Is The Quality Of Editing The Writer’s Responsibility?

By Cynthia Sax on March 23, 2017

I’ve seen quite a few posts from readers, reviewers, bloggers about how books shouldn’t be evaluated on the basis of editing because ‘It isn’t the writer’s fault. It is the editor’s fault.’

That’s very generous but it isn’t correct.

Bad editing IS the writer’s fault. A competent writer knows when her story is badly edited. She either hires a more competent editor if she’s self-publishing or she hires an additional editor if she’s with a publisher.

Yes, I heard those gasps. We, writers, usually don’t control whom the publisher hires to edit our stories. If we’re assigned a bad editor (and there are some of those in the business, even at the big New York publishers) and the publisher refuses to change our editor AND we care about the quality of our stories, we sometimes have to fix the problem by hiring our own editors. I’ve done this. Other writers have also.

If we can’t afford an editor, there’s always the critique partner route. Again, we have control over who critiques our stories and we have control over the quality of editing. It is our job to know the difference between a good edit and a bad edit.

Should a story receive a poor review because it has two or three typos? I read, on average, a romance novel a day and I have yet to read one that has no typos. There are no perfect stories. BUT the story should be readable. The errors shouldn’t be distracting.

There Are Different Types Of Editors

There are two main types of editors.

Content/Development Editors – These are the big picture folks. They look at our stories at the overall story and the scene levels. Does the story work? Are the main characters sympathetic? Do they have solid GMCs (Goals, Motivations, Conflicts)? Does every scene work? Is every scene needed? Do the scenes flow? Is the story structure right? Is the pacing right? Etc.

Line/Copy Editors – These are the detail folks. They look at our stories from the sentence level, hunting for typos, grammar goofs, that one wrong word choice that could change the story completely, echoes (repeated words or phrases), etc.

Some editors will do both.

It is important to know which type of editor we’re hiring. The bad editing that readers often talk about is due to bad line/copy edits. The writer will be assigned full responsibility for a bad content edit.

If you’re hiring both types of editors, I advise having the content edit completed first. It makes no sense to fix a sentence if the entire scene will be revised.

How To Find A Great Editor

The best way to find a great editor is through recommendations from other writers, preferably writers in your niche (especially for content edits). Read the writers’ books. Ensure they have the quality of editing you desire.

Editors will often ask for a few pages and give you a sample edit. This ensures they like your writing and you like their style of edits.

I changed editors a few times before I found one I worked well with (ELF – https://musingsbyelf.wordpress.com/) . That’s normal. It might take you a while to find your editor also. When you do, I suspect you’ll never want to let her go.

If you do let her go, remember that editors talk. It is an even smaller club than the writing club. Professionalism is a must.

What Editors Do And Don’t Do

Editors point out errors or places where the story can be improved. They will note these in the comments or in track changes or in a separate note/email. They rarely fix these errors. That’s the writer’s responsibility.

And we WANT this to be our responsibility. These are our stories. Our names are on the covers. Readers are buying our distinct voices. We should always have the choice of accepting or declining any changes, especially when it comes to content edits.

I almost always agree with a content editor’s suggestion that my story/scene needs to be revised. If an editor has an issue with it, usually readers will have an issue with it also. I can’t remember the last time I agreed with a content editor’s suggestion of HOW to revise it. That is our specialty, not the editor’s, and again, our solutions will be as individual as we are. How you fix the issue won’t be the way I fix the issue.

I also don’t always agree with a line editor’s suggestion. We, writers, know what words our characters would use, what words WE would use. Line editors, because they look at the story at a sentence level, aren’t always as aware as we are.

Repeated Issues

If an issue is repeated, often editors will give writers one comment about it. It is our responsibility to change the issue throughout the story.

For example, when I was a newer writer, an editor once told me to reduce the narrative in my story. I didn’t know what narrative was (sheepish grin) so I talked to a buddy (Christine d’Abo). She explained what narrative was, pointed out an example of it in my story, and suggested a way to fix it. That was my responsibility, not the editor’s.

Brand Watchdog

I’ve worked with my editor for years. She not only ensures my stories are as good as we can make them (though I tend to continue tweaking after we’ve finalized a story and that causes errors – grimaces) but she will also tell me if a new story will shock or disappoint my regular reading buddies.

A good editor, if she cares about you and your career, will ‘reject’ a story. Again, we are the masters of our own destinies. We can ignore this rejection and push ahead (I never have – I trust ELF and have completely re-written stories based on her feedback). But at least, we’ll be prepared for the reaction from readers.

Do You NEED An Editor?

There are writers who don’t need editors. They write super clean. Their stories are as tight as stories can be. These writers are rare but they exist.

I’m not one of those fortunate folks. I NEED an editor (whether paid or a critique partner). I require help with story. I need assistance with typos. I like having the reassurance of knowing someone else thinks my story is solid.

But there are no rules in writing. And, again, WE are responsible for the editing in our stories. Do what works for you and your readers and what makes you happy.

***

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Can love redeem a monster?

The Refuge is home to some of the most violent beings in the universe. Kralj, its leader, reigns over the remote outpost with terrifying ease, ruthlessly squashing any rumors of rebellion, killing anyone who breaks his rules. Primitive, deadly, powerful, he’s a monster, scarred both on his face and his soul. He has never met a being he couldn’t control.

Until he meets her.

