Speculations?

Hi All –

Thanks for holding the fort while I was away!  I’ve been catching up on the comments, and a couple of you have mentioned the moratorium on speculations.

That’s been bothering me a bit – after all, wondering aloud about what’s going to happen is part of the fun!

So I’d like to get your thoughts:

Would the book club be more fun if you felt welcome to speculate?

If I add a disclaimer that says something like “by posting on this site, you grant permission for me to use your ideas without compensation”, that makes me sound (and feel) like a sleazy plagiarist.  But I don’t know any other way to limit liability if somebody guesses what I’ve already planned.  Do you have any ideas?

Or… has the book club run its course?  Are we running out of topics to discuss, and/or are you running out of time/motivation to participate?

Over to you…

18 thoughts on “Speculations?

  1. Personally I’m happy for the book club to continue, I think we like discussing the series, but I see where you are coming from if we speculate about future events.

    I don’t mind if things we say are used anything I’ve said or suggested a d mentioned here can be yours if you like. I have to confess I can’t remember what I’ve added/said from one week to the next. I suppose we see what others think.

    I am finding little things are giving me ideas of scenes for a story I have tossing around in my own head for a couple of years now. But don’t seem to get much down on paper as yet, I suppose I haven’t found the discipline of setting myself time each day to put thoughts down on paper/ or a word file

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you won’t let the lack of a regular schedule hold you back from writing! Just write whenever you have a few minutes and don’t beat yourself up about word count or schedules. If you write for the sheer joy of it, you may find that your story unfolds all by itself. 🙂

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  2. That’s a good question. I wish I had a good answer. 🙂

    I dunno how many people read and follow the comments here, but I do know how many comment, and the numbers are dropping regularly.

    Speculation, while lots of fun, might become troublesome at some point. I’ve been trying to think of how I might handle the situation if I were in your place. Frankly, I don’t know what I’d do.

    And I’m gonna have to do something about it at some point. Every publisher I’ve talked to so far said the same thing. “To maximize your potential for success in the age of electronic publishing, you MUST establish an on-line presence!” They don’t add “IT’S THE LAW!!” But it feels like they do. 🙂

    A great many do so by posting something that’s almost completely static. The only thing that changes is the fanfare for the most recent book in their series and the hype for the next one. Authors with your degree of approachability and accessibility are not abundant. When one thinks it through, it becomes apparent how much of the author’s time is consumed by being that approachable and accessible.

    Hm. This is harder than I expected it to be. Still don’t know what to say. From a purely selfish perspective, I’d hate to see this go. I think this is a lot of fun. But the number of people who share my opinion appears to be dwindling. But from an equally selfish (from the other direction) perspective, I might even force myself to encourage you to pull the plug on this place. After all, it it takes away from your writing time all THAT much… 🙂

    So I’ll state my definitive opinion: If this place stays, I’ll be here. If it goes, I’ll miss it, but I’ll understand.

    Gee, that wasn’t much help at all was it…?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, it was a help. 🙂 I had hoped that the book club would take off through member discussions with only a few prompts from me, but that doesn’t seem to have happened.

      And it does take more of my time, so I’m thinking I’ll let it slide at least for the time being. With all the upheaval of selling and moving house, I’m already so behind on Book 12 that I likely won’t make my self-imposed deadline of December, which really bugs me! I’ll post here next week to provide temporary closure, and if there’s a resurgence of interest we can pick up where we’ve left off.

      You’re right about the current opinions on ‘platform’ – all the traditional publishers are pushing for it so some kind of online presence is probably a good idea. I’m not sure how important the interactive component is, though – I do it because I enjoy it, but I don’t know if there are any hard numbers on whether it’s better than a static page.

      How’s your editing going? Will we see your opus unveiled soon? If so, go forth and blogify! (Or static-pagify, whichever suits you – WordPress does a decent job of static pages, too, if you’re looking for an easy setup.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, thanks for asking. Currently at 576,000 words and 1,171 pages. That’s single-spaced with a skipped line between paragraphs and conversations and standard Word document margins. Some publishers still require the old-school double-spaced-and-indented formatting for documents under submission.

    If that’s how it goes, I figure it’ll cost me AT LEAST two of the $100 toner cartridges my wife’s laser printer uses and maybe half of a BOX of paper to print it. Then shipping and insurance to get it to wherever they want it sent. Every time.

