On writing too much detail

I love descriptions, but like everything in life, too much description gets to slow down your reading, and as a reader, as well as a writer gets annoying. I just finish reading The Marching Season by Daniel Silva. This is the second book on his Michael Osbourne Series. This book had the same problem I found with the first one, it takes forever to get to the action, after you get to the action the book is incredible. The problem is not research, the book has plenty of research. I like to get into the story, tell me the info, but help me get sooner into the adventure I am going to embark, and in the case of the two books on the series takes a long time. I was hoping, because this was the second book, this was going to be different, but wasn’t.
Aside of that, of if you enjoy extensive descriptions, is a great book, especially after you get in the middle of the story, and the story begins to move.
I know first hand, how hard is sometime to let the story goes, I am living it right now, as I am working on my next book. I will love to spend days telling you about the character, Hannah, but after a lot of consideration I took the same route I took on the previous book, let me bring you a little into the story, and later on I will tell you more.
Mr. Silva, gives you all the detail and more, he shows how much research the book had. The problem, with this is the risk you take, the risk of loosing the reader. Giving long descriptions is an art, I am an adventurer writer, I want you to embark in the journey, I want you to discover more as we move along, and I will provide you with the information you need in order to enjoy the journey, but I try to avoid spend pages of pages describing something that will be cool to know in 100 more pages, I am a believer as a reader, and therefore as a writer that the faster you get my heart in the story, the more I want to know, give me the details, but capture my heart first. This book, works the other way around, gives you all the data, and later on capture your heart, but in general unless you are aware that it will capture your heart later on, most likely you will run before.

“There’s no reason to have a Plan B because it distracts you from Plan A.”

When I was a teenager, I had a great Plan A, a Plan A that I was in love with. I was convinced that I was crazy, and I should have a Plan B. So I did went out and get a Plan B, and then a Master for the Plan B, and life went on.
It was Will Smith that said “There’s no reason to have a Plan B because it distracts you from Plan A.”
I had fun playing with my Plan B, I learn about computers, software, sales, deals, good ones and bad ones. I learn a lot, but in the process of getting good on my Plan B, I leave my Plan A apart, I forgot about Plan A, I put it in the back burner and stop paying attention.
The good news is that I found the crumbles I left to my other me to find this Plan A, and the better news was that I found it. So I begin looking for more clues on that Plan A, and I begin working hard on that Plan, and in the process I re-discover the Writer inside! The more I found and remember about Plan A, the more resentful I got about Plan B, not because was a bad one, but because wasn’t Plan A. I decided to follow Will Smith advice, and forgot about Plan B, and focus on my Plan A.
I begin tracking my daily word count per day, I did 17,931K words this January and finish my first (for the public eyes) novel. Even better, I am planning the next one, and will begin drafting on February first.
Being a Writer is one of those jobs that are hard, ungrateful and everyone think they can do. I quit on this job sometime ago, because was so ungrateful and I was afraid. I follow Plan B, succeed in other jobs, while I dreamed that someday I will be back to be a writer. I was living the Plan B, instead of killing myself in the Plan A.
Did you remember your Plan A? Are you living your Plan A or you settle for Plan B?
I regret only few things in my life, leaving Plan A behind is one of those. My plan here is to write, talk about writing, show my writings, and share the experience of bringing back my Plan A to live.

Why do you want to be a writer?

