Thursday, August 17, 2017

It's All Relative

My sales numbers for yesterday were awful. I thought to myself - this is the worst day ever. But it wasn't. It was just a slow day. I made a couple dollars. Not a lot, but still something. When I started out, there were weeks of no sales. I've gotten spoiled.

I've sold over 1,000 books so far this year. In all of 2016 I sold 1200. That means I will probably sell more this year than last. That's progress.

And I haven't released anything this year. Grrr. I spent way too much time on the first book in a new series that I had to put on the back burner because it had too many problems. Which made me start late on book 2 of Transmutation which had its own issues and is still in rewrite. And that backs up the start of book 4 for A Changed World.

I've done a little marketing, all of which boosted things for a bit. But it all comes down to putting out new work. I have an awful lot in the hopper...they're just not quite ready to be released.

So another short post so I can get back to work.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Bad Guy's Point of View

I started reading book 2 of a new series and gave up after a couple chapters. Book 1 was about the main character. Book 2 was building up the bad guys to set up an inevitable confrontation. I have discovered that most of the time I don't like reading about the bad guys.

A few years back while I was sampling new authors I found a book with a villain so vile that I quit reading immediately. I did not want to spend any time in that twisted person's mind. Nor did I want any description of the bloodbath he'd left behind. (shiver)

Maybe that's what makes first person books so popular - no foray into the mind of the antagonist?

Daniel Abraham's The Dagger and The Coin series has a wonderful antagonist who doesn't mean to be evil, he just makes really bad choices. I find that kind of bad guy fascinating. He's doing all the wrong things for the right reasons.

When an antagonist is over the top, I tend to skim those chapters, eager to get back to my favorite characters. It's a hard balance to create characters that are interesting and antithetical to one another. Too often authors cheat a little with a cardboard, cliche villain. I've been called on it a couple times by my beta readers (Thanks!). When I work a bit harder at figuring out who the bad guy is and what he really wants, it makes for a much better story.

But I don't like writing about them any more than reading about them. I tend to use the reaction of the characters I prefer, rather than the action of the antagonist.