Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Comment to Pep from Anonymous

This is a comment from my post concerning publishing a Seal Upon Your Heart. I decided to publish this comment in its own post--not to put the writer on blast (smile), but because I wanted everyone to have an opportunity to read the response. Thanks Anonymous for your question and for speaking your mind!
"I am excited for you, and would have been even more excited had I realized that you intended to sell the story without ever coming close to finishing the rough draft you were writing online. The last I knew, you had no idea if you would ever update that story again, because your interests lay elsewhere. I don't know if you made a more generalized announcement, but I'm pretty sure that quite a few of us were left hanging after we began the story, only to have you start on your newest venture (as excellent as it is) without an explanation. As it is, it took me months to be willing to read your sci fi story, because I just didn't trust you to complete the project. I can deal with an entrepreneurial spirit. I just require some acknowledgement of my emotional and time investment in reading your material. Here's hoping I won't be disappointed again. To those of you who will choose to hate on me for this comment, save your breath. I won't be reading anything you have to say."
Anonymous, in Writing Feedback you shouldn't worry about getting a negative backlash...at least not from me. I WANT your comments and feedback and some don't believe that this includes negative as well as positive. This is what makes me a better writer. But I can't dictate what others may respond--and you shouldn't either. Everyone has an opinion; good or bad and if you write it, at least be a big girl and hear the responses.

With Seal, it began with a lot of power but then as my personal life became hectic the 'mojo' began to fizzle. At one point I was putting up chapters that were subpar and my fans let me know! I got comments that it didn't sound like me and that I could do better. And I agreed so I pulled those last few chapters and re-worked them. But the funny thing about an emotional writer (such as myself) I can't push a story out.

The stories I write are so ingrained in me that when I don't feel it anymore I just can't write it. This was unfortunate because I was at the end of Seal but after discussing it with my muse it was decided that I would not ruin a very good story by forcing the end. I put it on hiatus until I could get the vibe of the story again. I had no idea that it would take over a year. But I can state with all truthfulness that I will ALWAYS stop writing a story if I lose the flavor (This happened while writing WOS).

Writers block is to a writer like impotence is to a man--you can't even fake your way around it. You lose the voice of the characters and the story can't move forward. I smile that this story touched you. And feel for you because I've been following stories on Literotica for years that have no ending or the author makes promises that they can't keep.

Unfortunately, now that I am a published writer I do sale my stories. That's just the reality. But I will always post free reads...and I'm not talking just teaser stories to get you to buy a book. That I don't like doing and if I post a teaser I will always state that's what it is.

To explain why I start a new story before finishing the previous is because if I could do nothing but write that would be my life! I would write and eat (smile). Having a story unfold in your head is like a revelation. Maybe I get them a few times a month and I let them die because I'm just too busy--but then there are those persistent ideas that take root and sink in like claws and I become compelled to write it. Adaptation is just one such idea, as is the Mutant Chronicles and A Seal Upon Your Heart. CreepyRJ and I started a slave and Indian story that is out of this world but neither of us can move forward with it. I have a story called The Infinite Sadness that I stopped writing because I just had no time to finish. Does that mean that I must always ignore the ideas because I might lose time, energy, or the spark that brings the story to life? And if we've already explained that a good story can't be pushed once it stalls then there lies the problems that writers face.

I hope that answers some questions. This is just me doing the best that I can. Its not perfect but as long as you tell me what you need I will always keep that in my mind as I strive to get better.


  1. I think an important point the commenter mentioned is that while you do sell stories in addition to continuing to provide free reads...this started out as one and turned into another without warning or prior notification. Your stories going from free to for sale is to be expected because many of your stories do this. But you do normally finish the story before you publish and pull it. Beast was free. But it was finished before you published it. Wheel of Steel (my favorite) was free and finished before you published. You go back and edit and tweak and sometimes add on but you generally finish in some way for publishing.

    You might not like posting teasers. And you might not have intended for it to be a teaser. But Seal Upon Your Heart ended up being exactly that. A teaser. I will admit that the tone of it wasn't my style so I passed on it. But if Adaptation suddenly stopped getting updates...well I could understand that. Because writing is an art and it's a process. But if you got the fire for it back and then went straight to the publishing process....I'd feel off about it because there's been no indication that you might not finish it the same way you started out. And I think THAT was Anon's point.

    1. True, Seal began as a free read but all of my novels did because I was still mulling over how hard it was to become published and debating on becoming a digital writer. But let me talk about Adaptation. That story is my indulgent piece of fan fiction. Wiki defines fan fiction as a story about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator. Works of fan fiction are rarely commissioned or authorized by the original work's owner, creator, or publisher; also, they are almost never professionally published.

      This definition is PERFECT for how I feel about Adaptation. It's just my way to explore the storyline and world created by Octavia Butler in her Xenogenisis series. I wrote it without the intent of publishing it but it was really good so I thought I'd share it as I go. It's like writing therapy and paying tribute to one of the world's greatest authors.

      But when I have other writing obligations I can't write Adaptation. There may come a time when the story will stop coming for a long period of time. This story is so massive that in my mind I see it going from Earth 1 to Earth 2 back to Earth 1 again. In other words this is not going to have an END like a traditional book will have. This is an odysessy. As a matter of fact, if I indulge in my fantasy of writing Adaptation then there will be a book 2 all about Raj...

      My intent for this story is for the reader to enjoy the journey and not wait for the end. I can get to stopping points but I really don't want to end. I think I will put that as a disclaimer on the story blog for Adaptation so that people will understand that you and I both my be old and grey before I end it--but by that time it will be hundreds of thousands of words written.

  2. Hello Pepper, Everyone has a opinion about your stories, I am glad you are going to published "Seal Upon Your Heart". Many people fell to understand writers block is a serious condition. Octavia Butler had severe writers block and she did not published a book for seven years and she was dealing with health issue's. I love your free stories, but I believe in supporting the authors craft. That why I purchase your books. Thank you Bain

    1. Thanks Bain, you're my most frequent commenter. I appreciate you!

  3. Let me begin by saying that I love your work. Although I have purchased some of your stories, I also check back often to see if you've posted anything new on your blog such as the Adaption series and have to admit that I feel a pang of disappointment when there is nothing posted. That being said, I also understand that as an author you can not force your work, you're human and life gets hectic, and you definitely should be paid for your talent. This is your gift that you're sharing with us, and however it comes it's welcomed.

    1. Thank you, Anonymous. I love love love Adaptation. Even though you guys enjoy it I try to use it as a way for me to indulge in writing something that pleases me and only me--without concerns over whether or not it's understood or well received. Sometimes I ramble and sometimes I get to the point--but I never go back and make changes. Right now I have some paying projects that have to get finished before I can return to Adaptation. I'll make an announcement when I write the next chapter.


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