    Unless I find a publisher that does electronic submissions, being a Wal-Mart greeter after I retire instead of a published author is sounding better and better. Just sayin’… 🙂

    Since hearing that publishers want at least a trilogy if not a whole series, I’ve been doing some tweaking and some thinking. This story will convert easily to a trilogy. Book 1 is already marked as such, and I didn’t have to change a thing. NOT ONE WORD! I was pretty pumped about that when it dawned on me that it was even possible.

    I *still* have the ‘final battle’ to write, and I’ve rethought how that’ll have to go. At first I’d thought that the battle would just play out over the ‘volume’ (not area) of the battlefield. Good-guys gradually overwhelm the bad-guys, much loud cheering, then cut straight to the epilogue. Done.

    Well, wrong. Since I’ve introduced a bad-guy character who’s just too big and bad to lump in with the other bad-guy deaths, he’s gonna have to duke it out mano-a-mano with the lead good-guy. And get a whole case of whoop-ass dumped on him, of course. But it’s still gotta be done. Which necessitates a fairly involved bit of rewriting, naturally. It would be a lot easier just to delete him or kill him off some other way, but this will be a better story with him in it than otherwise. He’s much bigger and stronger than the protagonist, but the good-guy is faster and better with their typical weapons. It’ll be an interesting fight to choreograph. And the good-guy’s youngest daughter (barely five years old and small for her age) is already a blooded warrior. Also, the protagonist and his wife (lovely, gentle, and about fifty kinds of deadly, as he thinks of her) have other, older daughters who are also blooded warriors (all adopted after being orphaned, and none over twelve–it’s a rough place for kids to grow up and even harder to stay alive that long) most likely will need to take an active part as well.

    Yes, that would be why it’s taking so long.

    But it’s gotta be done. Still noodling around with some ideas and trying to pull out the best possible solution from those that are merely good or totally mediocre. In the meantime, I’m going back through it and adding color and depth. And the occasional Easter egg. (Gee, where did I hear that term?) Not just additional verbiage to get the word count up. I’ve learned that lesson from Ayn Rand. We’ve had that conversation, I think. 🙂

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    1. I don’t I just let it flow as and when.
      I started writing kinda by accident about 22 years ago. I wanted to get past something. Ok I don’t often talk about it but I’m amongst friends, I was raped twice in my youth and after it happened the second time I wanted to see what sparked off the first so i wrote it down, then thought what if someone found it so I typed it up on a PC only I had access to, and it got changed and played about with and kinda ended up being a 32 chapter ponographic novel. Everything I started to write after that ended up being porn. Even short stories. I wrote for the fun of it. I wrote for guys I was trying to get into bed, for ones I wasn’t.
      And every time I tried to write something normal I couldn’t, it was like the rest of my life I wasn’t able to do anything other than porn.
      so now I’m trying again but I thought no more porn, every time my brain drifts that way I either this k up a new murder scene or stop.

      I have never let people read what I’ve written unless it was written with them in mind. I admire your ability to not only let other people read what you write but to have it published

      Sorry for the overshare but it’s part of what made me me, and I accepted it a long time ago

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow, Karen, I don’t know what to say. But if writing helps you get past it and move on, then pile in and let it rip. And if it doesn’t help, it’s still an enjoyable way to pass the time. Take from it what it can give you. And thanks for sharing. You are among friends here.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I know it sounds D’s odd but once it was down on paper and out of my head it was as if it had happened to someone else, it didn’t affect me any more. I’ve accepted that I’m different to most people, in that respect.

          What’s really odd for me is I accepted the rape but have punished myself for an abortion that was the best thing to do at the time. It’s my only regret in life, but I realised I did what was best for me even if I think it was selfish at the time I’m still young ok 38 but I could till have children

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      2. Karen, I’m so sorry that happened to you, and I’m impressed with your courage in dealing with it. And whether it’s murder mysteries or porn, you need to write what you need to write. If you enjoy it and/or gain insights or healing from it, more power to you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I know it’s odd to say but what happened shaped me into the person I am today.

