Author Update: Damn the Little Gremlins Messing with My Novels

authorupdate

I mentioned in a post before (I think) that I downloaded a new text-to-speech program that I found and enjoyed. I put Kiss of The Fey in chapter by chapter to sort out the remaining typos. I think it was only a month or so ago that I did the same thing by reading Kiss of The Fey on my Kindle, and I was sure that all the typos were gone, but I still went and found a bunch more with the text-to-speech program.

Clearly, little gremlins have been going through my work and putting typos where they have no business being. Obviously, I am not amused. If they put in any more after this, I am just throwing up the white flag in surrender. I can’t afford an editor and I cannot read through Kiss of The Fey another time this year. Maybe the next two years. I just hate it so much that it will cause me physical pain to do so until I take some time away from it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like the story and I’m still proud of myself, but I’ve read it something like a dozen or more times in the last year and not only will it hurt, but I think that if I read it again I may actually die.

I need more reviews for Kiss of The Fey both overall and ones that don’t mention typos, so I’ll be doing a free promotion on Amazon next weekend. At the end it will also include the first sneak peak at Wildflower Crown! Just the prologue so far, though both the prologue and the first chapter will be available before Wildflower Crown goes on sale.

As for Wildflower Crown, the publishing date is set right now to be June 1st, but I don’t know if that will happen as planned or not. I just got finished with the 3rd draft and so I don’t get sick of it like I have with Kiss of The Fey, I’ll be waiting a few days before starting the final content edit… which will then be followed by heavy proofreading. And more gremlins. Yay. At the very least, reading it over with the text-to-speech program FIRST should save me a lot of grief.

I think my writing has improved since my previous novel and that Wildflower Crown will be a really enjoyable read. Hopefully. (Obviously I write with the intention of having other people read it and enjoy it!) It’s little more fun than Kiss of The Fey, I think the characterization is a little better, and hopefully in my initial release when I go around begging for reviews the reviews won’t mention any typos. I’m not messing around this time!

-Charlotte Cyprus

P.S. Not writing related, but it is FINALLY warming up here. By warm, I do mean 40-50 degrees, but AS IT SNOWED ON TUESDAY I WILL GLADLY ACCEPT 50 DEGREES. Of course, April showers bring May flowers, so it’s now going to rain for like 30 days straight, but as long as it keeps getting warmer and my foot keeps healing I will not complain.

Love is Obsession?

I admit that at 20 years of age I am not worldly or experienced, nor have I read all the world of literature has to offer. However, it seems like recently, there is a new trend.

Obsession.

Now, obsession isn’t new. It’s been used before and I’ve read it portrayed accurately: as a character flaw.

I love my boyfriend. I am not obsessed with him. I don’t follow him around, go through his phone, or read through his emails. I don’t demand to be with him any second of the day or threaten bodily harm to anyone who touches him. That would not be sexy. That would be creepy.

Only… is it creepy? 50 Shades of Grey, Twilight, Apolonia, and Viper Game. These are all fairly new books that have not love, not romance, but obsession.

Christian Gray stalks Ana, buys her a new car without her permission, and doesn’t allow her to see her male friends.

Edward watches Bella while she sleeps in addition to all the creepy stuff E. L. James stole for 50 Shades.

In Apolonia, the main character is the interest of two boys, both of whom want to follow her around at all times.

Viper Games, a book I’m reading right now, has a main character who is genetically enhanced to be pretty and sexy, and the male lead threatens to kill his own best friends if they dare touch her. Literally, touch. As in, handshake. He tells her not to seduce another man or else she’ll be responsible for their deaths and he doesn’t want that.

*Sigh* Soooo romantic.

Do women want this? To be obsessed over? Is love no longer enough?

Obsession: an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind

When a man obsessive over you, you are literally all he thinks about. There is no time for fun or games or work or personality, only you. That’s what the characters in these books are like and these books are flying off the shelves. What’s wrong with the market that this is what is selling? Is it something wrong with women? Have we been duped into believing that love isn’t enough, that we need fanatical devotion and obsession?

