Tag Archives: free serialized novel

The fun of watching live readers

chinchilla sitting on a hand

Gizzy – silent reader?

A LIVE READER IS A SPECIAL PLEASURE TO A WRITER

I am very, very honored lately by a phenomenon I had noticed, but not paid particular attention to, until I finished writing Book 1 of Pride’s Children: watching someone get hooked on my writing.

It starts on here or on Wattpad. I notice my stats go up – I’m getting more views than normal, and the list of posts visited on my blog takes on a pattern.

Here on the blog, I notice the sequence of chapters and scenes, one right after another.

On Wattpad (where I had been posting a scene twice a week), because of time constraints (it takes time to format and post a scene), I have a notice after Chapter 14, Scene 7:

If you like Pride’s Children, the whole story is up on my blog – link. Please tell me if it is inconvenient for you as a reader to switch to my blog, and I’ll reconsider posting the remainder here on Wattpad.

The special position of serials and live writing

So a reader knows I haven’t abandoned the story.

Every reader of a live serial knows that there is always a possibility the author won’t finish.

That gut feeling is balanced by knowing the work is available as soon as possible. It’s a trade-off. Many people, burned once too many times, refuse to read until the serial is finished. I don’t blame them – I’ve started reading several, only to find the author has other things to do, for whatever reason, and stopped, for now or for good, before I could finish reading.

Live writing (okay, I thought I had enough of a buffer. Hehe) was MY choice.

Readers owe writers nothing; writers owe readers…?

Until a book is published and available for sale, writers owe readers nothing. George RR Martin doesn’t ‘owe’ his readers the rest of his saga, even though they (Geek and Sundry on Youtube, Write, George, write like the wind) seem to think so, and are especially persuasive.

Writers have no more control over the real world than anyone else.

Even popular writers may find a publisher 1) having the rights to the rest of the books in a series, and 2) refusing to execute those rights. Ouch!

If you know only half the readers you need to survive will buy the next book, you may end up abandoning those readers.

What does the reader owe the writer?

Absolutely nothing.

There is, especially right now and for this book, no ‘contract with the reader’ made by anyone who chooses to read a few words of the story.

None.

I, the writer, hoped to heck I’d get to this point, promised MYSELF I’d get to this point, have promised MYSELF I’ll get to Book 3 and write The End.

But readers have not made ANY promises to ME, implied or explicit. Nor should they.

Context: finishing Book 1 of Pride’s Children

But, until I had actually finished (even if there are two more books planned, plotted, outlined to the last detail, and in rough draft form), I might have been on that same list of author interruptus. For all I knew, as I slogged along for all those years, I might be incapable of finishing.

Or force majeur might have kept me from finishing. Things HAPPEN.

The pleasure of the through reader staring on the blog

But now that I AM done, I get to enjoy my readers more.

It warms the cockles of my heart.

The pattern starts showing: I may not catch the beginning, or a reader may have been here all along, reading weekly, but now the Scene pages get viewed in succession over a day or two, until I get another hit on Chapter 20, Scene 6 (End of Book 1).

Whew. Another one made it safely to To Be Continued.

The pleasure of the Wattpad reader

I notice a different pattern: if it is a Wattpadder, Chapter 14, Scene 8 shows up on my list of views, and I know ONE more reader there has made the leap, clicked on my link, and done the hard part: moving to a new venue.

Since Wattpadders read on mobiles, this requires effort. It also usually means they read the first almost-14 chapters on Wattpad – which is a kick all by itself: I am not a undemanding writer.

The through reader is better than chocolate

These readers tend not to skip or skim. If they read at all, they get immersed (several have been wonderful enough to let me know).

It is an honor to be taken seriously like that.

I DON’T NEED ANY REACTION TO BE HAPPY: seeing the pattern complete makes me squee.

The reader who makes it through silently, like my chinchilla Gizzy (if she read), is welcome.

One in ten or so takes the additional step of letting me know what their reaction is, and those comments and emails are balm to the twitchy writer’s soul while doing all these OTHER tasks necessary to make a book salable.

My request of the through reader is different

EVERY response that comes, even simply reading to the end, is welcome. Readers owe me nothing. I repeat: nothing. I grew up in the time when you didn’t even realize the writer might still be alive!

Additional possible reactions: Like. (Or vote on Wattpad.) Eventually, consider buying (though they’ve already read the story, so at this point I don’t anticipate that). If Book 1 is for sale, a review on Amazon will be welcome (I promise I’ll put a link out when that’s true, and I’m trying my darndest to make it happen asap).

