Sunday, February 17, 2019

What's it like on Wattpad? Part 3

I've been talking about my experience so far after a couple of months sharing my books on Wattpad.

Wattpad allows you to tag your stories so interested readers can find them. It was through the tag system I first realized there's a sub-genre of general and YA fiction revolving around siblings. In most cases, the protagonist is a girl in her early-to-mid teens, the siblings are mostly older, mostly boys, and the stories are first-person accounts.

There are sub-sub-genres in this category. I've found stories where the relationships are fairly toxic (the girl is bullied and physically abused... all in good fun??!), where she's subjected to intrusive or humorous overprotectiveness by her brothers, or where she has a more easy-going relationship with her siblings punctuated by endless pranking.

Whatever floats your boat, you can probably find it on Wattpad. [read more]

Friday, February 15, 2019

What's it like on Wattpad? Part 2

In my last post I talked about my reasons for using Wattpad, and how my first two books are doing since I started uploading them, chapter by chapter, about 6 weeks ago.

I wanted to share a few thoughts about how this method of sharing my books differs on a more personal level with the two sci-fi books I had published a few years ago.

Most obviously, Wattpad doesn't pay (although there are ways to monetize your writing). My alternative was to self-publish straight to Kindle and other ebook formats. In the end I decided not to do this because I had zero audience (given this is a different genre and it's been years since I published). The sheer size of the ebook store on Amazon makes it unlikely anyone would find my books before they sank into oblivion. [read more]

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

What's it like on Wattpad?

In late December I started uploading chapters of Little Sister Song to Wattpad. That story is now complete on the site, and I've almost finished uploading Out of Tune (book 2) as well. I thought I'd talk a bit about my reasons for using Wattpad to distribute these books, and my experience so far.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Read Little Sister Song on Wattpad

Just a heads-up that Little Sister Song, book 1 of the Wynter Wild series, is now uploaded and complete on Wattpad, a free book platform where books can be serialized. In the future I'll be releasing the first few books of the Wynter Wild series as free Kindles (and other ebooks).

I changed the cover for Wattpad and discovered that adding a figure to the image correlated to an increase in "reads".  Click the cover for a direct link. (You do need to sign up, or log in with your Facebook or Google account.)

Little Sister Song

Getting instant feedback on a story, chapter by chapter, in the form of votes and comments, is certainly a different experience for me. Better still is the chance to interact with readers in real time, as well as to check out the other books they're reading in order to discover new fiction for myself.

I'm in the process of uploading book 2, Out of Tune, and updating every day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Critical movies for furthering your education

“I realize now I’ve shown you a bunch of sci-fi movies that weren’t super useful in preparing you for real life.”
“But I’ve learned lots from them. I wouldn’t understand microgravity or fascism if you hadn’t talked me through those movies.”
“That’s good to hear. I hate to think you might accidentally find yourself in a microgravity environment and not understand the physics of what was going on.”
The above exchange between Jesse (heavy on the sarcasm) and Wynter is a result of his determination to educate her on classic sci-fi movies. So the title of this blog post should really include "according to Jesse."

The Wynter Wild books are set at a specific time in the recent past (starting in 2012). Youngest brother Jesse is a science fiction movie buff and he writes up a schedule, covering several years, of movies to show Wynter (who’s never seen a movie in her life).

No, I didn’t write out Jesse’s entire schedule. I’m not quite that crazy. But I had to create a rough guide because at various points in the books we learn where they’re up to on the list. The characters also see current movies on occasion, and since the internet is a thing now, it was easy to check what was showing when.

So, here are some of the movies (and TV shows) that are either mentioned by name in the books, or weren’t mentioned but I’m pretty sure they were the ones watched, from 2012-2014. How many have you seen?
  • Wynter’s first movie, and it’s about teenage superpowers—Chronicle.
  • Wynter goes out with school friends to see the 3D reissue of Star Wars Episode I Phantom Menace (the original came out in 1999, when the girls were babies). She’s never heard of Star Wars, to their horror.
  • Wynter’s guitarist Hunter wants a Game of Thrones “date” with Wynter (season 1 premiered the previous year).
  • Jesse takes Wynter to see Tomorrow When the War Beganillicitly, because her foster mother doesn’t allow her to see R-rated movies.
  • Jesse and Wynter begin watching his extensive list of classic sci-fi movies, starting with a ’50s movie marathon of Forbidden Planet, Them!, and The Incredible Shrinking Man.
  • Jesse wants to see an “R-rated sci-fi movie” but Caleb keeps it PG-13 with Snow White and the Huntsman. Another story of a mistreated girl, as so many fairytales are...
  • Wynter’s foster sister Madeline is obsessed with vampire books and shows, including Vampire Diaries on TV (about to start its fourth season when she meets Madeline).
  • During an outing for Indio’s birthday, a young boy mistakes him for Thorthe first movie in this series came out the previous year.
  • On Christmas Eve, Indio and Wynter stay up late watching the original Die Hardthe best “Christmas movie” he can find on TV. He mentions the “weird stop-motion movies” from the ’60s and ’70s he watched as a child. I watched them myself and I'm still creeped out by them.
  • On Christmas night the family watches The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, also stop-motion). The next day, alone in the house while the boys visit their father, Wynter dutifully watches a “cartoon about Rudolph”, which would be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). The other stop-motion movies that Indio probably remembers include The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, and The Year Without a Santa Claus.
  • After Jesse’s birthday party, he tries to persuade Caleb to take Wynter to see World War Z, to get her out of the house. Instead they watch the original Star Wars Episode IV as part of Wynter’s ongoing sci-fi movie education (they’ve reached the ’70s by now).
  • On Wynter’s 16th birthday, Jesse lines up a movie marathon of The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, and Predator as they head toward finishing up the ’80s movies by the summer.
  • On finding out she likes sci-fi movies, a boy wants to take Wynter on a date to see the latest Transformers movie or a “Tom Cruise time travel movie” (he’s referring to Edge of Tomorrow).
  • By Thanksgiving, Jesse and Wynter have reached the ’90s on their movie list. The family and associated girlfriends watch Mars Attacks!, followed by 12 Monkeys. Wynter doesn't understand the cultural references of the first, and finds the second depressing.
  • Indio and Wynter watch Pitch Black, as her first 2000s movie.
  • Jesse is about as thrilled as I would be to introduce Wynter to Firefly.
Even if you’re not a sci-fi fan, you’ve probably seen a few of these. What do you think of Jesse’s education syllabus for Wynter? Should he have stuck with rom-coms or historical dramas instead?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Pure emotion songs

I know, I know, you disagree! Maybe with all five. But don’t blame me. These are Indio’s “pure emotion” songs, meaning, according to him, they bypass the cerebral cortex and drive directly into the brainstem. The list is guitar-heavy because he’s guitar-heavy.

These songs aren't my "songlist" for writing to—I prefer instrumental music for that. Indio is the middle child, a musician and songwriter who also expresses himself through art. When his sister Wynter shows up with her half-formed musical talent and non-standard interpretations, he teaches her what he knows—starting with the blues turnaround, of course. For a short period in her childhood she had access to a radio and listened to classic rock stations. These five classic songs (and bonus), aren’t radio-friendly for various reasons, so she’s never heard them before but Indio considers them essential listening. (Song squares by me.)