Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday 20

I have to apologize -- I thought I had posted the winner of the Mindtracks giveaway, but for some reason Blogger decided it was a draft instead of an entry, which is why it never showed up on the blog. We actually did get out the magic hat earlier this week, and the winner is:

Heather

Heather, when you have a chance, e-mail your musicwish and ship-to information to LynnViehl@aol.com so I can get your winnings out to you, and thanks to everyone for sharing your musical inspirations.

Last week I was rearranging the filing cabinets when I came across the final manuscript for Blade Dancer, my first SF novel published in hardcover. Finding an old manuscript can be like thumbing through an old photo album; you sit down and fondly reminisce about the good old days. I felt a little startled by the date; five years ago I sent off this massive pile of paper to become a book.

Like the StarDoc novels, Blade Dancer sold well, and eventually came out in a mass market edition, which is still in print. Unfortunately, it was published just as Ace took over the Roc imprint, and most of my SF landed on the backburner. BD became a casualty of the move. The seven other novels I had planned to write about Jory and crew went into the Someday File and I moved on to other things.

Not much has happened with BD on the publishing front over the last five years, but behind the scenes, the book slowly gathered a following among high school and college students. These kids began writing to me, and oddly enough there were few demands for more BD novels. They had plenty of questions about the characters, however, as well as the HouseClans, Tarek Varena, journey philosophy, and the fighting arts involved in the story. Gamers, RPGers and graphic novel readers also seemed to like the novel a lot. So did fans of the Highlander television series. Many went on to read my StarDoc novels because of BD.

The continuing popularity did puzzle me for a while, until I realized that Blade Dancer's longevity is due to the willingness of booksellers to keep SF in stock for many months or even years. I see copies of this five-year-old book in stores that don't stock my books in other genres that were published only five months ago.

I can't really say if I will ever publish in print another short story, novella or novel about Jory and the crew. I know what happens to them far beyond the timeline of the novel, of course; I did outline seven more books about them. I wouldn't mind jumping back into their part of the StarDoc universe, either, and it's something to think about as a future project, possibly after I finish up StarDoc. But for now, Blade Dancer will go on as it has for the last five years; one of my quiet, out-of-sight successes.

I will celebrate BD's five year anniversary by drawing five names at random from everyone who responds to this post in comments today by midnight EST, and send the winners a signed mass market edition of Blade Dancer. You can ask me a question as always on Friday, or just throw your name in the hat. Giveaway open to everyone on the planet even if you've won something here in the past, etc.

So what's up with you guys?

68 comments:

  1. Ooh, I actually have a question! Have you ever been accused of plagiarism? I was accused of plagiarising some school work recently, and the topic's been weighing on my mind a bit. So, I guess I was wondering how an author, who has a lot more invested in her words than I do in mine, would deal with that accusation.

    (Of course, if you don't want to answer that question, it's fine- it is a pretty heavy question, after all, and I'm sorry if I offended you).

    And, of course, enjoy your weekend :)

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  2. Hmm, no questions for today. But I just thought you might be entertained to note that you are going to be fan-arted, ma'am. Well, actually, not you--three of your characters. Cherigo, Jory and Jadaira.

    An artist friend of mine is painting me a poster for my birthday, and I thought it would be fun to have a unique fan poster of sorts. So I really hope I win the contest so I can send my friend my first copy of Blade Dancer to get her hooked and draw an accurate representation of Jory and her green eyes. ^_~ Not that the original cover art isn't gorgeous already, though!

    Congrats on all the success with Stardoc!! Your wonderfully exciting writing style, wit, and originality are obviously appealing to a wide variety of audiences. ^_^

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  3. *Edit: I meant to say congratulations on the wide appeal of Blade Dancer, but I guess that applies to your StarDoc series too, doesn't it? ^_~

    Well, let's just say I'm thrilled for you in general--on all of your successes! :D

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  4. Too tired to think of a question today, but throwing my name in the hat anyway because I've never seen or heard of BD and I would love to read it.

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  5. Happy five year anniversary with Blade Dancer!