Because when I choose to be someone else, I wish to be a writer anyways. Because when I dreamed about do anything with my life, the only thing I want it to do was be a writer, because is the thing that creates the biggest fear in my life.
I when and study to be a lawyer, got my degree, and did the best I could not to write. Even then I want it to be a writer. Then I decided to participate in a research contest, that I tied on first place with someone else, and decide that I need it a radical change, so I don’t write anymore.
I went and did an MBA, move to a different country, and learned a different language. By then I decided that in order to kill the urge to write I need to stop reading, since I didn’t know how to do that, I begin to tell myself to be allowed only to read in English (that I didn’t speak at the time).
I read ‘Tom Sawyer”, with a dictionary, word by word. Until made sense. So the next step was simple, I forbid myself for writing in Spanish. I didn’t have enough domain of the English language to write, so I stopped writing, I stopped reading, and begin crafting a different life. I begin creating a business persona. Move myself from nothing to Sales Manager, and stop reading anything else than business books.
I miss fiction, but I learn as much as I could of business, business books, and more. It was a fun ride, and allow me to get to great places, I was proud, but I miss fiction, and I was afraid to open a fiction book, I knew that years before I leave that road, to never come back.
One day it happen, I read a book, and then another, and then another. Little by little, the dormant writer was waking up. This time, I knew, there was going to be hard to make the writer go away, it was going to be painful, and happiness was in play, my happiness.
So after admitting to myself, that I had choose to be someone else, I begin to do the only thing I want it to do, I begin to Write.
I just finish a novel, technically the first one I send to the world, I submitted to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and we are waiting.
After years of struggle, mostly internal struggle, I have decide to have the life I want, I am a writer.
So my original question was: Why do you want to be a writer?
In my case is simple, I Want to be a Writer, because I don’t want to be anything else.

Book Mention: The Productive Writer

This is the first Book of 2011, and I enjoy it. It is an easy read full of great content.
From Amazon:

Editorial Review

“Poetic and practical, inspiring and hands-on, Sage Cohen writes like the good friend who actually wants you to succeed. Prepare to be inspired–and prepare to get to work. Whether you’re a new or seasoned writer, this book will push you to your potential.” –Ariel Gore,author of How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead
“Sage Cohen marries her lucid poet’s eye and her strategic business mind together in The Productive Writer, the most supportive book on writing productivity I’ve read in ages. Whether a fly-by-night creative or a ducks-in-a-row organizer, a brand newbie, or a stuck professional, every writer will find tools, templates and compassionate wisdom in this magnificently helpful read.” –Jordan Rosenfeld, author of Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time
“This book is an essential tool for every writer. From those just starting out, to those on the bestseller list, Sage Cohen offers tools that will help you do what you do better. The Productive Writer may be the most practical writing guide out there. I have my copy. Now go buy yours.” –Chelsea Cain, New York Times Bestselling author
“While Sage offers tips on the nitty-gritty of productivity — everything from tracking your time to organizing your bookshelves — she goes way beyond that to address such important topics as how to build your platform, overcoming fear, and how to THINK more productively. I’m a productivity freak, and I came away from this book with a ton of actionable ideas. Even better, Sage’s writing style is delightful. I recommend The Productive Writer to everyone who wants to write, whether for a hobby or for a living.” –Linda Formichelli, author of The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success.
“The Productive Writer is one of those great books that is a compilation of advice that takes writers step by step through the process of becoming published, while at the same time teaching how to maintain balance in daily life as it lends courage to express something deep within you. More than a how-to-write book; this volume fills in the gaps of what you need to know about living as a writer. The book is chockfull of check lists and exercises and whiz-bang explanations that make writing feasible, fulfilling, and, dare I say, fun.” –Jessica Morrell, author of six books, including Thanks, but This Isn’t for Us, A (sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected

Product Description

The creative process can be treacherous, even for the most experienced writer. Facing the blank page, staying inspired, sustaining momentum, managing competing priorities and coping with rejection are just a few of the challenges writers face regularly.With this book, you’ll learn the systems, strategies and psychology that can help you transform possibilities into probabilities in your writing life. You’ll sharpen your productivity pencil by learning how to:
* Set clear goals – and achieve them * Create a writing schedule that really works * Discover what keeps you writing, revising, and submitting * Carve out writing time amidst the demands of work and family * Weed out habits and attitudes that are not serving you * Organize your thinking, workspace, papers and files * Increase your odds of publication and prosperity * Use social media to build an author platform * Get comfortable going public and promoting your writing * Create a sustainable writing rhythm and lifestyle * Accomplish what matters most to you.
If you’d like to have so much fun with your writing, publishing and promoting that you won’t want to stop, The Productive Writer is an ideal companion. If you are ready to create the writing life you most desire, The Productive Writer can help take you there.

