A critique of my self-published works.

I become a better writer, storyteller and editor with each story I write. So that leads to the question: Do I regret/hate/cringe at my early works? Answer: Yeah, kinda sometimes. But I still have them up for sale.

To look back on one’s work and cringe is a mark of improvement. Whether it be advancing in a craft or as a person. It means I’ve come a long way, in a good way. It means that my subsequent works will be better in some way. If I just keep churning them out until I eventually create that masterpiece I aim for. But to look at current works, I must look back on my old works to critique.

Fourth Cover

My first publication was Feet or Fins. My mermaid horror. It came out on the 31st of May 2013. This was after I finished my time at UoMelb and realised that I was 23 with nothing to my name. I was a writer with no work. I have to get something out. I think I did almost everything, not wrong, but not quite right. If you know what I mean. So far, it’s my only novel, just barely, though. Just under 51k and has too many POVs for a first-time novel. I did over 13 full book edits, and I remember on my third edit, everything seemed wrong to the point that I rewrote it. Maybe it was the tense? I can’t remember. It’s currently on its 4th cover, and as of last year, I had gone over it again to fix even more errors that I found. God. It really was a learning curve and proof that if I had the sense I do now, I would not have published it until more brutal alterations. But ultimately, I don’t regret publishing this. This little baby has given me much practical experience.

My 2nd work, My Cousin Megan, came out just a year later. A contemporary YA novelette that is Australian in feel. This is a bit more cringy for me because I can feel my teenage angst about living in a country town seep from its pages. Can remember much about writing this. Don’t know why, though. It is also the first story I published overseas.

Thirdly was From the Mountian, a sci-fi short story. It came out just before my 27th birthday. This was a time when I was writing a lot. And I mean a lot. I couldn’t believe how productive I was. It, too, has gone through a few cover changes. I’m thinking that I haven’t found the right image for it yet.

Two months later, The Beau Factor was released, though it had a different name – The Back-up Girl. Unfortunately, the name didn’t suit it. This story was just under 30k and is a YA tale about a girl who’s crushing on her neighbour.

I didn’t publish anything for a year until I got the inspiration for The Witch Room. A short story about two sisters travelling to a witch’s commune seeking help. It’s medieval fiction, and I created the story around a scene that popped into my head randomly at work. The new ebook cover I created in Canva has greatly helped with sales.

In 2019 I published The Things We Do and Sauska (previously called Save One). From memory, I have been working on these for at least a year prior. Both novellas are dystopian, but Sauska is YA and Things is not. I have changed both covers; time will tell if that was a good idea.

Next was my pandemic tales. The Dragon’s Mate at 23k and Matt and Rose at 14k. Both were published in the later half of 2020. Matt and Rose is the first story where I had the main character be a male. I need to do more marketing for these, so I plan to do so later in the year.

My last and most recent publication is Becoming Stardust. This short story is the prequel beginning of the longest sci-fi story I have written. All up, the book will be 120k words, and I had intended it to be published next year. But that’s not going to happen. The novel will need a lot of work, and at the moment, I do not have the time to invest in it, though I have gotten a few good reviews.

What’s next?

Well, 2021 passed with nothing, which might be the case with 2022 unless I produce something. But I’m hoping to push something through. I feel like I’m going through a new season of my life, and maybe when I return to Australia, my brain will change. But who knows?

Anthology Cover Update

I’ve updated my anthology and gave it a new cover. I’d been meaning to do it for a while but just haven’t had the motivation. Then the other day I started experimenting with images and started the create something I liked.

Getting the free trial of Canva was worth it and I’m going to buy a yearly subscription.

A productive day

Had a supremely productive day today. I created two new ebook covers and went through my works with Grammarly. I feel like with each new cover creation I get better at design. Plus a Canva subscription helps 🙂

I’m hoping in the next few months I’ll get my writing mojo back and maybe finish at least one story I’ve got going on.

21 – 30 Days

Isolation is getting to me. I’ve been all over the place and every day I’ve felt both sadness and happiness. I’ve been trying to learn Dutch on Duolingo and I’ve plateaued halfway through the first stage 😦

Also, I stopped editing in favour of starting a new medieval fantasy novella I thought up on the second day. Since then I have completed two chapters and a total of 9100 words. I’m mostly making it up as I go with only a few future events to aim towards. Since it’s short, I might have it done in a month 🙂 Below is what I did for my story.

  1. Nothing.
  2. Nothing (thought up of a new story idea).
  3. Wrote 3039 words.
  4. Nothing.
  5. Wrote 2328 words and created the book cover.
  6. Nothing.
  7. Wrote 742 words.
  8. Nothing.
  9. Wrote around 2500 words.
  10. Nothing.

Digital-artistic-Sketch-of-a-Dragon-1146713332_2092x1438

I’ve found that I work best with no music and only ambient sound around me. It makes me focus more and afternoons/evenings are when I get most of my writing done. I used to run a Youtube vid of jazz cafe music in the background because I previously found that I could hyper-focus in a noisy cafe. So I figured that I would take it home with me. It kind of worked but not as well as no sound.

And because I was struck with a new shiny idea, I also had to have a book cover made immediately. I spent a few days looking at dragon images on iStock until I came across this one. With some simple editing on Pixlr.com I went and made me a decent cover image. The trick is to keep it simple.