Sunday, June 26, 2011

Going Offline...

I just wanted to let everyone know that for the next month or so I will be offline do to living conditions here in Iraq. This is an inconvenience and will certainly set me back a little bit in the upcoming posts I've planned out. Thank you all so much for your support and I'll be talking to you again real soon.

Best wishes,

Clark Chamberlain

PS- I should be able to still email on occasion so feel free to write me

Monday, June 20, 2011

Plotting Your Course

I'm very excited to share with you a series of videos that will go step-by-step through my writing process. I hope that you will find these How To Videos helpful.

In this first video I will introduce you to plot development that will get you started out on the right foot to creating an amazing novel.

How to Plot Your Novel

Monday, June 6, 2011

These Times Have Been a Changing

So I had the opportunity to sit down with a new friend and have a long conversation about how we both arrived at our current states in life. As I was telling him about my life I began to take notice at how much things have really changed in a very short span of time. And I'm not just talking about the 53rd update to Angry Birds, I'm talking about radical life altering game changes.

I'll be turning 35 this month, halfway to 70. My wife teases me about making such a big deal about age, but I'm very aware of how quickly the first 35 years have gone by and how short the next 35 will be. When I was 17 I had a long distance relationship and I would call her about once a week from a phone booth paying 25 cents for three minutes of talk time, but for the majority of our communication we sent letters through the *gasp* US postal service. Now I have cell phone, magic jack, skype, email, facebook, just stacks and stacks of communication ability. I haven't adapted quickly to all of it, although I did adapt pretty quickly to using the cell phone, but it wasn't until I was dating my wife that she taught me how to use text messaging, although I still refuse to use the shortened text words. But all of these advances has allowed me today to sit in Baghdad, my family 7000 miles away and I can talk to them for free over the internet and see their smiling faces.

When I began my broadcast communications program in college, way back in 1997, there was just talk of digital cameras. I really wanted to make movies, but to do so it cost huge amounts of money because you had to buy film, pay to have it developed, and pay to work in someones editing studio. You could use VHS tapes but the quality was awful and you still had to book studio time at the minimum of ten dollars an hour. Today you can shoot high definition on a camera that costs less than 100 dollars, load the footage onto your laptop and edit it anywhere.

I was able to get paid and published in a small anthology when I was 18. The person who organized the publication was self publishing it and going to book stores trying to work out a consignment fee so they'd carry it. Eventually she found a company who picked up half of the copies, but I don't think she ever recovered the money she spent on self publishing. So when I started writing my novel, Loves Deception, I was only doing it for three reasons:
  1. I loved writing.
  2. I needed something that would keep me occupied in my minimum downtime while I was here in Iraq.
  3. I figured that this would be the perfect time in my life to be able to write a full length novel.
I honestly never dreamed at the beginning of this that I'd publish (well there may have been some fantasies about me being the next JK Rowling, not that I'm saying I was dreaming of being a woman, just of being an international publishing sensation). But as I worked more and more on the novel, tightening up scenes, deepening the plot, reading other novels in the genre I was writing in, I realized that I my writing was on par with some of the published books. But even with that I had resolved that if my work was good, it was going to good enough to have someone else publish it, I would not self publish with one of those Vanity Presses just to see my name in print and have to drive around the country hawking my books out of the back of a truck in some Barnes and Nobel parking lot.
Because of my belief in the quality of my writing and the fear of self publishing I begin to look more in-depth into what it would take to be traditionally published and that's when I learned about the Authors Platform.
I had read the term in a writing magazine and it kept saying that publishers want you to already have an Authors Platform before they'd even look at you. The article did not do an adequate job explaining what an Authors Platform was so I googled it for more info and that's when I came across Joanna Penn's website, The Creative Pen . The articles on her website were the inspiration and push I needed to start Write Now.
 The more time I've spent working on my website and meeting others the more I began to learn about the new world of self publishing with Amazon's Kindle and I realized just like before in my life the times were changing; fast. Once again a wall has been broken down and anyone can play the game.

This brings my last thought for today: Content is king. Just because I can make a movie, or publish a book still doesn't mean that I will become a success. It's great that the world has been brought closer to me but that means that all the other authors in the world have also been brought closer as well. With easy access comes a lot of noise. I know that every word I write has to be the best I can do so my work can filter through the noise.

If you have one novel or a stack of novels written and have just been waiting for the write publisher, that time has come and it's name may well be Kindle.