Reading is like gas to the writer engine

in 2007, I noticed that not only my writing career was in total abandonment, but one of the most important ingredients for a Writer, the ingredient that allow the engine to move, was also almost inexistent. I begin reading at a really early age, and read most of my life until decide to quit writing, there was no more reason to read, but honestly bother me that I was not reading, and after that begin bothering me that I was not writing.
So for my goals of 2008, I set a goal of 52 books. I didn’t reach the goal, but was able to read 47 books. I decide to repeat that exercise and goal in 2009 and reach 55. I rinse and repeat for 2010 and celebrate my 52 in September and end up the year with 71. I am proud of that goal, and I believe it is a great routine, so for this year 2011, I am also setting my goal to 52 books.
I am a believer that if you want to write, you need to read, and if you want to write a lot, well, you need to read a lot. I am looking forward to 2011, for me is an important year, to bring my career as a writer forward, to present to my readers some new work, some novellas (I have one in final edition at this moment), short stories and tell about the Novel I am writing and plan to finish before the end of the year.
In the mean time, I will continue writing and feeding the engine with more reading. Feel free to recommend a book.
In case you are curious, this is the list of books I finish in 2010.
Books I have read in 2010
Kindle/eReader/iBook (53)
– Bird By Bird. Anne Lamonth
– The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life. Leo Babauta
– The Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin
– Linchpin. Seth Godin
– Insubordinate. Seth Godin
– From Idea to Book: Writing, self-publishing and print-on-demand…for your book. By: Joanna Penn
– Way of Aikido, The: Life Lessons from an American Sensei: Life Lessons from an American Sensei by George Burr Leonard
– Mojo. Marshall Goldsmith
– The Sales Leader Playbook. Nathan Jamall
– The Power of Full Engagement. Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by James E. Loehr (Author)
– Rework by Jason Fried
– Harry Potter and the half blood Prince. JK Rolling
-The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. Robin S. Sharma (Author)
– My Name is David Cole. Jon Souza
– Write Good or Die. Varios Artist
– A Writer’s Coach: An Editor Guide to words that work. By Jack Hart
– Heroes for My Son By Brad Meltzer
– Your Money: The Missing Manual. J.D Roth
– Small is the new Big. Seth Godin
– The Promise Doctrine (a guidebook and system for consistently delivering on your promises!) (Volume 1)
by Craig P. Womack, Jason W. Womack
– Black Echo. Michael Conelly
– How to Write a Damn Good Thriller: A Step-by-Step Guide for Novelists and Screenwriters by James N. Frey
– The Book Thief by Markus
– Her Side. Mur Lafferty
– Get Paid For Who You Are. David Wood
– Retrato en Sepia. Isabel Allende
– Winning by lossing. Julian Michaels
– Black Ice. Michael Connelly
– Concrete Blonde. Michael Connelly
– Heat Wave. Richard Castle
– Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins
– Catching Fire.Suzanne Collins
– Mockingjay. Suzanne Collins
-A Million-Miles-in-a-Thousand-Years. Don Miller
– 279 Days to Overnight Success. Chris Guillebeau
– The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World. Chris Guillebeau
-Too soon Old, Too late Smart. Gordon Livingston
– The highly effective habits of 5 successful authors.
– The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life by Francine Jay (Author)
– WRITE NOW! How To Write. Francine Saint Marie
– focus : a simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction. By Leo Babauta
– Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
– Snow Day. Billy Coffey
– The Mark of the assassin. Daniel Silva
– Creating Flow with Omnifocus. Kourosh Dini
– Vanished. Joseph Finder
– The 4 hour Body. Tim Ferris
– Mac at Work. David Sparky
– Daddy, Where’s Your Vagina? What I Learned As a Stay-at-Home Dad. by Joseph Schatz
– Watchlist. Various Authors
– Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows. JK Rolling
AudioBooks (12)
– The 30-Second Commute: A Non-Fiction Comedy about Writing and Working From Home by Stephanie Dickison
– The Legend of Bagger Vance: A Novel of Golf and the Game of Life by Steven Pressfield
– A whole new mind by Daniel Pink
– Drive by Daniel Pink
– The Dip. Seth Godin
– Stumbling on Happiness.Dan Gilbert
– Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk
– Tribes. Seth Godin
– Purple Cow. Seth Godin
– Switch. How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
– This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True. by M. J. Ryan (Author)
– Linchpin. Seth Godin
PaperBooks (6)
– Cuando ya no importe. Juan Carlos Onetti
– Las Luces de Septiembre. Carlos Ruiz Zafon
– A Parent’s guide to Ear Tubes. By Richard M. Rosenfeld
– Hilos de Esperanza. Rodrigo Lares
– Delivering Happiness. Tony Hsieh
– Cuentos para Principiantes. Maria E. Mayobre

