October 19, 2019, 08:13:20 AM

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Messages - Ray McCarthy

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1
Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: October 13, 2019, 05:18:28 PM »
I've finished revision 6 draft of 'Seven Talismans'. It's about 54,620 words total and suitable for a younger people (10+ ?) as well as adults. I'm hoping only more revision. I'll send it now to Beta Readers. In reality it's had very many more revisions than 6 as it started as a Novelization of a computer game in 1991. I think all the "video game action" flavoured bits are now gone. Most of the next book in the series was written by 1996. I'll look at that next!

2
Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: October 13, 2019, 10:03:16 AM »
This particular WIP is going straight in the trunk. I did a lot of experimenting with it and it hasn't always gone well. Plan is to look back in a year and see what can be salvaged.
Always a good plan to set a story aside for a few months at least after edit/proof/writing. Twenty years is a bit excessive, but till recently I couldn't see what to do with the old story.

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Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: October 13, 2019, 10:00:11 AM »
my WIP started in 1991.
:o wow
Aren't you sick of it by now? Do you manage to keep it fresh in your motivation?
I'd hardly looked at it since 1996 and in the last six years worked on over 20 novels. So it's quite fresh. I'd forgotten some of the aspects of the story.
One of the motivating factors is that unlike my Talents Universe and Celtic Otherworld series there is no contact with Earth or current Politics.
More detailed explanation http://www.raymccarthy.corvidspress.com/autumn-2019-wip/

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Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: October 12, 2019, 09:36:38 AM »
A personal best of 4000 words today.

Looking like I'll be finished with the WIP by the end of next week.
Then proof read (on an ereader via Calibre is best), edit in annotations, re-write.
I'm not doing much actually fresh writing though have a a couple of new chapters to add to my WIP started in 1991.
http://www.raymccarthy.corvidspress.com/autumn-2019-wip/

5
Self Publishing Discussion / Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« on: September 15, 2019, 07:04:59 PM »

I'm not sure I completely understand this. What I mean is that I upload my books directly on these platforms. They provide the data, and they pay me directly for sales.

With B&N and Apple, I'm unable to do this, therefore I use D2D. As with all aggregators, they take a cut (about 10%) but are quite a good company.

I agree that Google's attitude to privacy is terrible.
Silly me, I thought you were talking about buying books!
I've had sales at Apple, Kobo, B&N and others via Smashwords and despite over all Amazon having about 90% of eBook sales, about 1/3rd of my sales are direct sales at Smashwords. Certainly the single biggest sales for me are at the Amazon USA marketplace. I'd be mad to give Amazon exclusivity.

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Self Publishing Discussion / Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« on: September 14, 2019, 05:34:19 PM »
All respect to Mark Coker for his work setting it up, but it's become dated. I go direct where I can (Kobo, Amazon, Google Play)
How are Kobo, Amazon or Google Play "direct"? They B&N (Nook) or Apple are no more direct than Smashwords.

There of course titles that are only on one retail platform but that's a separate issue. Smashwords even distribute to B&N, Apple, Kobo, Libraries and others. Everyone EXCEPT Google and Amazon.

So Publishers & Authors of eBooks only need Amazon & Smashwords to cover almost everyone as the % non-pirate books on Google Books via Google Play is tiny. Google also are toxic as you can't properly set a price and they decide where in a book to preview, rather than a % at the start. They also encourage piracy and assume many works are out  of copyright that are not. Their book scanning project is contentious. Their attitude to Privacy is worse than Facebook.

7
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« on: September 07, 2019, 03:25:35 PM »
Word count please. Page count hugely varies between different paper formats and is meaningless for ebooks. I wish Amazon would use word count. Some non-fiction ebooks are padded to seem larger. Graphic novels or mainly illustrated books need to be physically flipped. Word count or pages tells you nothing about them.

The size says nothing about quality in any genre, though Detective & Romance tend to be shorter. Many Romance & Detective novels might be great and only qualify as a novella in modern Fantasy terms.   SF has got longer since 1950s. Thrillers tend to medium sized.

The length is whatever is needed to tell the story.  I never have a target word count. Nor should any author unless writing for newspapers or magazines.

8
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Continuity errors
« on: August 10, 2019, 04:26:59 PM »
It's funny how these things are heavily influenced by the readers' knowledge and experience: I wouldn't even blink at reading that, as my knowledge of wood is zero, hehe

Me = This is a tree. This is a little tree, that is a big tree, with darker wood. Trees, lots of trees. You can do things with wood, any wood
 ;D
Obviously you've never bought tools for DIY and read the description. Wondered if metal, plastic or wooden handle is best on a hammer. Wood actually is best, but decent ones are the most expensive.

They STILL sell axes and hatchets with wooden handles.

It's a lot of work to write a first draft of a book. It's maybe x4 to x10 more to proof/revise/edit. It's really easy now to research.
Also I proof read now on an ereader, so even after the initial research, (a folder called Research and saving web pages, images, PDFs, documents and ebooks all in a per story folder), I'll look up stuff direct from ereader using wifi if not ABSOLUTELY sure I know it for a FACT. Then annotate. Later the annotations copied to a text file and further info added to resource textfiles. Then revise book in Wordprocessor.

Even imaginary stuff has reader expectations. Who was Thor's wife, Freyja's husband? What sorts of dragons are there and names?

