Thursday, December 12, 2013

Self-Publishing, Dialogue Tags, and Refacing A Story

     Yesterday I saw that Ultimate Spider-Man season 2 was on Netflix. It was something good to watch while working on some digital photo stuff for a friend until Mar got home. Since I think I've finally gotten all of whatever was making me sick out of my system we made Famous Bowls last night with homemade smashed tators, corn fresh off the cob, and shredded baked chicken. During the process Mar dropped her phone in the smashed potatoes. She pulled it out and gave me a sad look as a goo burp slid off it.
     Its her special Famous Bowl recipe of potatoes and smart phone. I think that completes her list of dropping her phone into just about everything. The good thing about having a Wal-Mart special crap flip-phone, like I do, is I don't really care when and where I drop it, it bricks back still working well for what limiting functions it has.

     After eating we watched South Park as the continuation of our December marathon. You know, because of the holiday season and all that. While watching the subject of book bloggers came up and that's why I posted the following on Twitter and Facebook and probably elsewhere as I tend to do when a rant hits me.
     I love when some independent book bloggers put down book self-publishers. Not only saying they will not review self-published book, that's their choice, but also degrading them like book self-publishers are doing something against the rest of humanity. But you're self-publishing too. Me not understand? Do you? Independent book bloggers, mommy blogger, web comics, vlogers, web video series creators, websites, it's all part of the same marching line as book self-publishers. It's very easy to point a finger at one of these not of your own house and say, "That's not professional." "That's full of mistakes." "That spits water like a hole poked plastic bag."
     I find this type of independent self-publishing infighting stupid and boring and it does nothing to advance the independence and choices of artists when it comes to choosing their own paths with their work.
     On another line since I'm here, I also hate the douche ass attitude some self-publishing people have when other peoples views on the subject doesn't match their own. Disagree, comment, but as Wil Wheaton says, "Don't be a dick." You are not helping yourself, self-publishing, or the advancement of the human race for that matter.

     Later after Mar went to bed I started working on my current WIP dialogue while Endeavour played in the background and a mini rant sprang from me on Twitter. I hate dialogue tags. Really good writers can use them well, most can't, I can't yet, but I'm learning and until I can learn that lesson I'd rather just put the name after the dialogue myself.
     My editor on my next book, we had this discussion for a couple hours when I handed in a draft. She found the way I was doing dialogue totally bizarre. I agree it's unusual but its my style and I do think there is room for different styles out there in the mist of storytelling.
     "He said" "She said" over and over again in a story drives me nuts or stupid stuff like "he said with hardly a word" are just worthless in my opinion in moving along a story. To me its the exact opposite of moving the flow of story and most of the time it confuses or totally stagnates the reading experience.
     My way of presenting dialogue is influenced by my original writing training in film scripts and I wrote nothing but for years. Not saying I was great at those either but I made some pennies here and there, but that's why my stories are sparse in description and heavy in small chapters. The description isn't a ton because I was taught pages equal shooting time and money, and small chapters are like scenes sometimes with me. I say sometimes because I think I'm starting to come past that now but its still there in my writing.

     Just before heading to bed the subject of refacing a story came up online. Refacing is a hard lesson to learn. I struggled a long time thinking the initial idea or 1st draft had to make it to the end. I thought I was failing somehow. The past couple years I've had a book be rewritten three times from top to bottom before I just had to put it away for maybe a future revisit to see if it has anything within it at all. Also during that time three years worth of Tin Universe monthly stories turned into one years worth after I tossed out a bunch of things that just were not fitting right in the overall story I'm wanting to tell.
     I got so depressed for a few months because I thought I was just failing over and over again. A good friend, also a writer, a very good writer, helped me get through this with some good words. Also seeing more skilled writers struggle with this helped. Their pain is my learning too in a way.
     Stories change over time. That's how they live, and sometimes by the time you get to the end you might just have to turn around and come back down that road again over and over in search of where you need to be. If this journey totally changes your initial idea, changes the face of those things that inspired you in the beginning you aren't bastardizing the muses or betraying the words. I've come to see that what you are doing is being a writer. Simple ant it? Fuck right, it isn't.

     Now for some shameless self-promotion.

 From the Tin Universe Store:
Tin Universe, Middle Grade Series #1 totebag 1

     That's a nice little totebag, good for trips to the beach or the pool or for a bit of light shopping or to put over your head when being an ass at a party and too drunk for your own good.... or anyone elses for that matter.
     There are also a lot more Tin Universe materials in that store, many featuring the covers to my new book coming out on the 22nd of this month. It will be available for download on my Smashwords store for $1.00 per download. Like I've said before if you buy something from one of my stories I'll email you a PDF of Tin Universe Middle Grade Series #1 for free. All you need to do is put STORE ORDER RECEIPT in the subject box of an email with a copy of your order confirmation attached and send to

Mildred Betbeze, Tin Universe Middle Grade Series #1
“Zombified people make me itch so I’d rather not touch.”


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