Tag Archives: serialized novel

Forcing my body to obey me

Sunset picture from my balcony, pinks and blues
Sunset past the Fall Equinox


And when I don’t have it, the fiction doesn’t done.

It’s frustrating.

It’s also my life, and, if nothing else, that life has given me Pride’s Children, and so I forgive it.

Writing posts that reveal

I have two almost complete posts:

Laying out my writing wares for the passersby


Tagline, logline, pitch are the hardest writing ever

both of which are my brain kicking up something I’ve been resisting: serializing Pride’s Children NETHERWORLD.

Why? Because it is half finished, and I only had 40 finished scenes when I started serializing PURGATORY, and I have well over that for this book.

These posts are pending until I make the big decisions.

The first book was serialized several places, a new finished scene every Tuesday for two years. Read that again, and realize that, for someone as physically and mentally challenged as I am, that kind of commitment – which I fulfilled – is almost the same as spitting into the wind.

I honestly don’t know if it helped me write, or helped me focus. But I do know I finished.

At the time I hadn’t published anything else, so there was no sense of bravado – no one would probably care if I didn’t finish the story, the scenes didn’t get published on schedule, or I disappeared into the unpublished ether as a debut author.

Other publishing tasks got done simultaneously

During that same time, I learned Pixelmator and worked with J.M. Ney-Grimm, who kindly mentored me in producing my cover, a process which took a whole summer.

And I learned all the editing and formatting and proofing and layout tasks needed to produce an ebook and a print version. ALL. Seems a little foolhardy looking back – a rank amateur attempting a story which will be as long as GWTW when I’ve finished the third, as yet unnamed, volume.

Many of these tasks turned out to be easier for me to teach myself, at my own slow pace, than to find someone and communicate with them to get what I needed. For someone with a damaged brain, explaining is as hard as doing, and a LOT more expensive, so I just plowed through.

It should be easier the second time around

But it’s not. It’s harder – because there are expectations. And because the second book in a trilogy has to kick everything up a level – loosening up or staying flat aren’t options.

And, never fear, the kicks have been planned into the structure – but they are also harder to write.

And I’m older, and have been damaged longer

And there’s a pandemic going on, and a heated election, and a world going up in a different kind of flames.

The body’s older. The brain’s older than when I started this particular story – in 2000. If I weren’t so slow, I would have been long finished by now. GWTW took Margaret Mitchell ten years; I’ve already been at this twenty.

Serializing is a promise

But the idea of serializing again, only now with possibly more readers because they’ve read PURGATORY, excites me.

That, and developing the website for the books. (I have found a marvelous little book called Making Your Website Work: 100 Copy & Design Tweaks for Smart Business Owners, by Gill Andrews, just packed with good ideas I can’t wait to try.)

And publishing and making available as a reader magnet the Pride’s Children prequel short story, Too Late, which was a featured story on Wattpad, all this is exciting.

And I’ll put PURGATORY on sale periodically via Kindle Countdown, so that anyone reading something they like on the prideschildren.com website serialization can get PURGATORY, read and catch up, and enjoy knowing what happened before.

Just in case something happens to me

This is something any author involved in a several-book project right now has to take into account: not making it.

Many a series out there has been ended prematurely when the author clocks out for one reason or another, and Covid-19 is very hard on people in my age and disability cohort. So I will do a ‘Pride’s Children finish file,’ where I flesh out, just a bit, the structure of the remainder of the story, and leave instructions with my literary executor to provide the file to those who have signed up to follow the serial. Not as good as finishing, but, in my mind, a whole lot better than leaving it up to the readers’ imaginations.

Coming full circle to the title of this post

Forcing my body to obey me.

I am in the middle of a great experiment to work with the many problems, and use some of the features of a medication (ldn, low-dose naltrexone) tweak, to have more usable brain time every day.

I’m already getting a couple of pool dips, and possibly a trike ride – to keep things functioning – every week.

And I’m using the data I record about how things go to see if I can’t figure out a more usable schedule that caters to my dysfunctionalities instead of fighting them. For some reason (recent successes?), I feel I might be able to do that now.

