Audiobook Review: The Devil You Know by Mike Carey

The Devil You KnowScribd has been handy for discovering new books, and finding The Devil You Know by Mike Carey was a real winner.

I’m pretty sure I discovered it by doing a search for Michael Kramer, one of my favorite narrators, and he’s an excellent reader for this book. As an added bonus, since the main character, Felix Castor is British, you get to hear Kramer do lots of fun accents. He’s not at all bad for an American, although I did hear a few small goofs, mostly words not quite pronounced the way a Brit would, but nothing that detracted from my enjoyment.

The premise of the book is that ghosts are real, and, in the last few years, have become more active, to the point that people have mostly accepted their existence. Not everyone can see them, but enough have that national governments have even debated updating laws to acknowledge the rights of the deceased.

Felix Castor is an exorcist, and he made a pretty good living at it until two years earlier when he had an experience which made him question his vocation. A local museum has been having ghost troubles, and he gets sucked into helping them.

What starts out as a simple exorcism turns into something more complicated when he receives the message that pursuing it will lead to his death.

I loved the premise that ghosts, zombies and certain other creatures exist. I won’t spoil the nature of loup-garous, but suffice it to say that it was cooly awful and I didn’t see it coming. The very end was also more than a bit of a shocker, though as a good twist ending should be, completely obvious in hindsight.

The story dragged a tiny bit, and I think Carey could have tightened it up by a few thousand words without harming the plot, but it wasn’t enough to make me lose interest. Kramer is an excellent narrator, and he brought all the characters to life for me. I’ve already started listening to the second book in the series. I plan to finish all of them (five as of now), assuming the quality stays at least as good as the first one.

Musings on the Future of MCU’s Captain America

Chris-Evans-Captain-America-TrilogyI’m listening to the fantastic Captain America: Winter Soldier soundtrack as I write this. I think it’s slightly better than the Civil War soundtrack.

Speaking of which, one of the things I was looking forward to about this blog was the ability to get all geeky once and while and write stuff that’s totally off-topic from writing or reviews, and I think this is my first such properly geeky post. Fair warning. There will be significant spoilers for Captain America: Civil War. If you haven’t see the movie, you might want to stop reading now.

Anyway, in the lead-up to Civil War, I was worried about two things.

  1. That a “Captain America” movie with so many characters would suck.
  2. That Steve Rogers would die, as he did at the end of the Civil War comic series.

Early reviews eased my mind on the first point, and I was delighted that Steve was still alive at the end of the movie. However, I have heard that Chris Evans has only one movie left on his contract, so I’m suspecting we still might see his retirement from the role, which leaves the question: who, if anyone, will take up the shield?

In my apprehension about his possible death, I’d been giving this some thought, and the events of Civil War confirmed that I might be on the right track.

In the comics, Bucky, followed by Sam Wilson, take up the shield. I’ve been reading the Bucky-era Captain America comics, and they are (mostly) excellent. (The Man With No Face arc didn’t do it for me.) While io9 hypothesized yesterday that Marvel might be setting up Sam to take over the role, I was laying my money on Bucky before Civil War, and I still feel the same way.

Let’s start with the practical stuff. Although I can’t find the source, I’ve read that Chris Evans has only one more movie on his contract while Sebastian Stan still has six. Contracts can be renegotiated, and I’m hoping Evans signs up for several more, but, if not, Stan has plenty of movies in his future. I don’t know how many Anthony Mackie still has, and if anyone else does, feel free to link to a source.

Six movies gives Bucky lots of time to be Cap, but it also gives him plenty of time to continue as the Winter Soldier. (Based on the second post-credits scene, I’m wondering if we will see him in Black Panther.)

I started thinking Bucky because of this scene from Winter Soldier.

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Obviously he has some affinity with the shield, and in the comics Bucky says he can use the shield because of his arm. And yes, I know, technically Bucky doesn’t have his arm at the end of Civil War, but I’m pretty sure he’ll get it back. Comic Bucky is working on his second arm, so why not MCU Bucky?

He used it a second time in Winter Soldier, during the causeway fight, and a search for the above image pulled up a screen cap of Bucky using it in First Avenger, which I had forgotten about until now. Plenty of set-up that Bucky can handle it almost as well as Cap.

