Writers: Sing, Don’t Tap

2297

Do you ever sit at your desk at work and click your tongue to a song that’s stuck in your head? Or tap your pen or finger to a little ditty that won’t dance away?

Like this:

tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap-tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap. Tap tap-tap tap tap tap tap-tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap. TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP, TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP. Tap tap tap tap-tap-tap-tap tap-tap-tap. 

You know what that song is, right?

Just look at it. Follow the same notes I’m singing in my head.

Well, guess what. You can’t. Because there are no words. There are no notes. But just because I know the song doesn’t mean your stupid. It just means I’m stupid for not providing the words and the notes.

As writers, we are charged with the responsibility to paint a much broader picture for our readers than just dialogue or just narrative. In order for our readers to grasp our full meaning of what we’re trying to convey, we must present the time, the setting, the people, and the mood.

To leave one of these out is like expecting someone to guess what song your’re clicking your tongue to.

So think about that as you write. Is what you’ve written only discernible to you, or could an outsider  see and get exactly what your conveying?

In other words, sing, don’t tap.

(By the way, the song tapped out above is “500 Miles” by the Proclaimers. I blame How I Met Your Mother for getting it stuck in my head.)

What Nobody Tells You About Book Releases

This was written by Endever’s co-owner, Lynn Galloway as we are now just one week away from our first book release.

father-of-the-bride-006

It’s just like planning a wedding. A grand affair in which you invite, all of your friends, family, weird third cousins twice removed, and the cat lady that only gives you the evil eye through her curtains as you drive past her house. Oh, and the tween that bags your groceries.

First, the proposal happens in which you agree to make this life-long commitment and you could not be more ecstatic…until decisions in regards to the event, the needs, and finances comes into play. Things get a little sticky and less glamorous, but they need to happen in order to move forward and compromises are made.

Alright, so a date has been set!! You rejoice over the fact of having a day to look forward to, a day to share with others and have them “mark their calendar” to make sure they don’t miss it.

But now you have a deadline in which to get everything done. No big deal right? You’ve got 6, 8, 12 months to plan this momentous occasion. That’s plenty of time.

…..Riiiiiight…..

A few months in, you find your designer and the beauty that will dress your book is more than your dreams could ever create. It is beautiful, eye-catching, and leaves you speechless. Sigh. It is a feeling of completeness that you want to share with the world in that moment, but you know you have to wait. This is not something to be revealed right away. But you talk about it, you brag about it, and leave others anticipating the reveal of your book cover. That’s one of the things everyone looks forward to.

The clock is ticking and you have the majority of your larger items finished, or at least started the process of getting near completion. You are feeling great, like you have everything handled until your soon-to-be mother-in-law calls and asks if you’ve decided on center pieces, invitation designs, wedding party gifts, seating chart, party favors, menus items, time frames, order of the ceremony, the rehearsal dinner, transportation, hotel blocks for out of town guests, and the list goes on and on.

The moment of freaking out happens when you realize that planning a wedding is way more complicated than even Steve Martin made it out to be and you now have a jumble of tiny things to think about, work on, and finish before your approaching day!

How do people survive to their wedding with all of this pressure and a seemingly endless list of things to accomplish?

 

The answer is simple:

Because it will get done somehow, someway, and when your day arrives, it will be the best day of your life.

With a gigantic release of the breath you’ve been holding for the last several months, you see how everything has come together to create a glamorous and freeing event. The moment that all of your hard work has been aiming for.

Your wedding guests may never know the turmoil you went through to get to and have your perfect day, but they see it in all its glory, smiles on their faces with pure happiness for you. But no one has a more beaming smile than you and your joy radiates for all to see. You’ve made it and it is officially a dream come true.

The Polls Are In (once you vote)

9470a7dac90259b0ae2d3f70dd29cd79b376eba6d074908871c730a0775a76fa_1At Endever Publishing we are dedicated to brining success to our authors. But in the book industry, success equals readers. So, logically, we are dedicated to bringing readers to our authors.

In order to bring readers along, we must have something that pleases them, that entices.

Let me say this as unconventionally as I can:

As a book publisher we we want to lure and seduce you into giving us your hard-earned money in exchange for a night (or several) of pure, unadulterated entertainment. (No, we don’t publish those kinds of books.)

