Write it once, edit it forever!

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Being a self publisher is a lot of hard work. You have to pay for everything yourself. If there is a single mistake in your creation, it is all your fault. In the end game, there is no one to blame. You have to own it. You have to edit it.

That being said, creating the book is the part most people pull their hair out at. I love that part, sometimes I can’t sleep for days. Every moment is spent thinking about the next scene and note jotting, plans of how I can slip in secret messages for the crafty reader.

The most horrid and vile part of this business is finding out you missed something. There it is, up on amazon, or where ever you publish. Your cover looks great. You have a published author who wrote your prologue as a favor. It has so much promise. It’s shining like a star on the world wide web. You decide to give it a read, and oh the horror. There on the first page, you have a lower case letter after a period. How did that little sucker get in there?

It happens to the best of us. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read loaded with mistakes, even large publishing companies have some slip through the cracks. It is the stuff that keep us up at night. My god, we are all just a bunch of souls trying to find relevance.

So we found that mistake, what do we do with it? For an ebook writer, that’s easy. We edit the original document. What does that entail? Simple, we read that whole manuscript from the title page to the last line in the document. Biting our nails and swearing like sailors the entire time. Some of us who have a little bit more money may take this time to think about buying a new computer. If your files are safely tucked away on a usb stick, feel free to pull out your club, and or katana blade and destroy your computer. It’s always great to upgrade!

We read each line like it is the only thing in existence, researching our grammar and punctuation, just incase. Rewriting the lines we thought that were extinguished from mediocrity. Besides, we want every word to shine like a sparkling jewel, don’t we? I like to add descriptive lines I call ‘poetry’ to my action.

So we have exterminated the evil black marks in our book other people call MISTAKES, what next? Here comes the great part. Go into the settings of your bookshelf. Re upload just the manuscript over the other one. You’re done, the terrible goblins are dead, we have liftoff, you’re cooking with gas. All this awful darkness is behind you.

What have we learned? EDIT, EDIT, EDIT! Will it ever happen again? If you are a bit of a loner like I am and you don’t really have much in the ways of a good reading group, the chances point to YES. Don’t lose sleep over it. Just do what we do in life. Fix your problem and move forward.

Thank you,

Ivan Desabrais.

Coruption

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So the guy from Megaupload.com was raided. No warrant no anything. Silent black helicopters, they got into his safe-room, yanked him out, took his website down, claiming he was breaking the laws. A whole lot of companies are pissed because they had their files up there, which allowed them to do business. Now Microsoft is coming out with a website that basically does the same damn thing. Coincidence?

This world is so corrupted. We have communications companies trying to stake claim to OUR internet. They want to bill us by the minute for usage. GREEDY SELFISH BASTARDS! These pigs are always taking, taking, taking. Isn’t it better business just to give us what we want to keep us coming back for more?

Look at all these crooked companies suing people over copyrights that the person being sued owns, yet somehow these disgusting sloths are winning in the courts which can’t be legal. People are filling their greasy pockets with cash and innocent people are going to jail. When is it going to be enough?

Peoples lives are being ruined. Families are being shattered by these greedy sick people. Then they have the balls to say it’s not personal. YES IT IS! What the hell? How can they say that? They are personally ruining our lives!

I am so sick of these jackasses taking advantage of people. They sent out all those letters, saying if people didn’t pay a fine of $$$$$ they were going to jail for having music they didn’t pay for. That money never saw the hands of the artists who created it.

They use the cash to pad their lawsuits. With the kind of cash they’ve been collecting, they have enough to take out the big shots in the internet game and claim it all to themselves. What the hell can we do about it?

The people who have the power and money to make a difference turn a blind eye and just let it happen. If you try anything, they say a bunch of lies and get their crooked task force to nab you, sue you, and lock you up. Then they take everything you had.

You know why teenagers get angry and start changing their behavior when they reach that age? It’s because they come to know that THIS is not the way the world is supposed to be. They get depressed, because they know there’s nothing you can do to make it better.

Screw the end of the world. We all put our time in damn it! We have come so far. Cars that don’t pollute. The internet. Curing diseases. We should have a much more advanced society by now but these greedy bastards won’t let us advance because they’re scared they will lose control over us and all their money will dry up.

Why the hell do we let them do this to us? Why isn’t anyone making changes? We haven’t really made huge changes since the seventies. Maybe earlier. Take a good hard look. All these leaders keep coming out saying they will make things better. They are still working with the same clay. How can they make any changes?

We need someone with a vision. We need someone to look beyond the $$$$ and start thinking about the future. NONE of these leaders can see past the little dot on their head. All they care about is NOW and our kids get screwed.

We know everything we are doing will lead to our destruction and the bastards aren’t doing anything to fix it. THE TIME IS NOW! NOW is when we have to do something. I wish all these pigs would step down so these people with vision would stop killing themselves because there is no hope and no place for them in this sick world.

