Back in August of 2014 I posted plans to follow the Liliana Nirvana technique or more so thoughts to do so... The idea of this is to release multiple works at once followed by another work approximately 30 days later. The idea here, in brief, is rapid shot exposure of your name and books hopefully taking multiple spots on the Amazon Hot New Release list and stoking the ever-burning mysterious fires of the Amazon algo system to hopefully propel yourself into decent sales...
... but I didn't do it and here is why.
1. I wasn't ready
I was still learning the ropes of Indie publishing. I was new to Twitter and I knew nothing of Facebook ads (actually I didn't have a Facebook page). I also did not have my covers and considering Saints of Wura was my first trilogy, I was still learning about WRITING AND EDITING a trilogy. I'm not going to get into it now but consistency is king and sometimes that consistency gets dethroned inadvertently causing plot issues.
2. Book Three was not in a concrete state
I still changed stuff... not small stuff either, fairly large plot-centric ideas that I've warped a bit from the original forms. Heck, I was missing a whole sub-plot that developed in book two. This is really an experience issue more than anything. Thankfully, I'm not new anymore. :)
3. Financial Issues
The mere costs of pushing 4-5 books at once is prohibitive to this for *most* new authors. I've struggled for a myriad of reasons just to deliver book three and finish out the trilogy. I feel this technique is best employed once you have a few books out or if you have that one hit wonder that shoots up the lists and you then have the income to work on that many books at once.
SO? What is the point of this you ask?
As I close out this year I will have one complete trilogy. (YAY!) But I'm already on book three of a *new* 5 book series set in the same world as my first three. I am strongly considering attempting this (The Liliana Nirvana Technique) again, perhaps even with crowd funding to help financially support it. But my reason is one that I didn't have before... my readers.
I didn't have many readers back in August of 2014. Now I do and I am beyond thankful for them! I don't want to make people wait. I want to provide an escape into a fantasy world just as quickly as I can write it and deliver a story that delivers everything that readers expect. I don't want to give you one book and make you wait 6 months. I want you to have a new set of books. This aspiration may seem strange but the truth is there are a lot of much more well know indies producing a novel a month. This isn't an impossible feat and it is one that I aspire to because of my love of creation.
3 years ago the world of the Saints of Wura was merely a snowy mountain, an assassin, and a vampire lord. Now, that world has grown to five novels, numerous short stories, and at least three additional novels that are in the plotting phase... and to think, it all started off as a simple sentence.
We will see what 2016 brings. :)
Hello on this November 25th. Normally, I would've done a nice "pre-nano" post but alas, it did not happen. So if you're anything like me and in a slightly manic mad dash to 50k, I listed a few tips that helped me play catch up.
First, I will do an actual post-NaNo post with word counts and such but this is more of quick and dirty guide to pushing through.
1. 15 minute sprints
I don't care what your day consists of, 15 minute words sprints are possible... seriously, 15 minutes if nothing else, should be something you can do. For me this equals around 500 words on average... even if you get 100 words, it is a start. In general, if I can find just 15 minutes, finding 30 or 45 minutes becomes ALOT easier. Weird how that happens.
2. Quick Notes
This is a really basic outline skill I've learned to love after 6 books written in NaNo style. If you get stuck, step away from the computer and walk around, smoke, have a drink of um... water... do something else for around 5 minutes. Then sit back down reread your last paragraph and then on a scratch piece of paper (change the writing medium is the idea here) scribble down in very plain point a to point b to point c what needs to happen in your story. For some reason, this works to jumpstart and can get you out of a rut.
3. Little goals
I've been setting myself 5k word days to play catch up. (more on this in another post)
At each 1k I have a different "prize"
1k I get to have a second cup of coffee
2k Music break to recharge ( 1-3 songs)
3k Lunch/ dinner break depending on the time
4k Coffee!! (Again)
5k Free time/Smoke/Preferred Drink (depends on where I am)
These obviously are personal goals. Sometimes if I'm hitting a snag, I will set a goal (from wherever I am at that point) of 500 more words and I can check Twitter, Facebook, Etc. The point is to train your brain to not make up excuses to give up and otherwise lead to that phantom "writer's block" that I really don't feel exists except in our own minds to start with... that being said, an angry block looking thing is staring at me on my right side... or perhaps this is what happens when you consume TOO much caffeine.
Good luck in these final days of NaNoWriMo 2015!
I never really had an actual term for the way I write novels. It was when I was setting up my profile on Twitter the term "binge writing" entered my mind and it is fairly appropriate. Write a lot one day, not much the next, maybe not much more the next, and then write like crazy again. Not very efficient but when you look at the fact I am writing 5000- 8000 words every few days, it works for me and my schedule.
I have read plenty of books and articles on writing and I do believe it is a good thing for us writers to write something everyday but it is necessary to write 2000 words a day? Eh, if it works for you great, but if not, find a method that does work. Most of us have lives where writing is a kind of "back burner" thing, we want to do it, we try to do it, but it isn't easily done.
I didn't jump to binge writing, I use to only write in small 500 word chunks but then BOOM, enter NaNoWriMo 2007. I started 8 days late and busted out 48,900 words before the midnight cut off. Quite a feat, in my opinion, considering before that the most I had written of a "novel" was 37,000 words over the course of three years.
I didn't attempt NaNo again until 2012 and this time I was ready. I started on time and completed my 50,000 words by 11/20. Most days I easily hit 1667, the daily amount needed to reach the goal mark in 30 days, and a few days I hit 3000-4000. At the end of 30 days, I had reached 67'000 words.
But that wasn't enough. I wanted a challenge. I decided at this point that by the time November 30th 2013 came around I was going to have three complete novels. (first draft wise, of course.)
To make the post shorter, I will skip over my plotting and worlbuilding conundrums (believe me, there are many!) and tell you I hosted by own NaNoWriMo type event with the same 30 day timeline. On book 2, written in June, I wrote 2-3 days a week, averaging around 4000-8000 words per day I actually wrote. Not bad, and the novel's first draft came to around 70,000 words.
NanoWriMo 2013 was interesting. I had less days of writing but set my own personal record of words in one day at 11,017. Thinking about that, it is crazy. Talk about a binge session! I think I still have a headache sometimes from that marathon! At the end of 30 days, I made it to my goal and completed book three thus reaching my goal of three novels in roughly a year.
Now by no means was (or is) my work done. There are pitfalls to writing novels this quickly but I feel accomplished that I actually was able to write three drafts in that time period. And in case you are wondering, on Book one of the three, I was very much a
"pantser". I jotted down a few ideas but then ran with the story. Easy to do this with a new world but with rules and precedent of a first novel book two and book three and a good deal of detailed planning. So I can best be described as a "plotting when necessary pantster".... That indeed is the key, plotting ahead of time. If you know what you will be writing, it makes the writing process that much easier!
If you want more about fast writing, I am a big fan of Rachel Aaron's 2k to 10K. Though her techniques differ from my own to a degree, her scene map organization as well as editing method are both very helpful. I recommended it to both plotters and pantsers alike!
So what has come of all this binge writing? I am now working to release Saints of Wura Book 1: Winemaker of the North this fall! Follow the link for a sample!
How do you write? Small chunks of 500-2000 words a day, or do you too have marathon writing days? Let me know in the comments!
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