I won’t start serializing until I’m sure, but it’s been my dream since we moved to USE the increased time I have here at URC, and during the pandemic when the social life is restricted, to finish the books, and then take a break from the writing to market more extensively.

Time’s passing, time’s awasting.

Cross your fingers for me!

A brief survey

  • If you had a favorite book coming out with the same process that I use, a finished scene at a time, would you read it that way?
  • Some readers won’t tackle something that is unfinished; but would the ‘finish file’ concept reassure you?
  • If you’re a writer, have you had any experience with serializing – and how did it go?

I would love to have your answers in the comments.

A writer’s Patreon can be fun

Neon plastic dinosaur toys with text: A new venture, a writer's Patreon; Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt


I just finished another free public post in my new Patreon:

Workspace notes for Scene 21.2
984 words

I’m using this Patreon as
1) a place to post the finished scenes in Book 2 (Pride’s Children: NETHERWORLD) as I create them – the first chapter of the book, Chapter 21 in the trilogy as I number continuously in case I ever get to put the whole thing in a single volume (tagged ‘Free public posts) is now posted in its entirety, a scene a post.
2) a place to talk about me, me, me: my writing process, my ideas, my scenes – for those with a burning desire to examine how I do what I do (still producing more ‘Free public posts’ for now).

Why? Because I need it; but more because my writing process produces 10 to 100 times more written material, per scene, than ever ends up in a scene, and that’s the kind of ‘reward’ Patreon recommends that writers produce for their patrons.

I’d love to see Ursula LeGuin’s work notes for The Left Hand of Darkness if they were available, so I’m enjoying producing a few of this kind of posts to see if they are attractive. My #1 patron loved the first one. We’ll see how her enthusiasm holds up.

And it got my brain going this morning to have something both specific, and not too hard (as it’s based purely on that background material I already produced) to get writing on.

Stop by and poke around the free stuff already there, and give me some feedback. Are you interested in having patrons?

And for me, the question is: Will you be my patron?

I checked out many of the writing Patreons. It’s not an easy site to do searches, but patience was rewarded, and I looked at fifteen pages of them to see what other writers were doing, what they were offering as rewards, and where they were on their writing journeys.

For strict writers of fiction (short stories, novellas, novels), I noticed that many were looking for support while writing their first novel – with no previous material listed as proof that they could finish one.

It is continuous crowdfunding – so to keep patrons interested and coming back, the writer has to produce a lot of new material.

I’m among the more organized Patreons; it isn’t a requirement. I’m sure the pressures of keeping a subscription site going are considerable if you don’t have a lot of usable material already. There are a lot graphic artists doing things like webcomics and graphic novels. Alas, I lack the talent (or the interest to develop any I like) beyond producing at least a few more covers that scream ‘Alicia did it!’

When I get to that stage again, I might use this (if there is interest) to post not just the final cover, but some of the steps and the thinking. Again, if I’m doing the background writing anyway, some of my readers might enjoy watching the process.

Reward tiers, ie, cost to patrons

My lowest tier is for scenes, and the next lowest is for scenes + background posts. Patreon wouldn’t let me offer them for less than $1, but you are allowed to cap the number of payments you will make in a month (which won’t stop you from getting them, only from paying for more than one a month).

My intention is to post up to two scenes a month, and up to two additional background scenes a month (to give myself time and space to make them look good – and remove a few spoilers from my notes which were intended to be private or to overwhelm my biographer(s)).

Patrons will help shape what I put up for those Workspace posts.

There are rewards for the truly committed – I’ve priced them in consideration of how hard it will be for me to satisfy the requests, and warned some may bring my writing on that day to a halt (I can only use each energy spoonful once, and I get far fewer than normal humans get).

Patrons can stop patronizing (patroning?) at any time, and late joiners will have the advantage of getting more early posts for free – and the disadvantage of not having as many credits toward a copy of the book when it’s finished.

So it’s an easy thing to try out.