Writers have a duty to get the simple facts right. Even in Fantasy.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Continuity errors
« on: August 10, 2019, 04:12:56 PM »
Hulls maybe, perhaps keels. I don't think masts were oak, but spruce and pine etc.

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Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: August 09, 2019, 10:07:42 PM »
Added about 700 words as well as finishing proof edit of 'The Enscorcelled Maid'. Now work on something else and come back to it fresh and proofread in a few months. But no gap ever between proofread and then edit in annotations.

11
Self Publishing Discussion / Re: Amazon Changing Free Books to 99c
« on: August 09, 2019, 10:04:58 PM »
Amazon only offers free at THEIR discretion on ANY marketplace. Smashwords is the place to have a free book (redistributes to Apple, Kobo, Barns&Noble etc). However should it be free or included?
Also you can generate discount codes for Smashwords itself.
My research suggests a downloaded free book (other than one searched for on Gutenberg etc) is less likely to be read than a bought one.

12
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Continuity errors
« on: August 09, 2019, 10:00:05 PM »
Also amazingly you CAN boil stuff in a leather bag or canvas bag. Cauldrons are for at home. Also a clay lined pit and roll hot rocks into it to boil water, but not likely while travelling.

Maybe ash, beech, hickory for an axe handle.

These are not continuity errors but lack of research.

You might soak salted pork in a stream or a bag of water for some hours, a rinse is no use, too salty. Then I suppose you might fry slices. Roasting was often started in the morning and then ready after dark for the whole community. See modern Greek whole roasted lamb recipes. Salt pork is a sort of cured meat to preserve it. That's historically expensive. Dried meat historically was much more suitable for travelling. See Jerky, Biltong and Pemmican. All dried meat. Salt preserved meat is unsuitable for travelling.

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Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: August 09, 2019, 06:53:28 PM »
I'm finally done with the first draft of my first ever, full length novel. Yee haw!  :D

Great! Now the proof reads and edits!

I'm 1/3rd way revision 8 of 'The Ensorcelled Maid', paused part way through a rewrite of 'Four Kids, One Foxe' and I've paused writing 'Robin Morgan, Faerie Prince' which comes just after 'The Wooing of Marion', now 138K words and at version 19, which looks close to being the final.
List http://www.raymccarthy.corvidspress.com/otherworld/ Currently 'The Fay Child'  IX came out this week and 'Artists and Rooks' is September. There is discussion about whether 'Dwarves and Rooks' (fully final proofed) should come out in December or January or Spring 2020. Certainly 'Goths and Rooks' and later books involving UK may need Brexit related revisions.

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Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: July 27, 2019, 08:34:38 PM »
Almost 5,000 total on 'Robin Morgan, Faerie Prince' now. I didn't spend long at it though, so only 980 words today I still need to tighten up the ending.

15
Depends if Historic style Fantasy or SF or Everyday fiction (with SF or F elements or not).

  • Any, even Romance novels: Explicit sexual descriptions. It's either boring, or irrelevant or inaccurate, or misogynous fantasy. It neither develops the story or the characters. Allusion and phrases that suggest emotion or feeling work better than attempts at explicit. The Rabbis claim only those getting married shortly should read the Song of Songs.
  • Swearing needs to be very well done and appropriate to the character and story. Some people swear all the time. No-one I know does it.
  • Overly  anachronistic  or local idiom or slang, EXCEPT in dialogue where it's appropriate to the character. But not stilted We can accept that in Alien SF, Fantasy and even historical fiction that the dialogue is translated. If you are really brilliant you might do Wilkie Collins or Conan Doyle. You'd need to be Georgette Hayer to do 18th C. Forget earlier. Especially don't duplicate Shakespeare as that was mostly stylised. Regular Elizabethan or Jacobean is pretty hard to read and forget trying to read Chaucer never mind writing like that. It has to be translated as if from French to English but having the story and dialogue appropriate. There is a famous slip in Ivanhoe.
  • US spelling of Celtic / Irish / Welsh / Scottish etc names and places in Fantasy novels. It drives about 12 m people of Celtic background mad. The rules are amazingly simple and consistent compared to English, either side of the Atlantic. Some Irish and Celtic are not the same thing. Celtic is a Pan European culture exported world wide, it's a hard C, only the Scottish football club is soft c. Gaelic is a language. Of course due to almost 3800 years use many Irish and other Celtic names and places can be spelled in many different ways. Only use local spelling as in England or USA for stories set in England or USA today. See below.   

USA vs British English (or Australian, South African, Kenyan, Canadian, Nagaland in India): Write in your own native language. If you are a reader (or PUBLISHER!) accept there are different kinds of English. I don't expect USA books to be "translated". It baffles me that publishers often treat Americans as unable to read British English. They'd not do to 17th, 18th and 19th C. British/Irish authors what they do to 20th & 21st C. British and Irish Authors.

I have no problem with USA authors cutting bangs on their hair or fitting mufflers on their cars, or visiting Realtors. If the story is from a British POV or author then they need a fringe, Silencer and an Estate Agent.
Um, a story set in Ireland (the Country, rather than Northern Ireland part of UK) will not have an Estate Agent, they are called Auctioneers in Ireland even if they never ever run auctions. Negative connotations of the 18th & 19th C Absentee Landlord's Estate Agent!

So also language and terms that doesn't fit with the background of the main POV trip me up. I expect a USA, British and Irish high school to be rather different (they don't even have the same names).

   


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