Then we get toCivil War, and the final fight scene with Bucky and Cap double-teaming Tony by passing the shield back and forth kind of clinched it for me.




Clearly, they want us to get that Bucky can use the shield. My husband commented that to make Bucky the new Cap would require a redemption arc somewhere, but I disagree. He’d not been redeemed in the comics, which is why he had trouble going to the one year anniversary of Cap’s death in costume. (Totally think that sucked!)

Would there be complications to having Bucky take over as Captain America? Sure, and I think it would make for some great story telling. While I do think Sam would make an excellent Cap, and my first choice is for Rogers to be Cap forever, I do think Marvel is setting up the possibility for passing the shield, and Bucky is a prime contender.

Agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Oh, and if you just want to geek out over your favorite scene(s) from Civil War, feel free to do that too. 🙂

Impressions of Scribd’s New Terms

scribd-logo-marketingbuildingIf you’ve been following the ebook world at all, you probably know that Scribd, the subscription ebook/audiobook/comic book service changed its terms starting in March. Where the ebooks and comics had previously been “all you can read,” now users accumulate monthly credits (3 per month, and you can accumulate up to 9) to “spend” on books. There are also rotating monthly “Scribd Select” books which can be read for that month without using credits, and there are a number of unlimited books which can freely be read at any time.

Understandably, there was little rejoicing in the land when the new terms were announced. Readers were upset at being limited to only 3 books a month, and many felt that the unlimited selection was pretty limited. I’m certain that many unsubscribed, but I had never been one to read tens of books in a month, so I decided to stay on and see what I thought of the new terms.

Short impression. I actually like it more than the old terms, if you can believe it. Not only that, I think I am actually reading more than I did. And now that you are convinced I am insane, let me explain.

I am someone who thrives on a certain amount of structure. I have been a huge fan of Scribd since the beginning, and I personally never wanted to overuse it, so every month my question was, “How many books should I read in it?” (I’ve had doubts about the viability of their business model from the beginning, and since I loved the service, I didn’t want to be one of the ones who “broke” it.) Yes, I’m probably the exception here, but anyone else who loves structure will understand where I am coming from.

Now, it’s clear. If I want, I can read until I run out of credits, or I can bank a few credits for vacation months.  I’ve generally used the service for big publishing books, so I know the ones I read are the expensive ones. If Scribd thinks they can afford for me to read three in a month, then that’s what I’ll read. I don’t need to use the unlimited books because I always have plenty of library books and purchased books to keep me going when I’ve used my three credits. I’ve been using Scribd as a supplemental source of reading, not the primary, and that hasn’t changed.

A note to comic book lovers. Comics are considered unlimited. While I prefer using Comixology and their guided view, if you don’t care, you can read all the comics you like. Since comics go quickly, I’m glad they don’t fall under the credits option. I could use three credits on comics in less than an hour, if I weren’t careful.

I love the “Scribd Selects” options. The May selections showed up a day or two late this month, and I checked every day until they appeared. Happy Day! One of the May select books was the one I had been wanting to read next anyway. Superb timing.

I admit I have been taking advantage of an intermittent glitch. I’ve been able to read several books without spending a credit on them. I’m sure they were neither unlimited nor Select books. I think their program isn’t handling books in series correctly. I spent a credit for the first book in a particular series, and then was able to read the rest of the series for free. Scribd folks, if you are reading this, you might want to take a look at that. Readers, take advantage of it while you can. 🙂

I’ve been pleased that the service still meets my needs. Since most of the books I read in it are priced at $9.99 and up, reading three or so in a month still saves me a lot of money. If the big publishers wise up and lower their prices, I might revisit this, but for right now, it’s working for me

Channillo: A Serial Reading Service Good For Authors and Readers

channillo logoAuthor’s Note: If you read an earlier version of this article, I had some inaccurate information. and I’ve made major revisions to correct them.

Last year, I received an invitation via Twitter to join Channillo, a serial reading service, as an author. I was intrigued and decided to check them out.

Basically how it works is that you upload either individual book chapters or short stories on a schedule that you, as an author, decide upon. I opted for weekly chapter updates on my books, starting with The Case of the Haunted Vampire. I’m up to The Case of the Reincarnated Lover now, so I still have a way to go before I run out of content to upload. Hopefully I’ll finish my next book in time.