1) Read the public posts already there (click button in sidebar to take you there).

2) Decide if you want more.

Easy peasy.

Maybe I’ll see you there. Got questions? Wish I’d had someone to answer them when I started the Patreon, but even I managed it in a week or so.


Reading unfinished work, knowing the end


I’m pondering whether the reason many people don’t try a trilogy is because it isn’t finished.

I’m exploring a concept that would provide the reader with story protection, and get the writer a safe space to write and some moral support.

Suppose you:

  1. were considering reading something long, like Game of Thrones
  2. liked the first book in the story trilogy (or at least the beginning in the Look Inside! feature on Amazon)
  3. were worried the author might check out before finishing, leaving you forever curious about how the story ends – and whether it makes sense
  4. knew there is a planned end, and you think you will probably be happy with it (the prologue gives hints)
  5. knew the author is slow, but patient and dedicated, and will finish if is it at al physically possible to her
  6. knew the author was extremely good at following a plan/outline/rough draft – so the story itself is finished, but the execution (the actual words) hasn’t happened yet
  7. wanted to read it now
  8. were willing to take a chance on an ebook version that could be regularly updated as the final draft slowly dribbles out, one scene/chapter at a time
  9. MOST IMPORTANTLY, had the rough draft included in your current ebook so if the author doesn’t make it, you still know how the story ENDS.

Then, would you buy it now, to get what is already there, and wait for the notification that the next update was available and download the whole again from Amazon?

In other words, buy unpolished work full price so as to get the polished pieces (plus the end) faster than waiting for the whole?

Just curious.

It would be very different from a subscription service, or a planned serial, because you would HAVE the end.

You’d have to decide if you WANTED to read that extremely rough version of the end, or just have it in case the author couldn’t finish it. You should choose NOT to read it; the rest of the story in rough format would be your insurance.

The intent of this post is to start a discussion about whether such a model would work to finish the planned Pride’s Children trilogy in a total of around a half-million words.

I haven’t seen it before, but this is indie, folks, and we can do anything we want.

Amazon already allows writers to update their manuscripts.


To write good titles channel a newspaperman


Part of the background of the novel I’m working so hard to get ready for publication is my fascination with celebrities, a tiny but life-long sideline of mine: in Mexico growing up, we read HOLA – which told you everything going on with anyone who was anyone, including the royal houses of Europe.

In the States, as an adult, I indulge this by reading People and similar magazines – at the dentist/doctor’s office. There is so much repetition, that once you have a good base, keeping up isn’t as hard as you think – you just tuck each new bit (which will probably recapitulate everything that ever happen in the celeb’s life) into your matrix of ‘data,’ and come back to it in a couple of months.

Life is a Soap Opera

I may have mentioned at some point that I have serialized Pride’s Children, Book 1, on several sites – to make connections in the online indie world, meet people, get new readers and their feedback.

One of these sites is VentureGalleries, and one of the two guys who runs it, Caleb Pritle, III, has been putting up chunks several times a week.

He chooses a 1000-1200 piece at a time, adds an episode title, and puts it up on the site.

He has the most outrageous episode titles, but the interesting thing to me has been that every one of them is lifted from somewhere in the episode.

When in the world did I write THAT?

The episodes aren’t quite scenes – his choice of divisions is to give serial readers a predictable size and approximate time-length piece, to be read on things like mobile phones.

So, for the fun of it, I’m going to go through the episodes he’s put up, and list them with their titles, and you’ll see what I mean.

One important bit: Caleb is an old newspaperman (I mean ‘experienced,’ not ‘agèd,’ when I say ‘old’) – and headlines have to grab. And he has a sensationalist turn of mind anyway – check out some of his books.

I honestly can’t remember writing some of these gems (the titles), but they are always IN the episode.

I’ve learned a lot about titles and grabbing attention from reading what he has been doing with my own words.

Thanks, Caleb!

Some ‘interesting’ episode titles:

3 – To hell with safe choices. She was going for…

6 – Did he have an affair with his co-star?