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  6. I can't think of a question, but I would love a copy of Blade Dancer as I've been looking for a while.

    Can I throw my name in the hat please?

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  7. Happy 5th Year to Blade Dancer!

    Throwing my name in too.*g*

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  8. Of all the characters you've written, which one (or ones, if you can't just pick one :)) was the most fun to write? And why? :)

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  9. I'll pick up on that question you mentioned earlier... where did th fighting styles come from? I use a lot of (Western) martial arts in my tall tales because I have experience of them.

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  10. Hiya!
    Got a question to ask. Have you ever had a situation where the only thing your characters ever seem to do is sit around drinking tea (and chatting)? My characters seem to do that and I don't know how to inject more action into the story. Thanks.

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  11. Happy anniversary to Blade Dancer!

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  12. Bridget Medora7:09 AM

    Happy 5th Blade Dancer anniversary! =)

    I've not read Blade Dancer yet either, and I'd love to...thanks for having this drawing! :)

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  13. Melissa B.7:41 AM

    Hey Lynn,

    I started off with StarDoc, and bought Blade Dancer because of it. But I have to admit, even though Cherijo is awesome I like Jory more. I'm one of those fans who would love to see more books about her and her family, but I understand it's not a priority.

    I had a question last week but I totally forgot it. :S So hopefully it pops up later.

    Thanks for all the great books and don't forget to put my name in the hat. ;)

    -Melissa

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  14. Wesley7:45 AM

    My questions would be how long did you write before Blade Dancer was published? What kind of emotional rollercoaster did you go through in getting it published? What lessons did you learn and what would you have done differently?

    Please put my name in the hat for the book.

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  15. What's up with me? Well, this morning the kidlets are going to their parents for an overnighter or two. Whoopee! I am turning off the internet for the weekend and getting cozy with my laptop. Hoping to get two chapters done before the kids come back.

    So, my question is, when life is nutbar and driving you crazy, when nothing around you is under your control, how do you manage to make writing time? I know you mostly write in definite scheduled blocks. Can you work in stolen moments? How did you manage when the kids were teeny and untrained in 'Please go play, Mom has to write now'?

    Congrats on BD's anniversary!!

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  16. All of my books are still packed in boxes from my move (Connecticut to Oklahoma).

    I'm itching to reread the StarDoc novels again, so I will be trying to find space for some book shelves, so I can unpack my books. And, I might even get room to put the car in the garage again!

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  17. I already have a copy, but then again I have friends who don't. So put my name in the hat :).

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  18. Anonymous9:30 AM

    No question but a big thanks for all you do for the community. I still remember your novel notebook outline from FM and appreciate your sharing of that and so much more.

    I'd also like to throw my name in for the drawing.

    Thanks,

    Jacquelyn

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  19. Happy 5-year Anniversary! That has got to be the coolest thing ever.

    No question from me this week. I'm just throwing my hat in the ring. I'd love to read Blade Dancer, so even if I don't win, I'll probably be finding a copy on my own. BTW, thanks for answering my last week question.

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  20. What's up with me? I'm up to my eyeballs in make-up assignments in college alg., we have a project due today which I couldn't do because their site has been down, and I have a test. *sigh* It's been one of those weeks. Ha ha, but on the plus side, today is the end to all the chaos because today my make-up work is due, the test will be done, the project will or won't be done, and I'll be free!

    My question for the week: when you're planning out your stories, which comes first: plot, world, or characters?

    Happy 5th to BD!

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  21. Happy 5th anniversary for Blade Dancer.

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  22. Ashlyn wrote: Ooh, I actually have a question! Have you ever been accused of plagiarism?

    No, but I've had about a thousand writers tell me that they had an idea just like StarDoc that they never got around to writing into a story (accompanied by an angry glare that seemed to indicate their belief that I had used my psychic powers to rifle through their brain matter.)

    I was accused of plagiarising some school work recently, and the topic's been weighing on my mind a bit. So, I guess I was wondering how an author, who has a lot more invested in her words than I do in mine, would deal with that accusation.