But MY preferred form of response, whatever else you do, Gentle Through Reader, is that you take a moment, think very hard, and see if there is ONE person you would recommend Pride’s Children, Book 1, to (dangling preposition and all) – and get them started on Chapter 1.

If you’ve done that – and that explains why I’m getting more through readers – my humble thanks to you.

And if you read the whole thing, your vote on the prologue – keep, rewrite, delete – is welcome any time, too.

Plus, of course, we’re always open for comments.

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Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 20, Scene 6 – END Book 1

This week’s post finishes the last chapter of Book 1, Chapter 20, with Scene 6 (1.20.6).

It has been a long process to get this book finished, and posted here every week.

I am grateful to all of you who read along – and for those of you who wanted to read it as a whole, here it is.

After I figure out what I’m doing next to get this actually published, I will post.

There is a round of necessary whole-book edits, but I don’t expect them to be major (pray for me!).

It is my intent to provide electronic Advance Reader Copies (eARC) for those who request them, but I have to master some formatting first. Today I wrestled with the whole in one huge file for the copyright office – enough for one day.

I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for the continued amazing support – and the friendships I made in the process. It has enriched me in so many ways.

PLEASE comment!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 20, Scene 6  [Kary]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 20, Scene 5

This week’s post continues the last chapter of Book 1, Chapter 20, with Scene 5 (1.20.5). (Next-to-last scene for Book 1.)

I wrote, last week, “No snow any more, warm weather, and I even went out for a short walk yesterday.” I haven’t gone for a walk since.

We had a late snowstorm – 3-4″ of fluffy new stuff – I missed going to a concert because it was supposed to freeze on the roads. Aargh!

Enough! It is now officially spring here, and the weather is all over the place – it will be 60 later in the week and something horrible over night. My head hurts.

I have 20.5 for you, barely dry in the ink from coming back from the beta reader, bless her soul (thanks, Rachel) for the rush (somebody has to see these things before I let them out into the world).

I will not drive myself crazy – but I also like where everything is going (said as a writer, not a reader), and I’ve known this for literally a decade, so I can’t run away now, can I?

Comments gratefully accepted.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 20, Scene 5  [Andrew]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 20, Scene 4

This week’s post continues the last chapter of Book 1, Chapter 20, with Scene 4 (1.20.4).

No snow any more, warm weather, and I even went out for a short walk yesterday.

I have been working all day on a tax problem – aargh! I wanted to write, I’m ready to write, and I couldn’t take the time. Tax problem is, however, almost finished, so I should be able to write most of 20.5 tomorrow (yeah, the buffer is non-existent at this point).

Don’t worry – I won’t drive myself nuts – but Book ! is almost finished, and my brain keeps leaping ahead to Book 2.

I had a fun thing today – two new binge readers (hi, whoever you are, and welcome) who read the whole of Book 1. Amazing – and put a smile on my face. I would LOVE to hear from them, and hear what they thought.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 20, Scene 4  [Bianca]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 20, Scene 3

This week’s post continues the last chapter of Book 1, Chapter 20, with Scene 3 (1.20.3).

This is NJ. We have lots of snow on the ground, but today’s high temperature was 54°F. Yup.

The snow slid off the solar panels sometime in the last couple of days, leaving them clean and sparkly (the snow grabs onto the dust). We are making our own electricity again.

My darling beta reader Rachel graciously read ahead again – I’m barely keeping ahead of my Tuesday serializing – and I’m partway through 20.5! One after that, and we will be writing To Be Continued – and taking a bit of a breather.

When I remember I started with a buffer of forty scenes before I posted the first one, and up to yesterday had a buffer of 0 scenes, you’ll realize how slow a writer I am. I had hope to post a scene every week/writer a new one every week. Ha!

OTOH, they get so much better with the slow percolating, and the subconscious keeps throwing up stuff to connect in, so I guess it’s necessary stewing time. I’m way too close to it – don’t trust my own judgment any more. It’s up to you guys.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 20, Scene 3  [Kary]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 20, Scene 2

This week’s post continues the last chapter of Book 1, Chapter 20, with Scene 2 (1.20.2).

Winter is hanging on, into March.

I took the car to the shop this afternoon, and drove back hours later in falling snow and slush on the roads and everyone in NJ driving very carefully. It makes everyone’s commute longer.