13 – Whatever the cost, her beauty was worth it.

14 – Love them, leave them, you never get to keep them.

24 – He liked living in the lap of luxury.

27 – It might be better posting an armed guard.

35 – For a writer, she was woefully inarticulate.

47 – She was jail bait, a child playing dress-up.

68 – Seeking sanctuary in the middle of the night.

74 – He sulked away like the coward he was.

86 – A woman who doesn’t gossip is a rare…

93 – Sincere flattery almost always worked.

99 – Sex changed everything and could never be undone.

109 – She had planned to expend her sexual tension.

116 – Why had she revealed her sordid secret?

128 – Would they fight a duel over a movie role?

136 – Hell’s deadline for tips was midnight.

144 – Was her mother sleeping around with movie stars?

152 – The most erotic thing a woman could do for a man.

158 – Why did she pray for the unborn baby to die.

163 – Was he on his way to hell?

He’s not done yet, so there will be more for me to shake my head at

They have ebooks and regular books and blog posts – always something going on.

This isn’t the full list – it’s not all posted there yet – but I can remember shaking my head at his ability to turn my simple words into lurid headlines when a particularly good one came across my desk.

How do you title your work, and what grabs your attention?

Thanks to Quozio.com for the ability to make quotes.

The fun of watching live readers

chinchilla sitting on a hand

Gizzy – silent reader?


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.


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.

Blogging about how far you’ve come


Brent Riggs (Brent@brentriggs.com) said to write a post about how far you’ve come, and how blogging has changed since you started: I’ll look at the period since I started posting Pride’s Children, February 12, 2013.

To ‘Write about where your blog was “X” numbers of years ago.’

He said, in an email: ‘People often become discouraged about blogging because they think those who are successful did it with ease and very quickly. What they do not realize is that it most likely took many years of hard work, perseverance, and setbacks.

Tell them about the hard work, setbacks, and commitment it took to get you from “A” to “B” (today).

This is the first Tuesday post in a very long time in which I don’t have a scene to announce, and it feels odd.


I started this blog to see what blogging was about, and found I like to blog. I’m an opinionated sort, and stubborn, and chatty under the right circumstances. By the time I started my own blog, I had been reading and commenting on other writing blogs for over a year, and could see how it worked.

At that point, September 9, 2012, I took the plunge.


Five months later I decided I was ready: on 2/12/13, I had 40 scenes in hand as a buffer, and I figured that would be enough to provide me space to write the remaining ones before I’d use up my buffer – never checking out my own data (what did you keep all those notebooks for then, Alicia?), which when examined showed that some scenes had either taken months to write, or were surrounded by periods of time where I had external or internal reasons for not writing.

So I started. And I’ve missed only one Tuesday (by about an hour – had the scene ready, just forgot to post) since I started.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Writing is temporarily over, at least on Pride’s Children scenes in Book 1.

Now I’m having weird withdrawal symptoms which I’ve realized are entirely normal: if you intend to self-publish, and have used all your energy for writing, when you get to the ‘publish’ part, you haven’t finished all those things you could have been doing as you went along.

You haven’t finished with one task, not really (there will be whole-book editing, and cleanup of a few known problems), but you now need to learn and do all those things you’ve been putting off.

People in general have been lovely and supportive, and other writers in particular have been helpful (I’m just one of a long line of newbies coming after them.

How long does withdrawal last?

Only until you get thoroughly into the next phase: it took me about this past week to really get going.

There will be a hiatus of sorts between ‘last scene posted’ and ‘available for sale’ because I barely made it to the last scene, and it’s going to take time (a month may be too optimistic) to do those tasks I have some control over: cover, description, formatting, final editing.

The ‘Soft Launch’

Getting Pride’s Children, Book 1, up on Amazon without making a big fuss is called a soft launch, and the idea suits me: put it up there, buy a copy and make sure the formatting works for at least one device (I have a Kindle and the Kindle app on my computer). Edit/fix/reload.

Decide the cover is awful in some particular way. Do something about that. Change the cover in the online store.

