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Topics - beccaprice

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Writers' Cafe / What's next?
« on: January 30, 2018, 02:38:32 PM »
With Sirens' Song coming together and in hands other than mine for awhile, I need a new project so that I don't keep bothering my artist for updates.

Here's my options:

Quickly write another fairy tale collection, which will take me a few months to get through editing and into the hands of an illustrator. I haven't come out with a new book in a year - the closest to that is a collection of three interrelated collections, but that's only repackaging. I've got a few stories half started that I could dig out, finish, and  add to them to make a decent collection.

Or, I can take the long view and really work on my Big Novel fantasy, The Boy Who Loved The Moon. I'm estimating that it will take me a year to get a rough draft of this - I'm a slow and lazy writer with health problems. This would mean not having anything new for probably 2 years.

I make most of my money from fairs and festivals  - I made the grand sum of $151 from Amazon last year. I do get repeat customers year from year, and it's nice to have something new to offer them.

so - should I focus on short term or really dive into my long-term project? I'm comfortable writing short fairy tales, and scope of work for The Boy Who Loved the moon scares me a bit.

Writers' Cafe / home stretch
« on: January 30, 2018, 02:01:49 PM »
I'm entering the home stretch for Sirens' Song, a short picture book that I've been working on and off on for several years. This past spring, the inimitable Martha Hayes (an editor beyond excellence) asked me the one direct question (as is her wont) that crystallized everything that was wrong with my draft, and how to fix it. I thought about it and at 3am, it all came together, and everything after that was wordsmithing.

Now my artist is almost finished with all her art, and I've got a wonderful layout and design person (he teaches this stuff at a local university) to pull it all together. To top it off, the artist is charging me $600 less than we'd originally thought, so I don't need a kickstarter to help me pay for this.

So here I am, trying hard not to call every day to interrupt my artist to see how she's doing (I really think she should charge me an interruption fee for every call I make). It's all coming together suddenly after months of delays. I'm so excited!

What makes this all the more special is that it's turning into a tribute project for my late father. If things continue to go as smoothly as they currently are, I may even be able to publish this on the anniversary of his death.

Writers' Cafe / hardback or paper?
« on: January 17, 2018, 09:46:35 AM »
I'm working with an artist to illustrate a children's book called Sirens' Song. It's about coming to terms with death, told as a fable about salmon runs. I self-publish. I'm back and forth about paperback (via CreateSpace) or hardback - it'll only be about 24 pages long (not counting front and back matter), with full page illustrations. If I go with paperback, it'll never be out of stock at Amazon - if I go with Ingram Spark, there will be a wait if people order it. But somehow, it seems to me that the subject matter deserves the solidity of a hardback book. (I could do both, I suppose, but that means two cover layouts and two ISBNs) Any comments, suggestions to help me choose?

Writers' Cafe / I'm in a bind
« on: November 14, 2017, 08:22:05 AM »
still working on the outline for The Boy Who Loved The Moon. I have 3 potential "heros" - Rudra, Owen, and Marc.

Mythologically there should be 3 tests. My first test is meeting the monster (Rudra runs from it, but later embraces it, Owen kills it, and Marc tames it). The third test is meeting one's self and one's true destiny. Again, mythologically, the middle test is betrayal of one's love or lord, or adultery - but that doesn't fit into the story line at all. Most of the interactions are between the potential hero and the personification of the Moon, and I can't think of any way that they would betray her.

Can anyone suggest a second, middle test to "prove" a hero?

many thanks

Writers' Cafe / Is this cover really so different?
« on: October 28, 2017, 04:56:40 AM »
The issue has been raised off line that I have a very strong branding going on with my covers, and a different cover might interfere with that branding. Unfortunately, my original cover artist isn't available to me any more. I rather like the look of the attached cover for Bridge of Seven Stones. Is it really so different that it's jarring?


sorry, I've forgotten how to size an image!

Writers' Cafe / looking for an inexpensive stock photo cover
« on: October 26, 2017, 01:37:04 PM »
I've decided that I really don't like the cover for Bridge of Seven Stones, and I believe that this is a major reason why it's the least-selling of all my books, even in person.