    I write down everything as I develop a novel idea, and keep all my notes and outlines on my work. I also keep running lists of all the nonfic books I read to research certain time periods, weaponry, cultures, etc. A lot of my work is based on stories I wrote ten or fifteen years before I attempted the novel, so I can usually show a significant amount of personal and story history.

    Of course, if you don't want to answer that question, it's fine- it is a pretty heavy question, after all, and I'm sorry if I offended you.

    I think it's a valid question, and it didn't offend me at all. I guess I've never worried about it happening to me because I am so contrary about writing unique story lines, and my stories don't resemble anything being published by the majority of writers in the respective genre. I may not follow the herd, but in this case, that's a good thing. :)

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  23. Blade Dancer is the first book of yours I read (not all that long ago, actually). It felt unfinished to me, so I do hope you get to write more at some point.

    I know you use VR-software for writing. Do you have any advice as to what kind works well, or how to use it to best advantage? (I'm currently helping a Ph.D. candidate with CP, and she's having trouble keeping pace with the amount of writing.)

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  24. Can you flesh out some of the abbreviations you use more often? Some are pretty obvious (WIP, for example), but some I just don't recognize (ARC, for example).

    (I'll admit, BD threw me off in this post until I used my brain for a few seconds and realized it meant "Blade Dancer". This is why I don't think I'll ever be a morning writer as you are--my brain doesn't turn on until about 4:30 PM.)

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  25. lleo wrote: Hmm, no questions for today. But I just thought you might be entertained to note that you are going to be fan-arted, ma'am. Well, actually, not you--three of your characters. Cherigo, Jory and Jadaira.

    Whee! I love fan art. :)

    An artist friend of mine is painting me a poster for my birthday, and I thought it would be fun to have a unique fan poster of sorts. So I really hope I win the contest so I can send my friend my first copy of Blade Dancer to get her hooked and draw an accurate representation of Jory and her green eyes. ^_~ Not that the original cover art isn't gorgeous already, though!

    What a cool idea. I had some friends do something similar for me for a birthday -- they photoshopped a pic of me into a collage of all the characters from the cover art for the StarDoc novels. But nothing beats original fan art.

    Congrats on all the success with Stardoc!! Your wonderfully exciting writing style, wit, and originality are obviously appealing to a wide variety of audiences. ^_^

    From your comment to God's ears. :) Thanks.

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  26. Happy b-day to Blade Dancer!

    Here's my question - what do you do when one character has to give another character information that the reader already knows? Like something important that happened when he/she was unconscious or hurt? Without making it sound like a big recap?

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  27. I don't have a question today (which is pretty bizarre, since I tend to ask questions like a first-grader...endlessly!) But I'm throwing my name in the hat, because I just finished my copyedits, and I'm a good two weeks ahead of my deadline!

    happy dance

    Misty

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  28. Do ideas for other stories ever impede your progress on your current WIP?

    Any advice for remaining focused on one project, or is "Damn these voices in my head! But I better jot that down because I'll need it later" an appropriate response whenever inspiration comes aknockin'?

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  29. Megha wrote: Of all the characters you've written, which one (or ones, if you can't just pick one :)) was the most fun to write? And why? :)

    I try not to play favorites because then the ones left out get their feelings hurt. :)

    Seriously, I think they're all fun for different reasons, but the fish-out-of-water characters like Terri Vincent from the JH books and Jory from Blade Dancer are probably my favorites. Second place would go to basically irredeemable characters like Lucan from Dark Need and Akela from Red Branch -- they don't have to follow the usual rules for protagonists, which makes writing them like a mini-vacation.

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  30. Word Nerd10:46 AM

    I read a post recently about how advances are shrinking to the point where most writers can't give up their day jobs. Should I be depressed by this news?

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  31. leatherdykeuk wrote: I'll pick up on that question you mentioned earlier... where did th fighting styles come from? I use a lot of (Western) martial arts in my tall tales because I have experience of them.

    I started by giving myself a crash course on the history of all bladed weapons, to understand why they were developed and how and when they were used, from prehistoric to contemporary times.