Learn more about descriptions – decide you MUST change it. Do so. Throw book up on Amazon again.

Repeat until the obvious mistakes are taken care of; pray there aren’t TOO many. Just for personal sanity, not bragging rights.

Hope you haven’t accumulated negative reviews.

Then think about a proper launch. The kind that gets reviewers to look at your book, and arranges for ads in various places. Realize what I just said. Hide.

Ebook is up and running, then what?

Get template for paper version. Learn all that stuff. Create paper version.

Think about audiobook. You’ve got to be kidding! Nope. More stuff to learn.

The bad part about a soft launch is that you give up some of the ‘New’ time Amazon provides for exposure of new titles. Why do I remember ‘new this month’ or something like that? Must go look up.

After an adjustment, I’m back to work

I promise to get back to blogging about the pieces of this ‘publishing puzzle’ if I discover new and uncommon ways to do it; if not, I’ll just link to the places I found my information if they seem to need some visibility: I am extremely grateful already to the DIY-ers who write free blog posts and inexpensive ebooks about ALL this stuff.

I am reading all this information, filling in the little forgotten corners. Amazingly, I remember most of it, if not in detail, at least that I read it somewhere, which reassures me that I’m not starting from scratch. Phew!


The current task, following JM Ney-Grimm’s wonderful advice (http://jmney-grimm.com/2015/04/what-happens-after-the-manuscript-is-complete/), is to get a description that will:

1) tell people exactly what they’re getting if they buy Book of the Pride’s Children Trilogy.

No, this doesn’t mean reveal the plot – that they have to read for. But there has to be enough information in the part of the description that shows up on the page when you click on the cover image, BEFORE you decide to click on SHOW MORE (if you do).

That little piece of real estate is the most crucial of the whole description.

You want an action on the part of the potential reader: preferably ‘Buy now,’ but almost as good will be ‘Show More’ and ‘Look inside the book.’

2) let a potential reader see a bit of the writing style, somehow, because that is the main thing they are buying and will be spending a lot of time with: characters, plot, and everything else, will come at them from THAT writer, and there are a lot of things a reader knows for sure he doesn’t like (typos, sentences that begin with ‘ing’ constructs, incorrect dialogue punctuation, pet peeves of all kinds).

That style will be much more obvious in the sample, but a reader won’t get to the sample if the first bit of the description turns her off already. I’ve seen it done – I’ve left my share of descriptions, knowing I didn’t want to read further.

Let’s see if I can do better, and I hope people will tell me – rather than just get out of there – but I can’t count on it.

3) Give readers a good feeling if they do the next click – I know when I’m being taken care of, as a reader, and I assume everyone else knows what they like to read.

Orient the reader and get the reader started, and lead her to wanting to find out what happens next.

I’m pretty sure that after cover, keywords, description, and sample, readers will know if they want to continue: I want to give them enough information to make that decision in an easy and complete little packet.

Doing something I’ve never done before, seeing if I can take all that advice and information I’ve gotten, and put up a professional package (you up there in the peanut gallery: stop laughing).

That is just the very start, as I’m following JM’s path – description only until I feel it’s perfect, then cover, then description again (you didn’t believe it is really perfect, did you?), then cover again…

What lies ahead?

I don’t know how much I’ll blog about this – I am such a rank beginner at this that even as entertainment it will pale.

I just don’t know what to do with myself on Tuesdays yet. Expect me to be erratic, and ecstatic, and static, and confused.

But trust me: I’m having great fun.

This is a time to make all and any suggestions. While the concrete hasn’t set.

What say you?

Writers: some readers hate your characters

You know those extra-scenery notes I keep talking about writing every time I write a scene?

The ones where I write about writing, and end up with 10-20 words written per word of finished fiction?

Well, I thought I’d mine some of them for blog posts about the writing process itself.

The snippet from Journal 18:

And, since I’m posting Chapter 18, here’s a piece from the Journal 18 file I kept while writing that chapter:

“Just a minute, though: I had an interesting conversation with MM on Wattpad: she doesn’t like Andrew.