And  the books we have lined up for you…we firmly believe they will not disappoint. We are working-class citizens like yourself. We know how difficult and time-consuming it is to earn your money, and how much harder it is to part with it. But we also know that sometimes, good quality entertainment can be priceless.

But we want to know who we’re selling to. We want to get to know you as our potential readers. Consider this post a restaurant of your choice. You’re seated at the table. We’re here to serve you an entertainment value. And, since presidential polls are all the rave right now (of which I declined to watch last night’s debate because I figure I’d rather work since both candidates are gong to end up taxing me through the nose anyway…plus, circus side shows bother me), I have posted a couple of polls for you to indulge in.

These are your menu options. I’m not guaranteeing we have everything in stock, but I want to know from you, going forward, what you look for in a trusted entertainment company, one that Endever strives to be.

 

Thanks for your time in voting. This will help us gauge how to best serve you, as readers, going forward. If we think of more questions, we’ll ask and we trust you’ll answer!

Two New Books For YA and Paranormal Fans!

As promised, here are the covers to Endever’s first two publications! Feel free to read through the synopsis’s of each book, admire the designs, and mark your calendars for the release dates. All credit on these beautiful covers goes to Kyle Richardson of Born on the Frontier fame. Enjoy!

these-great-affects-cover-2

Adelle is the center of this upcoming young adult book, These Great Affects by Andrew Toy. Adelle and Trill meet in an unconventional way. They also are forced to say goodbye too soon, even before they have a chance to kiss, hug, or even hold hands. When Trill’s life is cut unexpectedly short, Adelle begins to believe that love just isn’t for her. But she has second thoughts when Trill comes back to visit her as a ghost, and at first it seems they’ve been given a second chance. But soon they realize the awful truth: will she really have to say goodbye to him again? Spoiler alert: This is not a love story. This is a loved story, about the past-tense love. A love that really, doesn’t last very long, but goes farther than can be imagined. 

These Great Affects will be released on October 20, 2016.

 

a-deathly-compromise-cover-2
A Deathly Compromise by Coral Rivera: 
Meet Death — Dee, for short — the queen of the underworld incarnated into the form of a young woman who has taken up residence in a Portland hospital. With a killer attitude and a playlist to match, she spirits away the souls of the dying for their journey to the great beyond. The only problem? She’s been housed in the same host body for centuries, and she’s growing restless waiting for the next great disaster to strike. Enter Aria, a precocious young patient who challenges her perception of humanity, and Lux, a handsome stranger with an advanced form of cancer. Soon Dee finds herself locked in the struggle of her “life.” Will she follow the path that the Book of Fortune has set aside? Or will she go against the Fates and begin to write her own destiny, compromising her heart in the process?
A Deathly Compromise will be released on October 27, 2016.
Tweet which title(s) you’re most looking forward to, to @EndeverPubStuds: #TheseGreatAffects or #ADeathlyCompromise
For every ten Facebook shares or Twitter mentions we’ll release passages from these books!
Love the cover designs as much as we do? Visit Kyle Richardson at Born on the Frontier. I recommend checking out his site even for some fun browsing. He has also been a real pleasure to work with these past few weeks, a great asset if you’re looking for creative talent. 

Naivety = Awesomeness (How do you pronounce “Naivety” anyway?)

1000509261001_2151977893001_steve-martin-growing-up-in-california-hd-768x432-16x9

The great Steve Martin, in his book, Born Standing Up, defines naivete: “That fabulous quality that keeps you from knowing just how unsuited you are for what you are about to do.”

With that logic, every person who’s ever done anything great is undeniably, unequivocally naive.

If we were all aware of how hard something was going to be before we embarked in projects or work, I believe very little would get done.

Think about it. Doctors are like, “Eight-thousand years of college?” No sweat. But what they don’t account for before enrolling for their first $2 million class is the tedious lectures, the endless research, the nerve-jarring tests. Not to mention no money, no food, no sleep. College has its perks, but we forget how much dehydrated noodles can make us gag after the thirtieth consecutive cup.

“Let’s make a movie!” Easy. But first you’ve got to scrounge up the money for filming equipment, put out ads for crew members and actors to work for cheap (or for nothing at all), not to mention the hundreds of takes, waiting for the traffic to die, the weather to clear, the dog to stop barking. . . And the grueling editing hasn’t even begun.