    Once I felt I understood this class of weapons a little better (my personal experiences up to then had been mainly with firearms), I began studying a lot of the different cultures and the methods they used, but I kept coming back to the Japanese style of Eishin-Ryu Iaido as it was practiced under the code of bushido, the way of the warrior.

    The kata, or pre-arranged forms used to teach iaido to students, particularly interested me. They learn how to use the sword by defending themselves against imaginary attacks -- that became the basic foundation of the Tana training methods I used in the novel. Bushido also played a aignificant part inspiring the consequences of becoming a blade dancer and a big chunk of the world building for Reytalon.

    I wanted to take it beyond Japanese swordsmanship and the other methods developed during our history, and I consulted with some Americans experience in the street-fighter school of the blade, and they argued the merits of the shorter blades for hand-to-hand combat. I got one very effective two-blade demonstration from a self-defense teacher that sparked the idea for my tan, a blade that changes length and splits into two blades for close proximity fighting.

    I modified pretty much everything according to my idea of what I needed for the story, and invented a lot of weaponry and fighting styles that simply don't exist and probably couldn't work for human beings. That's the advantage of writing SF with alien protagonists -- you don't have to adhere to human physical limitations, so I had a lot of fun with it.

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  32. Well, I didn't have a question until I read your post, but now I do! All those questions from high-school and college students about your characters and your world tell me that you imply a lot more than you reveal, and that there's an interest in hearing the rest. Have you ever considered using the StarDoc or BD universe to develop a role-playing game?

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  33. Happy five year anniverary for Blade Dancer.

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  34. Dawn wrote: Got a question to ask. Have you ever had a situation where the only thing your characters ever seem to do is sit around drinking tea (and chatting)? My characters seem to do that and I don't know how to inject more action into the story. Thanks.

    Tea party scenes! Lol. I've struggled with those, too. With my WIPs, I found they most often happen in the middle of the story when nothing too important can happen yet but the characters can't go on a cruise and come back when the real action starts.

    I combatted this mainly by weaving in running subplot threads to be resolved or mostly resolved by the middle of the book. Most of the time they involved secondary characters, too.

    I also was more careful with how I outlined the middles of my books, and looked for ways to make them more exciting for the reader. Middles can be like the Sargasso Sea sometimes. :)

    If you don't need the tea party scene to serve the story, I'd delete it. If you do need the interaction and/or the dialogue that takes place in the scene, you might try putting the characters in a situation that requires more physical action from them, or connects to the main conflict but doesn't advance the story too far as to spoil the ending.

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  35. It's too bad that Blade Dancer got lost. I found it an intriguing story, and it's on my "To Be Re-Read" shelf. I'm sure I will find more in it the second time through. Maybe you'll get the chance to write at least one more about Jory some day.

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  36. Wesley wrote: My questions would be how long did you write before Blade Dancer was published?

    Professionally, I wrote for four years before BD got into print.

    What kind of emotional rollercoaster did you go through in getting it published?

    A big, tall, scary one. :) Everyone who read the original proposal told me it was too hard a sell, it would be nearly impossible to write, and it wouldn't get published because it wasn't like StarDoc. My SF editor didn't like the proposal and advised me that no one writes books with (basically) seven protagonists. My agent told me to shelve it.

    But I believed in the book, and I fought for it, and eventually The Powers That Be got what I was trying to do and decided to publish it. Then there was another battle I had to fight over the proposed cover art, which I also won. By the time BD did get into print, I was exhausted.

    What lessons did you learn and what would you have done differently?

    I think I would have saved the manuscript for a few years, and then tried to get it into print when I had a larger SF readership. My numbers probably would have allowed me to write the entire series I had originally planned.

    I had no idea so many youngsters would read the book, and as a result I've had some qualms over the graphic content. I do not write YA and the book was intended for an adult audience. That said, I think the book's message is a good one, today's kids are a lot more sophisticated than I was at their age, and no parent has ever complained to me about their child reading it. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would likely be tempted to tone down a few things, though.