Rachel LOVES Andrew.

That is an important difference.

To capture more of the market, I need to at least THINK of all the people who DON’T like Andrew – and what he stands for.

They need to be able to like Andrew because Kary does, even if they don’t see it themselves.

Which is a biggie: a lot of people don’t like Mr. Rochester, either, or the husband in Rebecca, because they are flawed human males. Very flawed. TOO flawed for some people.”

You don’t control readers’ reaction to your characters

When you create characters, you HAVE to let the readers form their own conclusions about those characters. Once you write things as well as you can, make your case as compelling as you can, it is OUT OF YOUR HANDS.

The author doesn’t get to sit on the reader’s shoulder, pointing out what the reader should feel, and how the reader is missing the author’s point, or how this character will be revealed later as better (or worse) than he/she appears at this point in the story – or any other little thing the author DIDN’T put in the story. Or merely any little thing that the reader and the writer will DISAGREE on.

Hating Mr. Rochester

Lots of people wonder what the heck Jane Eyre saw in Mr. Rochester – they don’t get it. He is rich, mean to poor Jane, willing to be a bigamist, entitled, rude, whatever.

And some of us – lots of us, apparently, or it wouldn’t still be read – get that the attraction is Jane, and how she loves, and that SHE is what makes HIM attractive, because she is attracted to HIM and we love HER. Her gentle way with words, her ruthless self-examination, her faith: he can’t be that bad if SHE loves HIM.

And ultimately redeems him by holding HIM to HER standards.

What do you do when readers don’t see it your way?

But back to how this applies to whether all your readers will like all your characters, or react to them the way you want your readers to react.

It doesn’t matter.

If there are two groups of people in the world, those who like your character and those who don’t, it means you have to solve only HALF of the world’s problems. (Ignore, for the purpose of this exercise, those who never read your story, those who read and don’t like any of it, and those who don’t like this kind of story and wouldn’t read it even if they knew it exists.)

Just because some readers don’t like Andrew doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of readers who do.

The conversation with MM reminds me that some people don’t like Andrew – they find him arrogant and entitled and self-centered.

I find him way too healthy.

But I love him – and half my readers may not.

Which just means that KARY will have to carry the weight of PC for them. IF they read, it will be because they identify with HER, and SHE loves Andrew with a passion she can almost not explain.

It is similar to Scarlett O’Hara’s misguided love for Ashley Wilkes – and didn’t keep millions of people who thought he was a wimp from finishing the story. (Including me.)

Phew – stop worrying!

ONE strong character can carry a story.

Some people will even identify with Bianca, and think I’m being horribly mean to her.

That’s fine.

I can’t be all things to all people, but with 7 BILLION people on the planet, I still ought to be able to find a few readers.

Maybe the people who don’t like Andrew WILL like my writing enough to read.

No writer can understand all readers

Whereas maybe people who read badly-written genre work somehow like the protagonists enough to forgive the bad writing. Must be the case in some readers – how else do you explain it?

Real world, Alicia. Real world.

MY TASTES ARE PARAMOUNT. For MY writing only, of course.

Which is exactly the same thing the literary writers/readers say – and I think they’re plotless hacks. Well, there’s little chance I will try to join them – I can’t write either literary or genre. Duh. You write what you are, what you have made yourself out of all the writing you’ve read, plus the teaching you’ve had (heavily biased by whether you like the TEACHER enough to listen), plus everything that has happened to you and how you interpret it.

Goes right back to: you write what you are, even when you think you’re being clever and hiding yourself as an author.

Back to work!

Which wildly popular characters do YOU find completely unlikeable?

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 15, Scene 8

This week sees the end of Chapter 15, with Scene 8 (1.15.8).

NJ had a good week, weatherwise: sun, some rain, weather in the range I consider normal: 68 – 75 (okay, some days were more humid). That’s what happens when you;re born in Southern California and grow up in Mexico City: you take nice weather for granted. Well, I’ve had enough of mid-Atlantic weather (is that what they call it?) to last the rest of my life – you can stop it now, and go back to normal. No? What’s the problem?

