a bad light, go for it.
  19. Improper Formatting: What’s that? You need to know how to format, even if you’re a traditionally published author. That saves a lot of stress and anxiety in the long run. I have a copy of my first draft. This is the time to laugh. It is in a huge 8X10 book, and it was still double-spaced! And yes, I published it that way without realizing what I did wrong! Make sure you single-space if you decide to self-publish. Learn to use “Heading 1” for chapters. You need that for e-books. It makes it a much easier read. When I receive arcs (advanced review copies) of books, I never have chapters in their proper places. It’s hard for me to close the book on my e-reader. Please! For the love of all things holy! Learn to hyperlink your chapters! Until Google Doc improves, write in WORD! Microsoft Word is what Editors use to edit your books. Pretty much all editors use Microsoft Word. Microsoft gives you the option to pay yearly for a low fee, or monthly. I can’t do other programs because I’m “old school.” I always used Microsoft Word since the 90’s. It’s my go-to program. I can hyperlink my chapters and format in a breeze now. It does take some time to work it, but I figured out how to format quicker with it. I can even configure my table of contents with ease now. Three hashtags in a row will automatically break up a scene for you. You can go back in and turn those hashtags into a scene or chapter break. I just figured that one out for myself. Even an idiot like me, can figure it all out. YouTube gives you great demonstrations.
  20. Flash drive It: Let me tell you what happened to me. Let me paint you a horror story. I just finished working on the draft to my third book. Guess what I didn’t do? I saved my work, but it was all on my computer! Well, my laptop at the time, crashed. It’s a writer’s worst nightmare. I cried and begged my laptop to come back on. The cold sweats, the panic, the anger. Let me save you the heartache. Well, they sell these little nifty devices called “flash drives.” You plug them into your laptop/computer and save your work there. Make sure to update your flashdrives every time you decide to go to bed, or as soon as you finish writing your novel. Make sure to have at least 2-3 of them. Save your work on them. Not only save your work on flashdrives, but save your work online. Whether you use Google Docs, Cloud, or OneDrive. If you’re saving your work online, encrypt it & lock it down. Thankfully, my husband rigged my laptop long enough to save all my books on a flash drive for me. It required our television and a fan to cool it down. We got it though! And my husband got lucky that night. 😉


The purpose of this post is to laugh. It is also to inform new writers on what not to do in the future. I’m human and make mistakes. But as I learn to evolve, I become a much stronger writer. Don’t do what I did. Learn how to market your books. Learn how to format. Learn how to edit. Because an Editor makes mistakes too. They can’t find all the errors. Also learn to let go of your work. Even if it isn’t the best, at least you tried. And don’t beat yourself up when you get things wrong. That’s life. Everyone makes mistakes. Find a good mentor. Ask people for help. Pride destroys a ton of writers. And so does self-doubt.


Types of Writers/Authors

Pull up your chairs for this one. I plan on blowing the lid off what really goes on behind the scenes. Here are some classic groups of writers/authors you should avoid at all costs. This will save your sanity and perhaps, your manuscripts.