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2011

2011 is here, and if you are like me, you are ready for a new year. I have spend a lot of time, thinking about this blog, as well as the other places that I write, my goals as a writer and as a person for 2011, and there is going to be a lot of changes here, the first one on the post and the kind of posts.
augustopinaud.com is the place that I am going to be talking about my writing journey, this is my Author page, so again Welcome!
I am a big fan of productivity and personal improvement, and most of the post on those topic are going to be posted on www.mindlikemonkey.com where I share with my great friends Dan and Tara.
I am sure some thing will cross post, but that it is something that will come later on.
The other goal, is to publish at least monday, Wednesday and Friday here about what I am learning as well as some short stories and more stuff, but I will be talking more about my goals for 2011 begining next week.
For now, enjoy 2011, get the best out of it, and I hope this get to be your best year yet!

On writing the next novel

As I gave expressed before here, my first novel (even if it is the second one I wrote) just shipped to the editor for corrections.
Sadly, I got behind, so I wasn’t unable to write a much as I want for Nanowrimo, and this year I am not going to be able to reach that goal.
The good news is that I am already working on the next novel, and that is the topic of this post.
People wonder why I continue writing if you don’t know if I will be able to sell the first novel, or even if will be a good one, then why invest the time working on the next one.
I guess is the blessing and the curse of the writer, you put all what you have, and hope to produce the best you can, if that doesn’t work, then you work on the next one, and you work hard again putting the best you have to produce the best you can, and simply hope that it will work.
If it doesn’t work, you know that you can always begin again. I wrote ‘The Writer’ three times, because I wasn’t happy in any way with the first two drafts, both were over fifty thousand words, and the third one was over forty thousand only, but was something I was happy with.
Writing seems something fast, simple and easy, but the reality is that even though is fun, it is not fast, simple or easy, you write the line and later discover that what you tough was incredible later on you notice how poor it was, and you need to come back and begin once again.
The next triller/crime novel is in the works, and I hope to have it done soon.

I did it!

Do you remember the first time you tell yourself ‘I did it!’ I honestly don’t, and I am sure many people can’t, we stop playing too soon.
This weekend, I saw my daughter buckle herself into her car seat for the first time, took us longer to leave the house, but she was so proud of herself, she was so proud that she made it out, she was so proud that she was able to do it for herself, and I was extremely proud.
Kids are capable of anything, they fear nothing, they know no limits. All those limits, fears and things that we are incapable of, came into our head, later on, came into our hearts as we grow up, as we develop ourselves, as we simply grow up.
We limit ourselves, and allow the fear to take over us, to to make us weak, to create a weak link, and in general make us associate with weak links too. It is time we break the weak link chain and begin building a strong chain, without the limitations, and the fears and the doubts.
If you have those, keep them close, but act anyways, the only failure you can commit is not do it, fail doing it is already a success, not try is the only possible failure, the rest are just the effort you need to make to get there.

'The Writer' and update.