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  37. Tam wrote: So, my question is, when life is nutbar and driving you crazy, when nothing around you is under your control, how do you manage to make writing time?

    Wait until they're all asleep and then write; that's what I did. :) Or train yourself to write at a moment's notice, whenever the household is quiet and peaceful.

    I know you mostly write in definite scheduled blocks. Can you work in stolen moments?

    Occasionally, but now that my kids are older the temptation to write whenever they're occupied happens more frequently, and I could end up ignoring them for the work. Which is why I stick to a regimented schedule, so they get equal time.

    How did you manage when the kids were teeny and untrained in 'Please go play, Mom has to write now'?

    I really did do the bulk of my writing at night and during nap times. My time at the keyboard was briefer and much more fragmented, but it helped develop my focus while I was writing, and the ability to turn it off and on at a moment's notice.

    As soon as my kids were a few years old, I put them in private preschool three half-days a week. It helped them develop social skills and got them exposed to most of the germs, colds and other delights kids usually encounter in kindergarten. It also gave me three half-days a week to write, clean house, run errands, etc.

    I also swapped kids on weekends with a friend who had children the same age as mine. I'd take all the kids to the park or have a little pool party while my friend did her shopping, housework, got her hair done or whatever, and then the next weekend she would do the same for me. It worked out really well for both of us.

    My daughter wants to babysit, but she's a little young yet, so I've allowed her to start working as a mother's helper for one of our neighbors with two young children. My daughter looks after the kids and plays with them while the mother works in her home office. It frees up the mom and gives my daughter babysitting training, but mom is still there to check on things and take care of any crises. A mother's helper is a bit cheaper than a babysitter, too -- you might see f there's a girl in your area who could do the same thing for you.

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  38. Jason wrote: My question for the week: when you're planning out your stories, which comes first: plot, world, or characters?

    99% of the time, characters (which is probably why my stories are so character-driven.) Plot would be the other 1%, and usually it only comes first with short stories. World I always build around the characters and plot. :)

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  39. I bought Blade Dancer at Barnes and Noble last week, (since I can't keep the library's copy). I'd love to have a signed copy, though.

    Terri Vincent is my favorite character in your JH series, too.

    What VR software do you use? Any tips on how to use VR effectively?

    Thank you.

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  40. perpetualbeginner wrote: I know you use VR-software for writing. Do you have any advice as to what kind works well, or how to use it to best advantage? (I'm currently helping a Ph.D. candidate with CP, and she's having trouble keeping pace with the amount of writing.)

    I recommend Dragon Naturally Speaking (my main post about using it is here because it's worked so well for me and it's not as expensive as some of the other programs out there. However, I don't have a speech impairment which I know can sometimes be the case with CP patients, so it may not be the right program to recommend to your friend.

    There's a good discussion here about VRS for persons with compound and serious disabilities. Also, a comparison chart here on some of the VRS programs available on the market.

    I always recommend VRS candidates try to get a demo or try the software before they purchase it, if possible.

    The least expensive VRS I've found on the internet is IVOS, which you can read up on and download here, and is priced at $10.00 US. Another is Wave to Text, details and download here, which converts recorded as well as real-time speech to text (please note that I have not personally tried out these programs, and I'm only mentioning them because they aren't very expensive.)

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  41. Revalkorn wrote: Can you flesh out some of the abbreviations you use more often? Some are pretty obvious (WIP, for example), but some I just don't recognize (ARC, for example).

    Excellent nudge; I keep forgetting not everyone knows what I'm abbreviating. :) ARC stands for Advanced Reading Copy, and I will make a mental note to decode the abbreviations I use in the future. Thanks.

    (I'll admit, BD threw me off in this post until I used my brain for a few seconds and realized it meant "Blade Dancer". This is why I don't think I'll ever be a morning writer as you are--my brain doesn't turn on until about 4:30 PM.)

    You've got twins; you're allowed. Lol.

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  42. Laura wrote: Here's my question - what do you do when one character has to give another character information that the reader already knows? Like something important that happened when he/she was unconscious or hurt? Without making it sound like a big recap?

