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How things can be the same and different at the same time.

February 25, 2013
Posted at 10:54 am

This is one of those blog entries I call "a whim entry". There isn't really a particular need for the information I'm about to give you, and yet I'm vain enough to think enquiring minds might want to know.

This is not to say that I think you read The Enquirer. Nor is it to suggest that my writing is any better than what's in that paper.

Rather, it is because so many of you are so faithful in reading what I write, and because while I am completely predictable, sometimes you don't know what I'm going to do.

And that can cause people to be annoyed.

I don't want you to be annoyed. I want you to be happy when you see my name on the New Story or Update pages.

So what am I babbling about?

I don't have a twitter account, so I don't have followers. Somehow I am still able to go on with my life. I know, it's crazy, but that's just the way it is. I don't even have a cell phone. But that's another story. I'm not a Luddite. I just have other things to occupy my time with instead of checking a hunk of plastic in my pocket every sixty seconds, or trying to type on a teeny tiny keyboard.

So I think of you nice people as my followers.

Now, my followers know that my posting schedule is Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It's been that way for years. I usually arrange things so that a story is posted one or two chapters per posting day, and so that it usually ends on a Friday. Weekends, I leave so we can all go climbing in the Himalayas.

There was actually a reason for that pattern. It was because I was working, and since it's not really cool to spend five days a week ripping off the old employer by using her computer to post dirty stories (a sly reference to the story Tumblr MILF, which I just posted chapter one of) I only did that three days a week instead of every day.

And sometimes I posted one chapter, and once in a while it was two chapters. That was all due to the vagaries of trying to be a full time author in a part time world. Hence, some of that angst and annoyance I mentioned in the beginning of this rambling missive.

But I'm retired now. So I can post something every single day if I want to. Unless I'm not back from Mr. Everest or something, of course.

So I might do that. Post something every day, I mean.

But my followers also know I'm just crazy about teasing them too. Think about all those cliff hangers. Do you think those just happen by chance? Nope. If you're me, and you're editing a story you just finished, you look for a good cliffhanger and plug in a chapter break right then and there.


Well, I grew up going to twenty-five cent Saturday movies, for one thing. And you had to go back and spend another quarter every Saturday because you needed to know what happened to Buck Rogers and company.

Now at this point, in the interests of truth in advertising, I have to admit that the statistics Lazeez so kindly offers us authors suggest that my "average" on multiple chapter stories, where people who read the first chapter read all succeeding chapters, clear to the end ... is about 53%. That's right. Only half of the people who start one of my longer stories actually finish it.

This is how I know I'm not hot shit. It kind of keeps me humble. It's hard to be humble ... but then you've heard the song.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that all those cliff hangers may not be working all that well to entice people to come back for the next chapter.

So what to do?

Well, I'm not getting rid of the cliffhangers. So don't even think about that! I'm aware that some people have no patience with stories that aren't fully posted. Again, though, maybe I could entice a few of them to return if I posted every day instead of every other day. And if it's six chapters, I might post the last one on Saturday, instead of waiting until Monday.

"But wait!" I hear some of you yelling. "Why not just post the whole story on Monday?!"

There are three reasons.

First, as I have already written about in the past, I want to be on the update page for multiple days, so more people have the chance to see that I am offering something.

Second, while I really love the feedback I get that helpfully points out the multitude of errors and mistakes I made, hardly anybody ever tells me what chapter those mistakes are in, which means, if it's a 15 chapter story, I have to go looking in 15 different files to repair the damage. If I only posted one chapter, and I get an error notice, chances are it was in that chapter.

Third ... well there is no third. I lied about there being three reasons. Anybody annoyed yet?

Now, I have to mention, before I go, my proofreader, Michelle and my lovely new editor, Andy.

I have said this before, but it bears repeating. I write the story. Then I spell check it. Then I break it into chapters. Then I send it to Michelle, who finds bou coups mistakes. Then, if it's something I think I might even be proud of, I send it to Andy. Peaches is still around, but her life is a bit full right now. Kids can do that to you. Andy sends it back with corrections and suggestions. Say, for example, he says "In the first chapter you said he was an only child. Then, suddenly in chapter 7 he has a sister who is five years older. It's your story, but I think somebody might notice that."

In other words, when I get it back from Andy, I might have to do some more writing.

Then I start at the beginning, and I do a final edit. That almost always involves re-stating things in places, or expanding on things that need more explanation.

More errors are made in that process.

Now I could do this endless sending of things back and forth between Michelle and Andy and me, but if I did that, I'd never post anything. So at some point I have to say "There! My masterpiece is finished!"

That's when you guys see it. And that's when my followers faithfully point out what a hack writer I am, because I can't tell the difference between its and it's and your and you're and things like that.

So it's not Michelle's fault if there's a mistake in there. Even if she just missed it. And it's not Andy's fault if the sister started out being Judy, and ended up being Sally Ann. I am the author, and I get all the glory. Even if it's not glory.

Michelle and Andy are volunteers. I really appreciate their efforts, and I want my non-Twitter followers to understand completely that they correct mistakes, and I make them.
They make the story better for you to read, and that's why I give them credit, not so you blame errors on them.

Now, after having said all that, I just started posting a story today. It has six chapters. That will be one chapter a day, ending on Saturday. Then, next week I start posting a 22 chapter story. At least it's 22 chapters today. No promises. But I sort of doubt that dragging that out for 22 days of posting will get me any friends, so I'll probably post two chapters a day. Weekends excluded. We still have climbing to do, after all.

And the last Tumblr story is only two chapters, so you may miss that one if you blink.

Finally, since I'm sure somebody will point this out (besides Michelle and Andy, who beat you all to it) you may see some things in the Tumblr stories that seem familiar, like they've been in other books or stories. I won't argue about that, though I could. In fact, if you think you see something that came from Bobby's Good Deeds, for example, then go back and read that again. I think you'll see that similar is not the same as same.

And you may feel like these Tumblr stories should have Alphas or Bravos or Charlies associated with them, because they share some plot ideas, but are different. The reason I made them a series instead of different versions, is because I feel they are too dissimilar to be called different versions of the same thing. Besides, I couldn't figure out how to put a Bravo in there and have it make sense.

Now you understand why I said I was completely predictable, but that you might not be able to figure out what the heck I'm doing.

Thanks for reading.