Me: I don’t know what to call this character so I’ll give them a bullshit name for now and change it to something better later
Me, later: Goddammit! I’ve grown attached to the bullshit name I them and now I can’t change it
“I can take care of myself.”
“I know that. But you shouldn’t have to.”
self-publishing pros and cons
@earlronove and @antique-symbolism had some interest in this topic, so here I go!
I would love for other indie authors to weigh in as well. (zero pressure, but tagging in case you’re interested in adding insight: @authorlaurawinter @author-a-holmes @natalieironside @maxkirin @spacetimewraithwrites @dnbryn @thebibliosphere @b-a-pigeon and anyone else I’m forgetting right now!)
The pros and cons I’ve noticed so far in my itty bitty time as a self-published author thus far:
you have more creative control over not just your writing, but your cover, your illustrations, your formatting, etc.
related to that: if you have a book that isn’t perfectly ‘to market,’ or isn’t following all of today’s Super Hot Tropes, you can still get your book out into the world. You're not dependent on the whims of agents and editors.
you also have more control over your profits/how you get paid, rather than being under a publishing house. in self-pub, you’re choosing the distribution system, the price, when to do sales, etc. (this can also be a con- see below.)
you’re not beholden to the timeline of trad publishing (eg- several years to get the book out)
it’s a cool thing to do! I am proud of the fact that I wrote and self-published a book that otherwise would have just gotten buried under a pile of query letters.
re: book content (editing, formatting, cover) - it’s a lot of work to do it yourself. and if you don’t want to do it yourself, it will cost a certain amount of money. (range of cost varies wildly depending on what you want and what your bandwidth is.)
you won’t have a publishing house assisting with marketing, distro, all the business aspects, etc. that will be on you as well. this is something that’s harder to outsource and has a learning curve.
I find marketing & visibility to be the hardest part. that includes writing blurbs, setting up a website, social media, ads, newsletter swaps, etc. It’s really tough to do it all yourself, it doesn’t really end, and can also cost a lot of money.
(the one positive to marketing: you have time to experiment! it’s not like the book has an expiration date. you can continue tweaking your blurbs, covers, ad strategies, website, social media strategies, until you find what works.)
another downside is that I find that the self-pub authors making six figures (so I guess the most ‘traditionally successful’ self-pub authors) often adhere more to current formulas and tropes than even trad authors do. they basically find what works in a specific sub-genre, often romance, and just churn out books that follow precisely what people are looking for there. one person I know literally uses the same outline for every book. now, as a business strategy, it’s clearly working for them. but from a creative perspective? that’s not why I got into self-publishing.
Anyhoo, this is just me blabbering! I hope some of it was helpful!
97 character motivations
Need a masterlist of character motivation ideas?
Here’s 97 different character motivations you can use for anything from your hero, side-characters, villain, or even to craft smaller subplots. Save this post for later!
Saving a family member from capture
Saving a sibling from disease
Saving a pet from danger
Saving the world from ruin
Saving a friend from heartbreak
Saving the town from financial ruin
Saving friends from dangerous deadly situations
Saving a love interest from dying
Saving themselves in a dangerous world
Saving a community from falling apart
Saving a child from a potentially dangerous circumstance
Saving a place or location from evil forces
Saving a ghost from limbo
Overcoming a phobia
Overcoming an addiction
Overcoming marital struggles
Moving on from loss
Finding a significant other
Finding a new family (not blood-related)
Finding true biological family
Finding out an old secret
Finding a way home
Reconnecting with long-lost friends
Getting out of a dark state of mind
Finding peace in life
Beating a disease
Beating an arch nemesis
Forming a peaceful community
Transforming a location
Bringing someone back to life
Winning a competition
Going on an adventure
Getting a dream job
Keeping a secret
Escaping a location of capture
Proving a moral point
Proving a political point
Winning a political campaign
Ruin someone’s life
Find a suspect or killer
Find the answer to a mystery
Discover ancient sites & secret histories
Perform a successful ritual
Summon the dead
Save a country from dictatorship
Become the most powerful in a community
Outshine a family member in business success
Prove someone wrong
Win prize money to help someone in need
Get revenge on someone who wronged them
Find the person who wronged them
Develop significant scientific progress
Gain respect from family
Get over an ex-lover
Move on from a painful death
Keep their community alive
Lead their community
Heal people in need
Preserve a species (animal, alien, plant…)
Discover new world
Get recognition for hard work
Get rich to prove themselves to people who doubted them
Break a long tradition
Challenge the status quo of a community
Defeat a magical nemesis
Take over a location to rule
Find out truth behind old legends
Help someone get over their struggles
Prove their moral values
Prove their worth to an external party
Become a supernatural creature
Keep something from falling into the wrong hands
Protect the only person they care about
Start a revolution
Invent new technology
Invent a new weapon
Win a war
Fit in with a community
Atone for past sins
Give top-secret information to an enemy as revenge
Kill an ex-lovers current partner
Raise a strong child
Make it to a location in a strict time period
Find out more about the afterlife
Confess love to a friend
Solve a moral dilemma
Have a child of their own
Avoid being alone
Run away from past struggles
Reinvent themselves as a new person
Impress a colleague or boss
Avoid a fight or war breaking out
I want to read you like a thriller
run my fingers down your every line
breathless devour your every page
curl my hands around your spine
It's finally here!! Thank you all for being so patient, all my love to you!