    There's a couple of tricks I use so I don't have to write that kind of repeat passage. One is to shorthand it into a dialogue/action tag, i.e.:

    "There's something you should know," Marcia said to John as she helped him up from the floor. She told him about Euwie's attack and her fight with the demon, and added, "Euwie is gone. The demon is still out there. What should we do now"

    Or, you can actually skip it in dialogue, i.e.:

    "Euwie is gone, but the demon is still out there," Marcia said to John as she helped him up from the floor. "I'll tell you the details later. What should we do now?"

    Or you can shorthand it in the action leading up to the dialogue, i.e.:

    After Marcia helped John up from the floor and told him about Euwie's attack and her fight with the demon, she said, "Euwie's gone but the demon is still out there. What should we do now?"

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  43. Congrats on the success and I hope it continues!

    Questions... has an editor ever wanted you to make such a big change to the story, characters, writing style etc. that it didn't feel your story anymore? If so, what did you do? I hope that's not too personal question.

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  44. Kerry wrote: Do ideas for other stories ever impede your progress on your current WIP?

    They try. I won't let them. :)

    Any advice for remaining focused on one project, or is "Damn these voices in my head! But I better jot that down because I'll need it later" an appropriate response whenever inspiration comes aknockin'?

    B.E. and I were just talking about that last week -- so I don't repeat myself and sound boring, my comments are here.

    New ideas are always exciting, which can be like a siren song when you're struggling to get something finished that isn't quite as new or untried. Learning to complete what you start and put fresh stuff on hold until you do may be one of the most important self-disciplines you can teach yourself.

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  45. word nerd wrote: I read a post recently about how advances are shrinking to the point where most writers can't give up their day jobs. Should I be depressed by this news?

    Yes and no. Yes, because I think we all agree that it's always depressing when writers can't afford to write for a living. But writing has never been a great-paying job in general. A lucky few pro writers who become overnight successes or hit at just the right moment with the right book do make a ton of money, but the majority of us struggle to make a living as full-time writers. Publishing is a business, though, and that's the reality of the business.

    And no, I wouldn't be depressed by the news for a couple of reasons. Making enough money to live on is nice, but writing as a career is about more than the Almighty Buck. If it's only about the money for you, then you might as well go into something more profitable, like selling ARCs on eBay. :)

    I've never been a fan of the enormous advance, because if the book doesn't perform, your publisher views you as a risk and in these days, that often spells the end of a career.

    Smaller advances may give writers more of a realistic chance to earn back the publisher's investment, and that will likely allow them to stay in the business longer. The longer you're in and the more books you can publish, the more opportunity you have to build a loyal readership. More readers = more potential future sales = better sell-through.

    It's taken me just about ten years to build up a readership from scratch. I didn't get many breaks, and I haven't had a fairytale career. I've had a lot of bad luck. But my readers have been intensely loyal, and they are the ones who made it/make it possible for me to do this full-time.

    The only way to earn that kind of loyalty is to write the best novels you can -- you'll never be flavor of the month, get the big awards or become a publisher's pet, but you'll end up with a rock-solid readership, and that is one thing even Publishing can't take that away from you.

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  46. 150 wrote: Well, I didn't have a question until I read your post, but now I do! All those questions from high-school and college students about your characters and your world tell me that you imply a lot more than you reveal, and that there's an interest in hearing the rest. Have you ever considered using the StarDoc or BD universe to develop a role-playing game?

    I played D&D about twenty-five years ago (Lord, I am old) but that's about the sum total of my knowledge of RPGs. I'd love to see a game based on the books, but I just don't have the contacts, background or time in my schedule to actively pursue pitching it to someone more knowledgeable.

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  47. I know. I'm sorry if I'm being a pest, but have you solved your technical difficulties, and if not should we send you our mailing addresses? Just wondering, but while I'm wondering, how long would you wait before you wrote a publisher and just asked for your manuscript back, mine's been there for 14 months now, and I haven't heard a peep since they send back my postcard. Sorry if I'm babbling, I've been mugged by pollen and the thoughts are hard to hold onto. Have a great weekend (hope it's not too hot yet.).