What are your thoughts on this? Is this a new trend, or just something I’m now picking up on?

A Tale of Editing and Insanity

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Day 1: I have killed off a character. Well, not killed so much as erased all traces of his existence. Sorry, Quade. You didn’t fit into the story like I originally thought you would. On the bright side, I can use his name in another story now. (I get irrationally attached to the names I give my characters. Not the characters themselves, just the names.)

I managed to get the prologue and chapter one edited. There is a scene that needs to be written that I’ve decided to add. To make up for getting rid of the one character, I’m giving another character his own voice. He’s a criminal, so his POV should be interesting.

Unfortunately, I realized that my fun-loving and carefree character is a bit more timid than I thought. Poo. Get your shit together, Wild. YOUR NAME IS WILD FOR FUCK’S SAKE. COME ON.

Progress: 10% done. I’m already falling behind!

giphy

Day 2: Shit. Is this really my novel? Err… not too sure of this anymore. Maybe I’ll become a rapper or something. Writing doesn’t seem to be my thing.

I’ve added more scenes to be written by my new character’s POV. He was a total asshole in the first draft, ready to abandon Wild without any qualms, but now he’s being forced to leave her and he feels kinda bad.

The good news it that I’ve already made Daivat more surly, though he’s less likable now. His fascination with throwing knives also seems a little unhealthy at this point, but that’s for the best. Also I got into a fight on Facebook (well, I was yelled at) because Daivat is apparently a pedophile for finding Wild attractive before he knew her age.

Catcaller: Yo baby let me see some ID.
Female Passerby: *hands over driver’s license, birth certificate, and proof of insurance*
Catcaller: Oh yeah baby, 18, damn you fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

(That is an OFFICIAL excerpt from Wildflower Crown.)

Also, I’ve somehow increased the word count? This is good, but I’m not sure how this is happening. Chapter two is edited, as is chapter three, and some of chapter three has been extended to start chapter four.

Progress: 29% done. Back on track!

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Day 3: I have Senioritis. Does that happen in college? I think it does. Why go to class when I could be editing?

Anyways, I switched one of the scenes to the queen’s POV because she kind of comes off like … a nice Umbridge. So her thoughts help show who she really is despite her outwards appearance. Plus, this will make it less weird when I have the next POV of hers since that was the only one in the book.

Problem: I have no idea how old my character is. You see, in Kiss of The Fey I established Cadmus being around Xenos’s age, who was 30, and now in Wildflower Crown Cadmus is just a boy. I want to make him 13, but I also want him to have left right after Johara was born, and I don’t know how old she is. It’s between 19-25, but that’s a big window. I don’t think this is something readers would ever notice, especially when Cadmus’s age isn’t given a number in Kiss of The Fey, but it still bothers me. Bah humbug.

I’ve made it to the start of chapter six this time. Woo!

Progress: 47% done. Almost halfway!

hurdle

Day 4: I’m cutting even more stuff out. I had to give Daivat’s ex-lover a name so I asked my Facebook friend (who has trouble with the ladies) for a heart-breaker name and he said Sarah. Well. Alright. Sarah it is. Boring, but whatever. I think I only mention her like twice.

I got through chapter six and part of seven. I got distracted and ended up stopping in the middle of a scene, and it happens to be the first sex scene. But at least I got through all the horse nonsense (which has nothing to do with the sex scenes, to clarify) that was a jumbled mess before.

Progress: 63% done.

panic

Day 5: Oh, right, picking right back up in the middle of a sex scene. Not only am I not happy with how late into the book it takes place (I don’t know of a natural way to push it forward, either) but I put a line break, meaning that I was planning to add something, but now I can’t remember what. So whatever brilliant line was there earlier is gone now.

