So, apparently it’s not the best idea to host a free day on Amazon on Father’s Day. I had set up all of my days to go off automatically a few weeks back, without looking ahead to see if any holidays were in the way. I don’t believe that the fact that it’s a Sunday has any real bearing on my numbers (they were about 1/3 what I normally give away), seeing as my very first free day was also on a Sunday. My guess is that people were outside; they were going places, doing things, and having fun away from their e-readers. This is perfectly acceptable, and also a lesson in the fact that I need to check for holidays when I’m scheduling things way in the future.
Also, folk on Amazon.de really seem to be digging From Ash. Amazon.com routinely comes in first, which I’d expect, but Amazon.uk and .de really do come close to one another. I’m not quite sure why, but hey, thanks for the intrigue all you German fans out there.
In my personal world, writing has been going quite smoothly for the most part (when I have the chance to get to it). I’ve been spending most of my time cleaning out my old apartment and handing back the keys. It took two days, but I’m now full time in my new place and I’ll actually be able to dedicate myself fully to writing again—yay.
I’m right in the middle of a fun part of the book, and hopefully the rest of the story carries on with the same momentum. I feel like it lagged a little bit in the middle, which is something that I can go back and fix in the editing passes. It’s always a bit of work to make those big changes, but as long as they tend to still connect to the same ideas at the start and the end (and not delete anything too important) the changes fit in pretty naturally.
Speaking on the lagging middle, I think one of the issues that I have with the way I wrote was that I don’t like the direction of the conflict. There is conflict in the middle, but it feels petty, and boring, as if I don’t really care about it. It’s just my characters being stupid towards one another—I need to change this. I fully do intend to change the reasons, or at the very least, the way they go about being mad at one another. There’s no outside force for them to rebel against and so they sort of have to turn inward for things to have any friction. I don’t like when the characters are fighting just for the sake of the story. There needs to be a more legitimate reason or it needs to be played out in a more intense fashion, so that the characters actually have a reason to be upset. I feel like I missed the mark a little bit with that on my first draft; when I go back and do edits, it’ll have to come out differently.
It’s rather odd, for me at least, to talk about ways that I know I’ve messed up while writing a story. I keep having this terrible sense of ‘If they know I’ve made a mistake, they’ll never bother reading the book!’ This is entirely not true, though, as the book passes through about ten phases of editing and rarely comes out the other side looking like it did when it went in. The first edit is often the most brutal—I tend to chop entire scenes out and sew together the gaping holes with new passages. The entire introduction of the first Dreamstate book changed during editing (along with many, many other changes)—nearly half a chapter trashed and replaced, right at the start. It ended up working out for the best, though, with a much snappier introduction to the world that only a million editing passes could provide.