Dita has one mission—to kill the three targets claiming sanctuary within the Refuge. Or so she claims. For the first time in his long lifespan, Kralj isn’t certain of another being’s intentions. The tiny assassin is immune to his powers, her thoughts unreadable. He can’t predict her movements, can’t control her, can’t stop wanting her.

Dita is rare, as unique as he is, and, to keep the residents of the Refuge safe, Kralj will have to kill her. But first, he’ll touch her, taste her, show her how passionate the beast inside him can be.

Dark Thoughts is a STAND-ALONE SciFi Romance.
The hero might be tall, dark, and scarred but don’t be fooled by his appearance.
He’s truly a monster.
This story is not for readers with delicate sensibilities.

Order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Thoughts-Refuge-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01MRAABGC/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Thoughts-Refuge-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01MRAABGC/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dark-thoughts/id1200022597

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-thoughts-cynthia-sax/1125580992

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark-thoughts-3

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/699393

Topics: Writing Tips | No Comments »

Non-Traditional Romances And Trigger Warnings

By Cynthia Sax on February 1, 2017

There has been quite a bit of talk on the writer groups about non-traditional romances. Should there be trigger warnings on books? Should these stories be in the romance category?

Dark Thoughts, my March release, is a non-traditional romance. Kralj, the hero, is a monster. He EATS his enemies. Yeah. I go there. (He’s half animal so eating his enemies, I felt, was a given.) In Releasing Rage, very bad things happen to the heroine. I wrote an erotica story long ago (it is no longer available at booksellers). That story was romantic but it didn’t have the romance happy ever after ending. They boinked and went their separate ways.

So I’m clearly supportive of non-traditional romances. I’ve also thought long and hard about whether or not we, writers, should signal to readers that our stories are non-traditional.

IMHO… the trust between writer and reader is all important. If our readers don’t trust us, they won’t allow themselves to escape fully into our worlds. Lack of trust in us, as story tellers, hampers their enjoyment of our stories.

We don’t want that. Ever.

Trigger Warnings

I believe in warning the reader about things that might traumatize them. Spoilers, however, can also ruin the reading experience. If I had said ‘(This specific bad thing) happens’ in Releasing Rage, it would have given away a major plot point.

It is also unnecessary.

We are writers. We have the gift of words. We can hint at a situation without telling readers everything. And our readers are highly intelligent. They will pick up on our hints. If they need more information, they’ll contact us and ask for it.

For Releasing Rage, I use ‘darkness’ in the blurb and my blurb ends with ‘Releasing Rage is a dark BBW Cyborg Romance.’ Dark usually means dubious consent or non-consent.

For Dark Thoughts, I say…

“Dark Thoughts is a STAND-ALONE SciFi Romance.
The hero might be tall, dark, and scarred but don’t be fooled by his appearance.
He’s truly a monster.
This story is not for readers with delicate sensibilities.”

Again, I don’t say why he’s a monster or what he does. I simply warn readers that this is non-traditional romance.

Saying ‘This story is a non-traditional romance’ covers a multitude of possible triggers. Cheating would be a non-traditional romance. Stepbrother-stepsister is a non-traditional romance. Master-slave relationships would be non-traditional romance.

What about ‘romances’ in which the hero or heroine or both die in the end?

Romances Without Romantic Happy Ever Afters Or Romantic Happy For Nows

For me, as a Romance reader and writer, Romance means a Romantic Happy Ever After or a Romantic Happy For Now. This doesn’t mean everything is happy-happy, simply that the couple (or more) is in a solid happy place in their relationship at the end of the story.

One of them isn’t dead. They are together. They might not have said ‘I love you’ but they do care for each other. One of them isn’t plotting to murder the other.

But I realize some writers are questioning this definition of our genre and I respect that. We’re writers. We question everything. (grins)

If this questioning is purely about sales, I’m not certain why writers would want to put non-romance books into the romance category. My cyborg romances (which are clearly romances) sell more units in the pure Science Fiction category than in the Science Fiction Romance category on Amazon. Fifty Shades Of Grey wasn’t originally in the romance category (as I’m writing this, it isn’t in that category) and I heard it sold fairly well. There are plenty of categories other than romance that sell well. And they are often less crowded.

But if you really wish to put a story lacking a romantic HEA/HFN in the romance category, please add a trigger warning. Well, unless you have a movie based on your book (like Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You) or you’re well known for killing off the hero or heroine (like Nicholas Sparks, who, to his credit, gets irritated when publishers put his books in the romance category). Then it might not be necessary.

Again, consider making that trigger warning vague.

Consider saying something like ‘This emotionally-gripping romantic story features a man determined to die and a woman determined to stop him.’ A Romantic story isn’t a Romance. Traditional romance readers know this. A story with Romantic Elements doesn’t have a traditional Romance HEA ending either. By calling your story something other than a Romance in the description, it signals to traditional romance readers that it isn’t a romance.

Trigger Warnings And Sales

My stories with trigger warnings (the vague kind) have more sales than my stories without them. I think this is because a) there’s a healthy market for non-traditional romance and b) the trigger warnings help the stories find the right readers for them, readers who will love the story and tell their friends about it.

I wouldn’t add trigger warnings to a traditional romance. That does the exact opposite – attracting the wrong readers for the story. But I wouldn’t be scared of trigger warnings either. Make them sexy. Make them intriguingly vague. Make them sell your book.