I just…. I just found an error. Like, a big deal. I called my character by a different character’s name. It was the main character. Her name is Wild. I called her Wren. That is the main character of Only in Whispers. And… I almost missed it at first. A+ to me. Good job.

He was wearing one of his mother’s older dresses.

One letter makes a big difference, guys. Don’t forget that.

I just realized how often my characters blush. I think that’s a thing that gets annoying to readers. Like I don’t know, I just think that’s a thing. I’ll have to cut out all of Wild’s blushes during the next edit, but I’m keeping all of Daivat’s. Also, I’m watching Final Destination 3 while trying to edit, so everything in the novel seems creepier than it is.

Progress: 75% done.

yes

Day 6: Okay, I admit that this gif has no relation at all to my writing, I just wanted it in there.

I added an entire chapter of scenes to write. Haven’t written them yet, of course, but it should help with how rushed the first draft was. I have a scene where Rosabel must bathe in the blood of the innocents skin a rabbit cause fuck you, honey, you need to learn about the real world, and then another sexy scene between Daivat and Wild. Can’t have enough of those, can you?

I’ve managed to extend things enough that parts of chapter nine are now in chapter eleven. Wooo! I know you’re supposed to take away during editing, but I rushed to finish the first draft with a lot of bullshit that I know I’m going to delete, so I need to extend the rest of it.

Progress: 93% done. So close!

ds

Day 7: You know, I’m quite proud of myself for the scene where Rosabel breaks into the castle. It won’t be perfect until I go through it with a few more rounds of editing, but it still makes me happy to see that everything I wrote isn’t complete shit.

For the rest of this, though… the gif above about covers it. I had a whole ridiculous fairy gathering with like naked fairies living in trees and that is ALL being cut out. All of it. I don’t need such a silly plot to get this story finished. I don’t know what I need to finish it, but it’s not that. I think instead I’ll add a scene with Cadmus’s POV of meeting the girl he has to marry for the second time and having her be way less charitable than Wild.

Progress: 100% done!

giphy (1)So… what did y’all get done this week?

50 Shades of Train Wreck

cxChristian and I dance around the Ball Room gracefully. By some grace of God, I don’t trip, even when Christian twirls me in a spin.

“Are you enjoying yourself, Mrs. Grey?” Christian asks, looking to his mother, who sits in the corner. Exhibitionism is his newest fetish. I hated it, at first, but because it was in our contract, I found that I couldn’t stop it from happening.

Mrs. Grey, of course, declines to answer. Christian made her sign a contract as well. She signed it, thinking highly of her son, knowing he would never trick her, but now she must not speak of what she sees, and she’s legally bound to endure our show. He’s so romantic like that, my Christian. So loving.

Continue reading

Dealing With a Bad Review

Some people will really hate your book.

Some people will really hate your book,

So today, I got a three star review. That might not seem so bad, but the review had almost nothing positive to say. I’m in no way trying to call that reviewer out or focus on the review itself, only to call attention to the fact that it’s hard to deal with a bad review, especially when you may disagree what the person said.

For instance, if they say, “Bob’s sister was Mary, not Jane! That’s a serious consistency error!” you’re not allowed to show them to page 58 where you introduce Jane and Mary as Bob’s sisters, plural, and throttle them until they take back your two-star rating. It doesn’t work like that.

People will find creative reasons why they didn't like your book.

and they’ll find creative reasons for why they hate it.

In a perfect world, people would only read books they liked, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen. People will read your book and not like it. It’s inevitable. They’ll read your book because they liked your cover then complain that they don’t like the genre. They’ll read it and hate it and speed through it just to finish and then complain that your story felt rushed. The only way past is to just get over it.

There will always be critics.

There will always be critics,

Harry Potter has tons of bad reviews. 50 Shades of Grey has tons of good reviews. One review either way will not make or break your story. Some people just aren’t going to like your story. It will be too sexy for them or too fantasy or your character’s name will remind them of their ex. Whatever it is, it’s not a big deal. They aren’t your target audience.

