The End . . . of a New Beginning . . .

Just finished “Odd Woman Out”, the weekly-installment book on Wattpad.  Yay!  T’is truly the end, the concluding conclusion, the final farewell.

That got me thinking that a worthwhile venture might be a quick post on what to consider re a book’s ending.

Given the end should prove the apex—the highpoint—of your book/story, you want to close with a bang.  Depending on the genre, tension and excitement will vary.  In a romance, you’ll want the heroine and hero to argue, to detest each other, to bicker, and then to—awwwww—kiss and make up forever and ever.  In a mystery, you’ll need a body or five to impel the protagonist along a twisting trail to determine the demented killer, also known as Evil Villain.  Whatever the genre, though, events and incidents should propel the reader toward a grand finale.

A grand finale can be surprising, unusual, even quirky.  Engage readers’ imaginations.  Tease them if the story/plot warrants it.  What that grand finale shouldn’t be is ridiculous, laughable, or implausible.  And, if you’re writing a series, leave some things unsaid—entice your readers to want to pick up the next book.

If you’re writing for the first time, read books in your genre to get a feel for what works.  Research what makes for good endings.  A one-off/standalone may have your main character(s) change . . . grow up . . . mature . . . become informed.  A series can offer the same, but character growth and development could be extended into the next book(s).

Happy endings are wonderful.  I love them.  Life isn’t always that pleasant and things don’t continuously happen in our favor.  But it’s ni-ice to have things work out in a story.  It provides . . . yeah . . . satisfaction.

But, given your story, maybe things don’t end well.  Maybe the heroine drives off into the sunset, leaving the hero at the side of the road.  Or there’s a surprise (but not unbelievable) twist that has the protagonist doing something unexpected (but, again, not unbelievable).

You don’t have to provide a lot of action to build up to the climax, but you do have to keep your readers’ attention.  Provide for tension and/or friction; get readers involved emotionally.  They not only want to know—they need to know—what’s going to be revealed in the subsequent pages.

In “Odd Woman Out” (“OWO” as I fondly call it), Alex, the protagonist, returns to where she started, but she’s a little wiser, informed, mature.  The story follows her physical—mental/emotional—journey, where she’s learned some difficult, painful lessons . . . . as we all [hopefully] do. wptheend1a

That grand finale is about what’s transpired, been gleaned, and realized.  It’s not just “the end” . . . it’s a conclusion to [another] beginning.

OWO Woe

OWO (“Oh-woe”), otherwise known as Odd Woman Out, is a fiction novel I’ve been posting weekly on Wattpad.

It’s almost completed.  Yay!   So why the “woe”?  Because 1) it’s nearly done and 2) what’ll I do next!?  <LOL>

There’s a lot on my plate—the next Triple Threat Investigation Agency book, blog, artistic/technical efforts—but it’s a pleasant challenge to write something that’s different, something outside the ol’ comfort zone.  Granted, OWO was a twenty-some-year old project I pulled out of a drawer over a year ago, so there was no need to start from scratch or head-scratch.  owo1a

If you’ve got absolutely nothing to do one afternoon and are looking for something to read or take a quick look-see at, maybe you could check it out?  I always welcome feedback.  Here’s a quick rundown:

Alexia Raidho (or Alex, as she prefers) searches for self and soul as she travels along a literal and cerebral journey.

Through diary entries and fiction writing, Alex reflects upon exploits, accomplishments and failures, and speculates whether she might be an odd woman out.  Relationships, even those of a volatile and abusive nature, have impelled her down paths she might otherwise never have taken.  All—gratefully, she’ll willingly admit—have expanded her vision, talent, and maturity.

Her honesty can be raw or pained, melancholy or funny, depending on what or who she is reflecting upon.  Encounters, accidental or intentional, occasionally hold consequences while eccentric family members often make for entertaining—if not embarrassing—moments.  Friends and lovers, on the other hand, can make for surprising ones.  

Is it an adequate summation?  I’d say so.  I’d also say [admit] that the first half of the book is much stronger than the last.  Maybe my enthusiasm had started waning back then, as it [sort of] did now.  Could it have been better, edited more thoroughly, rewritten after twenty-plus dust-collecting years?  To be sure.

So what’s the next Wattpad project?  Something related to soul-searching and faith finding, to releasing emotions/thoughts/regrets collected over time.

It may be the tale of an only child born to two angry, bitter alcoholics.  Sadly, Tuula (not sure why that particular name came to mind) could never cut the apron strings and many decades later ends up caring for a mother who only had time for the bottle when she was growing up.  Words of love and kindness never existed, and still don’t.  As the years bleed through her fingers like ink upon paper, Tuula arrives at a belated realization: there is indeed truth to the notion that people perpetually seek acceptance and praise even when logically and rationally, very deep down, they know it will never transpire.

When you’re a writer, the world truly is your oyster.  Imagination and/or life serve as fabulous fodder for creative endeavors.  Here’s to perpetually pursuing and using our God-given talents . . . and embracing every moment. gifaminoapps

The Catharsis of Writing

cathartic =psychotherapeutic = emotional = healthful = releasing artistic creation

We all need to purge now and again—be it cleaning out closets, flushing out bottled emotions, or clearing negativities.  It can be done mentally, emotionally, and physically—through writing and posting, as examples.  Purging is a good thing; it eliminates excess and the unneeded.

I’m borrowing from James J. Cudney IV’s This is my Truth Now blog**.  The 365 Day Challenge involves daily posts dedicated to specific words.  (Hope you don’t mind, Jay.)

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The idea came about courtesy of my Wattpad weekly installment “novel” Odd Woman Out.  Left in a storage box for two decades, I yanked it out during a let’s-get-rid-of-crap spring-cleaning blitz.  Back then, I’d believed it was my pièce de résistance.  <LOL>  But as I started to read it, I saw some merit in it and thus, the weekly Wattpad installments came into being.