Oh, well.

The garden looks glorious, and for once I didn’t have a huge amount to do with it: I could get used to that. OTOH, Life doesn’t seem to be getting any easier – it’s always something!

Here is this week’s quote (thanks, ProWritingAid.com):

She inspected the man who stood on her doorstep looking oddly determined, and who had taken the trouble to wear a suit and tie under a navy cashmere peacoat. No plaid? “You drove all the way out here, at night, to dissuade me?” - Kary Ashe, Pride's Children, Chapter 15

I seem to be doing relatively well lately getting up, taking my B1, and getting to the writing within a couple of hours – and actually finishing some of those scenes up ahead (as we get closer than I’d like here to the end of my reserve). It helps not to eat carbs, for my brain. Too bad – I’d eat nothing but if I had my druthers.

BTW, doing everything yourself around the house is vastly overrated. And interferes not so much with writing time – as I can garden, etc., after I’ve finished writing on some days – as with the mental condition required to write the NEXT day. It feels good – and the next day I stare at the wall all morning, with nothing to show for it, not a word. Delayed reaction – quite common to us CFS folk. I just can’t afford it.

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). Pride’s Children is a mainstream contemporary novel, suitable for mature adolescents and adults, set in the world of those who entertain the rest of us. It asks questions such as who is allowed to want? And what matters in the long run? And how will fame and fortune break you? And who is foe and who is friend?

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 15, Scene 7  [Bianca]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 15, Scene 7

Posted this week is Chapter 15, Scene 7 (1.15.7).

What a week! Very little walking, but today I did part of the fertilizing of our third of an acre – sprinkling Hollytone on myrtle, perennials, pachysandra, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and miscellaneous bushes and trees. With walking being a little easier.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

I left the rest of the fertilizing to a nice young man who is helping with the yard – we are getting too old for some of these things. Not that we can’t get to them, but that they lead to sore days after, and it takes us forever – instead of most of the job being completed in a day or two of someone else’s time.

And, ahem, if I’m having some good time, I have a book to finish – and I can’t farm that out (nor do I want to – I’m having too much fun). The beta reader is happy with the latest (Phew! – thanks, Rachel).

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). Pride’s Children is a mainstream contemporary novel, suitable for mature adolescents and adults, set in the world of those who entertain the rest of us. It asks questions such as who is allowed to want? And what matters in the long run? And how will fame and fortune break you? And who is foe and who is friend?

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 15, Scene 7  [Bianca]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 15, Scene 6

This week’s post is Chapter 15, Scene 5 (1.15.6).

Exhaustion is hard to write through. Enough naps, care, kindness to self – it passes. Temporarily, but it passes. Liebjabberings must be considered still under construction. Le sigh. The good news is, the more I fail, the more I learn, and the number of possible failures is finite, right?

I keep telling myself I would be writing so well by now, if only I were healthy and mobile – but then I wouldn’t be writing THIS story, and I kind of like it. Forewarning: this scene had parts that were very hard to write.

Some of the exhaustion is due to diving into Wattpad – a very different place to serialize, and a new set of formatting oddities (sorry, WordPress) to navigate and wrestle into submission (though I’m not sure either Wattpad or I would call it a win).

I’m there as @ABEhrhardt, if anyone here Wattpads. Different readers and commenters – and they’ve made me feel welcome.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

I tried a couple of other quote generators, failed, went back to Quozio. There’s only so much learning space in my head.

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). Pride’s Children is a mainstream contemporary novel, suitable for mature adolescents and adults, set in the world of those who entertain the rest of us. It asks questions such as who is allowed to want? And what matters in the long run? And how will fame and fortune break you? And who is foe and who is friend?

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 15, Scene 6  [Kary]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 15, Scene 5

This week’s post is Chapter 15, Scene 5 (1.15.5).