What I want is a stock photo of a bridge over a stream in a forest - if the cover artist can add a few sparkles to the bridge, that would be nice. Typography doesn't have to match my other books. I'm looking to have this done because I'm lousy at typography.

I know there are good artists on fiver and deviant art, but I don't have the time/energy to winnow through them all to find someone who can do what I want and have it look good but not charge me the earth.

Can anyone recommend someone? I can send out the original cover for specs and back cover text, if that will make it easier.


Writers' Cafe / Scary covers?
« on: October 19, 2017, 10:32:56 AM »
I usually get complements on my covers, but two independent sources today have just told me that they think their kids would be too scared by the covers to read the gentle stories inside.

I admit, Heart of Rock could be taken as scary by young ones, but it's aimed more at older readers (and the gargoyle on the cover is the good guy).  And I've never been totally pleased by the cover of Bridge of Seven Stones, and intend to get a new cover as soon as I can afford one (which may be awhile, because the illustrations for Sirens' Song are going to kill me), but the other covers are aimed at younger children - do they seem too scary to you? Would the two mentioned above keep you away from the other books?

Writers' Cafe / disliking a "sympathetic" character
« on: October 18, 2017, 02:01:25 PM »
I've got 3 main protagonists in my WIP.  I'm finding that, as I'm developing the personalities more, I'm finding one of them (owen) less and less sympathetic.  He's not a bad guy, just immature, thoughtless and selfish.  Granted, this will make my book more interesting, but it's also going to make the book more difficult to write.

has this ever happened to you, that you wind up disliking a major character? How do you handle it with out turning off your readers?

Writers' Cafe / the mindset of a soldier
« on: October 17, 2017, 12:29:16 PM »
can anyone recommend a book (fiction or non-) that accurately describes the mindset of a soldier who doesn't have PTSD?

Writers' Cafe / 4 short stories or one novel?
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:27:26 AM »
I keep playing around with the structure for The Boy Who Loved The Moon. I've either got 4 short stories, one of which ends on a cliff hanger, or I've got one longer novel with a framing story, and I'm not sure which of these is the best way to present the material.

Rudra 1 (cliff hanger)
Rudra 2 (resolves cliff hanger)

Owen's and Marc's stories echo Rudra's story, in the sense that all three of them love the moon in very different ways, and all three of them meet the same kinds of challenges, but with different outcomes. Owen loves the moon in the Romantic sense, as in a knight "loves" the lady whose banner he fights under, but generally no sexual involvement is assumed (she's usually a married woman). Owen goes through his challenges, and then decides to go home from the island of Mythos.

Marc is a 30-ish year old career soldier, who loves the incarnation of The Moon with sexual attraction. After he goes through the challenges, he opts to stay on the island of Mythos, but leaves the incarnation of the Moon to go exploring.

Rudra is a paleolithic hunter who goes through the challenges, is deeply changed by them, loves the incarnation of The Moon as a dear and intimate friend, and opts to stay with her. Rudra 1 ends with him contemplating the river of Lethe, which will allow him to forget any life before Mythos, resolving his traumas by making him forget them. Rudra 2 picks up with Rudra sitting at Lethe, and turning away, deciding to confront his memories and the spirits of his dead.

Both Owen and Marc fail one of the three challenges (or more, in Owen's case), and in their own way leave the incarnation of the Moon more or less unchanged.

so which would you do - publish all 4 parts at once, as a 4-part serial for $0.99 each? or publish the four with a framing story which is in itself a short story, for $3.99?

The title says it all. I want to set up a code because I've been approached by a store to sell my books, and I don't know how to set up a acode for them. C/S help was no help at all.

Writers' Cafe / I finally found my audience
« on: October 06, 2017, 01:31:51 PM »
I just got a wonderful email from my new employer, raving about one of the stories in Dragons and Dreams. I feel like I've finally found my audience: a midddle-aged Mythology professor who trained as a Waldorf education teacher. I admit, that's an awfully small market segment, and not one to necessarily build a career on, but he caught all my references, and really got what I was trying to do in that particular story.

I went back and re-read it. After all, Dragons and Dreams was my first book, and it's been a lot of stories since I wrote them. Heavens, was I pretentious in those days!