          I do love writing but still have to find my student and pace for getting the actual writing done. Sometimes I find it easier to do it with pen and paper

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Sorry I’ve been a no-show lately. Just yesterday I was discharged from the hospital and though I’m tired and a bit shaky, things have calmed down.
    So I do have an opinion about keeping the book club. Like SRG, if it stays, so do I, it’s been a lot of fun. But I would much rather see more of the books than see more comments. Besides, you know we’ll just move over to the blog to get our Diane fix anyway. I think we have a nice little “Friends of Diane” club here and any time you need us, we would be thrilled to help out.
    I was hoping somewhere I could tell you what I would like to see in the future –don’t worry, nothing about plots or characters. But you have a lot of scenes in your head that just don’t work into the books. You mentioned that elsewhere. I like the way you put words on the page. I wish you would put out a book of short fiction, whether all Spy related or not. You might also include some of your Flash Fiction pieces. Please think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Janet! I’m sorry to hear you were in the hospital, but glad you’re home now. I’m sending healing and strengthening thoughts your way – I hope you feel better soon!

      I do have a lot of deleted scenes, but they don’t hang together enough to be proper stories – they’re more like snapshots without context. Sometimes they end up getting reworked and included in a subsequent book, too, which is why I don’t show them to anybody.

      I like your idea, though – it would be fun to do some short stories! Maybe one of these days… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This post has been very interesting. It is so much more of a look at each other. I’m glad to have had a glimpse at everyone’s life and work.
    SRG, you seem to have received some excellent advice on subdividing your enormous book into a series. Perhaps that would make your work more approachable and affordable than a book that is longer than Gone With the Wind or War and Peace. Knowing that you express yourself so beautifully from your comments on these pages, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy your book once it is available, whatever way you present it. I’ve been reading a lot more books in series lately since I signed up for BookBub. I am seeing a pattern emerge. Series seem to be episodic with the main characters repeating in all the books, but facing new adventures each time, as Diane has done, or else each book in the series focuses on a different character who was introduced in a previous book, or there is a unified theme of all the books, but has completely new characters introduced in each book. I would imagine that the issue becomes do you attempt to offer each book as a stand-alone book or risk alienating the reader who hates a cliff hanger ending and being coerced into buying the next in the series? I have resisted the free first book if I learn that it is part of a series wherein each book is unresolved at the end and I am unfamiliar with the author to know if I’d like the free book enough to read the second or more.
    Yes Diane, had the reviews suggested that Never Say Spy wasn’t a stand-alone book and faked to conclude its plot within the book, I wouldn’t have read that first book nor the next one, nor found your blog, etc. I don’t envy SRG the job of the job of cutting up an epic book into a series and making the decisions and changes that are required, but I have every faith that you will do it well.

    Karen, thanks for telling us about your difficult past and how it brought you to writing and how writing had helped you move forward. Writing is one way to look at things from multiple angles and to imagine multiple outcomes. I’m glad it has helped you heal from your rapes.

    When I was in college studying to become a painter, I made the assumption that my fellow art students were all planning a career in the visual arts, and I wondered why those with poor drawing or painting skills weren’t being discouraged from continuing by their professors when I imagined that they would have a hard time marketing their skills. It didn’t take long after I started to teach for me to recognize that people pursue the creative arts for many reasons and rarely is it with the goal of making money from their art. Very few of my students make much of an attempt to market their work, nor do they have a realistic idea of the work’s value. They overwhelmingly undervalue their work- to a shocking degree. They fail to believe that their work is worth much more than what was spent on materials that went into producing it, so they put it into the cheapest frame they can find, rather than finding a frame that enhances it best regardless of the cost. Then they either give their art away to family and friends (nothing wrong with that) or they offer it for less than the cost of a week’s worth of groceries when they have spent many hours making it and thousands of dollars of instruction to gain the skills to make the painting that well, and a lifetime of living to put part of their soul into breathing life into it. They have made something that very few people in the world can make, yet they value it at a rate a fraction of what they will gladly pay to someone who can fix a car or fix plumbing or appliances or their building for an hour or two of time.
    (I’ll get off my soapbox now.)

    It’s good to have you back, Janet. All my best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

    As to the hiatus of the book club, I will miss what we have done together, will return if it returns, and recognize that the greater need is the next book, yet you know I will be patient to await the best you can do rather than urge you to give us any old thing you can knock out with as little effort as you can.

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