How many Leonardo’s are dying? or are killing themselves with drugs? They teach everyone to give up before they even start. Everybody gets a trophy for showing up. Why bother? Life sucks , so smoke your drugs and don’t care about anything. BS! Life is awesome, people suck! Care about something! Have some fire! Don’t let these bastards take anything away from you! FIGHT! We’re human, it’s what we’re good at.

Missing Children

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I don’t have any children, maybe one day. This subject of abused children hits us all. They are the future of this world and we need to let them know that. Most people, including myself, couldn’t dream the nightmare that parents who have lost their child live with everyday.

For anyone who has read my work knows that I write about powerful female characters and real men who strive to make a difference in a world they’re trying to change. A lot of us dream about changing the world for better and fighting for a noble cause. We are rarely presented with a chance to do so.

We are putting food on the table, working, hustling. Everyone has their eyes on the prize and is striving for success. There is no time in this world for anything personal. Stress and anguish, body pains, the list goes on, killing our spirits. We are a world filled with hungry, tired, striving people of all race, color, and background.

Our children are in danger. There, I said it. We forget sometimes, surrounding ourselves with illusions and things that make us FEEL SAFE. Sometimes the real world creeps in and disturbs us. For most of us, that’s everyday. It happens to our children too.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING, leads to MISSING CHILDREN, A hurtful subject. A lot of families have been destroyed by the darkness in others. The thought that our children are not safe in their own room is terrifying. We lose our loved ones everyday. No matter how much time passes, THAT is not something you can overcome. It is a hell on this earth that dwells out in the open and we are powerless to protect ourselves and those we love.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where it is thought better to coddle and shield our kids from the ugly truths of our society. We over censor, we are obsessive and worry until our hair falls out and in the end, we learn that our children are not safe.

There are families out there who are destroyed by pedophiles, psychos, slave traders, and incompetent people every day. We don’t understand why it happens but it does. Nothing is sacred anymore. We’re not safe at school, at our parks, or at home in our own beds.

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School isn’t safe: http://www.wmctv.com/story/16113018/family-still-grappling-with-loss-of-child-killed-in-school-parking-lot

Your home isn’t safe: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/oct/28/experience-car-stolen-baby

The neighborhood park isn’t safe: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/05/13/cops-andrew-burrous-9-struck-and-killed-in-floral-park-by-teen-driving-getting-driving-lesson/

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In my stories, I often touch on the subject of the slave trades. There are people out there who look at the person next to you and put a dollar sign on their heads. People are going on vacation and not coming back. This is a serious thing and most are clueless to the happenings.

There are so many dangers that plague our minds every moment of every day. We are living in a world where people are stopping their cars at green lights, not paying attention to anything around them. Are we at the point where the bulk of our race just don’t care about anything?

Nothing seems to work anymore. Our children see more now than we did growing up. We can’t hide them away and lie to them about the world. What’s the right thing to do? We have to educate them. Teach them to defend themselves, to know the signs of danger. We have to give them the tools to survive.

 

Thank you for reading,

Ivan D.

Authors, The Ritualistic Creature

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What complicated creatures we are. Most don’t even know it, but we practice rituals every day. Each person is different but they carry their little ticks and oddities with them where ever they are. Some rise early, have to have that tea, coffee, etc… Maybe you have to have your theme music playing. Often, and especially when I’m stuck in a story, I will listen to music, any kind really. Some kind of sound that speaks to me and says, ‘Ivan, this is the scene, quick, write it down before it’s gone.’ That’s how it feels doesn’t it? We are like photographers trying to catch a moment before it slips a way.

Some of us need to be around people, we get in our cars, on the bus, or walk to where ever it may be. We plant ourselves near them, the norms, the ones who are out there struggling, living their surreal lives. They are fighting to climb the corporate ladder, or maybe driving a cab. We gotta watch them.

Our friend the notebook in hand, coffee close by. We wait, capturing that moment. Maybe that beautiful woman, she’s mature, but strong, glowing with power, striding through the street and the sea of flesh parts for her because in her world, she is god. We need these people, they drive us, they are part of the ritual.

Sometimes, we can be deep. I find that a lot of people have lost that spiritual connection to their words. Our voices are power. We need to collect the mana that thrives in our cities, in our little towns, in our schools, our businesses, we need that life essence, that force that connects us all to breath into our characters and make them real.

My eyes open, sometimes it’s still dark. I roll over and take a look at the red numbers on my clock, a little blurry but they soon form. It’s four AM. What the hell am I doing up? I roll over and toss and turn until somewhere between six and seven thirty. My many little worlds on my mind. Will I work on Lasalle’s story today? Maybe Carver, the Bounty-hunting cowboy, out for revenge. Perhaps I will try my hand at something new, always so exciting.

