My Intent & Style

I have been asked the following question ever since I decided to be an author:

“Who is your audience?”

Over the years I have said young adults, college students, fantasy fans, fiction fans, D&D players, and all manner of audiences that came to my head at the spur of the moment.  It’s only recently that I came to the conclusion that my audience is the following:

You, you, me, you, you, that person to your right, and that other guy.

You see, my reason for writing these stories  is because I like seeing the expression of interest and enjoyment on the face of a person reading my story.  I love hearing that there was a character that they connected with or a scene that made them laugh or cry.  I’m not in this to make a fortune (I’d be happy to only make enough to make this a viable career path) and I’m not in this to change the face of literature.  All I want is to tell my stories, give life to my characters, and grant escapism to whoever wishes to step out of their reality.

To that end, my writing style has deviated from the books I grew up reading.  I remember the detailed descriptions of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis from my middle school days.  This style was repeated in every fantasy book that I read, which drew me into their worlds for hours.  I tried to write this way, but found that I naturally moved toward a different focus.  I was more interested in the characters and their development.  I decided that Windemere could always be described and explored through the words, eyes, and adventures of my characters.  So, I found no reason to have my chapters be dominated by paragraphs of descriptive settings.  Also, I found that people who were not interested in fantasy couldn’t read through the descriptions without getting bored.  To each their own.

So, I now have a style that focuses on dialogue, character reactions, and comic-book style action.  As far as I’m concerned, the major plot of story is not as important as the subplots that force the characters to mature along their path.  These focuses make my books relatively quick reads and help them appeal to a wider audience that I cannot specifically describe.  Over the years, many people of various tastes have read my books to give me feedback and they have all told me that they like the characters and my simple style.  It isn’t like they are reading a history book or watching the action from afar.  My goal is to have the reader feel like they are along for the ride and gain a genuine interest in the fate of the characters.

Think of this as my declaration of intent and a reason to give my stories a chance.

58 Responses to My Intent & Style

  1. minisculegiants says:

    I finally had a chance to read all your entries (Beginning of a Hero). I’m enjoying them so far.

    • slepsnor says:

      Thanks. It’s always nice to hear someone say they enjoy my writing.

      • minisculegiants says:

        Do you have any idea how many chapters this book is going to have?

      • slepsnor says:

        Counting the Prologue there are 18 chapters 2-4 sections each. I actually completed the entire book and the next two books in the series. Currently, I’m writing the 4th book and I have tentative outlines for the rest of the 15 book series.

        I’m aiming to get the 3 finished novels and a horror novella posted on Amazon Kindle by the end of January. Decided it couldn’t hurt posting book sections on here to get interest and feedback.

      • minisculegiants says:

        I’m impressed! That’s ambitious.

      • slepsnor says:

        Thanks. I’m hoping my ambition pays off because I have a lot more than Legends of Windemere. The series is really the kick-off of Windemere’s Age of Heroes and I have a few series that take place prior to this story. I’m hoping to hit the ground running when I start publishing on Kindle.

      • minisculegiants says:

        This could be so cool. I’ll be rooting for you.

      • minisculegiants says:

        I’m e-mailing your info to a friend. If you have anything you’re willing to share, she’s looking for experience as a content editor; she’d probably do it for free just to get the experience. I hope you don’t mind. If you do, let me know.

        Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to seeing your books come out on Amazon.

        Have a wonderful day!

      • slepsnor says:

        I don’t mind, so we’ll see what happens. I’ve been depending on friends to help me out with the editing and feedback.

        I’m looking forward to the books coming out too. Though it will mean it’s time to do marketing and advertising, which I’ve never managed to get my mind around. Being a writer would be so much easier if I could get away with staying in my corner with my notebooks and laptop while the books sell themselves. :)

      • minisculegiants says:

        I so agree! I love learning about marketing, but when it comes to actually putting it in practice I’m much more content to hide out and keep to myself.

        I am considering running a contest in the very, very near future just to see if I can get comments on some of my writing. I’ll let you know if I try it, and if I do, what the results are. Although, realistically, if I do it you’ll probably see it here on my blog before it goes anywhere else.

      • slepsnor says:

        I agree. It’s fun to come up with marketing tactics, but putting them into practice always carries a level of stress that I don’t like. So far, I have this website and a FB author page. The college I went to has a role-playing game/fantasy/anime convention in April, so I’m going to be setting up a vendor table there. That’s probably the biggest thing I have planned.

        I was wondering what to do contest-wise through this website. It’s one of the most common suggestions that people give me, but I’m not even sure where to start. I look forward to seeing what you do.

      • minisculegiants says:

        Thanks! I’ll let you know when I get ready to move on it.

  2. Xorplon says:

    If you dont mind, Send me a copy of your first novels’ book cover. If you want I can play around and come up with something. If you need any designed backgrounds or blog headers customized let me know, I can do it I just need instruction :)

    • slepsnor says:

      My book cover’s progress is actually posted from last week and I’m using part of it as my header.

      I’m not too sure about letting you play with the book cover because the guy who is working on it is a professional and family. No offense, but it’d be like letting somebody play around with my writing. I appreciate the offer of help.

      • Xorplon says:

        No worries, Just offering a hand to help if you ever need one. Didn’t mean to intrude I understand how protective I am over my work x]

        No disrespect intended

      • slepsnor says:

        No problem. I knew you weren’t being disrespectful, so no harm done. I’m rather patient about the cover art and have been doing what I can to find various marketing methods to use when the time comes. What I’ve learned is that there are a few things fellow authors can do to help each other:
        1. Buy, read, and review their books.
        2. Post about their book on your blog.
        3. Give feedback.
        I’ve learned a lot from other authors on here and I’ve tried my best to help others.