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  48. Pandababy wrote: What VR software do you use? Any tips on how to use VR effectively?

    P, to avoid repeating myself, I'm going to refer you to my answer to perpetualbeginner here. Also click on the link about my main post on using Dragon Naturally Speaking as that details the ways I've learned to use it most effectively.

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  49. Mervi wrote: Questions... has an editor ever wanted you to make such a big change to the story, characters, writing style etc. that it didn't feel your story anymore?

    Only once with my own work. WFH work, happens all the time.

    If so, what did you do? I hope that's not too personal question.

    On my own stuff, I set aside my personal feelings and do what the editors want, unless it's such a crass, stupid or illogical thing that I feel like I have to fight for the integrity of my story. Then 99% of the time the editors tell me I can't have it my way, and I shut up and do what they want.

    For WFH work, I do what they want no matter how stupid it is, because that
    s what they pay me to do.

    Ironically, I'm always the one who gets blamed by the readers for whatever pinheaded thing it is that I argued against and they still made me do, but that's Publishing.

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  50. I "found" Blade Dancer after starting the StarDoc series and searching for more books by you. I love Blade Dancer (and the StarDoc series).

    Blade Dancer is on my short list of books that I pull out to reread (along with Sharon Kay Penman's "The Sunne in Splendor").

    Alita

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  51. I loved Blade Dancer that I went and found it in hard copy. Also found the two Bio Rescue books in hardback. Congratulations.

    No questions for you. I am a technical writer. I enjoy your blog about the creative writing process.

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  52. Happy Birthday, Blade Dancer!

    Don't put me in the drawing, because I've a copy. It used to be on my desk, but it surrendered and has migrated to my bookshelf where it cannot be attacked by spilt cups of liquid.

    How do you know when a story is ready to be written? I'm asking this question because I am determined not to start to start my next WIP with just a cool name/sentence/idea, as I think it contributes a lot to my perpetual rewrites.

    Also, I wanted to tell you that I learn a lot just from reading through the comments on the Friday 20s. So thanks!

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  53. *Hannah throws her name in the hat.

    Yay! I'm one of the people who would really love more about Jory & family... But, just keep writing! That's what's really important.

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  54. Sorry I haven't been by for awhile. I am writing a plan (technical writing) for the State of Nevada. (hazard mitigation) I have been working constantly on this project for 6 months now.

    I now know how it feel to have an editor. ;-)

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  55. No questions (too tired to be coherent, really), just a big "Have a great weekend!" from me to you.

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  56. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Congrats on your sucess Lynn!

    I was wondering what authors do you read?

    Would you consider writing books on other supernatural creatures?

    Thanks,

    Terri W.

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  57. ulrichbookreader7:35 PM

    Please put my name in the hat.

    Greatings from Germany

    ulrichbookreader

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  58. I just noticed that I can click on the book cover and Pre-Order your book. Most websites you click on the picture and just get a bigger picture. Any more hidden treasures you recommend for a new reader of your blog, or what is your favorite blog archive?

    maggie

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  59. You've probably already answered 20 questions, but just in case: how do you get started doing WFH?

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  60. Ann wrote: I know. I'm sorry if I'm being a pest, but have you solved your technical difficulties, and if not should we send you our mailing addresses?

    I talked to Tommy this afternoon and he's going to try one more conversion and upload thing. If that doesn't work, Ann, I'll put up a request for mailing addresses. We're trying to work this thing out with a four-hour time difference between us and his shift work job, but I want to get it solved this weekend. Thanks for your patience.

    Just wondering, but while I'm wondering, how long would you wait before you wrote a publisher and just asked for your manuscript back, mine's been there for 14 months now, and I haven't heard a peep since they send back my postcard.

    When I was subbing without an agent, I would send a polite letter inquiring about the status of my submission if the publisher did not respond by 90 days past the response time they listed in their submission guidelines. So if they promise a response within six months, I would send an inquiry at the nine month mark.