What are your thoughts on trigger warnings?

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Writing Tips | 2 Comments »

An Introvert’s Guide To Talking About Our Books (Self-Promotion)

By Cynthia Sax on January 25, 2017

Many writers, myself included, are introverts. We prefer not to talk. Period. Talking about our books is extra painful because they’re OUR books. That smacks of self-promotion.

The issue is if we don’t talk about our books, no one will know how kick ass they are. They won’t buy them. They won’t read them. I heard in a podcast that there are over 6,000 books a DAY loaded to Amazon. It is easy for our release to get lost.

When I first sent my stories to publishers, I thought my publishers would promote my stories. I was wrong. They simply don’t have the time or money to promote every book. Even the largest, most financially successful publishers have to pick their battles. Normally, they choose to promote their bestsellers. To become one of these bestsellers, we have to either promote our books ourselves or find someone else who will promote our books for us.

Notice I didn’t say self-promote.

Because when we promote our stories, we’re not merely promoting ourselves. We’re promoting our cover artists, our editors, our formatters, our publishers (if we have them), our agents (again, if we have them). We have a team behind our stories and this team benefits from the success of our books.

When I pimp Hers To Command on a Facebook group, for example, more folks see my awesome cover. Some of these folks are writers and publishers. They might hire Amanda (from http://razzdazzdesign.com/ ), my talented cover artist. If they buy and read the story, they might hire ELF ( from https://musingsbyelf.wordpress.com/ ), my skilled editor, or Mark (from http://marksebookformatting.com/ ), my always-current-with-the-trends formatter.

These wonderful members of my team are counting on me to promote my stories. They do well when my stories do well. I can’t let them down.

This is what I tell myself as I promote my stories. I have an amazing team behind me. They deserve recognition and the best way I can give them that is to talk about my stories.

Another thing I tell myself when I promote my stories is… I’m not spamming the world. I’m telling ONE reading/writing/reviewing/blogging buddy about my story. Using the Facebook group example, I’ll look at the Members section (in the top right hand corner). Facebook shows me common friends.

I’ll focus on one of these friends. I’m not telling the group about Hers To Command. I’m telling Jannie. She likes my cyborgs. I tell her everything. And I know she’d be sad if I didn’t tell her about my upcoming release. I certainly don’t want Jannie to be sad. She’s my friend. So this post is for her. Because I love her and I think she’ll enjoy the story.

The post is no longer spamtastic. I’m not ‘bothering’ anyone (one of my great fears). I’m talking with my buddy. If someone complains (which is very rare – Romance readers love to hear about upcoming romance releases, especially releases writers are excited about), well, the message wasn’t meant for that unhappy person. It was meant for my friend.

That leads me to my final point. It is OKAY to be excited about our upcoming releases. That whole jaded, cynical, seen-it-all act? It’s cheating you out of joy and it isn’t fooling anyone.

Be happy. Tell the world. Share why you HAD to write this story, why you can’t wait for us to read it. Follow the promo rules but let your enthusiasm show. Get giddy. Happy dance.

Your stories deserve to be read. Tell folks about them!

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Writing Tips | 1 Comment »

One More Solution To The Cast Of Thousands Problem

By Cynthia Sax on January 20, 2017

A popular Romance writing guideline, I try to follow, is to reduce the number of minor characters in a scene as much as possible. Every minor character takes page time away from the romantic couple (or more). He/she shifts the reader’s focus from them permanently. For the rest of the story, the reader has to remember this minor character.

Reducing the number of minor characters isn’t always possible. In Hers To Command, the heroine is a battle station Commander. She works with over a dozen direct reports (her Officers). I wanted to show her in this role, in charge, in her realm of power. That meant interacting with these minor characters. It would look bizarre if she strolled onto the bridge and was completely alone. (grins)

When I wrote the first draft, I gave all of these direct reports first and last names. They also had positions, which I often linked to these names to clarify what they did. It became an unwieldy mess. Halfway through writing the story, I was completely confused.

That got me thinking… if I’m confused, what is the Commander feeling? She’s often in high stress situations, battles to the death. Every moment counts. When she gives an order, she can’t issue it to the wrong being.

At the beginning of the story, she’s also on the losing side of the war. There’s constant turnover in her personnel because not everyone survives every battle. She has to learn names again and again, which would increase the risk of getting names wrong.

The solution I derived was to refer to all of her direct reports by their position only.

Here is a snippet from the story…

***

“Do you detect any activity, First?” Carys knew the female’s name, knew which small planet her officer had originated from, knew she had lost her mother, father, two sisters and two brothers in a Humanoid Alliance attack.

But she never used her first officer’s name. Carys had made that mistake once, solar cycles ago, when she was a warship captain.

Beings died in war. That was the unfortunate reality. Her officers were constantly changing, the dead being replaced with the living.

During an attack, she’d referred to her weapons officer by his predecessor’s name. The correction and the delay it had caused, slight yet significant, had resulted in a crew member’s death.

From that moment onward, she referred to beings by their position, by their function. That policy appeared cold and impersonal to outsiders. Carys didn’t care. She was interested in ending a war, not winning a popularity contest.

***

Looking at the cast of thousands issue from the main character’s point of view might give you solutions you haven’t yet considered. Hey, it worked for me. (grins)

How have you solved this common problem?