You retain all rights to your content, and you don’t need to be exclusive to Channillo. Obviously, Kindle Select authors wouldn’t be able to enter their exclusive books, but they could upload any which were on wide distribution. Although many Channillo authors upload works in progress, previously published books are welcome. Having previously published content does reduce the stress of having to stick to an upload schedule.

For every subscriber you have to your series, each month you receive a small amount. It’s been running about 72 cents per subscriber per month for me, and I assume that number is basically the same for all authors. When you accumulate $50 in your account, Channillo pays you via PayPal.

As an author, you  can also be a subscriber, but it’s not required. That’s a change from when I joined, where you did need to have at least a Bronze membership, which costs $4.99 a month and allows you to subscribe to 10 series at a time. You can unsubscribe to a series, but you can’t resubscribe for, I think it’s three months.

As long as you don’t mind the wait to accumulate $50 in your account, I think it’s not a bad deal for authors. The interface to upload does have one inconvenience. When you cut and paste your story into the upload field, you lose all formatting, which means I have to go back and add back all the italics. I’m so glad I don’t write high fantasy!

As for readers, I think it’s a pretty good deal. In my experience so far as a subscriber, the quality of writing has varied wildly, but I’ve generally enjoyed what I’ve read. You can’t download content, at least not without jumping through more hoops than I’m willing to jump through, and you can only read in your browser. No dedicated app. The reading interface is functional but not much more than that.

That said, I’m planning to stick with it for a while. I’ve received two very nice reviews, and I see this as another way to introduce people to my writing. My number of subscribers has grown steadily. I haven’t read as many other serials as I’d like, but I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve read so far.

If you’d like to try it out, I’ve got one code for a free three-month Bronze membership. If you want it, let me know in the comments, and I’ll send it to you. First come. First served. Oh, and you’ll be nice and subscribe to my series, right? 😉

The iPhone 6S+ As a Reading Device

iPhone portraitAnd to think I used to read on a Handspring Visor and then on a Blackberry Curve. At one point, screen size was obviously not an issue for me. That has changed, and I stopped reading on phones when I got my first Kindle.

A couple of months ago, I replaced my glitchy HTC One M8 with an iPhone 6S+, and I have rediscovered the possibilities of reading on my phone. It’s not going to replace my iPad Mini 4, but for reading on the go, it’s not bad at all.

I gave it a good workout a couple of weeks ago when we were at Disney World, land of the long lines. We only had one brutally long line (over 90 minutes), and I spent most of that wait reading on my phone (when I wasn’t playing Candy Crush Saga), which worked quite well. My main ereading app is Marvin, which uses Dropbox to sync locations, so it was easy to stop reading on my iPad in the hotel room and pick up again in the park.

My biggest problems with previous phones has been the aspect ratio. Phone screens are just to narrow for me to comfortably read on. The iPhone 6S+ is still a bit narrow, but the entire device is large enough that I can forget about it as soon as I am lost in the book.

My secondary reading app is Scribd, which doesn’t sync as smoothly as Marvin, but I can make it work. Where Scribd comes in handy is with audiobooks. They were buggy on my HTC, but the app works fairly reliably on my phone. If you are a heavy audiobook reader, their service isn’t for you, but I’m fine with spreading my listening around. I mostly subscribe to Scribd for the ebooks, so any audiobooks I listen to are an added bonus.

iPhone landscapeOne of my great delights in life is reading while eating. I used to take my Kindle and later my iPad with me to a restaurant, but the case I purchased for my phone turns into a stand. It’s a wallet case as well, so most of the time when I leave the house, all I take is my phone, with a credit card and my driver’s license. Handy!

Yes, it is a big phone, and I thought that was going to be a problem, but so far it hasn’t been. I barely notice when I’m carrying it around the house. It fits well in all my bags, and with the sturdy case, I can just carry it in my hand. I wasn’t able to use my HTC one-handed, so I’m accustomed to two-handed use.

I love the phone, not just as an ereader, but for everything else. I won’t watch an entire movie on it, nor will I curl up with it on the couch to read a book, but for almost everything else, it meets my needs. My iPad stays home, and my iPhone goes with me everywhere.

If you have any specific questions about the iPhone 6S+, and what it’s like to carry around a brick masquerading as a phone, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. I love geeking out over my tech and answering questions.

