Sunday, January 20, 2013

ROW80 Update 5 - Creative Distraction!

I have been diligently working.... just not on what I'm supposed to be working on.

I was sidetracked this segment of the week by inspiration on a quick nonfiction project.  (And, actually, a non-quick nonfiction project too.) I still worked on the outline and did some words.

Day 10 (Wednesday) - Slowed on the outlining, and paused to do a little more typing but I forgot to count the words.  Had the inspiration on these nonfiction projects.

Day 11 (Thursday) - I worked out some story problems, created some new ideas.... and then fell head first into the second nonfiction project which I will describe below.  Also, the cover concept came to me, so I did that. (I had fun with the smudgy tool.)

Day 12 (Friday) - The Secret Nonfiction Project started growing.  It consumed a tremendous amount of energy in the morning and afternoon, so I wore out and had to give it a break.  I then worked on miscellaneous ideas that came to me, and watched some videos.

Day 13 (Saturday) -Errand day. I did more work on the Secret Nonfiction Project.  Also drafted a couple of opinion pieces for later when I start up the blog again.  I am calling it quits a little early tonight, though, and posting writing this post early.  I hope to sit back and look over the outline to get back into that tonight.

When Nonfiction Strikes!

On Wednesday I realized that the way I've been outlining in Scrivener would also work for organizing a nonfiction collection of old blog posts from The Daring Novelist.  (Which isn't actually the project that ended up consuming my time this week.)

I've been trying to create such a book for a while, but it has been an organizational nightmare - finding and assessing and rewriting and organizing the best 200 or so posts from the over a thousand I've written.

However, I realized that Scrivener, with it's drag-and-drop nature for organizing, is just perfect for that sort of project....  And suddenly a lot of nonfiction projects in the back of my mind become possible.

The biggest obstacle I've had in dealing with nonfiction and collections has been organization of small bits.  Now it's easy, and so I ended up doing work on several ideas I had.  The blog book is a major effort and will take time, but I realized one of my minor projects could be done quickly and would be worth throwing myself into to see if I could get it done this week.

Interview Questions for Book Bloggers and Novelists

This started as just a private file I keep for myself.

Someday, sometime, I'm going to want to do a blog tour.  I'm going to want to do interviews, and I'm going to want to do guest posts, where I might interview myself, or I might just want to assemble a kind of "press release" packet of info.

So I've been collecting interview questions.  Sometimes I see a good one in a magazine somewhere. Sometimes I do a little brainstorming session and come up with my own.

One of the reasons I've been doing this is because out there in the blogosphere -- where there are a lot of book bloggers and indie writers who are not professional journalists -- everybody seems to ask the same questions over and over again. And those bloggers who have bothered to come up with more interesting questions generally ask the same question of every author, so that the answers are still pretty similar.

And WAAYYY too many questions focus on things that are only of interest to indie writers. (Why did you indie publish?  How do you promote your indie published book?)

And while that's fine, we do want to attract real readers, those who don't actually care about the business end, and want to hear about characters, and the story of the author as an interesting personality.  Or even just hear different things about the business than the same old subjects that get hashed to death. (And if not real, ordinary readers, then at least I want to see something different.)

So I've been collecting questions, and brainstorming more questions, for a long time.  Finding ways to vary the subject, to make each interaction fresh and unique, for when I get around to doing this.

And I realize that my question list could be a good resource for book bloggers and writers who are preparing for blog tours everywhere.

I thought I'd just throw together the questions I already had into a 99 cent booklet.  All I had to do was throw myself into the production and organizing end.  I figured I'd have about 101 questions, and that would be that.

But I keep getting inspired with more questions.  I sit there and organize what I've got, and cut the duplicates -- and the darned things just multiply as I go.  I shot past 301 last night, so maybe I'll put more time into it and go for a $2.99 booklet instead.

And to do that, I think I'll give it a couple of days off and then throw myself into another session or two to organize it and finish up the intro materials.

In the meantime, I did a cover.  I drew a question mark.  I drew a lightbulb, and then I had lots of fun with Photoshop's smudgy tool.  (I did kind of screw up the look of the question mark however, by changing the color. It ended up too uniform.) 

So, anyway, this week had less fiction and more nonfiction, but it felt very productive. Even though it left me really tired, I do feel kinda refreshed too.  Back to fiction for a little bit....

See you in the funny papers.


Anonymous said...

I like the cover for the 301 questions book. I'm increasingly starting to think herding creativity into a single project at one time is like trying to herd a bunch of cats. hehe.

The Daring Novelist said...

Oh, yeah.

Shah Wharton said...

What a great idea? You could even offer the 301 question booklet as an incentive to sign up to your email list, too. Great going Carmille. x

Anonymous said...

Hi Camille, it looks like Kait has hit some trouble and we have no mid-week check-in. So no one is left out, please come over to our Facebook group and leave a link to your check-in post and we will be over to visit. The page address is Alternatively, email me at and I'll pass your post on. I know Facebook isn't everyone's cup of tea!

Should we have no Linky on Sunday, we'll just keep working this way until things sort themselves out.

Cate (Round 1 Sponsor)

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Shah! It can be fun to do nonfiction stuff, especially "workbook" type things which can be handy for people.

Cate, thanks for the invite. I tend to avoid Facebook, but I'll keep it in mind.