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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blogs By Bree: Next Order of Business-10:25 a.m.-10/22/11

Blogs By Bree: Next Order of Business-10:25 a.m.-10/22/11: What happening readers? You know time I solve one issue, I have bounce back with three or four more. The next thing I need to accomplish...

Next Order of Business-10:25 a.m.-10/22/11

What happening readers?

You know time I solve one issue, I have bounce back with three or four more.

The next thing I need to accomplish is putting my book though at least three different types of editing/proofreading phases. First, I have the basic proofreading. That's basically having someone check for spelling and grammar mistakes, omitted words and typos. Second is the basic editing. Basically they read for confusing language, sentence structure errors, redundancies, wordiness, appropriate word choice and consistency. Third is the developmental editing which includes notes and suggestions on improving style, flow, organization and clarity of thought. That is basically making sure the story flows well. Each one of these phases are priced separately, so if I wanted to, I can only have one without the other two. I am inexperienced, so to be on the safe side I'm going to do all three. As a total that can roughly come out to be $1500 (more or less).

The thing I really want to get done is my cover and my logo, because I'mma tell you right now, books aren't the only thing I plan on doing. It would be great if I can get that cover released as a preview. Doing this will cost approx. another $1500 (more or less). At least I know who my designer will be. I just need to tell him when I'm ready to start.

After I get my book edited, I'm going to need to get it copyrighted. Well I can copyright it myself for I think between $30-$60. That's not much, but I can't do that until I get it edited. Bummer!

So, the obvious problem is the timing. I'm not going to have that money until August 2012. One top of that, I didn't realize the contracts and agreements that are in the publishing process. I can't legally sign for anything until August 2, 2012. If you haven't figured it out by now, I am only 17. Bummer!

By the way, I'm not doing this behind my mother's back. Its no secret. My mother knows that this is what I want to do and she supports me. It's kind of funny how it happened actually. We were looking in the Adult books in Wal-Mart. (I'm terribly short, so I need her there with me to get the books off the top shelf. Besides, when she's not there people see my height and stare. I guess they assume that I'm a ten year old who's curious about the adult books and is trying to hide it from mommy. It's so funny when it happens). Anywhoo, I put my arms around her neck and said, "You know what I want to do? I want to publish books like these, but I'mma use a pin name, because I don't want to get kicked out of med school for nothing like this." She said, "Do it. I'm not gonna tell you you can't. Just don't do anything you'll regret later." At one point I did have to hide it from her. She read the romance novels with the white people on the cover, they are clean compared to the stuff I read. Even with those, I'd get in trouble just for looking at them. It changed a little when I took one of her books and refused to give it back until I read it. Well, I found it boring and I voluntarily gave it back. When she started working at the library (I was about 15 then), her manager (who is also our cousin), used to tease her about not reading those types of books, so she checked my mother out one and made her take it home. It was Dirty Old Men by Omar Tyree. My mama couldn't get through the first couple of pages. She said,"This is nasty, I don't want to read it. She said you can read it if you want and take it to school and let your friend, Tuta read it." Of course I loved it. It was an excellent book and every since then I don't really have to hide anything from her in that area.

Now to get back on subject, I figured there is only one solution to all of my dilemmas: take a year off and wait until I turn 18. In the meantime, I can finish the next two book that I started. Sorry guys, I guess I won't be having that hard copy this soon after all, but I will continue to blog.

In other news Mrs. Deatri King emailed me in response to one of my discussion questions. In the email was a link to her new website . I must say that the blogs on this website is very helpful. It makes me think of things in ways I would have never thought of. For example, A Writer's Love Affair by Shelia M. Gross (author of the Lip Gloss Chronicles). She said the relationship between a writer and a reader is like a love affair and she went on to tell you why (visit the website to read more). The stuff she mentioned was so creative, that I wished I could've thought of that. It was well thought about and it made perfect sense.

As for my first book. I am aiming for it to be released by Christmas 2012.

Until next time readers....

Blogs By Bree: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place Pt. 2-9:50 a...

Blogs By Bree: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place Pt. 2-9:50 a...: continued... So when I left you last, I was telling you about my manuscript that was not a long enough to be a novel. Well I have found ou...

Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place Pt. 2-9:50 a.m.-10/22/11


So when I left you last, I was telling you about my manuscript that was not a long enough to be a novel. Well I have found out a few things since then.

I asked a three of my trusted contacts. One told me to just publish it as is, because there is no limit to creativity. Another told me that the typical rule of thumb is anything over 40,000 words is a novel. Anything below is either a novella or short story. If it's done at 30,000 words, then call it a novella. Nothing wrong with that! If the story seems to need more punch to it to feel complete, then add to it. Otherwise, leave it where it is and don't worry about the categorization.

Then someone commented in a discussion that they didn't know I was still in high school. At that moment, something hit me. They weren't commenting harshly, because they thought I was young. They didn't know.
Now that I look back, since they thought I was older, they also thought I should know better. With that being said, I should have known the typical rule of thumb. Personally, I am fine with having a novella and I'm not about to ruin a great manuscript by making it too wordy, just so I can say I wrote a novel.