  1. Literary Snobs: Oh, yes! They hide in large groups of writers/authors. You can find these pesky vermin in Facebook newbie groups, LinkedIn, and anywhere they can hide. What do they do? They destroy any piece of work you have written. They tend to be over-critical and a pack of jerks. Nothing you write is ever good enough in their eyes. These nasty trolls hate on authors like: E.L. James, Stephenie Meyers, John Grisham, James Patterson, and yes… J.K. Rowling. Never mind they were successful authors and sold millions of copies. They consider them “hacks” and if you write like them, prepared to be destroyed. They make you feel absolutely worthless for using adjectives and claim every sentence you write is a disaster. They know more than you because they’ve sold more copies of books than you. When in truth, these literary trolls usually never disclose what books they’ve written. And when you do find out books they’ve written… they’ve received less than five-stars because of their lack of imagination. Not only that… self-published authors are simply throwing money out the window, every time they self-publish a novel. They normally travel in a large cluster of other literary morons that believe they know everything. Writer Beware: Avoid these groups at all costs. They are not a multi-best seller. They didn’t even make the list for New York Times or Amazon’s best seller’s list.And if you do have a book listed, they find your book and purposely bomb it, by leaving you a review that has nothing to do with your book. Watch out… “Et Tu Brute” anyone?
  2. Get Rich Quick Writer/Author: Oh… you can come across these in Facebook or LinkedIn groups. They even promote their junk on Twitter. Sometimes they hide out and strike at the wrong time. These writers/authors believe their work is perfect. They ask for advice but they never take advice seriously. They normally pop out novellas and they really are terrible. Their work is usually poorly formatted and riddled with errors. They normally write something like this for example: I went too the market with Jolly and we picked out a wreath and the color was purple and I checked out a mofo with a big sack of shit. Nevermind this shit doesn’t make knows since. I’ma tell you how to right. Did I say right instead of write? Fuck yeah… because my shit’s a bestseller’s. Woohoo… Give me that Lamborghheeeni yall. Me and the youngins are moved up in the big house because we cool like that. They need massive help or clue but never accept help. Their books score less than two-stars if they’re lucky. An editor can be your friend and help you decipher and fix the above example. They don’t know what point of view, character dialogue, character archetypes, past/present/future tense, or what a cliff-hanger is. These flood Amazon’s Createspace, KDP, and Smashwords. Yes, their work is that terrible.
  3. The Announcement Author/Writer: They make sure they tell you that they’re writing a novel… non-stop. You can find these on Twitter or on your Facebook buddy list. “Yo, I’m writing a novel.” They never get shit done because they’re busy socializing instead of writing. They are lucky to make it to 50,000 words.
  4. Kicking it Old School Writer/Author: You can find these in NaNoWriMo groups. They really want to burn their computer/laptops. They only have these for entertainment purposes or to fill in word counts. You almost never hear from them. They are busy writing their novels by hand. If you write your rough draft via the computer/tablet/laptop… you’re the enemy. Never mind if you have physical ailments to prevent you from writing by hand. They can feel writers of the past flow through their rough drafts, when they write by hand. These authors/writers are typically intelligent but they won’t get down with the real world. How dare you write your rough draft using today’s technology! Hiss…
  5. The Em-Dash/Ellipses/Comma Writer/Author: You can see some of them in traditionally published books. They have their works published and you don’t understand why. They love the using em-dashes throughout their paragraphs and it makes a frustrating read.By the time you’re done reading their novels, you want to burn the em-dash, ellipse, or commas. Never mind that it takes you out of their novels. Why must you overuse these? Um… I… hate… too… many… ellipses… I’m, a comma-chameleon, comma, comma, comma… chameleon. She was hot–too–trot–don’t–you–enjoy–em-dashes–I–love–reading–books–like–these.
  6. Melodramatic Writer/Author: Everything they write is automatic trash. Nothing reads good enough in their eyes. You can find these writers on Wattpad. Even though they are hard on themselves, you appreciate their honesty. “My work is shit!” They remind you of a painter who paints this beautiful piece of artwork but they destroy it. They are afraid of critics and hateful reviews. They keep their work up for a short period of time. Even though it’s good, they still can’t conquer their own inner demons. They normally take down all their websites, WordPress sites, Facebook Author groups, and even Twitter. They feel that they could never be as good as J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, or even Tolkien. Some of the literary greats were in this category. And sadly… some of those greats committed suicide. Not all are like this but a ton are suicidal in this category. If you’re in this category, please seek help. We don’t need to lose your brilliant voice in our world. Everything is negative and nothing is ever positive. Even though they’ve received five-stars from their peers, they will typically study the one-star reviews over the five-stars. Yes, they ignore those important five-star reviews.
  7. The Lazy Writer/Author: The only time these writers come out is the month of NaNoWriMo. The only time they write is during the month of November. They can’t understand that writing is a daily job. And they certainly never meet their word counts for the month of November. We’re lucky to see them achieve five hundred words for the month of November. “My mind is blank.” The only way to redeem yourself from this pitfall is by writing every day. Start with writing prompts and work your way to developing your characters.
  8. The Perfectionist: You can find them everywhere. They are similar to the melodramatic writer but different. They believe their plots have to be perfect. They also believe their rough drafts have to be perfect, even though it’s called a rough draft for a reason. I never include chapter titles, prologues, scene breaks, or epilogues when I’m in rough draft mode. It’s going to look ugly and it won’t be perfect. Going back and re-editing your work, will never help you finish your rough draft on time. The best thing to do is to keep writing. You can always go back with a first revision, second, third, fourth, fifth, and so forth. It doesn’t need to be perfect the first time you write something. Of course, it will have errors. Even final drafts have errors.
  9. The Busy Writer/Author: You don’t see these much. They have children, spouse, jobs, or school to attend. They often put more pressure on themselves than they need to do. By the time they’re done, they’re tired. They are worn the fuck out. They’ve ran little Sally to cheer and Bobby Joe to football practice. The way to combat this is to take a notebook and a pen with you. If you’re kid isn’t playing, start writing. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve taken a tablet with me while watching all three sons play baseball. If my kid isn’t up to bat or playing in the field, I’m writing. I even take a notebook and a pen with me for school functions. It’s called multi-tasking not being a bad parent. If you have a test at school, take a notebook and pen with you. Finish your test and write a paragraph. It can be done.
  10. The Martyr/Charitable Writer/Author: These group of people are the most self-sacrificing people. They help with writer prompts and form groups on YouTube, NaNoWriMo, and Facebook. They have a strict policy that keeps the 1-9 out. They form public groups of writers that we can mingle with each other. You love them because they’re always smiling and have something tangible to say. They make you feel good about yourself. We need more writers/authors like these. They often encourage you to write. Unlike one through nine, these people are often best seller’s. They never have a mean thing to say and somehow get shit done. These people are magicians and saints. They are typically your M.L or region leaders on NaNoWriMo. Even Anne Rice and J.K. Rowling are extremely supportive of all writers. They don’t put writers/authors into Indie/Self vs Traditionally published writers. Even E.L. James is a big supporter of other writers/authors. Go on YouTube and find M. Kirin. This author will make you feel important and always brightens your day with the advice this person gives you. We have enough back-stabbing and evil in the world. How you treat other writers makes you either a good person or a bad person. I don’t know about you but I’d rather be in this group of writers. We give tips on everything to help you give ideas. We want you to share your work. We are not in competition with you. A world without words, isn’t a world I want to live in. Be strong, be brave, and take a chance. All it takes is just one word at a time. Eventually, you’ll have a beautiful piece of literature. All you need is a little help or advice. It is up to you, if you want to take that help.