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Writing Tips | 1 Comment »

Pushing Boundaries With Your Writing

By Cynthia Sax on December 28, 2016

One of my mottos is… “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” I believe in pushing boundaries with my writing, trying things I haven’t yet tried, writing stories I haven’t seen available for sale.

Knowing Where The Boundaries Are

What ARE the boundaries?

The booksellers have boundaries. For example, many state there are to be no child abuse, incest, rape or bestiality (excluding shifters) scenes depicted as ‘sexy times’ (i.e. the goal isn’t to be sexual gratification). Be especially careful of these boundaries if you write erotic. The more explicit the scene, the greater the chances the book will be removed.

Many boundary-pushing writers cite Lolita as a book that is taboo yet sold at booksellers. Vladimir Nabokov was never graphic in his language. He uses imagery heavily. I think this is what makes this story allowable. The booksellers view the story as artistic, not pornographic.

Genres, subgenres and niches also have boundaries. Some boundaries are ‘hard’. The definition of romance is a romantic happy ever after or happy for now ending. Kill the hero and your story is no longer a romance. Some boundaries are ‘soft’. A hero, for example, usually only kills good guys on the page.

One of the reasons writers advise newer writers to read is because that’s a great way to learn where the boundaries are. If no one cusses in any of the Inspirational Historical Romances you read, for example, you know cussing might be taboo for that niche.

I normally write balls to the wall during the first draft and then self-censor (or not!) during the subsequent drafts.

Crossing a boundary at the publishing stage should be a conscious decision.

Why?

Because crossing boundaries can have consequences.

The Risks Of Crossing A Boundary

The boundaries are there for a reason. Someone, either the reader or the bookseller, likes having them in place. Cross a boundary and you’ll upset someone. Cross multiple boundaries in one story and you might upset everyone.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But we should know the possible downsides.

When I Indie published Releasing Rage, I knew I was taking a chance not only with readers but also with booksellers. Bad things happen to the heroine. Even though these bad things happen off page and are clearly depicted as an act of violence, not titillation, the booksellers could have removed the story. They have that right. It is clearly stated in their terms of service.

I took that risk. The booksellers didn’t remove the story. I’m certain it was reported. I’m certain someone at Amazon reviewed the story. They must have decided the scene was acceptable.

Other buddies have had to remove offending scenes or craft new covers or change book descriptions or remove tags. Their stories were temporarily removed until they were deemed compliant. In some cases, there was no tweaking the stories to satisfy the booksellers. Perhaps the stories centered around the offending action. The writers either decided to publish it on another platform (marketing it as ‘too hot for XXX bookseller’) or they shelved the stories.

If your story pushes bookseller boundaries, assume it will be reported and evaluated. The better your sales, the quicker your story will be reported.

You will also receive 1 star reviews and angry messages from readers. I received plenty of both for Releasing Rage. I saw them as confirmation I was doing something different in the cyborg space.

The Upside

There are some glorious upsides to pushing boundaries. It is artistically freeing to write our stories exactly the way we want to write them. We have the excitement of being first. Hopefully, some readers will love it.

For a short time (a day or two or sometimes more), we’ll have the only story in that space, have zero competition. We’re doing something different and that is likely to be discussed with bloggers and reviewers, giving the book some much needed promo.

Many breakout books push boundaries in some way. Life is too short to play it safe. (grins)

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-herstocommand-2178067-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Writing Tips | No Comments »

Comparing Ourselves To Other Writers

By Cynthia Sax on December 21, 2016

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, to reassure ourselves that we’re ‘normal’ (whatever that is – grins). Many writers will tell you not to do that. They’ll point out that comparing yourself to other writers will cause you unhappiness.

I’m not going to tell you that. I think it’s impossible to stop comparing ourselves to others. It would also be hypocritical of me because I compare myself to other writers ALL THE TIME.

I AM going to tell you that you shouldn’t feel bad after the comparison.

Why?

Because you don’t know the entire story.

The Successful First Time Writer

This is the comparison that would bother me the most.

Years ago, a writer released her first book, coming out of nowhere. She sold a gazillion copies, was beloved by (almost) every reviewer in Romanceland.

I had 50 plus releases and was still struggling for my first 100 readers. I wouldn’t have received media attention if I had set myself on fire.

Then I found out… that ‘first time writer?’ She was a HUGE bestselling writer secretly trying out a new subgenre under another pen name. She had over 30,000 newsletter subscribers, which she leveraged for that release (putting an ad in her own newsletter). She knew and was liked by almost everyone in the business (including myself).

E.L. James, another bestselling first time writer? She had TV experience, had brilliantly leveraged the fanfic community, is a savvy marketer.

Luck is almost always an element in every writer’s success but, time after time, when I delved into backgrounds, there was usually something else, something I might or might not have been able to duplicate.

What IS Success?

Then there’s the discussion around what success truly is. Is it hitting the bestseller lists? Is it being beloved by reviewers? Is it having the largest readership? Is it making a great income?

Often these definitions of success don’t co-exist.

When I first started, I thought every writer on the bestseller lists (USA Today or New York Times) was making six figures. (grins) Yes, stop laughing.

Sometimes (rarely), that’s true. Often it’s not. I’ve hit the USA Today Bestseller List twice. Both times, my earnings didn’t cover my costs. You read that correctly. I hit the lists and lost money.