    If there are no definite response times listed in the publisher's guidelines, I would send the letter now -- 14 months is certainly long enough to merit a polite inquiry.

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  61. Throwing my name in the hat; I *think* it's not quite midnight?

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  62. May wrote: How do you know when a story is ready to be written? I'm asking this question because I am determined not to start to start my next WIP with just a cool name/sentence/idea, as I think it contributes a lot to my perpetual rewrites.

    For me personally, I have to do all the story leg work (outline, world-build, create the cast, map the plot lines, etc.) but I think the most important thing is to be able to see the entire story in my head. When I can do that, I feel it's ready to be written. I don't visualize every detail, and there is never any dialogue, but being able to see it in my mind gives me the confidence to sit down and start writing it.

    This doesn't work for everyone, especially hardcore organic writers, but thinking it through could be the least intrusive method of planning your story. If you don't care for visualizing, you might try timelining -- write a list of the main events as you'd like them to happen in the story. The idea is to create a kind of mental story map for you to follow along as you do the physical writing part. The better you know the map, the easier it may be to follow the story line.

    Also, I wanted to tell you that I learn a lot just from reading through the comments on the Friday 20s. So thanks!

    I am, too. I love to talk shop, of course, and it's comforting to know I'm not the only one wrestling with writing issues. I also get a lot of ideas for future blog posts from the topics you all discuss here. So thank you. :)

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  63. Cynthia wrote: Sorry I haven't been by for awhile. I am writing a plan (technical writing) for the State of Nevada. (hazard mitigation) I have been working constantly on this project for 6 months now.

    Ouch. That sounds like a headache and a half. It's good to see you again, though, Cynthia.

    I now know how it feel to have an editor.

    And it's the State of Nevada -- I don't envy you that job. :)

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  64. Terri wrote: I was wondering what authors do you read?

    Anyone and everyone. Often I pick up books at random, too, just to try out new authors. I just finished a fantastic historical fiction novel by Dorothy Dunnett that a friend sent me, and tonight I've got some nonfiction research reading to do on guns and flying private jets.

    I also checked the TBR stack at the moment, and it has books by Ariana Franklin, Nick Drake, Sara Donati, Carl Hiassen, Jo Leigh, Dean Koontz, Anne Lamott, Morgan Hawke, Val McDermid, Shiloh Walker and Greg Bear. That's a pretty good representation of what I read on a weekly basis. :)

    Would you consider writing books on other supernatural creatures?

    Yes, if I can sell the proposals I'm writing in that general direction. :)

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  65. Maggie wrote: I just noticed that I can click on the book cover and Pre-Order your book. Most websites you click on the picture and just get a bigger picture. Any more hidden treasures you recommend for a new reader of your blog, or what is your favorite blog archive?

    My favorite post from the archive has to be The Devil's Publishing Dictionary, Part I and Part II. That one ruffled a lot of feathers. :)

    I also like the humor posts like The Last Samurai Agent. If we can't laugh at ourselves and the biz, we might as well hang it up. :)

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  66. I'm glad you liked my fanart idea! Being a fan of so many different series is what sparked my love for exploring the Internet. All those great fan sites out there with fanart and fanfiction. ^_~

    I'll be sure to send you an image of it when I get it (which should be around December or January). That is also a really neat idea your friends came up with for your birthday! You should post it sometime on the blog--make a little image on the side column or something. ;D K. A. Applegate had a picture of herself morphing into a lion on her website (she's the author of the Animorphs) and I always thought it looked so cool. :)

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  67. Charlene wrote: You've probably already answered 20 questions, but just in case: how do you get started doing WFH?

    Usually by auditioning for jobs that come through an agent or an editor who head-hunts you specifically for a project, or being hired through an open-submission WFH market op (usually media tie-ins or publisher contests.) Generally speaking there's not a lot of WFH work in romance unless it's through a private party, like an author looking for a co-author or replacement writer.

    I wrote a bit more about how a WFH works here, too.

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  68. Rebecca wrote: Throwing my name in the hat; I *think* it's not quite midnight?

    You made it in just under the wire, Rebecca. :)

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