Rick Yagodich

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Author of, predominantly, literary epic fantasy. But presentational genre is only a wrapper, and some stories demand other packaging. Custodian of an unhealthily long list of story ideas in need of writing.

Currently reworking An Empty Throne Contended Throne Blood Throne, book 1 of The Godsbridge Arc, which is "a coming-of-age/political-intrigue series that looks at how someone can become as evil and universally reviled as Sauron."

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Rick Yagodich Discussions
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I am trying to come up with a Word template for writing that includes all the tools one could need. …
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I have always placed my ellipses, in my writing, tight up against the last word of a truncated sente…
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  •  · It could be the difference between US and UK, Jon. Dreyer doesn't say so, though the UK edition of t…
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Just because I used an edit of it to get my mind working again, after a couple of weeks of bogging d…
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One for the plotters… pantsers might find this interesting, but it won't be meaningful to you…I'm in…
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  •  · It might be worth approaching it sequentially, too, rather than looking at act structures - just as …
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Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is a famously deep and backstoried tale. The material created to sup…
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  •  · Great thread! Having started writing as a 'pantser' (3 novels ago) I am now beginning to appreciate …
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Alpha-reading… wait a moment. Alpha? How's that different from beta-reading?For those not familiar w…
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  •  · Thank you for this clear explanation. Very helpful. 

My girlfriend's hard copy will be collected from Waterstone's tomorrow. (My digital copy will have to wait for the official publication date.)

Leaving aside the faceteous answers, let's think about the why of this writer's response.

I can see two reasons someone might have such a strong negative reaction:

1) Having dealt with such adition in their own life, and read others' works that didn't deal with it in a realistic way, they have an instinctive aversion to any mention of the subject. (As a parallel example, a overweight author once was discussing others' writing when he was an overweight teen; that other person's story dealt with weight, and had the protagonist obsessing about his weight; but that mentality bore no relation to the reality of this author's experience as a teen.)

2) Having written something with an addict protagonist and had it rejected (either because it was submitted to someone with an option-1 experience, or because it was poorly implemented), they are projecting that feedback on others.

At the end of the day, as has been said before, every story has been done to death already. If we could only craft the utterly original, there would be no new books…

All good advice above. I'll throw some extra bits/duplication in.

The first thing to do is refine your craft. Learn as much as you can about writing, about storytelling, about structure. (Books, courses, other… whatever works for you.) Learn enough that you can gain a more realistic perspective on your own work. (Impossible to do completely, but new knowledge after the writing can be somewhat objective.) And post a chapter for feedback here. Or start by looking though feedback others have received and analysing that; try to understand the perspective that led to the comments. Any suggestion for improvement, look to apply the same logic to your own work. (Assume that every failure found in others' work will be in yours.)

You are far too early in to process to be going to any kind of paid editor. Assume you'll need several rounds of heavy edits from your own learning, then the same based on feedback from beta readers. Only once it's as good as you can possibly make it should you think about spending money on it. Because if the structure is no good, fixing the prose won't fix the story.

The order is learn, beta readers, learn, beta readers, learn, (repeat ad infinitum), agent, publisher. editor, proof reader, copy editor.

You don't need to do anything to copyright it; that you've written it means it is automatically protected by copyright.

The cover doesn't need to reflect the resolution. Indeed, I'd say it wants to refelct the struggle more. So your descent into chaos, assuming that happens, is appropriate. It leaves the question, when picking the book up, as to whether the protagonist(s) will overcome the descent.

As to the overlaid score, I think it's a good, distinctive element that works far better than fonts or anything else as connective tissue. Expeically with Music in the titles.

#7 is definitely dramatic, but as others have said, the hand…

#6 combines that same drama, but ties in better with vol 1 through the score.

#5 doesn't work for me; the shadow doesn't match the person seen, and the trace of whatever it is in the top right is disttracting.

#4 is too busy with the lens flare, and the scene lack clarity.

#3 carries a really strong implication of a spiralling descent into chaos. The woman, though, is clearly superimposed; she's taken from a scene where she's walking on flat ground, not going down stairs. That disparity works against it. It's worth trying a hint of the score to tie it in with vol 1.

#2 has the same problems I highlighted when it was a candidate for vol 1; the difference in perspective between the spiral and the bird doesn't work.

#1 doesn't ahve #2's problems, but it feels too abstract; unrelated to vol 1.

So, either #3 with fixes, or #6, or #7 sans hand with score.

Picking a good story then choosing the right technique is the horses-first approach.

Thanks for parsing that feedback Donna.

From those commenst, and without having time yet to read the piece, I'd say it's written in omniscient; omniscient, after all, allows dips into individuals. It sounds like it's done deftly, with a good rhythm.

There's also the option (I presume covered in Emma's list) of writing from an omniscient perspective, which allows flitting between characters. But to work well, it must be done well.

As with all things in writing, there is no-one-size-fits-all answer, only guidelines that are appropriate in 95% of cases, and closer to 99.95% of cases for those who haven't yet developed the expertise to handle the alternate approaches gracefully.

Congratulations, Laure. That's a serious coup. I may have to buy a physical copy of a book for the firt time in mumble-mumble years.

Added a comment to Pen names 

Approach agents and publishers under your real name. If/when you get to a publishing deal bring it up then; agents and publishers are used to pseudonyms so will take that in stride.

This whole 80k target is a mirage. It's an easy number, but it bears little connection with reality. If you've got a good story, it really doesn't matter if it's 60k or 120k. A good story is a good story, and it's however long it needs to be.

Have fun with – as Donna says – the real writing.

Taking the questions in order. Or almost.

Is it legible? Yes. At least the title text is, As others have said, the name isn't as legible. That's because the hair overlaps the "dl" (yet it goes under the K and A).

Is it clear? Not so much. The issue, at least as I see it, has multiple aspects. First, the two-head pose is reminiscent of playing cards, yet the angles on the two heads are very different (you can see under the chin at the bottom; not so at the top). To pull off that pairing, the angles need to match almost perfectly, and the additional decorative elements need better symmetry. Second, as others have said, the top image is somewhat blurry. Third, the bottom image has a high contrast based on a bright background, making the face difficult to see. Fourth, all the light is in the bottom right corner, thus drawing the eye down.

Appealing… that's very subjective. It wouldn't jump out at me, but am I the target audience?

As to genre and age, I would have said it's aimed at adults, rather than YA as others have mentioned. Possibly with allusions of literary. Though maybe that would need the secondary thought I had about the title, in response to others' suggesting it might be too small, which would be to partially combine the M and W, keeping those extended arcs off them.

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