I hope this list brightens your day. If it doesn’t, I’m sorry. If I’ve pissed you off, maybe you need to change your habits. I would like to be number 10, how about you?


The Agony Over Agonists

In writing, not many people know these terms. I will make a better post on character archetypes soon. I chose to do research on this. We often hear terms of antagonists or protagonists.

So, what are these agonists?

Protagonist: This is normally the hero or heroine of a story. You see this in everything you watch or read. They have their belief systems in place or a set of goals, they believe that’s for the good of all mankind or supernatural creatures. These are your right-fighters and seem morally superior to others. Frodo or Harry Potter are great examples of protagonists.

Antagonist: This is normally the villain of a story, show, or movie. They are there to stop the protagonist from excelling in their goals. They believe what they are doing is right. Normally these characters have a huge ego, narcissist, psychotic, or various other terms they call these characters. They will do whatever is necessary to stop the protagonist. Examples are: Lord Voldemort, the devil, Sauron, or the headless horseman. Even Negan is considered an antagonist.

Now… I need to add more that many writers are unaware of.

Contagonist/Deuteragonst: These are different words but they have the same meaning. Some argue that these characters can either be a friend to the protagonist or they could be a friend to an antagonist. Most of the time, they are normally friends to the hero/heroine or protagonist. This character is out for themselves. They may switch from side to side, so they can find out who offers the best deal. They can stop either the protagonist or the antagonist from achieving their goals. These are your best poker players. They are normally mentally sound, even when you think they aren’t. I’m working on my series and I have a ton of these in hiding. These are the most dangerous characters to create because you never know which side they are on. This is where many readers throw a book. These characters are charming, attractive, funny and they usually make a reader fall in love with them. When they fall, they do it rather well and not with grace. These characters make you hate them. But they always return and try to do the right thing. If you can pull this character off, you will elicit many emotions from the reader. Prepare to receive hate mails for these type of characters. Examples are: Professor Snape, Gemma from Sons of Anarchy, Gollum

Triagonist: These characters are the third member of a protagonist’s life/existence. These can be the underdog, if you want to look at them that way. They are the characters that normally pick up the pieces from what the antagonist and contagonist/deuteragonist left behind. They are normally the unsung heroes or heroines of a story. They don’t want the attention but they have a pure soul. They normally say something that rallies the protagonist or something a reader can relate to. I love these characters. I have a few of these in my series, too. Examples of these are: Sam the Brave/Wise, Hermoine, Ron Weasley, Hagrid, and Professor Snape could be here, too.