Audiobook Review: Hard Magic by Larry Correia

8643407When I wrote my post on books like Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, I said I would be reviewing one of the books, Hard Magic by Larry Correia. As with my previous book review, this is both a review of the book and the audio version.

Hard Magic is the first book in the Grimnoir Chronicles, and it’s a fun urban fantasy set in the time of Prohibition. Although it follows most of the urban fantast tropes, the time frame made it feel original, and Correia’s magic system feels unique. It has a few similarities to Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn magic series, so if you enjoy those books, you’ll probably enjoy this one.

In the world of the Grimnoir, certain people have a magical ability focused in one area: manipulation of fire, affecting gravity, strengthening the body or teleportation, to name a few. Some people have just a minor ability-one character can produce a flame roughly equivalent to a cigarette lighter, while others, known as Actives, have more control or mastery of their powers.

The main character, Jake Sullivan, is an ex-con private eye who was released from prison on the condition that he perform a few jobs for the FBI. This story begins with what Jake thinks is the last of his required jobs. As you can imagine, it doesn’t go quite as he expected. Throughout the book, he discovers there is more to magic than he had thought and that there is an epic battle going on between the forces of good and those of evil. While that sounds cliched, trust me, it works.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, as did my husband, who listened to it on a two-day drive to and from North Carolina on business. He was so grateful for the book that he made me brownies, which I think says something about how much he enjoyed it and how much easier it made the long drive. 🙂

Bronson Pinchot, the reader, made this book. His voices were superb. I found his voice for Jake to be distracting for a few minutes, but as I learned more about the character’s personality, I realized the voice was a perfect fit.  His voice for Faye, one of the other important characters, fixed her personality firmly in my mind, and it was a joy to listen to her scenes. While she was a great character, I don’t think I would have enjoyed her as much if I had read instead of listened to the book.

Faye, however, is my one criticism. While I loved the book and am looking forward to listening to the rest of the series, I did think that Faye ended up having too large a role. The book was supposed to be about Jake, and he was important, but some of the major plot points were resolved by Faye, and I felt like she was a character who kind of took over the story. Fortunately, she’s a fantastic character, and I can mostly forgive Correia for letting her get away with so much of the plot.

Definitely a solid 4 stars. It might even be worth 4 1/2.

4stars

What Makes a Good Villain?

Vincent_D'Onofrio_as_Kingpin_in_DaredevilI read this article earlier this week about getting into a villain’s head, and it got me to thinking about writing villains and what makes a memorable one. Recently, I’ve seen two memorable villains, and I wanted to talk about what makes them great.

Both are from Netflix Marvel shows: Wilson Fisk from Daredevil and Kilgrave from Jessica Jones.

Although they are quite different characters, there are a few things in common between them, and it’s those commonalities which make them memorable.

1. Lots of screen time

The writers didn’t hesitate to give both villains lots of time on screen. Fisk even had most of an episode devoted to his back story, and it was brilliantly done, flipping between flashbacks and current day.

I think if you added up the minutes that Kilgrave probably had less screen time than Fisk, but by Kilgrave being a mind controller, his presence was felt even when he wasn’t on screen. Especially in the early episodes, you never knew when someone controlled by Kilgrave would pop up, and it made the tension so exhausting that I didn’t have the endurance to watch more than one episode at a time.

I’ve certainly seen effective villains who were shadowy presences most of the time, but I  think they made a good decision to devote so much time to these two.

2. Complete back story

By the end of the show, we knew so much about Fisk and Kilgrave and what made them tick. The writers managed to make both into sympathetic characters. It didn’t excuse their actions, but their past made them complete people who were more than just cardboard bad guys. We actually saw Fisk fall in love throughout the season and slowly fill in his lover on his background, leaving us to wonder, “Would she accept or reject him?”

24-kilgrave.w750.h560.2xAt one point in Jessica Jones, it looked for a brief time as if Kilgrave might redeem himself and reconcile with his parents, whose experiments had awakened his talents and made him psychic. That moment made his subsequent actions that much more horrifying.

3. Huge blinders to own actions

One of the most horrifying things about both Kilgrave and Fisk is that both truly believed they were on the side of right. Fisk loves Hell’s Kitchen and everything he did was in an attempt to make it a better place, or so he told himself. Kilgrave insisted that he never hurt anyone, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Lots of villains soliloquize about the rightness of their actions, and the audience reaction is usually “Yeah, right. Even you don’t believe that.” However, by making Kilgrave and Fisk such complicated humans, it’s almost, for a second, possible to agree with them. And as soon as you start down that path, you have to pull yourself back to reality and wonder what you were thinking.