I am walking, and riding my bike. Not a whole lot – but more than before, and more than for a long time, and the freedom is amazing: just going tonight to a Chinese buffet, and not having to struggle to walk back and forth with plates, was amazing. You guys who walk all the time: you’ve been keeping the good stuff for yourselves.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). Pride’s Children is a mainstream contemporary novel, suitable for mature adolescents and adults, set in the world of those who entertain the rest of us. It asks questions such as who is allowed to want? And what matters in the long run? And how will fame and fortune break you? And who is foe and who is friend?

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 15, Scene 5  [Kary]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 11

This week’s post is the end of Chapter 14 (Scene 11, 1.14.11). Phew. Finally. What is she thinking you ask?

I went on a little hike! In the mountains of PA. Ok – not a real hike, but at least 15 minutes of walking up and down in the hills around a cabin community. The freedom of walking is unbelievable – in previous years I’ve sat and chatted with the other stationary people in the lawn chairs, but this year I stood up and walked. The gratitude quotient is way up there.

I paid for it that night: needed extra calcium, magnesium, and a muscle relaxant to tackle the unbelievable cramps in my legs – but who cares – I walked. The next day wasn’t bad, and I’ve done a bit more walking since with no major consequences. I’ve ramped up the isometric exercises I located on the internet for all kinds of foot and leg muscles – I think I just caught my body by surprise. Be cautious. Build up. Don’t exhaust self. But I’m going to do this – and the freedom is exhilarating.

The website design, cover, formatting, and, of course, writing, is all on course – I’m just very slow, guys. No huhu, as Heinlein has a character say in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

17.3 coming along fine. Stressful. But the harder they are to write, the better they come out.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 11  [Bianca]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 10

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 10 (1.14.10).

I can walk.

So much better than with the walker. And I can stand – which was unexpected – longer than I can lean comfortably on the walker. I am so grateful. It made my trip last week to Mexico to see my family much easier. Still a tough trip, but I could get around better. I will increase time, work on the padding, and get used to having my shin connected to the bottom of my foot, but these things actually work. Hallelujah!

I am still finding a typo here and there, so don’t be afraid to report them. I either finish the story before I post it here (Book 1 is 20 chapter), or you guys have to wait. Sometimes finishing puts demands on the writing mode. The more things happen in Real Life, the harder it is to get everything in, but I really need to get to the end of Book 1 asap, so please forgive – and report – the occasional slip. Thanks!

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things before they’re posted here). Finished 17.2 yesterday after my trip – not a word today as energy backlash hit. Oh, well.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 10  [Kary]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 9

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 9 (1.14.9).

Otto Bock WalkOn Reaction AFOs (ankle-foot-orthoses) are here and I’m picking them up tomorrow! I might walk again! ‘Tis biblical!

It is a little crazy – so I’m posting early because the next few days will be very packed. Sorry if I confuse anyone.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). In the middle of Chapter 17 in the revision; Book 1 has 20 chapters: we’re in the final stretch, and the pace is accelerating.

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! You people aren’t working hard enough. Caught another one today, posting this – courtesy WordPress – one fewer to catch later.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 9  [Andrew]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 14, Scene 8

This week’s post is Chapter 14, Scene 8 (1.14.8).

ETA: links corrected for Chapter 14, scene 8. Note to self: don’t post when you’re tired!

Otto Bock WalkOn Reaction AFOs (ankle-foot-orthoses) have either been ordered or are very close to being ordered – paperwork in progress!

Worked on Holly’s tiny house – need to put some pictures up. They’re working on the roof! I helped with a tiny bit of the siding – it took longer to work a piece of siding around a window frame than to nail on 10 pieces of siding. It is looking very house-like. It would have helped to have my AFOs already – I hate being unsteady and getting tired when standing.

And here is this week’s quote (thanks, Quozio.com):

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier). In the middle of Chapter 17 in the revision; Book 1 has 20 chapters: we’re in the final stretch, and the pace is accelerating.

Typo reports, etc., extremely welcome! You people aren’t working hard enough. Caught one today, posting this – courtesy WordPress – one fewer to catch later.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

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PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 14, Scene 8  [Bianca]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.