Writers' Cafe / Chess
« on: October 05, 2017, 06:20:01 AM »
I need some information for a chess game (a game I do not play) - it's an unusual chess game, between the Mother of All and the entity "of whom even Death is afraid." It's definitely stacked against the Mother of All - she has a queen, a king, and three knights - and that's all. The entity has a full set of chess figures. I don't need the full game, just some set pieces where certain situations are set up - I don't need to know how they got there. I do need for the Mother of All to be able to win the game by capturing the entity's queen (as I say, it's an unusual game) - the stakes are the life and soul of the Moon in her various aspects.

This is a framing story for The Boy Who Loved The Moon. All I need is 4 or 5 set pieces - I don't need to know how they evolved from one to another.

If you're interested in helping me with this, please PM me.  Thanks!

Writers' Cafe / My fairy tales led to a job
« on: October 05, 2017, 05:45:05 AM »
The oddest thing happened to me the other day. I got an email, totally out of the blue, and to my personal email address, asking me if I was interested in a writing gig. We talked on the phone, and he'd read Dragons and Dreams, and liked my approach to story telling. We met yesterday, and now I have a free-lance writing gig writing for an RPG, told from the Dragon's point of view.

That's the short version  - the longer version of how he found me is fairly complex, and involves the most improbably set of networking links. But what a lark this is going to be!

ETA: the pay is not great, although neither is the pay for writing fairy tales. but it's also working at home and part time, so I can still work on The Boy Who Loved The Moon.

Writers' Cafe / Curses!
« on: October 04, 2017, 06:29:55 AM »
So I'm still mapping out The Boy Who Loved The Moon. In the story, the personification of the Moon cycles through a lifetime with each moon cycle - as the moon waxes and wanes, so does she grow up and age and "die" at the new moon, to be reborn as a different avatar, with no real memory of past incarnations.

My current thinking is that she's under a curse to do so. Her mother (the universal Mother Goddess) is allowed to find 3 champions (one paleolithic hunter, one medieval boy who wants to be a knight, and a modern US soldier) to break the curse. I kinda know how the curse is broken, but I'm not sure why the powerful deity (currently Death, the spirit of Entropy) who put her under said curse would do so.

I don't want to pull a Persephone/Demeter/Hades story here, where Death wants the personification of The Moon as his bride, and is refused.

Any other suggestions? Please? Thanks!

Writers' Cafe / need information about the US Army
« on: September 29, 2017, 09:25:20 AM »
As anyone who has even glanced at my writing knows, I am not a warrior type, so it's ironic that 3 of my characters in The Boy Who Loved The Moon are warriors of some sort. I have Rudra, a paleolithic hunter; I have Owen, a 15th century Welshman who wants to be a knight. And now I have Marcus Barnes, a 21st century lifer in the US Army. He's on duty overseas, somewhere it's hot and sandy. And I know nothing about what his life would be like.  I think Marc is a Sargent - someone who has a certain level of authority, but is not really an officer. I think he's maybe in his late 20s or early 30s; he joined the Army right out of high school. He originally thought he'd use his veteran benefits to go to college, but decided he liked the life.

Does this brief biography make sense? Can anyone fill in the gaps for me about his life in the army, his skill set, and so on? Does his age and rank make sense?


Writers' Cafe / Need some astronomy help
« on: September 06, 2017, 06:56:58 AM »
If there are 28 days between new moon and new moon, does that count the new moon twice? or is that 28 days from new moon to last sliver?

My character of The Moon lives approximately 3 years per lunar day - I have her "dying" at age 81, and being reborn at the first sliver of the waxing moon. I'm trying to figure out how old she'll be at first quarter, full moon, and third quarter.

should she age faster the older she gets, so as to push her age at full moon back to a younger age than 39-42?

I ordered a whole bunch of paperbacks to be sold at festivals from now through early November about a week ago. I just got the notice that the books have shipped. But my bank account hasn't been charged for the books yet - I figured the payment would go through either when I first ordered or when the books were shipped, but no. Amazon is usually pretty good about charging things right away. I've gotta make sure that I have enough in the Wyrm Tales account to cover it.

when do they usually charge your account for ordered books, does anyone know?

