That Time Again

Hi all!

I’m in the closing stages of work on a book, and I’m approaching a much-dreaded time for me. Every time I near the end of the book, the work seems to slow to a crawl. Well, almost every time. Faerie Queen wasn’t like that, but the others all seem to be. I will think I have 10,000 words remaining, but it ends up being 20,000. Or I’ll only have the 10,000, but then I realize the ending will be more powerful if I make a few changes, so I have to go back to switch some things around. It seems like this happens so much that I’m starting to fear the endings.

I almost always have a clear ending in mind. I know where I’m going from the start, basically, even if I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to get there. I have a general idea, at least. I try not to get too rigid with my pre-planning, because it seems to ruin my creativity and spontaneity when I try that. So it’s not a problem of not knowing how to wrap it up. I think it really comes down to me being absolutely horrible at estimating how much work remains. I can sometimes get the approximate number of words remaining correctly, but I seem to forget that there often times will be a lot more involved than just those words. Even in a first draft, I often go back and make changes as I go. And this gets more intense as I go along, making changes earlier in the story to strengthen the latter parts.

So yeah, while writing this I’ve realized I’m just really, really bad at remembering all of these story-strengthening fixes while I write. So nevermind, I’ll stop whining.

Anybody else having the longest week of their lives?

Have a great weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a great time to get together with family and friends and to eat too much turkey and pie. Of course some people also pile onto the sofa and watch football, ignoring the family and friends except for the ten minutes it takes to load a plate and scarf their food. That part isn’t cool.

So anyway, I will obviously be doing some of the spending time with family and eating part, but I won’t be doing the pile onto the sofa part.

Just a writing note-I’ve been working on a third (yes third!) work in progress lately, and I’m around 2/3 through it. Then I can finalize the editing on the last Brynne book, and then I can start the editing on a book that has a trans main character. It’s going to be a busy few months for me, but I can see releasing all three of these books in the first few months of 2019. It’ll be good. And then I can start on one of the dozens of other books I have clanging around in my head.

I hope everyone has a terrific Thanksgiving, and I hope all the travelers get back home safely. Happy Thanksgiving!

Pondering Trigger Warnings

So hi. How are things?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trigger warnings in books.

A trigger warning would be a warning if something, such as a rape, were going to happen in the story which could cause severe distress to the reader. I agree with the idea, but I’m just wondering how much of this an author should actually be accountable for.

I agree with warnings on things like rape, or if the story covers a particularly tragic event that many people were affected by, such as the terrorists attacks in 2001. But I don’t know every trigger I should point out. How far would I go with it?

To illustrate what I’m talking about, I compiled this partial list (in no particular order) of common trigger warnings from various sites around the intertubes:

  • Mental health or mental illness
  • Eating disorders
  • Racism
  • Police brutality
  • Suicide
  • Ableism
  • Violence
  • Rape
  • Self harm
  • Swearing
  • Fatism
  • Bigotry
  • Sexism
  • Pro or anti-LGBTQ content
  • Sexually explicit material
  • Islamophobia
  • Shooting
  • War
  • Abusive Relationships
  • Alcoholism
  • Spiders
  • Animal Abuse
  • Blood
  • Corpses
  • Death
  • Classism
  • Decapitation
  • Drug use
  • Holocost denial or belief
  • Poisoning
  • Slavery
  • Snakes
  • Amputation
  • Smoking
  • Vomit

So yeah, that’s just a very small sample.

And I can see from just that list that my trigger warnings could get quite long. How much of this is/should actually assumed ahead of time based on the genre and known content of a novel?

The reason I ask that is because I noticed while creating my list above that some of my books would need quite an extensive list of those. Just the Non-Vampire series alone, for example, could require warnings for suicidal thoughts, swearing, pro-LGBTQ content, shooting, abusive relationships, animal abuse (maybe?), blood, corpses, death, decapitation, amputation, and probably many more. That’s not exactly an extensive list above, either. I found many, many more that I didn’t include here.

So how many of those I mentioned would be sort of hinted at by the fact that the word vampire is in the name of the series? Blood seems obvious. Corpses and death, too. Swearing seems kind of assumed in anything YA these days, but there isn’t exactly an extensive amount of it in these books. There are obviously some things here that overlap, and I know a lot of trigger warnings do, but how far am I really responsible for?

I really want to know. I would love to be able to include a reasonable amount, because I would never want to cause a reader problems that could arise if they come across something particularly perturbing for them. I’m still thinking about this.

So far I have assumed a certain amount of death and blood would be expected in book dealing with vampires, and anything else I feel may be a problem I usually explain in the story description. For example, I don’t specifically warn about pro-LGBTQ content in the description, but I do mention that my main character is gay. Is that enough, though, or should there be a specific warning?

I’ve just been thinking about this, because I want to do a better job of pointing out if my book contains anything too distressing. I’ll keep thinking about this, because I think at times it could be important.

Have a wonderful weekend!