So there’s a recipe for a great villain. Plenty of screen time. A fantastic back story to provide lots of motivation and a deep-seated belief in the rightness of what they are doing.

I’m certain I’ve yet to achieve that with any of my villains, but now I have something to aspire to.

Looking for books like Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files? Here’s some.

Harry Dresdenbooks like Jim Butcher's Dresden Files was my introduction to the urban fantasy genre, and his books are still my favorites. However, Jim Butcher is only one guy, and unfortunately, he can only write so fast. Last I checked, we are still waiting for a release date for the next book. So, if you are also a fan, you may sometimes go hunting for books like Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. I’ve done that search, and here are my recommendations.

Although it’s more steampunk than urban fantasy, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Butcher’s new series, The Cinder Spires. The first book, The Aeronaut’s Windlass is available now, and I highly recommend it. I really hope someone picks it up for a movie.

Hounded_coverThe Iron Druid series (first book is Hounded) by Kevin Hearne is pretty darned close to the feel of the Dresden Files. Atticus is a sarcastic bastard, kind of like Harry, and the books have a similar feel. Hearne has a neat magic system that holds together well, and you’ll either love or hate Oberon the talking Wolfhound.

11737387Next up has to be the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka. Verus is a diviner, and while Jacka does stretch my suspension of disbelief sometimes, the way he uses precognition is original and fantastic. Verus feels lots like Dresden without being an outright copycat. I picked up Fated, the first book in the series because of the Jim Butcher blurb on the cover. I’m a couple of books behind in this series, but I’ll be catching up soon.

Lots of people add Simon Green’s Nightside series to the list. Although I liked the premise (P.I. investigating hidden supernatural world in London), I couldn’t warm up to Green’s writing. Doesn’t mean you won’t like it, though.

8643407I new series I just discovered is The Grimnoir Chronicles. I listened to the audio version of the first book, Hard Magic, and I’ll be reviewing it in the next few weeks. It’s urban fantasy set in the era of Prohibition, and I loved it. I highly recommend listening to it. Bronson Pinchot is so good as a narrator.

I’ll close with Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson and its two sequels, Shadows of Self and The Bands of Mourning. It’s not modern-day urban fantasy, but it’s steampunk meets the Wild West meets fantasy magic, and it’s one of my favorite series ever. It has an urban fantasy feel to it, even though it’s not set in modern day Earth. I’m a bit behind and haven’t read the third book yet, but it’s on my to be read list.

10803121Well, I said I’d close with Alloy of Law, but okay, not quite. Jim Butcher was an inspiration for my series, and I’d be completely remiss if I didn’t recommend my own stuff too.

What’s your favorite urban fantasy series? I’m always looking for new great books to read. Please leave some recommendations in the comments.

The iPad Mini 4 is the Perfect eReader For Me. And Maybe For You

marvin on iPadLast year I upgraded my iPad 4 to an iPad Mini (4th generation) and wrote about my new tablet as a great writing device. It’s still a great writing device, for all the reasons I wrote about in November. What I hadn’t anticipated is that it would become the perfect eReader as well.

I’ve used many readers, starting with a Handspring Visor (anyone remember those?) back in the 90s. I’ve read on my phone, on various tablets and on eInk readers like my current Kindle Paperwhite. Something has always been missing. Phones aren’t quite big enough, especially as my eyes age. My previous iPads were just a bit too big to curl up with on the couch. Nooks and my Kindle Fire had issues. eInk devices can’t display comics well, and they don’t support Scribd, still my favorite ebook subscription service.

Then along came the Mini, which does everything.

It’s the perfect size for me. I can curl up and hold it comfortably everywhere: bed, couch, chair, dining room table or car. It’s small enough to fit in a shoulder bag and light enough that it doesn’t weigh me down. The screen is amazing, subtly better than my old iPad. It’s even readable in direct sunlight, which was a huge surprise. I bought an indulgent leather case from Sena, which makes it a joy to hold.