You will always have fans, though.

but you will always have fans, too.

First, you need to remind yourself: You wrote a book. That’s a big accomplishment, so good on you. At least you wrote it and got it out there.

Next, ignore the bad reviews. Look at all the nice ones you’ve gotten. Focus on the positive, not the negative. Every time a review is even slightly critical, I think about the one fan I have who requested to buy my book before it was published and has nothing but good things to say about it.

Your fans will always have something nice to say.

They’re the ones you’re writing for,

Lastly, remember that you can always take it back. If your book gets only bad reviews, maybe it isn’t ready for the world. You can take it down, do some serious rewriting, and then release it as a second edition. All the reviews, good or bad, will be wiped clean. You can have a fresh start.

So just move right past the bad stuff.

so just move right past the bad stuff.

How do you handle a bad review?

My Bookshelf: How to Kill Yourself in a Small Town

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Title: How to Kill Yourself in a Small Town

Author: eden Hudson

Series: Redneck Apocalypse Book 1

Genre: Fantasy/New Adult

Amazon Summary:
The holy champion chosen to save the world is enslaved to a sadistic fallen angel and losing the battle for his sanity.

The guy chosen to save the holy champion is his binge-drinking redneck brother.

So, basically, the world is screwed.

Meet the Whitney boys:
Colt—a mentally unstable holy soldier with a rapidly deteriorating hold on reality. His last plan to rid the world of evil either failed horribly or went off without a hitch. With the constant torture and brainwashing, it’s getting hard to be sure of anything but the sick attachment he’s developing to his beautiful tormentor.

Tough—a smart-mouthed honky-tonk hero trying to drown his problems in music, women, and good times. He hasn’t spoken to Colt in five years—not since their disagreement over a nymphomaniac vampire turned into a drunken slugfest—but they’re still brothers. Tough knows he can’t leave Colt fighting for his life and his sanity alone. The question is whether Tough can fight off his personal demons long enough to save Colt from the literal ones. ”

Cheers:

  • This is such a weird novel.
  • Tough might be my favorite character ever. I don’t know why, but I loved everything about him. Even when he made bad choices or fucked up, I still loved him, and that he couldn’t talk made everything better, I think.
  • The names were weird without everything being a big deal.
  • The whole fallen angels and vampires and sirens thing was done pretty casually. The author didn’t go to great lengths to info dump the whole situation in the first chapter, but instead revealed it all at a natural pace.
  • The plot and information is really deeply woven. There’s a lot going on.
  • I HATE religious themed things or anything that has anything to do with religion. I had to put down a book about fallen angels and stuff that had good reviews for that reason, because it was so heavy on the god stuff. This book somehow doesn’t come off that way to me. God was more of a plot device than someone shoving religion at you, which is how it should read when writing non-religious fiction.

Jeers:

  • It’s a cliff-hanger. *pouts* Not that I won’t be happy to buy it. I’d have bought the paperback version of this one if it was available (and if I had any money).
  • Like I said, the author doesn’t rush to explain everything. I think this might throw off a lot of readers, but in the end, the book was still fabulous.

Would I recommend it?:
If any of you happen to follow me on Facebook, you’ll see that I already did! The story is 18+ and it may offend some of you, but I suggest that everyone try it out. I don’t know if this is a permanent thing, but right now it’s free on Amazon!

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Yourself-Small-Redneck-Apocalypse-ebook/dp/B00IJJBHDI

Author’s blog:

http://whitetrashcappuccino.blogspot.com/

My Bookshelf: When She Smiled

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Title: When She Smiled

Author: Ritoban Chakrabarti

Genre: Young Adult/Romance

Amazon Summary:
“Mrityunjoy Roy is a fifteen year old Bengali who has spent the last ten years of his life growing up in Shimla, India. While his family is completely academically oriented, he wants something more. Finally he meets Akanksha in school, who turns his world upside down with her gorgeous looks and mind boggling smile. As fate would have it, she joins his tuition, and thus begins the torrid year of puppy love, romance, heartbreak, tragedy, and self discovery. Set among the scenic Shivalik hills of Shimla when mobile phones and internet were non-existent, this is a story of how an average young teenager comes to terms with his destiny.”

