Sunday, July 29, 2012

Real Life versus Happily Ever After

I'm going to admit this right now: I like reading books with happily ever after (referred to here as a HEA). When I come home from a day of dealing with a job that shows too often a real life where such things are almost non-existent, sometimes all I want to do is push all that aside and for just a little while escape into a book that brings back a little faith in the world, and nothing like seeing people overcome the bad shit and find whatever it is the main characters are looking for to do just that.

So why am I admitting that I am a HEA addict?  I read a lot of the reviews on Goodreads, and one thing that bugs me are the complaints from people about books being unrealistic because the story hasn't given the characters enough time to find their soul-mate, or fix their issue. To those people, I say: I'm sorry. I didn't realize there was a time line for such a thing, but please, can you let me know what it is so I don't draw your ire with my own stories; or possibly miss my chance at finding a real life HEA by not following these "rules" that apparently exist?

I know several couples who have been married for like 20 years or more who admit they fell in love the minute they met their significant other. I know others who say it only took a few weeks or months. Granted, some say it took much longer than that...but the point is, everyone's "timing", whether in real life or in fiction, is different.  So when I read a book where a heroine falls head over heels for the hero during their first meeting I can get by that without issue. (Though I do concede that in fiction, it's more fun when one, the other or both, try to fight that, or fight the attraction, because it adds to the conflict!)  I can also get by a couple deciding to get married only weeks or months or so after they meet, fall in love, defeat the bad guy (usually a serial killer, stalker, or some other deranged mad man or woman), and clear up any and all misunderstandings. Maybe it's not realistic, and it doesn't reflect real life, but seriously--if that is your complaint, don't read chick lit, or romantic suspense, or paranormal romance, or paranormal suspense or contemporary, or any genre where there is a more than 50% chance of a HEA occurring for that matter, and then complain when there is a HEA that happens in a time line that is your version of "quick".  Dislike it because the characters aren't fully developed, or the conflict isn't fleshed out enough, the plot has gaping holes in it, or because you don't like the writer's style or word choices, or any other number of valid points that can be made about a book.  But to complain that the story doesn't fit a timeline!? Seriously, it just boggles the mind.  

Maybe people forget it's fiction. Or, maybe these reviewers aren't writers and don't get just how hard it is to write a book and therefore think all books should be closer to a 1 million word tome about characters who follow these rules/stages of a relationship that are a reflection of "real life".  For the record, if someone does write that, I won't be reading it.  If someone wants to complain about a book because a couple finds love with each other in a week, well then sit that ass at a computer and write that million word tome hot shot. Let me know when your're done.  I don't read books, or even watch movies, to see a reflection of the real life I know can suck.

So from this point on, I am going to ignore those comments about books I want to read not fitting into "a timeline that is realistic". I am going to revel in my HEA addiction and use that energy I'd spend getting pissed at people who bash authors for this reason alone to rant about something else, like when I see eBooks selling for 12.99. Seriously, it is still pissing me off. (Rant About eBook Prices Here) 

So what do y'all think? Am I justified at getting annoyed at someone whose only complaint is the timeline/HEA doesn't fit real life? I mean, I get everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don't know, I guess I'm just looking for something more substantial in a review. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

And now that my rant is over, here is my ROW80 update:

Writing:  5 out of 5. And yesterday I wrote 5k words! 5K!!!! Yippeeeee!

Being Active:  I need to change this to more like, getting off my lazy ass or something else more motivating. I tried to fit in a few things this past week but it was a half-hearted attempt. Will work on this for next week.

Charli's Story:  All is on track here for my deadline. I've been tightening up the plot and adding scenes.I can see the end and I gotta say I am so super freakin excited! Woohoo!!!!

Emma's Story:  Waiting to finish above though I've made a few notes on this and I've introduced Jake a bit more in the first book.  I love love love how this is all turning out!

Social Media:  Check...we're all good here. :)

I am also adding a goal. I'd forgotten it on Wednesday's post:
Read one book a week.  Done!

Hope everyone is smashing through their goals and good luck this week!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Better Late Than Never

I'm jumping into this Round way late...but I just couldn't get my shit together before now to set out my goals even though I've been working on them since the end of June. So today I am going to make it all official like and get back on the wagon that is ROW80.  And I gotta say, it feels damn good to do just that.  Some of my goals this round will be something to get done by the end of the Round (or a specific date); others are general goals to get done every week. This list therefore will change throughout as things are completed, and added, as time goes on.

Writing: Write something every day. Whether this is on my WIP(s) or blogging, I want to be writing each day, even if it's just for a half hour. I need to keep this habit going.

Be Active: I will starting this slow since I've been lazy the last month. So I will be shooting for 3 times per week here which I think I can easily swing.