I know writers with New York Bestseller above their name who can’t cover their writing costs. And I know writers who have never made a list and they quietly sell a steady number of books each and every day. Those sales add up to an almost obscene income.

Some of the bestselling writers aren’t the darlings of the influential reviewers. Some of the writers with the highest incomes don’t have the largest readerships.

We can’t determine this by glancing at the lists or rankings or bios.

This is true of other goals also, including word counts. I write 2,500 fresh words a day but I require 12 drafts. My buddy writes 500 fresh words a day but she requires 1 draft. Word count alone isn’t an indication of a successful day writing.

Why Compare Ourselves To Other Writers?

If we never see the entire picture, why compare ourselves at all?

First, I don’t think we can stop comparing ourselves to others. I certainly can’t.

Second, sometimes when I delve deeper into successes, I learn tactics I can use with my own career. Writers, especially in Romanceland, are often open about what they think contributed to their successes. Maybe there was a change at a bookseller I didn’t know about. Maybe there was a promotion I hadn’t considered. Maybe there was a trend I wasn’t aware of.

Compare yourself to other writers but, keep in mind, you don’t know the entire story.

You Are Someone Else’s Success

And keep in mind that someone is comparing herself to you.

One of my sisters is a reader only. She has always envied my ability to write, even when that writing was done in a lemon-scent diary. When I was writing part-time, I envied anyone who finished stories. When I finished my first story, I envied anyone who received a request from a publisher or agent.

There is someone in Romanceland who considers you a success. She’s comparing herself to YOU. Remember that when you’re comparing yourself to another writer.

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-herstocommand-2178067-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Writing Tips | 1 Comment »

Dealing With Writer Burnout

By Cynthia Sax on December 14, 2016

When I first started publishing my stories, I thought writer burnout was a myth. Writing is fun. How could I get tired of a fun task?

Seven years later, I can assure you—younger me was an ignorant asshole. Writer burnout is VERY real. Do any task 16 hours a day, 7 days a week and it can become work. Unfortunately, almost every writer deals with writer burnout at least once in her/his life.

I know I’m getting burned out when I dread the writing. I’m tired all the time and feel overwhelmed about everything. I get every flu that is going around. I become snippy with readers and other loved ones and, well, just about everyone.

The Number One Cause

The number one cause of writer burnout is overcommitting to projects. It is tempting to participate in every project offered to you. Caution! Caution! That way lies burnout. It is much better career-wise to participate in a manageable number of projects forever than to binge on projects, get burned out, and stop writing for months or years or, in the case of a dear friend, decades.

The Fear Of Missing Out

You can’t participate in every project. You simply can’t. Have I regretted saying ‘no’ to some projects? I’m not going to blow smoke up your ass. Of course, I have. The first boxed set I was asked to participate in hit both the New York Times and the USA Today Bestseller Lists. I turned that opportunity down.

But most opportunities come around again. I’ve, since then, participated in two boxed sets that hit the USA Today Bestseller List. I’ve been offered spots in other boxed sets that made both lists.

The Fear Of Falling Behind

Another reason we hesitate to say ‘no’ to projects is the fear of falling behind. XXX is releasing a story a month. If I release a story every 3 months, I’ll fall behind. I’ll only have a third of XXX’s success.

Success in Romanceland doesn’t work that way. Fifty Shades of Grey’s E.L. James has released 4 books over the past 5 years. Yep, less than a book a year. Very few writers have a readership rivaling hers.

I have a much larger readership now than I did when I was producing a story a month. With a release a month, I didn’t have time to talk about my books. I was releasing stories but I didn’t tell anyone about them. Readers have to know about our books in order to read them.

Promotion can have a huge influence on success. The number of stories released every year? Not-so-much.

Pressure From Readers

If one of your stories is well loved by readers, you will likely be pressured to write another story in the series. Readers always want this story as soon as possible. Why wouldn’t they?

But they’ll wait for it. Most readers will choose a slow release time on quality story over a fast turnaround time on a shitty story. (Note: You CAN write a quality story in a short length of time but that’s usually not possible to do when you’re burned out and brain dead.) Romance readers, in particular, want to read new stories from their favorite writers for decades. They’ll accept longer delays between releases to ensure that happens.

Know Your Ideal Pace

Figure out what a comfortable schedule looks like for you (this ideal schedule will likely change over time).

Right now, my comfortable schedule is a 56k/200 page story releasing every 3 months. For promotion, it is 1 Facebook party a week, 3 blog posts a week, promoting on 10 Facebook groups a day, 1 newsletter a month, etc.

This is what I commit to. This is what others can count on me producing. If I want to release a story in a series every three months, this means I can only have one series on the go.

If I’m approaching burnout, THIS is the core schedule I’ll dial back to.

If I get ahead of this schedule, I’ll take on another project. Right now, I have February’s release (Hers To Command) already written, edited and available for pre-order. The next core story isn’t releasing until May (my 3 month schedule). Having time and energy, I wrote Dark Thoughts, Kralj’s story. If I had been burned out, I would have taken time to recuperate between the committed stories instead of writing that extra story.

That’s one of the many wonderful things about this career. You’re in control. You can craft the career YOU want.

If one story a year is your comfort zone, produce one story a year. You can easily promote that story for 12 months. Unless your story has sold more than 125 million copies (the number of copies Fifty Shades Of Grey has sold), you haven’t sold your story to every reader in Romanceland.