Cheers:

  • Well, I thought it would be interesting to read a book set in India.

Jeers:

  • But it wasn’t.
  • The writing is what killed this story. It’s just not well-written. I forced myself father than I normally would to find something that would make me want to keep reading this book, but I couldn’t. The writing was just terrible. Not the grammar or typos or anything, just the writing style. It was juvenile and not engaging.

Would I recommend it?:
No. I really find the writing to be terrible. Over a span of days I forced myself to read eight chapters, but I finally just had to put it down. The other reviews talk about how great the plot was and all, but a book has to be well-rounded. Readers shouldn’t have to force themselves to finish a book.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/When-She-Smiled-Ritoban-Chakrabarti-ebook/dp/B00QFXTPL6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

My Bookshelf: Since You’ve Been Gone

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This is the UK cover. US cover is different, but I read the UK version.

Title: Since You’ve Been Gone

Author: Anouska Night

Genre: Romance

Amazon Summary:
How do you learn to love again?

In one tragic moment, Holly Jefferson’s life as she knew it changed forever. Now—to the external world, at least—she’s finally getting back on her feet, running her bakery, Cake. But inside, she’s still going through the motions befitting a twenty-seven-year-old widow.

Then she meets Ciaran Argyll. His privileged and charmed life feels a million miles from her own. However, there’s more to Ciaran than the superficial world that surrounds him, and he, too, is wrestling with his own ghosts. Will Holly find the missing ingredient that allows her to live again—and embrace an unknown and unexpected tomorrow?”

Cheers:

  • It involved cake. I enjoy cake. I now want to try to make Butterbeer cupcakes, but I don’t know if they’re a thing. (Those aren’t in the book, I just want some Butterbeer cupcakes).
  • Fergal was awesome. He’s the MMC’s dad. And he’s crazy.

Jeers:

  • It was an “eh” book. I read to the end, but I’m not really sure why.
  • I didn’t feel anything towards Ciaran. Maybe it’s because I have no idea how to pronounce his name, but probably more because he has no personality. He’s just there, and he’s hot and rich. And damaged from his past. So what? There was just no draw to him. I felt more towards the dead husband.
  • The book opens with a sex scene… about the dead husband and the FMC. I was confused for a bit about if he was dead or not or if there were time jumps or what was happening.
  • Most of the characters came off as being rather flat.
  • Nothing in the book made me feel anything. The only time I felt some emotion was when I learned that the husband died young, just because I have a boyfriend who I don’t want to die. That’s it. I didn’t laugh, I didn’t frown, I didn’t smile. Nothing. It was just “eh.”

Would I recommend it?:
No. If this is the kind of romance women want, I want no part in it. It was so meh. I want to feel something when I read a book, whether I’m laughing or biting my nails at whether or not the MMC and the FMC will get together. The book just seemed to drag out and keep going for no reason. I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone unless they were an avid baker, but even then I could find a better book.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Since-Youve-Been-Anouska-Knight-ebook/dp/B00I66BPV8/ref=la_B00JH220WS_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421468098&sr=1-1

My Bookshelf: Hooked on the Game

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Title: Hooked on the Game

Author: C.M. Owens

Amazon description:
“Everyone has secrets that define them, a past that has shaped them, and a game they play – whether they know it or not.

Despite the fact they live next door to each other, Kade and Raya have never made an effort to speak, until a wild party, four frat boys, and… a bulldozer.

Sterling Shore was supposed to be a new start for eighteen-year-old Raya Capperton. Everything was working out perfectly until her two roommates were expelled for a prank, leaving Raya with the house she couldn’t afford on her own. Fate intervenes before she has the chance to find a new home, but she struggles to decide if it’s divine luck or the devil’s cruel sense of humor.