WIP 1 (referred to as Charli's Story for now!):  Finish my WIP by August 17th. I am already almost there.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and am really excited to send this off to Betas. If all goes well, once I make changes I am hoping to get this out into the world by the end of September at the latest.  (As long as those changes don't mean me tossing the whole WIP into a nearby dumpster! Gah!)  *keeps fingers crossed this doesn't happen*

WIP 2 (referred to as Emma's Story for now!): This will be a second book set in the same locale as Charli's Story.  My goal for this is to finish the draft by the end October 1st which should set things up for a publishing date of no later than November 1. Seeing as this is already half done and I've learned A LOT about the world from the 1st novel, writing the rest of this should come a lot easier. I had never intended this novel to be a part of the series, but when I was writing Charli's story, I realized she was living in the same place as Emma and well, now here we are.

Study for, and take, the GRE: I have to do this for the masters program I am in. I've been putting it off because (1) it's expensive and (2) I haven't had time to take practice tests. But I am signing up for the test this weekend and should be able to get a few of the tests out of the way between now and the test iteself. I will shooting for two practice tests a week. I haven't had to take this kind of test in 10+ years and even when I had to take them pre-college and pre-law school, I wasn't all that great. Standardized tests just aren't my thing. Let's hope I don't suck!

Social Media: My goal is to get back on track with blogging a minimum of once a week and joining in for the word sprints on twitter at 2pm EST when I am in my office. (Check out #row80 around that time if ya want to join in!) Today is my first time blogging since July 8th which was a post about eBook pricing which is has been (and is still) seriously ticking me off. Check it out HERE if you'd like to read about what's been on my mind and feel free to comment; I'd love some other thoughts on it, cause maybe it's just me that is feeling this way. *sighs*

So that's it. Hope y'all are having a successful Round and can't wait to check in to see everyone's progress!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What Is With The Price Of eBooks Lately?

I've been devouring books lately on my Nook and found that the cost of some of these have spiked. Or maybe I was just not paying attention before and didn't notice how expensive things have gotten.  All I know is that the last 8 titles I've looked at on Barnes and Noble (just today!), the price is over 10 bucks, and sorry but I am NOT paying more than ten books for an eBook. At that price I should just go and get the actual book and if I could I would do that. But that would require me getting out of my yoga pants, into jeans, driving to the store, getting the book (and a Chai since I can't not get one of those while I'm there) and then driving back home, changing back into my yoga pants and getting comfy again. That is just too much time and well, work, just to read a book I will have done in a day and a half. (And additional money, since I would have to use the gas in my car!)  

So my questions is, what is with these prices lately? I feel like I've missed some major announcement about publisher's trying to screw over readers by jacking up E-book prices or something.  As an writer I can't imagine a self-pubbed writer putting such a high price on their books. It just wouldn't make sense to me, especially if the idea was to get the book out there and, well, make a bit of coin. So I have to assume that this is a publisher thing-and if it is, well that just plain pisses me off as a reader and as a writer.  I mean really?  You think increasing the cost will make you more money?  Did they not take basic classes in economics?  From what I remember, and from what I gather watching CNBC (yeah I know, I'm a nerd. But my college econ teacher was British, and hot, and so I really like economics, hence the CNBC obsession, cause it reminds me of him. But I digress.), the lower the price the more people will want to buy it! DUH!  

Kristen Ashley's books (who I LOVE, because holy wow can she write an alpha male! *swoons*) are like under 5 bucks each. I have read a ton of her books lately not only because I love her books, but also because I can get like 3 to 4 books (which are super long and just damn good! And I mean dayummmmm good! *fans self*) for the same price I can get one book by two unnamed authors (though not best-selling) . I love those two particular authors (who I won't name because it isn't their fault the publishing companies are jackasses) as well, but I haven't bought any of their titles in months, and won't, while their books are priced at 12.99 each at Barnes and Noble. And this sucks, because I really really want to read their books.  But I have to draw the line somewhere. And so I am, at 6.99. There may be a time where I will grab an E-title for 9.99 but I imagine that will be few and far between.  I can't justify the cost, especially in this tough economy, for paying an exorbitant amount for a eBook.  

So authors, if you're listening, and a publisher comes to you with gobs of dough or a contract or whatever, take some control. Ask them what they are setting eBook prices at, how it will be controlled, whether you will have a say in it, and do what you can to help out readers, and ask to put some of that control in your hands (and in the contract!).  I don't care if a publishing company offered me a million bucks to write a book..I can tell you I would never, not in a million years...take it without making sure some mammoth billion dollar corporation wasn't going to screw over my readers by charging a ridiculous amount for a computer file! And yeah, I know you're probably thinking "for a million dollars, I bet she would." But I wouldn't, and I know I wouldn't because I have a code. And I don't fuck around with my code-especially the most important rule in that code which is "do everything I can to try and be sure I do not screw people over, even unintentionally." I take that rule very seriously...since I myself don't like to be screwed over (and which I feel is happening by these damn high eBook prices!)

The bottom line is that as a reader all I want to do is support fellow writers and I try to do that by buying and reading a lot of books.  So it kills me when I can't do that because of the corporate need to screw the little guy (or gal) over with these insane prices. Stand up, stand together and don't let the possibility of finally getting that book deal make you forget your audience. If a company wants to publish your books that bad, make them work for it, and don't let them alienate readers.  

Okay, rant over.You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming though first here's a little Muse to further convey my displeasure over this latest annoyance.