Writing a book? Easy. Just tappity-tappity on the keyboard and off to New York you go! (I’d hate to be the one to break it to that naive amateur that you’re lucky if you sell six copies even after less than fourteen rewrites – of course when I broke that news to myself after years of writing, I wanted to kill myself.

My wife says, “You don’t know when to quit, do you?” I take that as a compliment. No, I don’t know how to quit because I’m too naive to believe I can fail. Even though I probably will. But who knows.

Steve Martin failed as a comedian for eight years before he achieved even a modicum of success. And then he had to refine everything he ever knew.

But it’s a gamble. And the odds are in no one’s favor. For every gazillion stand-up hopefuls, there’s only one Steve Martin. For every gazillion-billion-trillion writer (because, let’s face it, who’s not?), there’s only one J.K. Rowling.

How’s that for a drop of inspiration? No? Not good?

Try this: Nativity makes the world go round. So help me keep spinning it.

Ever Thought About Quitting This Way?

Pardon my absence lately.

I’ve been super sick for almost a week and until today, just the thought of opening my laptop made me even more nauseous. So I’ve been doing lots of Olympic-watching, sleeping, The Walking Dead, sleeping, a Lethal Weapon marathon, sleeping, and I just started Breaking Bad (I’m one episode in and it’s kind of weird, but I’m intrigued). 

My wife deserves the gold medal for taking care of me and the also-sick kids. Or whatever is better than gold (green and wrinkly maybe?).

Anyway, I’ve been thinking.

Writers often feel like they’re alone in the struggle to conceive and develop a good story. But being at home for practically the last 144 consecutive hours, I’ve stared a lot at our personal library. And I was thinking that behind each book is an author who probably felt they were alone in the struggle.

2D91DEA300000578-0-image-a-7_1445296078327

Each one probably wanted to give up, to call it quits, to throw their hands in the air and yell, “What’s the point?”

Hell, just a quick glance through your Netflix library, and you can come to the same conclusion. Behind each movie or TV show there’s a writer or staff of writers facing the same struggle.

That’s a lot of movies. A lot of books. A lot of plays. A lot of writers.

So maybe quitting isn’t as common and “normal” as we think. Maybe quitting is actually the weird thing to do. Perhaps quitting actually makes us losers in a world of winners.

Addressing My Own Stubbornness

Great conversation and comments on yesterday’s post! Thank you for all who contributed. I’ve read through most of your reasons for being stubborn by not walking away from the written word and indulging fully in the technology age, and I’ve got to say, many of you are much deeper and intellectually-minded than I am.

I thought through my own reasons for not being willing to put down my books, and here’s what I came up with:

  1. I am a control freak. My poor family has to deal with this on a regular basis. I know I’m not trying hard enough to break the habit, but I’m trying to try hard enough. Anyway, when I’m reading a book I get to control the pace of the story. Rent a movie and you’re slapped with the 142 min. run time. No more, no less, unless of course you skip the credits (GASP!). If I want a scene to unfold slowly, then I can choose to take my time processing the information before me. If a scene is boring, I can read fast. If a scene is suspenseful . . . (A huge shout-out to Sarah Angleton from The Practical Historian for nailing this one)
  2. THE SUSPENSE! I am absolutely obsessed with being in suspense. It’s like a weird non-sexual dominatrix thing I’ve got going on. Everyone loves a good cliffhanger, and that’s the exact reason I love books more than movies and TV shows:

677d75bd46c9181f88e778df4713509f

In movies, the suspense is revealed according to the director’s timing. You can’t hold out a little longer if he/she decides to reveal the outcome of a suspenseful situation.

TV shows are just too painful. They leave you with a cliffhanger and then you’re stuck scratching an irritating itch for a whole week or even several months. (This is why I love discovering shows really late because then I can Netflix them. Then the problem becomes not knowing when to stop. I’ve got to reach the next cliffhanger, I’ve got to know what happens, I’ve got to reach the next cliffhanger, what happens, cliffhanger, answers! It’s an endless cycle.)

So those are my two reasons why I refuse to let go of my books. I’m a suspense junkie. Speaking of suspense, you should check out the serial novel, “The Underneath” that my publishing company’s authors are writing.

Thanks for contributing to the conversation and may your weekend be filled with words, intimacy with your characters, and suspense!