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Monthly Archives: October 2013

On the value of experience

When I went to CanCon, a few weeks ago, I assisted to a panel about blog tours. This panel was the reason I started this blog, and the reason I purchased the domain aureliaosborne.com. The first stop to any and all online presence for a writer is that writer’s website, or so the panelist said. So I got a website.

The panel was very informative, with the section “what to look for in a tour host” being a personal favorite of mine to this day. As I am helping my friend Caroline Fréchette, author of Blood Relations, organize her blog tour, and as I begin the preparations for a blog tour of my own for The Admirer, I am also learning first hand the truth of another thing that panelist had said: Organizing your own blog tour is extremely time consuming. Just the research is a couple of hours every night. After that will come the initial contact, and the follow-up, the writing of guests posts or the answering of interview questions, the creation of a banner, which is apparently crucial and in my case means learning how to code, or finding someone who already knows. And on each tour stop, you’re supposed to spend at least some time answering comments.

Me from CanCon didn’t doubt that touring would take a lot of time, but she sort of rolled her eyes in a “it’s so obvious, why bother saying it” way. Me from now wants to shake her and say “no, you don’t understand.” And I couldn’t, really. It seems to me that it’s the sort of things you can’t know unless and until you actually do it.

It’s like Nanowrimo: most people would agree that typing 50 000 words in one month is a lot of words, but until you try (and most likely fail, every wrimo’s I’ve every met would come short one day and have to play catch-up on the week-ends) to write 1667 words every day for 30 days, you just don’t know how hard it is. I’ve done it three times since 2007, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and about the craft of writing.

So good luck to all the wrimo’s out there! Enjoy Halloween; it’s your last day of freedom until December. As for me, I’ll be writing in November, and in solidarity, I’ll giving myself Nano-esque goals. But I’m also planning one book tour, and helping out on another, and planning a book launch, and working on this online campaign thing that I can’t talk about because spoilers, and I have a day job.

I don’t think my family and friends will see much of me this November.

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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Things to do on a rainy Saturday

Stay in pyjamas

Do the dishes

Take out the garbage

Bake some cookies, or some brownies

Finishing the corrections I promised I would do on my sister’s paper

Give the brush-off to a friend who wants to be more then a friend

Watch the 1995 BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice and swoon at Colin Firth’s voice

Rearrange my photo albums

Add some items to my Christmas/Birthday presents suggestions list

Finish reading the books I have to return to the library

Looking up blogs for a potential blog tour

Upload the cover of my novel in the Upcoming Releases page

Begin the marketing campaign for The Admirer, by setting the stage for a publicity stunt I can’t talk about here, because spoilers (that one might have to wait until tomorrow)

Finish the installation of my office (that one might have to wait until tomorrow as well)

Watch the 1995 BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice again, because I got distracted by the multi-tasking, and I couldn’t properly absorb myself in Colin Firth’s voice, and his smolder. The smolder. I couldn’t see what the big deal about Colin Firth was when I was younger. I know better now.

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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Introductions

Introductions are some of the hardest things to do. Introducing yourself to someone face to face isn’t so bad, but introducing yourself on paper, or online, is actually really hard. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that lately, and trying to figure out why that is, and I think I’ve figured it out. It all comes down to context.

Introducing yourself on paper is really nothing like introducing yourself face to face. When you meet someone face to face, life provides the context. It’s the first day at school, or you’ve started a new job, or you just moved in to a new place; that’s your context. And the person meeting you have their own context, parallel to yours; it’s their first day of school as well, or there’s a newbie at work, or someone just move in the block (or the neighbourhood). On paper, and/or online, there is context as well, of course, all life is within context, but the context isn’t parallel.

I though introducing a main character in a novel would be a closer approximation, but it isn’t really. For one thing, when you write a novel, you have your choice in the narrative, and there’s a reason most people use the third one; it’s the easiest. (The first one isn’t the hardest, though. That would be the second one.) For another, there are a lot of little tricks to introducing a character. You can open the book with a secondary character, to ease the reader in the universe. You can open the novel with a conversation the character is having with another character, or plunge into the action.

Very few books I’ve read opened with an introduction to the main character, to their presonality and their state of mind. Those that do that that in common with the successful, or at least the well organized, social media personality: they have an angle, a gimmick. Some play the mystery card (“Call me Ishmael” is in no way the same thing as “My name is Ishmael”), some have a more or less narrow focus (books or movies or music or fashion or art or food or etc, etc, etc), others have a personality quirk that they play up for the audience.

I don’t have one of those. Unless … is overthinking supposedly simple stuff a personality quirk? If not, then I guess I’ll have to play the mystery card.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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