You’re Already Over Committed

What happens when you’re looking at writer burnout and you’ve already committed to more projects than you can handle?

Can Deadlines Move?

Some deadlines are set in stone. Some can move. Ask if the deadlines are flexible.

Note: If you’re going to miss a deadline, communicate the situation as soon as possible. That might save your relationship with that person or publisher.

Outsource Everything You Can

An awesome editor once told me that she could help a writer with edits and subsequent drafts but the first draft had to be written by the writer. That’s just about the only thing we can’t outsource.

Cover, formatting, promo, newsletters, all of these things can be completed by other people. You can pay these awesome folks or you can call in favors. Much of Romanceland runs on favors, asking for them and granting them.

You’re Normal

Every writer you know has either had writer burn out or they will have writer burn out. They might look like they have their shit together. They likely don’t.

If my tips don’t work for you, ask other writers for their tips. Eventually you’ll find something that jives with your unique brain.

Take care of yourself!

***

Subscribe To My Monthly Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Three Battered Hearts. One Perfect Love

Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.

Until they meet her.

Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.

In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?

Hers To Command is Book 8 in the Cyborg Sizzle series.
Due to the number of returning characters in this story, you’ll enjoy Hers To Command more if you’ve read the other stories first.
This is a MMF BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Pre-order Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hers-Command-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01N0I7X49/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hers-to-command/id1179869260

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-herstocommand-2178067-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hers-to-command-cynthia-sax/1125247346

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hers-to-command-6

Topics: Writing Tips | 4 Comments »

Do You Have To Publish Every Story You Write?

By Cynthia Sax on November 21, 2016

I don’t publish every story I write. Yes. I heard that gasp. There’s a myth in the writing world that professional writers, writers who earn or try to earn a living through their stories, HAVE to publish every story they write.

Why write stories if they won’t be read by readers?

There are numerous reasons why writers would and perhaps should write stories readers will never read. The stories I write only for myself are normally not at all marketable. They are ideas that are so far out there; I’m likely the only person who would find them interesting.

I write them quickly, briefly to get them out of my mind and to satisfy my creative urges. Because they will never be published, there’s no need to complete the dozen or so drafts to get them to submission level. There’s no need to send them to my editor, to pay for that awesome editor, to spend more time on two or three additional drafts. I don’t have to worry about formatting or covers or blurbs or marketing. These stories are for my eyes only, written purely for the joy of writing them.

When we talk about branding in the writing world, about sticking to one niche and publishing stories only in that niche, many writers push back, saying they couldn’t write only in one niche. It would stifle their creativity. They don’t realize that publishing in one niche and writing in one niche are two very different things.

Write in a variety of niches. Publish only the stories in one of those niches. Bam. You’re known for a niche. You’ll build a brand and a readership around it. Yet you have total creative freedom.

Writers might be under contract with publishers and restricted as to which stories they can write (this usually ties into branding). XXX Publisher has first dibs on the writer’s next YYY stories and that publisher only wants contemporary romances or they only want the axe murderer series or they only want heroines with blue eyes and brown hair. Writing other stories for our personal enjoyment makes that contract creatively bearable.

It also prevents series burnout, which is a VERY real thing for writers. I LOVE my cyborg series. I plan to concentrate on it in 2017. It is very important to me to bring readers of this series fresh, interesting stories. Sometimes the best way to do that is to take a creative vacation from the series. I spend a week writing something completely different, something strange, something weird. Then I come back, excited, enthused, my brain brimming with different ways to approach the next story.

Sometimes I’ll write a story merely to test a technique or a style or a type of character/setting/tone. Do I feel comfortable writing this? Do I enjoy writing this? Does it work in a story? I might test a number of things in one story. That story will be a mess but I’ll often discover something I can use in a more marketable story.

Sometimes the exact opposite thing happens—we end up with a new story or series. Releasing Rage was written only for me. No one was interested in publishing it. I wrote it anyway. I believed in it and I decided to self-publish it. If I hadn’t given myself permission to write a story only for my own enjoyment, it wouldn’t have been written.

You don’t have to publish every story you write.

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter To Receive A Notification Of When Jumping Barrel Releases: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

He requires an Expert. She needs a hero.

Barrel requires an Expert for the Tau Cetian orphans. He’s looking for a female who is willing to commit to a lifespan-long role, who is comfortable with moving off planet, and who, preferably, has the ability to speak the offsprings’ first language.

Nola wants the role Barrel is offering so badly she bends a few truths. Yes, she was born off planet but she has lived almost all of her lifespan in sheltered Academies. Yes, she has learned Tau Cetian but she has never spoken with a local. Yes, she plans to follow the rules but his deep, sexy voice tempts her to rebel.

When a fact-morphing human academic meets her battle-worn cyborg warrior, deceptions are revealed, passions flare, and circuits sizzle. Wrong seems right. Lies turn into truth. The candidate least qualified for the role becomes the one candidate Barrel can’t let go.

Jumping Barrel is a short companion story in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is meant to be read after Releasing Rage, Breathing Vapor and Crash And Burn.
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Coming For FREE In December 2016

Note: Amazon doesn’t allow me to list stories for free. I have to list Jumping Barrel for 99 cents and then ask them to price match it to other booksellers. This story was written as a gift for you. Please wait until the price is reduced to ZERO i.e. FREE before ‘buying’ it. Save your dollar for my next release (in February).