  3. Xorplon says:

    Thank you
    I’m always looking for advice.
    You’ve been very helpful already. Thank you once again. I’ll remember your kindness ; ]

  4. Xorplon says:

    You’re pretty amazing slepsnor ;D

  5. Very nice of you to stop by so speedily and like my new post ;) Thank you! Your support is greatly appreciated :) It’s always good to hear from writers and connect a little…you guys have so much to teach us and after all there is so much to learn, and therefore so much to get terribly wrong too! I know these things!!! lol … I’ve seen a few references of late to “who is your audience?” Interesting because I hadn’t given it a huge amount of thought…I didn’t really have one I guess ;) But I like your philosophy on this subject and I wish you the very best in your endeavours! :)

    • slepsnor says:

      Thanks. Hopefully I set a good example for everyone who’s watching. Though, I’m really not that far ahead of anybody else. As you can see I’m still baffled about the pricing of future books and advertising seems to be really rough. I’m hoping I learn enough on that second part to be helpful to others.

      I never understood the audience question at times. It feels too much like I’d have to narrow my vision

      • Quite agree! The audience question does feel very vision narrowing. I’ve decided what I write will have to find it’s own audience without any help from me…the audience is quite capable of finding what it’s looking for anyway!

  6. Thanks for following my blog! It’s taken a little while to get round to visiting due to social network sites leapfrogging of late! I have a paw in too many for my own Wolfie good at the moment lol :) Anyway, you are very welcome anytime you might choose to stop by :)

    • slepsnor says:

      I know what you mean. Between . . . I don’t even want to list all the sites I’m trying to maintain. I just signed on with another today.

      • Oh Wolf! lol ;) Well if you have any maintenance tips going spare I’ll all Wolfie ears! I’m sure we’re supposed to have a life outside the inside of our PC’s :D Then again…lol ;)

      • slepsnor says:

        I tend to run everything through my blog/website, which makes it easier. It’s probably not the most unique idea, but it’s the easiest if you don’t have a lot of time or are still trying to figure Twitter and the other sites out.

      • Sounds like a good plan! Thanks :)

  7. codywestle says:

    Random question here, how comfortable are you with posting chapters (or parts of your book) on your blog. I’m thinking about posting a chapter every time I finish it on my own blog but I’m weary of thieves…

    • slepsnor says:

      I have my books copyrighted, so that takes some of the edge off. I post chapter sections every Monday and Friday. I assume that it’s easy to prove the work is mine because the post has a date on it. I wouldn’t post a chapter every time you finish it, but write further ahead before posting chapter sections. Also, I wouldn’t go too far. I stop at Part 25 or when the connected book actually comes out.

      I’ve heard so many stories about thieves that I’ve decided to take the risk. If someone is going to steal then the only true way to stop them would be to hide my work. Even published works aren’t really safe from thieves, but (again) a copyright can give you some relief.

  8. Hi, I’ve just joined the Rome construction crew so thought I’d say hi :) (hi)

  9. prayingforoneday says:

    Bouquet of three awards
    http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/bouquet-of-three-awards/
    Please accept these 3 awards

    Shaun

  10. Merci de suivre mon blog. d–0.o–b

  11. Hi Charles, hope all is well in the land of Windemere. I have nominated you for a liebster award. http://highfantasyaddict.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/liebster-award-my-first-award-awesome/

  12. vozey says:

    The reasons behind your writing, and the fact that you said D&D, only make me want to read it more… Sorry, had to smash a spider… where was i? Yes. I want to read your book. I will get there someday! I’ve got a few others to read first. My wife won’t buy me more until I finish about 3 that I bought from Barns & Noble.

    • I hope I don’t disappoint. The D&D influence seems to be a positive/negative depending on the reader.

      • vozey says:

        Never played D&D. It would be something I would get into, just haven’t had the people or time to play.

        I stole a D&D monster manual from my mom. It has given me some inspiration. Throw in an interesting topic to tackle like grief and some fresh perspective, and that’s what I’ve been writing.

      • The people are definitely an important factor. I’ve been in a few groups and it doesn’t always work. If you’re into the story then a group of combat junkies wouldn’t work. If you’re into the combat then a group of storytellers will drive you mad. The worst is a group that is more interested in the numbers on their characters, but those people rarely travel in packs. They prefer to be the only number cruncher in the group.

        I should do a post on D&D player types for humor.

      • vozey says:

        Oh that would be cool! Put me on there. I’m the geek who watches celebrities play on YouTube. I’m a D&D-Wanna-be!

        I think I might actually like to be the DM, even. I think I would like the storytelling aspect the most.

      • That’s a hard role to jump into unless you study the books a little. Took me a few years before I felt ready to do that.

  13. eriklehman says:

    It seems we have traveled similar writing paths, leading to lean style based on dialogue and action. This is a refreshing read, Charles. Glad to find you. I was led in your direction by KB (a blogger friend). This blogger had told me that you might have some ideas to share that deal with book promotion. If so, I would be honored to hear your advice.

    Sincerely,
    Erik S. Lehman

    • I’m always happy to help and answer question. I have a link on my page that has a list of indie author promotion sites that I’ve used. Most of them are cheap or free, but I will say that a lot of it depends on genre.

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