It seems these days everything keeps me from writing, and yet, the writing continues. Carefully selecting and editing and thinking ahead to the next part, while closing this one down, makes for a lot of time to do each of these last scenes in Book 1.

The writing demands to be followed to the bitter end of where the Muse is taking it; I just go along for the ride. I can’t make it deviate an iota from where it wants to go.

I think that is good.

I am now working with no buffer. Sacrifices of goats welcome. If I can just stay no less healthy than I am normally. Colds are circulating everywhere, in this household and my assistants and the grocery store and church…

Pride is a sin for a reason, so I’m not going to worry if I can’t post each week – worry gets in the way of writing. I can’t control what happens any more than you can.

Stay well.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 20, Scene 1  [Kary]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 20, Scene 1

This week’s post begins the last chapter of Book 1, Chapter 20 (1.20.1).

We have water dripping through the upstairs pipes – some of them froze, but we got them thawed – and running water doesn’t freeze as quickly. Since when is New Jersey getting weather in teens, single digits – and below?

I’ve left the house twice in two weeks. Cold outside, writing within. The husband and the new snowblower have been taking care of the show with aplomb – and without me. I love it.

Please feel welcome to comment. It really helps.

The epigraphs are not completely finished, but I’m not exactly sure what I want.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 20, Scene 1  [Kary]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 19, Scene 4

This week’s post finishes Chapter 19 (1.19.4).

Writing is hard, close to the end, because there are so many things to not forget, but at least I cannot be accused of wasting time cleaning house! Apparently, some writers find the necessity of cleaning the whole house from top to bottom makes it impossible to finish manuscripts.

More snow tonight; not as much as Boston is getting, but I can’t remember when I left the house last. Now that DH has the snowblower, he doesn’t need me to help, and it’s done in a quarter of the time it used to take the two of us. Or less. Yay, industrial revolution.

Same request as last week: please let me know if this scene is too much.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 19, Scene 4  [Andrew]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 19, Scene 3

This week’s post continues Chapter 19 (1.19.3).

Coughing even less – but not yet gone. 40 days. Wow.

I’m starting to wonder if I’m sabotaging myself! But we continue, and the hard parts are coming nicely, and another chunk finally got written this morning.

I have found out something odd: that when something is very close to you, the fiction and the reality overlap in a  disconcerting way. I guess I should have expected it, and I did, but not in today’s writing piece, in this physical way.

NJ is again NOT covered in snow – but we were very icy, and had to chop ice off the windshield to see out. Going out is dicey and slippery. The thin layer of black ice is treacherous, and the driveway apron seemed a lot farther down to the street than it should be.

One very large personal knot has started resolving, and that always helps – some things in life ARE more important than writing, at least in crisis mode. And I can do one or the other, but rarely both.

Please let me know if this scene is too much.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 19, Scene 3  [Kary]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 19, Scene 2

This week’s post continues Chapter 19 (1.19.2).

The coughing is less – but not yet gone. Still there – much less intensity. It is COLD today in NJ (and don’t laugh at me, those of you who live on the Great Lakes or in Canada or Finland or Minnesota or…). Well below freezing – everything that got rained on is icing up.

Some of the brainpower is returning, but I’m still losing most of the afternoon, and all the evening, but I don’t care because I’m writing in the mornings.

NJ is NOT covered in snow – the last forecast was a total dud, at least in our neighborhood (we’re at the notch in NJ’s left side, and the rain/ice/snow line moves around a LOT).

Once I got into Chapter 20, the last chapter, I found that I could breathe again, which is good – if nothing else happens, I can probably keep posting a scene a week until I write ‘To be continued’ and take a bit of a breather to get this properly finished and out on Amazon. Wheee!

Never fear – I know what happens next.

I think. OTOH…

Just kidding. The advantage of being an extreme plotter/Dramatica plotter is that I don’t know exactly how we’re going, but I do know exactly where. And I can relax and enjoy/sweat the writing. It halves the problems. Sort of. I still wrestle with the terminology, and the other plotting pieces, and all of the writing parts EVERY SCENE. Which is as it should be – that’s my job.

Thanks for reading along, those of you who have been. And, it won’t be long, those of you who have wanted to wait until you were sure this newbie writer was actually going to finish Book 1. Unfortunately, if you’re waiting for the whole thing, well, I’m faster now, but it’s going to be a while. But I STILL know where we’re going (hope that isn’t in the category of ‘famous last words’).