Twenty-one-year-old Kade Colton has his life planned out, and everything he does is an elaborate game to aid him with his future endeavors. Coming from money has made Kade’s life easy, but he wants to build his own name – his own future. The thing he doesn’t realize… when you only put forth superficial effort, you only acquire superficial friends.

Raya is torn between being amused or disturbed by Kade and his philosophy, but the drive behind his determination isn’t what Raya expected. Little by little, her hatred fades and is replaced by emotions she never would have believed she could have for the rich jerk she desperately doesn’t want to care about. Too bad you can’t force yourself not to care.

The problem is… Kade’s shiny name can’t be tarnished, and Raya has a jaded tie she can’t cut loose. Nothing about them can work, nothing about them makes sense, but nothing can seem to stop them from trying.”

My Description:
“Ember is almost forgotten as I stare into the endless pools of blue that suddenly carry such a meaningful depth instead of a guise of shallowness.”

With a line like that, you know it’s going to be a fabulous book.

Oh, wait, sorry, I was being sarcastic. That’s actually the line that made me put this book down.

Cheers:

  • I liked the part where the drunk frat boys bulldozed her house.

Jeers:

  • Literally everything else.
  • The main character is flat and shallow, making fun of all rich kids for being shallow pricks when she herself is shallow as hell for thinking that.
  • Her name is Raya. I’m sorry, but that’s a terrible name, especially for a white girl claiming to have come from Utah.
  • The entire plot set-up is preposterous. Her neighbor holds a party and random drunk guys bulldoze her house, so the neighbor’s dad forces his son to let his daughter live with him? And he owns that student house? And four cars? Rich people aren’t rich because they throw around money like idiots.
  • There are a lot of typos. I know my book wasn’t perfect, so I’m being lenient, but in the first few chapters I found multiple instances of missing quotation marks (lots of them), mixed up words, missing words…
  • Nothing that the characters did seemed genuine. Overall, it was written very poorly.

Would I recommend it?:
Even though I downloaded it when it was free, I would still say not to read it. It has a ton of good reviews on Amazon and I have no idea why. I’m thinking it’s because she has a ton of self-published eBooks available, all of which look to be of questionable quality. But hey, more power to her. She seriously needs a cover artist though (this book happens to be like her best cover).

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Hooked-Game-Sterling-Shore-Series-ebook/dp/B00KCE1K2Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

My Bookshelf: Beastly

fassTitle: Beastly

Author: Alex Flinn

Genre: YA/Urban Fantasy/Romance

Amazon summary:
“I am a beast. A beast! Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll,stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.”

My summary:
Beauty and the Beast in New York.

Cheers:

  • It was realistic and well-written.
  • I enjoyed the beast’s thoughts. Sometimes a character’s thoughts are terrible and add nothing to the story, but this wasn’t the case.
  • It was an enjoyable story. Nothing deep that you haven’t seen with every single “Beauty and the Beast” story, but it was still enjoyable.

Jeers:

  • I hated the weird text chat thing. So weird and unnecessary.
  • Not related: This has absolutely everything to do with the movie and not the book, but I hate that the movie beast and the book beast looked different. I think the movie beast was a lot better at making a modern day beast, though obviously it failed in making Lindy unattractive because Hollywood can’t possibly make a movie about genuinely unattractive people.

Would I recommend it?:
Yeah. I’ve been meaning to read this for years, literally, because my friend gave it to me with a huge bag of books in high school, but I just never got around to it. I watched the movie and remember liking it enough, but I felt like I might be a little old for the book. Still, I enjoyed it, and it’s been out long enough that it shouldn’t be hard enough to find a really cheap paperback. It’s literally just the story of Beauty and the Beast though, nothing new, but since I love the Beauty and the Beast that was fine for me.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Beastly-Alex-Flinn/dp/0061963283