Writer’s Notes: Craziness, Depth, Emotions, Formatting & Pricing

There’s so much stuff going through my head as far as writing goes
this week that I’m having a hard time distilling it into one coherent
theme to post about. I don’t think I’m alone in that either…in the
past two days alone, I’ve read Chuck Wendig’s (serious language warning on that) post on why writers are
all crazy (guilty, though not quite to his extent just yet), and an
article about how creatives are more prone to mental illness by their
very genetic makeup.  The interesting thing is, it seems that you can’t
have one without the other in a lot of cases, so they’re trying to
figure out how to unlock that creative thinking safely, rather than with
booze or drugs (Which is what a great many writers use and have used
historically. Though personally, drinking while writing just puts me to
sleep. I know through experience.). I hope they find the answer to that –
then again, it sort of scares me too. If everyone on earth was working
at the creative level that artists and writers work at, I think we very
well might drive *each other* insane…
As far
as craft goes, I’ve been thinking about depth of story. Which all sounds
very deep (ha!), except it’s mostly just internal ruminating on how I
can add more “?” to my stories – and if so, do they really need it? All
of them? Or just some? I write page-turners (or that’s the goal,
anyways, and at least some strangers have confirmed that – not that I’m
reading reviews much anymore, mind you, but occasionally I scan…), so
there’s a balance that has to be maintained there. My brain has been
chewing on ways to deepen plots while keeping them moving at a decent
clip – I don’t want to sacrifice the action/adventure movie feel of my
rom. suspense books just for the sake of something that may or may not
need to be there.
I’ve also been pondering the new erotica story
I’ve started…my characters have to have a very clear emotional arc in
those, because that’s the essence of the story. Sometimes I get it
right, sometimes not…but I have a good feeling about this one, which
actually worries me, because those are often the hardest to actually
convey in words.
As far as my
suspense/thrillers go, I’ve been thinking about the dynamic between my
heroes and villains. It needs…something, and I suspect it’s more to do
with my heroes, which is disconcerting. Bad guys fascinate me from a
psychological standpoint. I need to find a way to be fascinated by my
good guys too.
And of course there’s business-y
stuff swirling too…I have four books to release just as soon as
I can get them all packaged up, which always makes me resent the time
it takes to format the text. Last night I spent four solid hours
formatting two collections for print – which means I didn’t get any
writing done, and I missed my workout and virtual gaming too. I hate
that. It’s not that I dislike the act of formatting…overall it’s
fairly straightforward aside from headers (which are *going* to be the
death of me someday). I just hate the time it takes…I have precious
little enough of that already, and collections take longer due to my
ineptitude w/the aforementioned headers. Someday when I’m making decent
bucks from my books, I’ll happily hand off my formatting to someone
else. For now, I’m considering teaching my husband how to do the job.
I’m psyching myself up for the inevitable drop in sales & income
for a few months after I raise the price of Tempest this weekend. I’m
publishing my flash collection at .99 cents (where it will stay
permanently), and Tempest (which is 26,000 more words than the flash
collection) will move up to my “novella” price point of $2.29. I feel
very strongly that price should be based on length (ie, how much story
you get), and to that end, I can’t feel good about selling a
novella-length work for only .99 cents long-term (I have no issue with
short-term sales, etc) when I have shorter works out as well. Other
authors will do what they want, and normally a super-low price point is
used for gaining traction, making bestseller lists and being “visible”.
But I don’t have a burning need to make the bestseller lists, or even to
sell a bunch of books at once – I’m happy selling a few copies of each
per month to people who might actually read them, and just building
slowly as my offerings grow. It’s taken me awhile to get to that point –
the point in which I realize it’s just going to take as long as it
takes and I may as well sit back and enjoy the ride – but I’m there now.
It’s a good place to be, really. A powerful place.
so, it’s still hard mentally to see sales drop to nothing (as they
always do when raising prices) for awhile. But it will be worth it in
the end.

So that’s what’s twisting in my brain this week. Scary, eh?

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3 comments on “Writer’s Notes: Craziness, Depth, Emotions, Formatting & Pricing

  1. Dolly

    Scary! Indeed. While there is this thing about creative people likely to go insane, I tend not to worry about it, or agree with it much because that certainly is not my concern. Weird, sure. But then who wants to be ordinary anyway! Crazy, of course not …anyone who thinks I am crazy, is crazy 😉

  2. Jamie DeBree

    Yeah, I kinda figure I’m already there, so the crazy part doesn’t bug me. 😉 I do know a lot of writers who suffer from mental illnesses like depression, etc – and physical artists too, so I believe there is something to that research. I just got lucky there.

    For me, the scary part is how much stuff goes through my head in any given instant…though fellow writers will immediately understand the feeling. LOL

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