I can’t say who is what in my series because it would blow many plots for me. You have to find the underdog in your series. Make that character become the heart of your series. It doesn’t always have to be the good guy/gal or protagonist.

There is another term that needs to be discussed: Anti-hero/heroine. They don’t want to be the hero/heroine of a story. But because of certain situations, they have to become the hero/heroine. These are usually your characters who have a checkered past or they simply don’t want to save everyone. They do what they do because they have to. I have a couple of these in my series as well. They aren’t a pure character and their morality is often questionable. These characters often make a reader furious. These characters will get around to doing the right thing but not on a reader or viewer’s time-table.


NaNoWriMo 2016

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. I have joined and I’m doing quite well for day three. I kind of partied a little too hard after the Cub’s win.Baseball is huge in my family. My grandfather was a Cub’s fan. Unfortunately, he died five years before I was born. So, pretty much, the rest of us are die-hard Cub fans. I wish he was alive to see it. My mother’s side and her, were born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Anyway… it’s death to root for another team. I root for Chicago all the way down. Cubs, Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks. I know better. The only team I root for in the NCAA is the Kentucky Wildcats. That would be death from my dad’s side of the family. So, I’m mixed with southern slash midwest.

Anyway, my region is doing okay. I believe we have 347 novelists in my region. We are knocking down six thousand words a day. The goal is to shoot for 50,000 words. The key is to get in a habit and write. It doesn’t have to be pretty. I’m a perfectionist so guess what? It has to be perfect in my eye. I’m working on it! Anyway, I’m also an overachiever. I’m now on day three and I already have 25,000 words down. I had to rewrite my book. I changed Christian’s name to William. I love that name, so I chose William. It was my first replacement name. Since another popular series has Christian, I opted to use William. Will for short. I made a new prologue and epilogue for it as well. Some of my words are flipped backwards. I know I have a problem with that. I think it’s from mild dyslexia. Even on my blogs, I’ll flip my words around or put a strange word in there. My youngest son, third child is currently being diagnosed with dyslexia. I also believe our youngest daughter is color blind. But hey! I can handle everything. I have 25K words down. And then I noticed all these badges you can earn. So, little perfectionist me has to tone it down a notch. I don’t want to be finished with book 2 in three days. I need to stretch it out, once I hit the 50,000 mark. This one will be a heavy novel. It won’t be short. I expect it to be over 100,000 words. I had to split book 1 up because it was too long. That will be the only book, I’ll split.  Book 3 will probably be over 140,000 words. If I put those three books together, it will put me at 300,000 words. That leaves me 700,000 words to split in the following three books. My goal is to hit a million words in six books. I would like to hit two million words by the time I’m finished with my series.

These are the words that won’t be in any of my novels: copper, crimson, “oh my,” GD, or anything relating to inner goddesses, tiger,lioness, or anything like that. He filled me up with joy would be a much better selection. I’ve also removed the bets. It seemed pointless and dumb. Feather remains and Rosalie… will still wreck cars. I’m leaving all the story lines alone… except for Jeannie’s. I’m still tweaking her story line. I’ll be able to pay for my illustration here shortly. You will see Ian return at some point. We need to change a few things on Jeannie and change Christian/William up a lot. His face is longer than that. And we need to finish changing his name over to William. I can’t use Tristian because… you will see why in a few books down the road. That name is already in play. And Tris is too close to Tris from another series. It’s hard to come up with a name that another series hasn’t used much of. I can’t use Zachary… that’s my son’s name and it’s too weird. Anyway, that name is in play already but in a different form. I have a ton of characters. Raz is one of my favorites along with Ian. Watch what the dynamic duo in book 4. Ian gets a pair with Raz’s help. They are a mess together. Zane will turn into the scientist that he is. He won’t escape his lab but he does gain a friend. I have big plans for Zane in the future novels.

