20 October 2013

Guest Post ~ Ywnwab! A Ten Act story about some writing experiences by Alexander Kreator



On 1 June 2010 the Allrighters set out to write 1,000,000 words for publishing from 2014 in books of about 60,000 words each. They are also writing 200,000 words of short stories. The whole project is their Dragoness.  The 920,000 draft word mark was passed on the 4 October 2013 so the Dragoness has reached her late teens with the usual problems of this age. Editing and re- structuring of all these draft words is in progress. 

Ywnwab! Autumn Story-book is the Allrighters’ first book made up of 30 poems and short stories by ten authors.  The title Ywnwab! came about in July 2010 when a long standing friend responded to news of the intention to write books with a challenge, “You will never write a book!” This then became the greatest spur to do so. The acronym – Ywnwab! pronounced Win - wab has been used as there could not really be another title for the book after accepting the challenge. 

The opening part of Ywnwab! sets out the reasons for the book and the origin of the Allrighters.  In the second and third parts the thirty contributions cover a wide variety of subjects based on fact and fiction with an icing of fantasy. Five guest writers describe how they started to write followed by a story or extract from their books. Another five stories are extracts from the proposed long books while others cover travel, interesting visits to gardens and buildings, observations on life, amusing stories about day to day events and writing. 

Writers who are about to publish or who have already published are invited to contribute short stories to future similar books. For further details and to follow progress in the mammoth writing task the Allrighters have set themselves see their web site. 

Ywnwab! is available from York Publishing Services Bookshop online - as preferred supplier of hard copy and epub
and also Amazon UK  and Amazon US

Dream 2010 to Ywnwab! in 2013


Or the end of the beginning of our writing in ten shades of colour  - a Ten Act story about some writing experiences from start to publishing and going on sale.

Characters
Douglas – a dreamer and his fantasy twin brother Alexander.
Isobel – a doubting or encouraging friend.
Henry, Henrietta, Florence and Alexander (again) - the fiction and fantasy Allrighters.
Moriati – his Doctor.
Duncan – his publisher.


Act One France 800 metres - Too high for sound sleep

Douglas had taken well of the red wine. The evening thunder had drifted towards the snow covered mountains to the east.
  
In the pitch black night without street lights he did not stay awake for long.



Scene One – In vivid dream colours 

The Sun shone on the warm balmy day. His frail parents and sister were enjoying their lunch by the blue lake. Douglas heard dragons’ hooves and looked south to see a mounted Queen and King, identified by crowns on their heads, galloping towards where they sat.

Alarm arose in Douglas’ heart as they stopped, their blue-and-gold dragons snorting fire while his eyes were out on storks gawping at the naked Queen’s quadruple breasts. He heard the King say, “no,” to no effect … his eyes had little time to linger as the Queen’s finger pointed at his parents and woof they turned to ash … her finger turned towards him and his sister as they ran for their lives.

“They should not have threatened my life when they did!” she screeched … a flash of lightning signified the loss of his sister and Douglas waited for the finger of death to strike him down …

Scene Two - In the dark 3.00 am

Douglas woke his pyjamas plastered to his wet cold body as he shivered in fear. His hand slowly moved in the dark towards a warm still slumbering form beside him and he relaxed.

He found sleep impossible and waited until dawn thinking about all the things his parents might have done in their lives to incur the wrath of a naked Queen on dragon back. He would have to write this story down.


The actual story in his dream, like his life he tried to write as a biography, was much less exiting. What had caused The Threat from something his innocent parents had done?

Douglas started to write at dawn on 1 June 2010 and has not stopped since writing on average at least 750 words a day. Frederick his main character paced the floor as he usually did when worried. Martin’s report about the French family being murdered meant he and his family might be next in line. By July Frederick became Henry and by Christmas his cousin Henrietta had joined him …1199 days later after writing over 900,000 words, towards a 1,000,000 word target, a first printed story-book, Ywnwab! arrived on his doorstep by white van man. Not by magic this time! Hard work. If you think writing and publishing will take you so many days then double the time for an actual, if not more. Douglas often wonders why he carries on writing … perhaps a drug … certainly his million words is a Dragoness.

  
Act Two – Challenge in blue

A month later July 2010


Douglas explained to his long standing friend Isobel about his intention to write a book and a million words.

“Impossible,” pausing …

“YOU” … smiling …

”You will never write a book!” – Ywnwab!

Challenge made and accepted. First title - there could be no other.



Act three – Vanity in purple and thanks to Mick

August 2010

  
“Your book sounds lovely and will sell thousands we will make sure of that … all you have to do is pay us a small amount now … and a little more later.”

Douglas could not understand how the lovely sounding lady from the vanity publisher in America could make the statement when she had not even seen any of his draft writing.

All sounded too good to be true…

Along came a gallant knight Mick Rooney advising writers about vanity and self publishing so plucking Douglas from a crevasse …



Act Four – Rejection in green and thanks to Helen


Douglas’ ever supportive daughter gave him a book about “How to Write a Blockbuster.” Douglas as always decided to start writing and learn by doing. His wife said to his friends “Douglas, like Frank, always does things in his own way so why be surprised.”