Finally, yesterday I was able to ship my novella, ‘The Writer’
The original manuscript, was over 50,000 words (the minimum number to qualify as a Novel), but after final revisions, I decide to cut a lot of fat, and end up a little over 41,000 words, that put the book in a Novella level.
The next step is to wait for the comments of the editor, incorporate those, and then design the cover. After that’s done, I am planning to send it to my test readers group for final feedback. I hope the latest happen around december 10th, and the novel back for last revision by Jan 10th or 15th.
Before I submit the Novella, I consider write another 10,000 words and make sure was a full Novel instead, but regardless how much I think about it, my conclusion was always the same, this story is only 41,000 words, also, I need to remember that as a reader there is nothing worst that the writer trying to make more words, instead of saying the tall building, we said, the structure that was reaching the moon, above all the others. There is a place for that description, but many times in a Mystery/Triller there is not, the person is running, scare for his life, or is not, and when you are running for your life, you don’t enter the the structure reaching the moon, you enter in the tall building.
After I made my decision final, and make the book a Novella, someone told me, that it is going to be really hard to sell to a publisher if it is that short, they may be right, they may not, but I had decide to take the risk, if a publisher don’t want it, because if too short to make sense for them, I may not be interested in that publisher, the publishing market should pay attention to content and not always the word count.
So the big milestone is over, now is up to the editor to review, and the readers to enjoy.

Once again NO eBook, NO Sale

I love eBooks and had been a big proponent of them, actually I had basically quit buying paper books, no eBook, sorry no reading of your content and no sale. I read on my iPad, I don’t care if it is a PDF, Kindle Format, ePub, Mobi, or Barnes and Noble Format, but make sure your book get’s to eBook, honestly NO eBook, NO Sale.
I am an avid reader, I read over 50 books per year, (this year I am set as November 1 on I have finish 63 books) if you want to know more check my shelfari profile, and continue getting surprise for those writers that don’t produce eBooks and even more for those Publishing Houses that doesn’t embraced.
I understand that I am an early adopter, I have been reading eBooks since the Palm Pilot days, early 1990’s, but come on, eBooks are hitting the masses, Kindle, iPad, Sony Reader, Nook, and any other phone and table, walk into a Target store, into a Walmart, the ebooks are in the masses.
My prediction is that Paperback books are going to disappear, so people will get Hardback or eBooks, in my opinion the Paperbacks are going to be like the Walkman or the Betamax; something from the Past.
The sad part with this, is the amount of Writers and Publishing Houses that had not embrace the eBooks, this week I was looking to read a book from Enid Blyton, more especifically I was looking to read some on the ‘Secret Seven‘, the first series I remember that I fell in love with.
Well I can find some of the books, in PAPER! no Seven Secrets on eBooks, at least on the US, actually if you search her on the Nook, or Apple Store or the Kindle, you will find 5 or less eBooks. People if you are not familiar with Enid Blyton, let me bring to you this small statistic from Wikipedia.


This is a well known and wide printer author. This is the problem, NO eBook, NO Sale seems simple, but it is not, Steve Jobs proved to all of us, that people is willing to pay for legal music, Jeff Bezos prove to us that people want to read eBooks, now let’s stop and think about this for a second…
People want to buy legal ebooks, in the same way they buy legal music, and Publishers, Writer, Estates of dead Writers are not allowing this, JK Rollings, the author of Harry Potter had being against her books to be on eBooks, guess what, they get online faster than the publisher can placed in the store, and people had download them by the millions, not only that, many people that would read them again, will not until it can be done on eBook.
I stop buying DVDs a while ago, Betamax and VHS long time ago, CDs long time ago, LPs even more, and I am buying less and less paperbooks year by year, and I am reading more and more.
The phenomenon of Globalization that I study is high school is not a phenomenon any more, and publishers, and writers need to understand this, it is not a series of micro economies, it is a global economy, and if you want me to read your book, need to be available so I can read it in the format I want, otherwise, I don’t care about you.
Again my prediction is that Paperback books are going to disappear, and with that the writers that are not producing eBooks, there will be a nice memory, and will be re-readed when Project Gutenberg provide the text for the readers.