At the end of book 2, it will preview for the new book 4. I’m shifting the books back by one book. So the former book 2, will be the new book 3. I am using temporary book covers. The first five are ready. These are just place holders until I finish paying my Illustrator. Thankfully, he’s working with me. He could have been a dick. I won’t use anything until I know it’s paid off. Ian is the first character, I’m paying off. I need him, since he is the flagship of my series. And when you have a ton of medical issues flying at you, it makes self-publishing extremely difficult. What about editing? Well… considering the person who did the job did little technical issues, I won’t be hiring one again. Considering the other bodies of work, no editor or team of editors are perfect. But if you’re paying them the big bucks, that shit better be checked with a gold pen. I’m better off, putting that money in marketing. No book will ever be 100% correct. I have problems with my commas. That’s the only thing, I’m struggling with. I can catch everything else on my own. They usually make mine worse. Nope, won’t be hiring another one. I don’t care.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. I’m getting shit done.


Why I Became A Writer…

Unlike other jobs out there today, I chose to become a writer for various reasons. I’m going to make this post, short & simple.

  1. Imagination: I have and always had a wild imagination. I can obtain an idea from anywhere at anytime. Even in my dreams, I come up with scenarios and characters.
  2. Silence: It silences my brain. Not that I don’t want to be around people, the silence keeps my mind focused.
  3. Weather: I’m not a good person to work outdoors. I don’t do well with extreme cold or heat. Yes, I’m spoiled.
  4. Bosses: I don’t have to deal with nagging or rude bosses. I don’t have anyone standing over my shoulder.
  5. Breaks: I can take a break anytime I want.
  6. Censorship/PC: I don’t have to focus on tip-toeing around others or worry that I’ll offend people.
  7. Bathroom: I can use the bathroom anytime I want.
  8. Kids: I can stay at home with my kids. I get to see their minds expand. And I can help them with their homework.
  9. Creating: I enjoy my characters. Sometimes, I’d rather live with them and escape the real world. I get to pick out different personalities and expound on diversity. I enjoy the characters I have now.
  10. Health Reasons: This is the only job that works with my autoimmune & mental health disorders. I don’t receive death stares, when it’s time to take my medications. Some of my medications force me to fall asleep.

I didn’t choose to become a writer for fame or money. Let’s be realistic, writers don’t make a ton of money. If you choose to become a writer, realize that you’ll be broke. There are over a million writers out there today. The chances of your book making it big, are slim to none. This isn’t a glamorous job. Quite frankly, the money or lack of money, sucks. If you believe you’re going to become the next Rowling, King, Rice, or James, think again. This is also a cutthroat business. If you believe other writers won’t fuck you over, think again. You can have all the writing degrees in the world, but if you don’t have an imagination, you’re fucked. There are so many well-written stories but they lack in imagination. There are so many great imaginative stories but they’re terribly written. I, for one, am not a great writer. I never claimed to be. I’m a decent one but not one of the greats. When I think of the greats, I think of Tolstoy, Poe, Hemingway, Shakespeare, Tolkien, the Bronte sisters, Woolf, Angelou, Twain, etc… I could never compete with them and won’t even try.

Another thing that pisses me off… when writers say they aren’t readers. Why are you in this, if you don’t read books? You can gain so many new words and see how other writers, write. Don’t join this profession, if you hate to read. Guess what, you’re going to re-read all your drafts non-stop. It boggles my mind that writers refuse to read other books! That’s insanity to me.

This doesn’t bother me as much, but it still bugs me. Writers who only read in one certain type of genre. Putting yourself in this box, tells me you’re inflexible. And to be honest, not many writers understand their chosen genres. You wrote a Fantasy, when it should be Sci-Fi. I hate limits and boxes. I choose to read everything. Even if I know it’s boring, I’ll still read it anyway. Writers need to get their hands on everything. Explore a genre that you aren’t familiar with. Expand your horizons. Don’t limit yourself as a writer.

As a writer, I detest time travel. It leaves too many plot holes. Very few authors understand how to write it. You leave more questions than answers. Why can’t the other characters time travel? It drives me nuts! But I’ll read them anyway. I’ll be the asshole, who points out questions with your time travel. That way you can return and correct your mistakes. Expect to earn a low-rating from me, if you use time travel as your literary device and don’t establish why the others can’t time travel. That’s me being honest, the blunt bitchy writer.

Anyway, these are just a few things that irritate me as a writer. You can tell me to fuck off. I’m just being me and I’m honest.