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Where does “cathartic” come in?  The events/scenes are more non-fiction than fiction.  A lot of things really did happen—to myself or individuals close to me.  The emotions and feelings, thoughts and reflections of Alex (the main character) have provoked chuckles and cringes, and “whoaaaaaa” and “ohhhhhh” moments.

“Whoa” because it prompts the [wincing] question: did I [he/she] really do that?  “Oh” because it triggers the [energizing] revelation: wow, I actually once thought that way?

The proofing/editing process is a bit unique this round: I’m only reviewing maybe six pages at a time, breaking long chapters into several small ones.  Every reading/edit is eye- and soul-opening.  So yes, writing/posting can indeed prove very cathartic.

You don’t have to make it public if it’s too intense or personal and you’re not comfortable sharing.  (Maybe that’s why Odd Woman Out remained in a box for years?)  But you know, sharing does enable you to purge—which, I humbly admit, is very freeing (and exhilarating).

Catharsis: letting go.

. . . Damn it feels really good.

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 ** This is My Truth Now reveals“365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.  I will post a characteristic about myself and reflect on it in a blog post for the next 365 days: a full year of discovery into directing the course of my future.”   Visit Jay’s blog at:  https://thisismytruthnow.com

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2 Ps in a Pod: Perseverance & Patience

It was a toss-up whether to write about e-book covers or Odd Woman Out, the weekly-installment novel on Wattpad.

Odd Woman Out won.  Not because I’m attempting to shamelessly promote myself (something I actually suck at, big time), but simply because I’m in the mood to share.

For those unfamiliar with OWO, as I like to call it, it’s a “sorta” cross between mainstream fiction and chick-lit.

Alexia Raidho (Alex, as she prefers) searches for self and soul as she travels along a literal and cerebral journey.
Through diary entries and fiction writing, Alex reflects upon exploits, accomplishments and failures, and speculates whether she might be an “odd woman out”.  It certainly seems she doesn’t fit into the norm, whatever that norm may be.
Relationships, even those of a volatile and abusive nature, have impelled her down paths that may otherwise never have been taken.  All—gratefully, she’ll concede—have expanded her vision, talent, and maturity.

I began writing OWO a good 25 years ago—yeah, I know, some of you weren’t born then or were still tooting about on a tricycle.  <LOL>  Pretty much completed, into a drawer it went for several years and out it came late 2015.  How’s that for perseverance?

It’s funny-weird to see how you’ve developed as a writer over time.  I know I have, majorly.  This is good.  I’ve [finally] found my voice.  Yeah, there’s still room for improvement, and if there are another 25 years to come, then I imagine I’ll have developed even more.

The point of this post?  Persevere, my friends.  Do what you love.  Take your time and never rush (patience is a virtue, on so many levels).  Grow as a person; develop as an artist [whatever your medium].

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Watt Fun

The merits of being a Wattpadder.

Is Wattpad a viable selling tool for an aspiring/established writer?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  Depends on who you talk to.  Some love it; some see it as no value add.

Currently, I have weekly installments of “Odd Woman Out” going.  Not sure anyone reads them.  But then, I’m not promoting them, either.  I guess I’m hoping a Wattpad fairy will sprinkle magic pixie dust.  Et voilà!  Tyler, you’re a hit!

The truth is that I’ve got an hour or so of actual “me” time per day, so it’s a toss of the coin.  Heads, I write; tails, I promote.  But if I promote, I need to decide what the best course of action is.  The abundance of self-promotion/marketing info out there is overwhelming.  It definitely takes (me) lots of time to digest all that requires doing.  And it seems easy enough initially . . . but three hours later, there I am, still trying to figure it out.

I digress.  For those not yet familiar with Wattpad, it’s a site with an informative blog and community (and labs) where—among many other things—writers can post works or persons can reach out with causes.  More notably, you can read Wattpad writers’—or Wattpadders’—opuses.  There’s lots of great stuff to be found.

From a writer’s perspective (forgetting the fact an audience or fanbase is probably a very good thing), I do find it rather fun.  You can design your own cover if you wish (I did mine and it ain’t bad, if I do say so).  You can post as often as you like, but doing so regularly (frequently) would be best.  There’s something exciting about hitting “Create” and “Continue Writing”.  Maybe one day the commitment will pay off.  Maybe not.  It’s all good, whatever the outcome.

I hear Wattpad even has awards, though I confess I’ve not yet checked that out (I’ll add this to the 105 other must-dos).

Take a gander . . . and have some fun.

www.wattpad.com

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To Wattpad . . . or Not To Wattpad

As I’m building this blog, I’m considering all that I’d like to see on it—such as “Odd Woman Out”, a cross between chick-lit and mainstream fiction, comprised of weekly installments.

Apparently, next to no one has read it, but then I don’t exactly advertise it.  My posts on Facebook seem to do little.  I’m guessing a) it just plain sucks or b) I’m not “selling” it properly.  As my fragile writer’s ego doesn’t want to believe it’s doggy-doo, I’ll opt for the second reason: I don’t (yet) know what I’m doing.

So-o, I asked the amazing, ever-helpful folks in the SPF Community and received fabulous advice.  If you want to get some traction with your books on Wattpad, do the following:

  • get your book featured
  • follow, vote and comment on stories in your genre
  • be aware that Wattpad caters more to YA, fanfic, and romance (but you can still make inroads, so don’t be deterred)
  • get your book featured
  • enter a contest
  • post regularly / make sure chapters and the like appear regularly, and
  • get your book featured.

. . . I believe I’ll see if I can get my book featured.  <LOL>