Writers' Cafe / insecurity
« on: August 31, 2017, 11:06:53 AM »
I'm writing a plot summary and character sketches for my book, The Boy Who Loved The Moon. Up til now, all I've ever written have been short stories, fairy tales. One of my alpha readers for the summary said it's going to stretch my writerly muscles - and he's right. I read over the summary, add to it, write up my character sketches, and it scares me. I'm just not sure I'm good enough to write 1) A full book, and 2) this particular story.

Has this ever happened to you? what did you do about it?

Writers' Cafe / GoFundMe?
« on: August 31, 2017, 08:13:05 AM »
Has anyone run a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for art or editing for a book?

I'm seriously thinking about running a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the art for Sirens' Song - it's going to be profusely illustrated, and even though it's not long, and the artist is a friend and giving me a discount, the art is going to be expensive.

I'm also thinking about running a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the editing on The Boy Who Loved The Moon - I think it's going to be expensive to get developmental edits and style edits. I love my editor, but she's expensive.

Would it make sense to run two separate campaigns, maybe 6 months to a year apart, or run one big one to cover expenses on both?

Writers' Cafe / Is 3 named characters enough?
« on: August 30, 2017, 05:08:57 AM »
I have 3 named characters total in The Boy Who Loved The Moon: Rudra, an Upper Paleolithic man from what is now SW France, Owen, a Welsh would-be warrior and knight from 1415AD, and the personification of the Moon. Well, there's also Rudra's tribe, from which he and his clan are outcast, and his clan who are all dead, but they only show up in PTSD-induced flashbacks.

There's also a jealous shaman and a tribal chief who is protective of his political power (they're teamed up) but I don't have names for them, and they only show up in one or two flashbacks - just enough to give some backstory.

Is that enough to carry a whole novel? probably a short one, 45K words or so is my goal.

Writers' Cafe / full name v nick name v gender neutral initials?
« on: August 29, 2017, 07:39:33 AM »
I wrote my fairy tale books as Becca Price. I have two books in process that are very different from my fairy tales, one of which is aimed at a YA/adult audience.

To distinguish these books from my other, lighter books, should I use Rebecca Price? or R. E. Price? and if I do, will Amazon recognize that these and my fairy tales are by the same person?

Writers' Cafe / Is this confusing?
« on: August 28, 2017, 12:52:04 PM »
I'm writing my summary of The Boy Who Loved The Moon. In it, the personification of the moon is reborn as an infant with the new moon, and grows older as the moon waxes and wanes until the last sliver of the moon is an old lady. I have her losing her memory at each rebirth, so while there are some things that carry over, most of her memories of what she said and did during her last incarnation are lost. With each incarnation, I have her changing names to various other personifications through mythology.

Will it be confusing for my readers if I refer to her by different names through the book? having her lose her memory is crucial to the climax of the book.

Writers' Cafe / need name help for The Boy Who Loved The Moon
« on: August 28, 2017, 10:01:15 AM »
Not people, but places.

I've been calling the island Mythos, but it goes by many names, depending on the culture and the era: Avalon, Tir na nog, Isle of the Blessed... but to refer to it as any of those names kinda gives away where it really is. I'd like to have another name for it, and only later reveal the other names.

Also, the Cave of Truth - that sounds awfully pretentious and also limiting. I could call it Heart's Desire, but that too is limiting... it serves both roles and more, depending on the need of the person who goes into it. In some of the chambers that make up the cave, there are paintings similar to those at Lascaux.  In one chamber, there is a forest of stalagmites and stalactites. In the third chamber is a pool with an eternal flame burning behind it. The test is to be able to take three cups of water from the pool and grasp what is shown to you in the flame.

can anybody help me with better names for these places?

Writers' Cafe / pricing strategy help, please?
« on: August 26, 2017, 11:12:36 AM »
On Amazon, my collections of original fairy tales are $7.99 each.  At festivals, I sell them for $15, but I'm thinking about lowering that to $10 each.  But the festival price has to cover not only the cost of the books, but also Creatspace postage aand the cost of the festival booth.

I'm making a printed copy of a 3-book 20 story boxed set, mostly to sell at festivals.  What is a reasonable price for the set on Amazon (when I asked this earlier, someone suggested 9.99) ? What is a reasonable price for me to ask at festvals for the printed version?

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