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“Plotting” or “Plodding🎫”

I had a story in my head, and was obsessed by it, but was scared to commit myself to being a ‘writer‘.  I’d jumped in before; put one of my daydreams on paper, and had been horrified by my own writing. I didn’t know then it was okay to write badly because there was something called editing. So I put the story points in a spreadsheet to get the details out of my head.

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That was too slow. I dumped the spreadsheet and the paragraphs started flowing. Short on time, I chose prose over plotting, letting the story tell itself while I committed it to the page. That was my first novel, finished in 8 months and as of now, it’s buried somewhere.

I was then convinced I didn’t need plotting.  Which is probably why my next two novels took so long, and were rewritten so many times. 

With my current work in progress, I got half-way through and because I’d taken a year off work, felt I had the luxury, to try things I’d always skimmed over: namely plotting, and research.  While ultimately the writing is better, it’s also been infinitely easier. 

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I’ll never again try to write a novel or any long work without thinking through what I’m trying to accomplish in each scene, chapter, even paragraph.

I plot loosely, and always deviate from it, but the investment in that step is invaluable. Writing fiction without a plot for me is having to create a world out of thin air while trying to write about it.  Plotting breaks up the process.  I create the framework and roadmap through plotting, then fill in the blanks, let story live and steer itself when I write. 

What works best for you and why? 

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Being Me

The clues were there.

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As a child growing up in the 70’s I read constantly, and watched too much television, while my thirsty imagination was insatiable. To fill the drought, I crafted novels in my head. I didn’t know that’s what they were. To me they were a destination, an escape from my boring life. My secret garden–my shame, kept my mind engaged, while feeding and fueling my natural gifting.

What I used as a way to cope with my lonely and monotonous childhood was the breeding ground of my anointing.

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Had I understood myself better, I would have studied creative writing in college and gotten more from the experience. Instead I studied business and couldn’t wait to escape.

Once in the real world, I tried to pack my creative toybox away, like old Barbie dolls. The tendency kept cropping up, however, everyday life providing fuel for new stories. I didn’t understand or acknowledge it, but suppressing that part of myself kept me frustrated, and displaced until…

Finally, when I was in my forties, I found the courage to take the story out of my head and commit it to the page.

I found myself and peace and it all made sense.

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My thoughts on Amazon KDP

I’ve been a publisher with Amazon Kindle Direct publishing kdp.amazon.com for nearly eighteen months now and I’ve seen various posts and articles from present and past users some of them negative. So I decided to write my own.

On the whole, I’m positive about my experience from the standpoint of one who has no experience in the publishing industry, and simply wants my completed projects to move on to the next step.

Since publishing my two novels mybook.to/worthsaving, mybook.to/cheatnglikebreatng on the platform, I’ve been asked by friends and family to help them do the same thing. In doing so, I’ve noticed one needs some degree of tech skill to do it all on your own. That has been illuminating.

I’m a bit of a nerd, so it wasn’t hard for me, but attempting walk others through the process, is more challenging than doing it myself. I’m now being paid a consulting fee by a friend I’m helping. It’s going slow and I’m not sure if it wouldn’t be better if I do the work myself. It might save them a few dollars in the long run.

I think KDP is great for new writers and for those of us who aren’t targeting a huge market. I enjoy the challenge of marketing my work, and discovering new methods and avenues of doing so. There are so many choices!

I enjoy the freedom to do things my way. There are many resources and tips for the self-published author. Because the amount of advice is overwhelming I ignore most of it; I enjoy the freedom of creating my own path. Am I costing myself sales, readers and traffic? I’ll never know.

There’s something exhilarating about about defining my own priorities, and pursuing them. If I wanted to chase the market then, trying to secure an agent is what I should probably do. Maybe I will at some point.

For now, KDP kdp.amazon.com flexibility works for me. Their promotion meets my needs I get readers downloads and occasional sales. Their advertising has gotten me results, however, not in proportion to the cost. I’ve had to scale back my budget there.

So after a good run, I’m graduating from grade school and venturing out to another platform. My next stop is IngramSpark! https://www.ingramspark.com/