Why A Lot Of Fiction Bores My Pants Off

A work of fiction that charts events that could conceivably happen for real in the real world is, for me, pointless. I’d rather read about these events happening to real people in biographies, than follow the misfortunes of fake characters in tepid romances or colour-by-number crime stories.

So I write about ordinary people in incredible, fantastical situations, putting them up against awesome obstacles and seemingly insurmountable odds. And then I throw shit at them. As much bad shit as I can find. And when I run out, I find some more. Posing my protagonists challenge after challenge after challenge until they either break down or break out.

Self Publishers Have Got To Love America

Seriously. If you want to shift ebooks, fall in love with America.

Even go as far as making sure there's an American character or location, or something in your book.

Because in my experience, the US is the biggest market for self-publishers who write in English. By far.

I can barely give my books away in my homeland of the UK, my freebie promotions of The Money Star shifting a fraction of what gets snapped up in the States.

Why is that?

Are Americans more likely to give works by unknown suckers like me a chance? Or is it just because there's so many more Kindle owners that side of the pond?

I'll wager it's a bit of both. Either way, as someone once said, maybe even sung, God Bless America.

A Big Mistake Ebook Reviewers Make

I've seen this several times in my (so far fruitless) search to find someone to review my brace of bracing books: reviewers asking that authors only send in their novels if they are truly exceptional.

Did I read that and think, shit, hold on, mine's decidedly average, I'd best keep looking for a reviewer who's after a bit of run of the mill?

Of course I didn't.

Every author out there believes their work's the dog's testes, and we're all clogging up Smashwords and Kindle, hoping someone, somewhere who can do something will see what's painfully obvious to us: that our words are in a better order than everyone else's.

I Am Deluded

Really, I am. I thought the first novel I wrote was incredible. Groundbreaking. A surefire success. Bound to get critics salivating, demanding more.

Never happened.

Ten years later I ploughed into my second. Ten drafts I wrote. A brilliant concept, I thought. Streets ahead of the first. Only a matter of time before an agent or publisher picks it up.

Never happened.

Then I spent a year learning story theory. McKee first. Then Truby. The brilliant Truby.

And I re-read my first two books.

They were [swearwords omitted].

I could see what I’d previously been blind to. Sure, the writing was good and there were few errors. But they were structurally na├»ve. They weren’t stories that gripped. The characters weren’t the kind you rooted for.

Upon realising my first novel was beyond salvation, I rewrote my second, with the benefit of my newfound knowledge.

Five more drafts. Another year’s work.

And I’m currently wallowing in the delusion that it’s streets ahead of the previous drafts. Only a matter of time before an agent or publisher picks it up…