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter To Receive A Notification Of When Jumping Barrel Releases: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Topics: Writing Tips | 3 Comments »

Westworld, The Power Of Unanswered Questions And Sagging Middles

By Cynthia Sax on November 2, 2016

I LOVE HBO’s Westworld (androids in a wild west world? Sign me up!). It is my newest addiction. But this week’s episode left me feeling a bit dissatisfied. It took me some time to figure out why.

There are too many unanswered questions.

Unanswered questions are a powerful writing tool. It is why readers turn pages—to find out the answers. An awesome first page or first paragraph or first line raises a question in the reader’s mind.

The first line to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight is “I’d never given much thought to how I would die–though I’d had reason enough in the last few months-but, even if I had, I would have never imagined it like this.”

How is the heroine going to die? Why is the heroine dying? I HAVE to continue reading to find out the answers. Once I have these answers, I’ll stop reading.

UNLESS there are more questions I want answers to. Then I will continue reading to find out THOSE answers.

The biggest questions at the beginning of a story are around backstory. Why is the heroine doing what she’s doing? What makes her think this way? Why does she have X as a goal?

This is one of the reasons why many editors don’t like prologues or early story backstory dumps. They could eliminate this huge incentive for readers to continue reading. If I’m told on page one how Bella is going to die and why she’s dying, I have no reason to read page two. It is a waste of an absolutely wonderful first line.

In Romance, the big question readers are seeking the answer to is ‘Is the couple (or more) going to achieve their happy ever after or happy for now?’ This is why often the couple (or more) doesn’t exchange ‘I love you’s until the end of the story.

If they DO say that phrase earlier in the story, a skilled writer will ensure readers know the happiness won’t last. Maybe one of them still has a relationship-destroying secret or the killer is lurking outside their bedroom or they love each other but there’s no way for them to be together.

So you’re likely wondering… If unanswered questions are powerful, why am I dissatisfied with Westworld’s gazillion unanswered questions?

Because I can’t keep track of them. My mind can only handle so many unanswered questions before I get frustrated. My rule of thumb is… if I lose track of my own unanswered questions while writing a story, I have way too many of them.

This doesn’t mean we can only raise the same 3 or 4 unanswered questions throughout a 100,000 word/400 page story. That would be challenging and a bit boring.

What we CAN do is answer some of those questions and then ask different questions.

At the beginning of Releasing Rage, while writing this story, I asked myself if Joan, our heroine, would ever be assigned to a cyborg. (question raised) She was. (question answered) Why was she assigned to a cyborg? (another question raised) The last human assigned to the cyborg was killed. (question answered) Would she survive being assigned to this cyborg? (another question raised – this question remains for almost all of the story)

One of the things Game of Thrones (the show) does quite well and quite brutally is answer unanswered questions. When the storylines become too complicated, they kill everyone off in a storyline and simply eliminate it. Then they raise more questions.

We don’t have to be that bloodthirsty. We can simply answer the damn question. We can give the heroine the job she thinks will solve all of her problems but then ensure that job causes her MORE problems. We can allow the hero to escape one mess to step knee deep into another bigger mess. I really like it when the answer to the question makes the situation worse, not better. That’s a lot of fun to write and to read.

Giving readers answers to questions throughout the story creates a sense of movement and a feeling of satisfaction. Shit is getting done. (grins) Often when readers comment that ‘nothing happened’ in a story, they are truly saying that no answers are given and no new questions are raised (mid story or at all).

When we, writers, face a sagging middle, it can mean the same thing-we need to answer questions and raise new ones. This is often the reason for mid story boredom. If you, as a writer, find you can’t finish stories, look at your unanswered questions. Do you have any? Do you have too many? Do you lack answers? Talk to other writing buddies (like myself) and brainstorm both answers AND questions.

Unanswered questions are powerful. Use them wisely.

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Wild. Free. Hers.

Mayhem has spent his lengthy lifespan obeying the Humanoid Alliance’s rules. Finally free from their cruel control, the cyborg warrior plans to cause chaos. He infiltrates a remote settlement, provokes the savage locals until they want him dead, and allows himself to be captured by the sexiest little Retriever he has ever laid his mechanically-enhanced eyes on.

Imee’s sole mission in life is to keep her family alive. To do this, she must hunt rebels, returning them to the Humanoid Alliance’s evil clutches where they will be executed. She doesn’t allow herself to feel anything for her targets…until she meets a tall, muscular cyborg with wild hair and even wilder eyes.

With his sure hands, laughing lips and erotic holds, Mayhem makes Imee’s body sizzle and her resistance melt. Their love is doomed. She must deliver the warrior to his death or she’ll place her family’s safety at risk. But she can’t resist him.

Imee soon discovers that Mayhem, life, and love are never predictable.

Chasing Mayhem is Book 6 in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is a STANDALONE story.
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Buy Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Mayhem-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01IRPO9WY#nav-subnav

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chasing-Mayhem-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01IRPO9WY/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/chasing-mayhem/id1136333685

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-chasingmayhem-2077430-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chasing-mayhem-cynthia-sax/1124139998

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/chasing-mayhem

Topics: Writing Tips | 1 Comment »

Why Your Favorite Writer Isn’t Writing And Other Reader Irritations

By Cynthia Sax on October 5, 2016

I was chatting with a reading buddy, telling her I couldn’t wait to finish the first draft of Hers To Command and find out how that story ends. She asked me why I wasn’t writing. Why didn’t I simply hunker down and finish it?