A fictional photocopy of a time traveler's notebook.
The Notebook of a Fictional Man (originally meant to impress historians), accidentally centers itself around the gentle giant with whom the writer is madly in love- and around his own crippling self-doubt. He drinks his troubles away on otherworldly planet, consuming the essence of the color blue as a psychedelic wine, and loses track of both reality and himself. His chronic drinking and purple prose threatens to push away even the strongest and kindest man; to push away even his gentle giant with the greenest eyes in all the universe.
The Notebook of a Fictional Man is now available on Amazon as a short paperback and on Gumroad ($0+) as a PDF- plus a special printable surprise as a thank you for reading!
Enemies to friends prompts:
CW for mention of death
Hugging each other after an argument only for them to playfully suplex the other, and then laughing about it
Reminiscing the old times, thinking about how far they have come
Trying not to crack a smile at a dumb joke they told
Taking a stance after they see their enemy approaching them, thinking they’re about to attack, when they suddenly pull them in for a hug
Switching from using last names to nicknames (like buddy, pal, etc.) to refer to each other
Helping each other take down a common enemy and becoming friends in the process
Not believing them at first when they compliment them on something
Finding their enemy injured and treating their wounds
Bickering like they used to, but now it’s more endearing than annoying
Feeling very awkward in the beginning because this was the very person they wanted to kill, but now they’re an ally so they have to be nice, regardless of how annoying they are
“Well, what are you waiting for? Just kill me and be done with it!” || “…I can’t do that”
“Are you here to mock me?” || “Uhm… no. I just wanted to check up on you”
“Do you think… if things didn’t go the way they did… we could’ve been friends?”
“You? Taking care of me? Are you sure you aren’t the one who has hit their head instead?” || “Geez, can’t you be grateful for once?”
“I kinda miss the old days” || “What, you want me to stab you?”
“You’re so stupid” || “Your influence” || “Hey-”
“You defended me?” || “Yeah, well, we’re friends now… isn’t that what they’re suppose to do?”
“You forgot our anniversary!” || “What anniversary?” || “The day you first tried to kill me!”
“It’s funny how fast time goes by… I still remember the times you tried to capture me as if it was yesterday”
“I’m glad we’re friends now”
THE WOLF DOESN'T PLAY WITH ITS FOOD
He tightens his grip on his ax. “Show yourself.”
Another flash of silver eyes, this time with the silhouette of long, sharp ears and snout in the fog. It is gone again before he can react.
The voice laughs a low, sinister hum.
He tenses, but fights his instinct to attack or run.
The Wolf doesn’t play with its food. So I am not food.
image description in the alt text. click subtitle or image to hear playlist on youtube!
