September 24th, 2013

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Writing Excuses 8.38: Out Of Excuses Retreat Q & A #2

Writing Excuses 8.38: Out Of Excuses Retreat Q & A #2

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2013/09/22/writing-excuses-8-38out-of-excuses-retreat-qa-2/

Key Points:
Q: How have our opinions changed on self-publishing since last year?
A: Drastically. Better understanding of the market. What you are doing is trading the need to get past a gatekeeper for the need to engage signal boosters. Self-publishing is less about the platform, and more about writing a lot of short material -- six or seven books a year.
Q: What did you find difficult early in your career, and how did you identify it as a problem?
A: Writing a good story reliably. Revision. Exhaustion and burnout. Balancing marketability with what I wanted to do.
Q: What do you now find hardest, and how did you identify it?
A: Finding time to write. The Atlantic Ocean.
Q: Do you put Easter eggs in your work that only friends recognize? What's one of your favorites?
A: A character in one series reading a book about a character in another series and commenting on it. Killing a character in a very unpleasant way for a friend. Putting my friends in and murdering their enemies. A running joke about evil robot monkeys.
Q: How much do suggestions from fans shape your stories? How much audience analysis do you do?
A: Hugely, because I invite fans to be alpha readers as I write. I avoid fan reviews, to avoid bad reviews. I read four-star reviews because they are part of my core audience, but they have some complaint. Not so much audience analysis as being part of a community. Seeing how fans react and where the big websites are.
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[Brandon] All right. We're out of time, but we have a fantastic question for next time that we didn't get to. So we will hold that for the next one. You guys can be thinking about it. The question actually was where do you think that you guys... Where do we think that our careers would have gone if we'd never crossed paths for Writing Excuses?
[Mary] I'm going to suggest that as the writing prompt.
[Brandon] Oh, that's a good writing prompt.
[Dan] Yes!
[Brandon] You guys write about it, we will answer it eventually. Great. We're making ourselves characters again in our stories.
[Howard] Put Dan in a ditch.
[Laughter]
[Dan] A parallel dimension where we never got together and did this...
[Brandon] Ow...
[Howard] I would have joined the Fantastic Four.
[Brandon] Fortunately this did happen, and so you have Writing Excuses. But you have no more excuses. Now go write.
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