I haven’t been able to write much of anything part of the time recently, so I’m delighted to announce that this post came out of the fingertips with relative ease. Phew! Was wondering if I’d lost it.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 19, Scene 2  [Andrew]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 19, Scene 1

This week’s post begins Chapter 19 (1.19.1).

The coughing is less – but not yet gone. Amazing tenacity for whatever it is. Begone, already!

I begin the ‘getting to the end’ part of Book 1. I am now working without a net – there may be pauses. I hope not – now that I’m feeling a bit better, the second neuron I have seems to be coming back online. I tell people I have two neurons, one for breathing and the other one for everything else.

But we are so far behind where I planned to be at this point…

NJ is covered in snow – but a lot less than had been forecast, so there is some possibility of leaving the property, should I have any reason to. DH bought a SNOWBLOWER in September – and my part in the annual drama – of going out there to move some of it out of the way so he didn’t have to do the whole thing – may have come to an end. For which I am grateful. I will not have to find out if my leg braces fit in my winter hiking boots (though they probably do).

Wish we could ship some of the white stuff to the mountains in the West which need it. Task for Amazon?

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 19, Scene 1  [Kary]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 18, Scene 5

This week’s post finishes Chapter 18, with Scene 5 (1.18.5).

Coughing is actually physical exercise – or has the same effect on me: it uses up physical energy. When it goes on and on you wonder what life was like before. I know there are plenty of people much sicker for much longer; that’s not it – into every life some of this falls. And I know that in the grand scheme of things, one little novel (okay, one monstrously long novel in three parts) is unimportant. But I would prefer not coughing, thankyouverymuch.

If there is a next time – and I definitely plan for one – maybe it is better to have even more than 40 scenes in a buffer before I begin posting! I don’t know yet how I’ll handle Book 2, though the initial plan was to just keep going. Maybe a month’s break to fine-tune the plotting.

I apologize for dragging the 12 faithful followers (you know who you are) into a serial with a slow writer at the helm. I’m cheerful about it, and will try to speed up once the ribs don’t hurt and the brain isn’t quite as mushy, but it do make ‘er harder.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 18, Scene 5  [Andrew]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 18, Scene 4

This week’s post continues Chapter 18, with Scene 4 (1.18.4).

I’m sitting here shaking my head, wondering if I’m going to outrun my supply lines.

I won’t post work for readers until it is close to as good as I can make it, and the only improvements will come from considering Book 1 as a whole (rather than the scene by scene you have been reading); Life has made it well nigh impossible to stick to any schedule, and illness for the past two weeks helped nothing.

Some of these later scenes are long (not all), but I refuse to break them up – they are as the Muse intends.

I’m not panicking QUITE yet, but I’d rather make you wait (if necessary) than post things not up to snuff, so pray I get more done than usual the next two weeks, less paperwork from outside the pale, and a lot more courage.

It takes time to explore the things I set up, mine them for the REAL story – and I can’t skimp on that time. There are underground (to me) caves, and I’m spelunking.

That’s all I’ll say for now, but those of you who are praying types may pray, and the rest of you could cross your fingers, please.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 18, Scene 4  [Kary]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 18, Scene 3

This week’s post continues Chapter 18, with Scene 3 (1.18.3).

End of the year paperwork is done! (Kinda had to be, didn’t it?)

New Year’s was great – spent it singing with friends in the Folk Society – and DH and daughter – perfect (except I DID have cheesecake – and paid for it with sluggishness for a couple of days).

Wishing everyone a great 2015 (and me to continue toward publication and preferably either some mastery of Pixelmator, or the sense to hire someone to make an improved cover). Time flies – and there are so many things to do.

I seem to have recovered the will to blog about the things that interest me – with less energy at the end of last year, I was having trouble doing the extra thinking that, believe it or not, goes into the posting.

Hope you like the next scene.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 18, Scene 3  [Andrew]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2015.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 18, Scene 2

This week’s post continues Chapter 18, with Scene 2 (1.18.2).

Half the paperwork of the end of the year is done!

More remains! 😦

December’s been a blur – every single thing has been one-of-a-kind, the hardest for me to adjust to. Everything is a little farther forward – but by ‘a little,’ I mean infinitessimally.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year, a good completion to this year which is disappearing, and a great 2015 (and me to get Book 1 finished and published before too long, if the Lord He pleaseth).

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 18, Scene 2  [Bianca]

Thanks to Quozio for the quote software.


Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.