I can’t. My brain is dead.

Why Is Your Favorite Writer Spending Time On Facebook When She Should Be Writing?

Welcome to the wonderful yet wacky world of writer brains aka the muse.

That is truly what the muse is—a code word for the way an artist’s (very) peculiar brain works. And all of our brains work differently. I can write about 2,500 fresh words or 10 fresh pages a day. At that point, the creative part of my brain is zapped. There’s nothing in there. The hamster is dead. My Dear Wonderful Hubby will ask me to write a message in a mutual friend’s birthday card and I’ll have nothing, no words.

I’ve tried to write when my creativity has been sucked dry. (winces) It wasn’t pretty. Those forced words not only had to be discarded but they severely damaged my flow. It slowed my writing. It didn’t speed it up.

I’ve learned to step back at that point and do other things like revise stories, stare up at the ceiling, looking for new plots there, and yes, play around on Facebook.

Every writer has a different limit. One of my buddies hits the wall at 10,000 words or 40 fresh pages a day. Yeah, she’s a machine.

Some writers binge write. That’s how their muses work. They go into the writing cave, start writing and don’t stop until their stories are done. They don’t shower. They don’t change their clothes. They’ve trained their cats to feed them while they type. (joking…sort of) They emerge from the writing cave extremely smelly with horror-flick-style bloodshot eyes but they are triumphant. Their stories are finished.

Then they fall into a deep sleep for about a month.

Note: This isn’t procrastination, which is another serious writing issue. We’ve written our words for the day. This refers to a writer not having the ability to write 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. (Unless you’re Nora Roberts but we suspect she’s an android.)

Why Is Your Favorite Writer Cheating On Her Series With Another Story?

This can be an even more challenging issue for readers to understand. Your favorite writer is writing but, gasp, she’s not writing the next story in your favorite series. That beyotch! She’s cheating on her series. Doesn’t she love this series and her series readers anymore?

I’m 99% confident she does. My guess is she loves the series more than any reader ever could. The characters are family to her. But it can be challenging to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with even the loveliest family members. She sometimes needs a vacation from them.

EVERYONE is likely telling her not to take this vacation. Her readers, editor, agent, publisher, even many of her writing buddies are likely telling her it is career suicide to take a break from her most popular series. She might lose her readers forever. She’s messing with the momentum of the series. She also realizes she’ll receive angry emails and messages from readers. Some of these messages will be REALLY harsh.

Yet she takes this break. Why? Very often this is because she knows if she doesn’t, her brain aka muse will shut down and she won’t be able to write ANYTHING. Writing this other story, often a story that won’t sell as well and might not even break-even (*cough* my contemporaries), might allow her to return to her popular series refreshed and excited.

Again, being the stubborn gal I am, I’ve forced myself to write the next story in a series when I knew, deep down in my heart, I needed a creative break from it. I wrote garbage for three months. All those words had to be discarded. If I had switched to the side project, I would have finished that project AND the first draft of the next story in the series. Readers would have received the next story in the series sooner.

Some writers can stay in the same series without switching. Some writers switch between different series in the same subgenre, juggling two SciFi Romance series, for example. Some writers have to get the heck out of the subgenre entirely. They might juggle a Paranormal Romance and a SciFi Romance as one example. They don’t necessarily WANT to do this. They NEED to do this.

As readers, we don’t have to be thrilled about this but we should realize that it is part of our favorite writer’s creative process. This is why she is able to write the stories we love.

Reading buddies, are there any other writer quirks that you’d like to learn more about? Writing buddies, do you have a cap on your daily word count? Do you have to switch series?

***

Subscribe To My Release Day Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/

Wild. Free. Hers.

Mayhem has spent his lengthy lifespan obeying the Humanoid Alliance’s rules. Finally free from their cruel control, the cyborg warrior plans to cause chaos. He infiltrates a remote settlement, provokes the savage locals until they want him dead, and allows himself to be captured by the sexiest little Retriever he has ever laid his mechanically-enhanced eyes on.

Imee’s sole mission in life is to keep her family alive. To do this, she must hunt rebels, returning them to the Humanoid Alliance’s evil clutches where they will be executed. She doesn’t allow herself to feel anything for her targets…until she meets a tall, muscular cyborg with wild hair and even wilder eyes.

With his sure hands, laughing lips and erotic holds, Mayhem makes Imee’s body sizzle and her resistance melt. Their love is doomed. She must deliver the warrior to his death or she’ll place her family’s safety at risk. But she can’t resist him.

Imee soon discovers that Mayhem, life, and love are never predictable.

Chasing Mayhem is Book 6 in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is a STANDALONE story.
It is also a BBW Cyborg SciFi Romance.

Buy Now:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Mayhem-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01IRPO9WY#nav-subnav

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chasing-Mayhem-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B01IRPO9WY/

Apple/iBooks/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/chasing-mayhem/id1136333685

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-chasingmayhem-2077430-340.html

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chasing-mayhem-cynthia-sax/1124139998

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/chasing-mayhem

Topics: Writing Tips | 1 Comment »

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