I do most of my reading in the Marvin app, which I wrote about extensively when I was with Teleread. It has enough options to satisfy almost any ebook reader:

  • Extensive formatting controls
  • The ability to show/hide reading progress
  • A timer to remind you to go to bed–I use this one all the time
  • 1 tap switch between color themes–I alternate between sepia, light gray and cream on dark gray
  • Lots of library management options

And that’s just the beginning. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend giving it a look. Unfortunately, it’s iOS only. Also, it only works with DRM-free books.

Now that I have upgraded to an iPhone 6S+, the Marvin sync feature comes in handy. While I don’t like reading on even a large-screen smartphone for long periods, the 6S+ the ideal on-the-go ereader. Marvin’s sync feature works flawlessly, allowing me to pick up and leave off, just as if I were using the Kindle app.

Looks like Steve Rogers should have bought an iPad.
Looks like Steve Rogers should have bought an iPad.

However, as I indicated earlier, I also read in Scribd and purchase the occasional comic to read in Comixology. Because of the guided panel view in Comixology, the smaller screen size of the Mini isn’t an issue. Scribd, of course, works well on the iPad, so, for the first time, I can do all my reading on one device. I realize some people don’t mind switching devices, but except for the brief phone sessions, I prefer to have one go-to device.

I haven’t abandoned my Paperwhite. It’s still going to be the camping reader. Some of the places we camp don’t have power, and a Kindle is easier to keep charged under those conditions. Other than camping, though, my other devices are feeling kind of abandoned right now.

“What about cost?” you ask. Yes, Apple devices are expensive. For me, what I realized after I purchased the Mini is that I had been spending a decent amount of money on other devices trying to find the one that worked for me. If I had just bought the original Mini, I would have saved a lot of money. On the other hand, experimentation showed me exactly what I wanted from my tablet, so I can’t say the money was wasted. My experience with Apple products is that they are worth the price, but my priorities might be different from yours. If you are leaning in that direction and need the push, go for it. If you’re a happy Fire or Android user, stick with what works for you.

Who knows?  A few months from now I might find the next perfect device, but right now, my Mini is the one.

Making Writing a Habit With Gamification

woman-typing-writing-windowsI love writing. Writing energizes me. Why, then do I have so much trouble making the time to do it?

Sound familiar? If you’re like me and juggling writing and another career, it probably does. I don’t do formal New Year’s Resolutions, but I did set a goal to be more consistent in my writing this year. My release schedule was slipping to about 18 months, and I want to tighten that up, which means I need to finish the current book before the end of the year.

Fortunately, an excellent tool crossed my path. It’s Habitica, which makes keeping habits into a game. I wrote about it on my business blog. (If you didn’t know I had one, this is a great time to check it out.) In brief, the idea is that your habits become like quests in an role playing game. Do you habits and you earn gold and experience. Don’t do your habits, and you lose health. Lose enough health and you die. 🙁

Don’t worry. I’m still alive. I’m one of those people who responds well to this sort of motivation, and Habitica has helped keep me consistent with my writing. I made “Write 500 words” a weekday habit. I get bonus credit for each additional 250 words.

Starting this has done a couple of things. First, I’ve been consistently meeting my goal, and I’ve written around 30K words this year so far. While that’s not going to break any records, I’ve completed one novella and am well into the next novel. So far, I’m on track to publish the novel by the end of the year. Oh, and I have written on holidays. Or written ahead so I could take a day off. The game aspect has kept me committed because I don’t want to take damage. My husband thinks it’s silly, but it works for me.

Not surprisingly, the more I write, the faster and easier it becomes. Last year, when I wrote only sporadically, it was hard work most of the time. (Part of that was the story I was working on.) This year, yes, I have tough days, but mostly it’s going smoothly. It’s not uncommon for me to reach 1K words or more in a session.

Setting the goal had one other, unexpected effect. By setting a specific word goal, I know when I’m done. On days I just don’t feel like writing, I can tell myself “It’s only 500 words. You can do that.” And I can. And I allow myself to quit as soon as I hit the 500 mark. Previously, I just had a vague goal to “write when I could.” You can imagine how well that worked. In hindsight, it’s amazing I’ve published as much I have.

I know that word count goals don’t work for everyone. I recently read an article on reasons not to track word count, but the system and Habitica works for me. (Sorry, can’t find the article.)

What about you? What keeps you motivated to write consistently?