As for the rest of it. I'm over it. It's the past and I'm looking ahead.

Until next time readers...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blogs By Bree: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place Pt. 1-5:41 p...

Blogs By Bree: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place Pt. 1-5:41 p...: 1. So your manuscript is finished...or is it? Well, you've gone over it a dozen times, rewritten it twice, and agonized over your opening ...

Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place Pt. 1-5:41 p.m.-10/17/11

1. So your manuscript is finished...or is it?

Well, you've gone over it a dozen times, rewritten it twice, and agonized over your opening paragraph for four months. You've carried your baby for nine months (or longer) and finally delivered it. You've even had your wife or girlfriend (or both) read it over and they tell you love it.

2. Knowing the number of pages is a first step, and might be useful to someone who charges by the page, but doesn't do much for people who charge by the hour or project - and 177 pages isn't enough for a novel. I wouldn't even consider editing a book-length project until it was finished.

3.What do you base your claim on? If that is all that you can offer, do you have anything else you want to start a rumor on? What a waste of time!

Hello Readers,

If you are wondering what those are, those are three of the comments that I have received in the past day. Don't get me wrong, I don't find them offensive. Its just the critisism that I have been asking for. Like a man told me the othe day, I need to develop thick skin in this business. I am glad they said the things that they said. It just makes me think and it makes me work harder. (By the way I want you all to know that the third comment was not at all directed to my book. It was on a whole different subject. By the way, I still receive a lot of great advice from other people).

Reading these comments did; however, put one question in my mind, "Do some of these people think I am a joke?" Sometimes, I believe they aren't taking me seriously, because of my age. I don't know. I'm not worried. It just gives me more determination and a better reason to keep going.

On the other, I did not know my book was 177 pages until I finished typing it. Honestly, when I saw that number at the bottom of Microsoft Word, I was a little embarrassed, but I shrugged it off. In the back of my mind, that thought was always ther though. Today, there was no ignoring it and I am actually glad she brought it up before publishing. If she thinks this way, I woder how many other readers and writers think this way too. I have been debating about adding 30 extra pages for awhile now. The only problem I have is that my manuscript is finished. The story line is finished. Where am I going to pull 30 extra pages from?

Well readers, the library is about to close and I have to go. Until next time.
to be continued........

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blogs By Bree: What To Do Next?-10:13 a.m.-10/15/11

Blogs By Bree: What To Do Next?-10:13 a.m.-10/15/11: What to do next? That's the question that I have been pondering over since I finished my first manuscript. I mean seriously, what should I d...

What To Do Next?-10:13 a.m.-10/15/11

What to do next? That's the question that I have been pondering over since I finished my first manuscript. I mean seriously, what should I do next? I found out a long time ago that I was a fish out of water, I just didn't realize how much water I used to live in.

What to do next? As I do every other problem, I took this question to my Linked In group. These are people who are mostly veterans and they are here to help out rookies. I didn't realize how many different processes there are out there. I forgot that different things work for different people. Well when you ask a bunch of authors, "I'm finished typing my manuscript. What should I do next?" It's like asking the social media, "What religion or political view is best?" Okay, well maybe not that bad, but you get my point.

Every bit of information I received is very helpful. One guy told me to:

 Print 4 copies and give them to 2 friends. Ask each of those two to give the extra copy to someone they know that does not know you. It is important to have people read your book that are not familiar with your speech pattern -- or else they'll hear your voice in every word. Then another guy came back and said :

Do not, under any conditions, give your draft manuscript to friends or relatives - they can't be trusted to be objective. Give them to readers and people that will provide you with both positive comments and suggestions for improvement. Critiquing is an art and you must implicitly trust those you ask to comment on your first draft.

Personally, I had already asked two of my friends to read my manuscript, but now I don't know if I should do that or not. Both of these men have valid arguments to support their opinion and now I'm torn. I've always felt that I have a very outspoken group of friends. They don't filter for nobody. They speak their mind. However, now I'm wondering would they filter for me? Sometimes close friends tend to be your 'yes men' to spare your feelings. That is good for your feelings, but not for the future success of my book.

So that's still up in the air.

Another thing somebody suggested was to:

While you have others or a professional editor look over your book, you should start preparing the BUZZ. Let your social network friends know what's coming in the near future. Contact a professional book cover designer and layout artist so that you have a book cover to start promoting your book and get your fan base excited. Once the text is done then your can move right into layout and printing. Develop the publicity now if all possible, don't wait until your manuscript is perfect.

I must say, I love the way this guy thinks. After all this is what this blog is for. That just made me think that maybe I should do more promotional things. It is also sort of motivational, because I know that in my past posts I've talked about lack of motivation and thought about giving up. Pre-promoting makes you want to keep going on, because you'd look stupid if one day you just up and stop. Not only that, but you'll be known as a quitter to anyone who knows your name.