Nice shower, a little colder than I’d like but it will wake me up. Catch up on a little news while I devour my cereal and the coffee brews. What is it about that brown nectar. I don’t drink it every day, nor do I have more than half a cup but it’s part of the ritual. I let the dog out, by the time I come in, it’s time for coffee. Two sugar, three cream, sometimes just hot and black. I take that cup down to the office, my Mac beaming back at me. Then there’s that first sip, is it good? Too sweet? Bitter? No, perfect.

It’s a proven fact that it doesn’t really do much to keep us awake, some can sleep right after having a cup. It’s that smell, that texture, that sinful little desert in a cup. It does something to me, it says ‘Time for work.’

If my brain is still foggy I hit Youtube and type some keywords from my story to see what kind of music comes up, any genre, I don’t sway to one specific sound, music for me is like souls talking to each other, the artist to the listener. Sometimes I can pull an image, or a mood from the song, it sets my tone.

My word-processor comes alive and my fingers dance across the keyboard, perfect. Lasalle is a fun character to write, her power, her naive mind forging like a great Japanese sword-master. Her gun ready, her heart on her sleeve. She tries to be sly and save the world. She cares that much that she would risk all for you and me.

Our rituals prepare us to enter another state of mind, they free us from the mundane and take us into that place we need to reach to see everything. They open the third eye and magic begins to flow, our passion rises like a burning white fire up from our bellies, and we blow it like majestic dragons over our blank screen or in our tattered notebooks finding that peace, that nirvana we all search for. In those hours that hole that’s in us all is full, that empty ugly spot has light and it’s shining bright for all the world to see.

Where would we be without our rituals? We are ritualistic creatures.

Fatigue & Writer’s Remorse

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One of the worst things to fight during story building is fatigue. If you’re too tired when you’re creating your master piece, you run the risk of ‘writer’s remorse.’ You will create tons of pages, maybe some will be good and you can bet that some will not. You will find yourself writing ‘double paragraphs.’ Two paragraphs, usually one after the other, saying exactly the same thing but in different ways. You want to avoid this.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that you won’t be able to use any of your work that you create during your foggy minded typing. What I am saying is that you won’t be able to tell if it truly is good or if it belongs in the bin, as Gordon Ramsey might say. It’s underdone, put it back in the oven.

Writer’s remorse is YOU plugging away at that amazing story and ending up with choppy scenes, unwanted characters, bad plot, flat people, no environment, maybe no reaction. REACTION drives your characters. Without it, you have flat characters. I once read a short story where a guy was stabbed and he didn’t even grunt, no cursing, no “AHHHH! You stabbed me!” Nothing. What the hell, some guy stabs you, you’re gonna make a fuss. Right?

Maybe you completely forget to mention your environment. What? Your world has no weather? No people in it except the talking heads? No obstacles? Why would you ever want to read a story like that?

Eventually, you get some rest. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, you sit at your overlord, COMPUTER and open your story, start reading what ever it was you wrote the night before to find all of the above. You’re left sitting there, staring at this mess that’s got a goofy grin staring back, mocking you, maybe the story flips you off and says, “Deal with it.”

What do you do? You suffer from writer’s remorse. Now you spend the next month, cutting, editing, rewriting, adding tons of time onto your goal. Before you know it a year slipped by and your friends and allies wont talk to you because you’ve ignored them all this time to right this horrible wrong. You could never let that story see the light of day or you would loose all face as a serious author.

To avoid all of this, get a note book. Write your whole story in it, planning it in scenes before you even type a single word. When the time comes, you write the whole thing in a couple months and call it a book. That’s life, a world you create, without writer’s remorse.

Good luck, and put you’re tray in the upright position, we’re landing here people.

For Want of an Outline

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The outline, is it important? In my opinion, hell yes. Writing an outline is beneficial when creating your novel, here’s why:

Outlining your novel is setting up main events that occur in your book. Don’t freak out, an outline is not written in the stars. You can change your mind along the way. It’s much like a fight. Your opponent the ‘Evil Lord of White Space’ and his minions have nothing better to do then challenge you at every turn. Lets fight back, an outline is like having a trainer to lead you through the match.

Before I have an outline I always know what type of story I’m writing. Since I referenced fighting in the above paragraph I will outline a story about a fighter. Now I have to decide what my main goal is. Why should I tell this story? I find too many authors share stories that are boring, make no sense, and have no reason being put to page. Just because you can write something doesn’t mean you should. I like having meaning to my work.

Back to my fighter story. First off, where do I start? How about a match?

—OUTLINE **FIGHTING FOR MY LIFE**
A story about a fighter, he is on the wrong side of life, living in darkness. He has no future, forced to work for a criminal organization. Orion can only dream of the life he wanted, he tried to get away from them after a stint in prison but that led to the deaths of those he cared for and the capture of his son.