He did read the chapter on the traditional publishing route. While working he had experience of too many people, he had little respect for, telling him what he must do. Times did not appear to have changed. He had little appetite for rejection either.


Act Five – Meeting Authors in brown who made a difference

Stephen King meeting

Douglas “I found your book ‘On Writing’ really good.

Stephen “I seem to have helped many authors”

“I also liked your story and film Shawshank Redemption with its tremendous ending.”


Douglas also wanted to say - why are your books so long and why do you manage to say so well in two pages what everyone else says in two sentences? Only joking!


John Braine has written a similar book. Writing a Novel.

“John, I really liked Joe Lampton and found my love of writing in the first person here …memories also flooded back about the Treasurer’s Office.”

“Ha, my source would have been in the libraries dept where I worked for a time.”



Act Six - What to write? A coward in yellow.

All the business reports Douglas had written while at work seemed like good fiction now. His biography too dull … some relation’s lives maybe more spicy, but how could he see into their lives and bedrooms of 70 years ago?

“Find out what your readers want to read.”

Catch 22, chickens and eggs came to mind.

Douglas decided to write what he wanted to write. If others want to read it then fine otherwise Plan A - all the million words can sit on a shelf as a job well done. However, Plan B - the publishing monkey is still there.


Act Seven - Making a start and editing - blue words abound.


Ethel came in from the writing class and had not written much. Trouble with starting - like his old Ford Cortina on a foggy day.

“You must show not tell!”

The more Douglas heard this remark the more he wanted to throttle someone, but not Ethel as he quite liked her. He recalled the best selling author who admitted taking drugs and slipped something into her tea.

Ethel phoned him last week – “I have made a start 4,500 words.”

“Well done - whoopie – like Goethe that’s all you have to do!”

and

“Make sure you back up everything you write electronically and in hard copy as if you lose it no one can read it.” Life will otherwise be blue.

Another new writer said to Douglas “ My editor seems to want to turn my book and ideas into her book.” Douglas laughed. “Select your editor carefully.”



Act Eight - Self Publishing a green way to one’s own summit.

Douglas toured and contacted self publishers. Some did not respond, others did and said they would keep in touch, and did not - business must be too good. Others showed examples of badly printed books with poor covers.

One even purchased one of Douglas’ old cars.

Mick Rooney again came as a gallant knight with his self publishing book and web site with a league table of those in the market place.

Duncan Beal of York Publishing Services showed continued interest and Douglas liked examples of their high quality finished products printed on their own premises. YPS printed Ywnwab! on time to a high standard and put all up for sale in hard and e formats.


Act Nine - Allrighters created in May 2013 on a grey stormy day.

The lightning lit up the room dark from reflection back from the heavy grey clouds outside.

Everyone started to count one, two, three, CRASH the thunder cracked and rumbled around the bay less than three miles away towards Swansea.


Alexander grinned.

More heavy thunder rolled around as we sat together. I felt the ghost of Aunt Florence, saw Henry and Henrietta holding hands - anything further all forbidden of course, and heard Alexander giggling the cause of my problems. Dr Moriati, Leonid and Rebecca sat heads down in shame. 

“Why should you get all the praise when we as your characters make the books what they are?” Alexander said, grinning as usual.

‘Yes, I thought, and all I get is the rejections and the emotional upset of dealing with you lot!’

“Off you go all of you ... and I will write my book on ocean sailing and catch up with my reading.”

In my dreams Kathrynne in her bright-red shoes came to me and held me in her arms. She is having a rare warm day. Perhaps life is not so bad after all!

Of course the following day they came back to me. They realised they were not living in the Elizabethan Trimefrayme and would need me to market their books after I had prepared them for printing as well.


Act Ten - First book published and a few sold through rose coloured …

They all lived happily ever after – a nice idea.


Some after thoughts on 1199 days of writing.

Douglas found :-

The creative writing came easily. All the editing, processing, publishing, distribution and selling a necessary, but not always a welcome or enjoyable time overhead.

Too many people telling him whatever he did is not being done the right away.

Those in the business assume you know, what they know, about what comes next and what has to be done. Communications and learning are hard. Like the car maintenance manual it is the obvious next step to others which is often missing.

Information overload from ideas, web publications and other writing sources.



The END in black or deep in red if expressed in costs and time incurred.

Further Plays in the green grass next door.

Coming next

“Marketing and selling are the hardest parts”

Finding your readers!
Writing what your readers want!
Creating a web presence and following.
Getting people to open their wallets to buy YOUR book
when they have lots of choice especially the safety of well known authors!


Other short story-books are in preparation. Please join in with contributions for consideration for inclusion in these future books. International contributions especially welcome.

What do you have to do?

Ask to join the Allrighters below as an associate or guest in an e mail to

alexander@allrighters.co.uk

Fantasy fiction writers Henry Cross, his cousin Henrietta and his dead Aunt Florence who’s dream dairies are being used to complete more interesting and enjoyable stories and books.

Guest writers Angela, Calvin, Katharine, Monica and Nick have written 250 words or so on how they started writing and then included an extract of c 1000 words from their published or near published work

Many associates who will write a page or two have already signed up.



Read more and subscribe for email updates on 

Alexander Kreator aka Douglas

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