HEAVEN IS HERE / FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
and i ride in my red dress / and time stretches endless
with my gun in my hand / you know i always get my man
THE WOLF / PHILDEL
i'll leave with your head, oh, i'll leave you for dead, sire
the wishes i've made are too vicious to tell
WOLVES WITHOUT TEETH / OF MONSTERS & MEN
you hover like a hummingbird / haunt me in my sleep
i breathe what is yours / you breathe what is mine
RIBS / THE CRANE WIVES
the dark doesn't frighten me / i chose to close my eyes
don't let them sell you any armor / all your ribs are still your own
COUNTING PATHS / MATTHEW & THE ATLAS
soon your touch will disappear / something that i should have come to fear
no one's ever looked at me that way
HELL OR HIGH WATER / THE RESCUES
trees are burning, ravens fly / smoke is filling up the sky
bury everything they said / never fall, never fall
THRONE / SAINT MESA
you hate my bad behavior / you cut my loosened tongue
you play the part of savior / i watch you come undone
THE HORROR & THE WILD / THE AMAZING DEVIL
remember me i ask, remember me i sing / give me back my heart, you wingless thing / think of all the horrors that i promised you i'd bring
LIAR / THE ARCADIAN WILD
i need you to see through my act / to tell me i'm wrong, to take off the mask
or else i'll be left in the lie / and i'll deceive my way straight to demise
@annetilney @bebewrites @diemohnblume @eventideintrigue @isabellebissonrouthier @lexiklecksi @little-mouse-gardens @mr-writes @perasperaadastrawriting @phantomnations @wildswrites
comment or message me to be added/removed!
After the dust finally settled, it was anybody’s guess why they did it.
Inspired by @oh-three
So... all this talk of vampires has gotten to me. I wrote a short story yesterday from the point of view of one of the vampires that appears in Blood Moon. It's only about a thousand words long.
I thought I might share it on my Kofi page in a few days for the full moon. I'll pay-wall it for a couple of weeks then make it free.
Is that something you guys would be interested in? I can totally write more short stories and stuff to help keep everyone excited about Blood Moon until it releases... or I could do something else. Just sort of throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks right now.
Your creative work is meaningful. Your creative work is important. Your creative work should be shared with the world.
🤜 Even if it's transgressive or taboo.
🤜 Even if it's 'just' fan work.
🤜 Even if some people vocally hate it.
🤜 Even if you don't feel like it's good enough.
Your creative work is important. No one else will create exactly what you would.
there are moments in my life where i truly feel like im living in the shadows of im meant to be. times when people tell me im nothing but wasted potential, dumber and chubbier and lazier and overly dramatic and more tiring than they expected, mourning who i could've been and ignoring who i am now.
i fall into pits of restlessness after hearing these, trying my best to refine myself into someone who fit into the abstract gap of their expectation-built puzzle.
i was a girl shaped to be a winner and yet i melted into a waste.
anyone mind if I try out a revised blurb here?
[ID: a book cover. An orange and red lute sits in the middle, with gold swirls coming out of it. The lute is surrounded by blue flowers and vines. The text over the lute reads “The Stray Spirit.” The text underneath reads “Lutesong Book One, R.K. Ashwick.” end ID]
The Stray Spirit by R.K. Ashwick
A bard and a forest spirit uncover a deadly magical threat…and the key to survival lies within their own forgotten songs.
Struggling bard Emry Karic has only one path home: impress the Auric Guild, join its ranks of elite musicians, and return to his family with his honor in hand.
Difficult to do on a good day. Impossible to do with a possessed lute.
Hours before Emry’s big break, an unnatural earthquake strikes, forcing a forest spirit named Aspen to take refuge in his lute. Aspen is loud, talkative...and not leaving anytime soon.
Panicked, Emry swears the spirit to silence on stage, in exchange for a favor: he will help investigate the mysterious quake that nearly killed them.
But Emry is a bard, not a scholar, and his research leads straight to the person who resents him the most: Cal Breslin, his scholarly ex-girlfriend. Despite their history, Cal can’t pass up the opportunity to study a mythical being, and agrees to join them. Yet as the trio delves into the forgotten folklore of spirits and gods, they uncover a much greater threat looming beneath the surface…
Get the Stray Spirit now on Amazon, B&N, IndieBound, and other stores.
Underused writing tropes
Tropes we don’t see often enough in books.
2. Characters who feel things deeply without apologies
3. Healthy power couple
4. Difficult sibling relationship
5. Unexpected friends to lovers
6. Choosing career/individual journey over a relationship
What’s your favorite underrated trope?