I have also noticed that I am not patient whatsoever. I am constantly wanting to get things done and I am definitely not a procrastinator. I always like to feel like I'm doing something. You know the first thing my crazy behind thought after finishing my manuscript was, "Oh, yeah I'm finished. So tomorrow I can just take this .pdf file to the library and upload it to Create space and get my hard copy." Really? Bree...really? I doesn't work like that. That's why I wanted to quit my blog, because I wasn't getting any hits. I've had this blog for months and I've just got my very first follower yesterday. I guess I had this crazy fantasy in mind that I would become a hit overnight. But hey, Michelangelo didn't paint the Sistine Chapel overnight did he? Patience is the key.

In the comment above, the guy also brought up designing my cover and releasing it. I think this is a great idea. I will probably do this next. That way I can do something to occupy my time, while my book gets the amount of  'polishing' that it needs.

Another worry of mine is copyrighting my work. When I presented this topic to my group, I found out that I can actually copyright my own work. Isn't it amazing how much you can do by yourself? After I copyright my work, I feel better when I place my book into the hands of editors and publishers. I know they are professionals, but my book is my baby right now. I know I need to learn how to be less attached, but for now I think my first step will be cover design and copyrighting.

Until next time my faithful readers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blogs By Bree: A New Milestone-10:53 a.m.-10/13/11

Blogs By Bree: A New Milestone-10:53 a.m.-10/13/11: Hello Readers, I must say it has been a long while. More like two months. I must say it has been a challenging two months. This is my very...

A New Milestone-10:53 a.m.-10/13/11

Hello Readers,

I must say it has been a long while. More like two months. I must say it has been a challenging two months. This is my very last year in high school and I am working on graduating. On top of that, I am going to be the Valedictorian of my class; so, I have to make sure I keep that title. I've been accepted to one of the colleges I'm considering attending. I would put the name, but I'm still not sure what I can and cannot post on things like this. I don't want to get sued or anything like this. I am also applying for other colleges and scholarships, and I am taking avantage of Dual Enrollment in my school. That means right now I am also enrolled to two college courses and I am getting dual credit for both high school and college. Well with that being said, I have taken two classes last school year, and I will be taken four this year. That means I will graduate with about 15-18 hours of college credit. Your girl is not dumb, as a matter of fact I am very smart.

Now on top of all of that, I am senior class president, president of FBLA, Vice-President of Student Advisory Group (SAG), I am a cheerleader, and I play varsity baseball. Yes... I do mean baseball. My small school does not have softball team; therefore, our baseball team is co-ed. By the way, I must say this is very hard for me to do since I am only 4 feet 10 inches and weigh only 125 pounds. Now imagine how physically challenging it is for me to keep up with huge high school boys.

My schedule is horrendous and by the time I get home, I am beat. Now I have recently made it to Chapter 7 of my second book and it hit me, I am not finished typing my first book. I said to myself, "Bree, you need to finish one book before you start on another big project." I must say it is sometimes it is difficult to stay in the gist of things. Especially with no computer at home and for a writer, that can be very difficult. I found myself getting depressed about my situation. When I finally logged onto my Linkdin account, one lady was asking our group members have they herd from me lately. It kind of hit home that people would notice my absentee and I didn't want to loose any of my connection.

I thought about this blog everyday. I just knew I was going to loose it. I thought people are going to think I just stopped and that's not true. Then my lack of motivation got to me again and I started saying, well no one ever reads my stuff. No one ever comments on my blog posts; so why bother? Why do I bother to waste my time on this blog when no one is reading it? I wanted to pre-advertise my book; so my blog readers will go through my struggles with me and anticipate its release, but I wasn't getting the response that I thought I would. I finally came to that point and I said forget it. I'm not doing another blog post.

Today I logged into my Linkdin account and checked my inbox and someone sent me this:

I read your Blog and found it interesting, Bree. Isn't writing exciting? Self-publishing is definitely the way to go, and adult fiction is a field that is overlooked by many first-time authors. Kudos to you! I look forward to sharing many good discussions with you.

I must say God works in mysterious ways. This is the very first person, besides my best friends, who has ever told that they've read my blog and found it interesting. Of course my friends say it, but its different when a complete stranger takes time out to say something like this. So thank you Mr. because you have saved my blog and given me a reason to keep it up and running.

Another thing, school is out this entire week (Oct.10-14, 2011) for Fall Break. I went and got all four of my wisdom teeth out Tuesday (October 11) and it didn't hurt as bad as I thought. I am up and running around until I take my pain meds and then I'm confined to my sofa with two ice packs and my favorite blue blanket. My mother won't let me go out a night time until my extraction sites are completely healed and there should be a law against soft food diets. That is torture. I know I've lost at least five pounds and I'm not one of those girls who obsess over being fat. I am happy with myself and I like my weight. I don't need to loose anymore.

 Anyway, my counselor let me check out a laptop for the week so I can keep up with my college classes. There schedules run different from high school. Well what is a writer going to do when she is confined to the house for a week with nothing , but a laptop and no internet connection, because she lives so deep in the back woods of Louisiana? She's going to pull up Wordpad and type. I kid you not, I typed my entire book in about six says (Friday-Wednesday).

Now I'm about to put the finishing touches and hopefully within my next post I'll be telling you that I have a hard copy of it. So pray for me you guys!! I'm really doing it!

Until next time you fabulous people!

P.S. I also think I have a title, but I should know for sure in my next post.