Chapter 1 – Start with action
Orion is in the middle of a match. He’s in a construction yard, forced to fight my the criminals that have his son. They want the construction company, the crime boss believing in the old ways, appointed Orion as his champion. The construction company brought in a ringer, four time Pavement Basher champion. Orion is half his size, not even close to having his strength and he must win, he has much more to lose. The match is hard, Orion gets thrown around but something within him fights on. With a possible broken arm, Orion knocks the basher out. The criminals cheer and he is given time to see his son.

Chapter 2 – build drama and obstacles
Orion meets with his young son, possibly between 6 to 12 years old. They play some games, eat some pizza and do all the things Dax wants to do. Then Orion’s handler Mr. Harper enters, he tells Orion time’s up and he’s needed again. Orion watches as servants take his son away, crying, begging to go with him. “Please don’t leave me here dad!” Whether he knows it or not, Orion has made the decision to make the men that destroyed his life pay for what they did.

Outlining gives you the benefit of not sitting around, bashing face into keyboard, trying to figure what else to write. Now you don’t have to go chapter by chapter like I started. Having an idea of where your story is going will help you bang out those pages, and force your enemy ‘Evil Lord of White Space’ to lose ground and begin his retreat.

There’s a problem, always is. Of course you can change your outline; incorporate new plots, ideas, and twists into the story, why shouldn’t you? I mean if I wanted to add the fact Orion caused this because he took over enforcing when his father passed away, or change the timeline switch chapter 2 and make that chapter 1. Possibilities are endless.

Some authors feel writing an outline stifles their creativity. On more then one occasion I got into a zone with my battle against the ‘Evil Lord of White Space’ unfortunately when I looked back to my outline I had gone a completely different direction. I was horrified, what had I done? That’s why I have to share an outline is flexible, it’s just a map to show that your story is going somewhere

In the end, it’s not an apocalypse if you don’t follow the outline to the last word. Take a deep breath, refresh that coffee and come to terms with the fact that tweaking the outline is part of the process. Enjoy your work because if you don’t nobody else will.

Ian Desabrais

Death of Good Villains

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Ever notice how they build up this amazing villain who you love to hate, only to kill them off? What’s the point of that? Some of the best stories ever told are with villains who ‘get away to live and fight another day.’

When you do it right, your reader will not only want your villain to survive, they will begin to sympathize with them. Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes is a great example of this. He is the anti-Sherlock, yet, they have a lot in common. He’s brilliant and oddly polite. Except for the fact that he’s driven to destroy, he’s just peachy. In another life, he and Sherlock may have been close friends. They kind of are, playing their little game, that’s what friends do, they play together. If you read him right, you want to feel for the guy. He reminds you of that song: ‘Behind blue eyes’ by the who. ‘No one knows what it’s like to be the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes.’

How about Dracula? Did anyone else get this is a love story? Put yourself in his shoes. He goes to war for his faith. Word comes back to his wife that he’s dead. He bathes in the blood of the enemies of the church and returns to find she has committed suicide. He drinks the ancient blood of the black cross and becomes Dracula. Much time passes. He meets a woman who is the reincarnation of his beautiful love. The whole world is trying to keep them apart and even trying to kill him. You can’t get more romantic than that. Yet, through all this, they are the ones keeping them from finally finding peace in their embrace, two wanting souls who hunger for each other. They call him the monster, they prey on his children and murder him. In this tale, you can learn to identify with the villain.

Don’t kill off your villains, and if you feel that it is absolutely necessary then for the love of everything that is sacred to you, introduce a bigger baddy that your once big bad villain was actually working for. Another great way to tackle this situation is to make someone pick up the torch to get revenge on your hero.

Every person is capable of good and evil. Some teeter to one side or the other. What if a villain became good? What the hell is the hero going to do then? Their whole life they’ve been fighting and now it just ends? No, we make someone even worst then the previous villain.

Killing off your villains without cause or just for a simple shock effect is lame. You have to do better than that. Too many writers forget to put villains in their stories. If there is no struggle, there is no story. A great writer once said: “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” ― William Faulkner

I don’t take this to mean: ‘Kill all the characters you love.’ Maim them a little. Remember, scars build character. Make things hard for them. They need to struggle to get to where they need to be so they can grow to be great. If your heros never become great then your reader doesn’t become great. Get it? Creating great villains are an easy way to get them there.

You gotta reach, go bigger than your original idea. Always strive to be and do greater than you intended. Make us care about your villains, better yet, YOU gotta care about them. Don’t half-ass it and make some generic prick who is kind of snarky and greedy and expect me to like it. You better bring your ‘A’ game when you write your villains because you know I will. I pour my heart and soul into every character, good and bad. If I can’t feel something for each one, then what’s the point?

Ivan Desabrais

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