Everybody Wants a Piece, and Other Nonsense

I joined Authonomy a couple of days ago with the thought of exposing my work to a larger audience. I uploaded the first five chapters of Privileged Lives but haven’t made them public yet, and I’m still deciding whether to post the entire thing or just a good-sized sample I suppose that will depend on how well the first ten chapters or so are received. But before sticking my own neck out, it’s only fair to get established–read some of the work there and rate and review, if it’s worth it. I’ve already tossed several that are just too riddled with problems for me to take the time to comment. But from what I’ve seen so far, the competence level is higher than on Wattpad, and the site itself is certainly beautifully designed. Now if they wouldn’t keep losing my sign-in… My only complaint so far is the spam. Apparently there’s no rule against messaging to ask people to read your work, so all but one of the welcomes I’ve received have been accompanied by read-me-please requests. I commented on one, and that inspired me to include a little warning in my profile bio. Effective? Forget it. People who are desperate to be read don’t bother with such niceties as reading your bio first.

If you don’t mind Chuck Wendig’s flamboyant and obscene use of language, today’s post is pretty amusing. And some of it is even true. 25 Reasons that Writers are Bug-Fuck Nuts

#amwriting It feels really, really good to be writing again after almost two solid months of revising and editing. A short story that I started serializing on Live Journal way back last year is underway again, and I think I can see the end. The story I talked about with that creepy black mask photo is also coming along. It was supposed to allow itself to be shoved back in a corner until more important stuff is out of the way, but it refused.

Short stories are a comparatively new thing for me, so working on those two is shifting my perspective about how to spend my time. I want to build a backlist of published work as quickly as possible, and sticking to novels translates to “slow.” I’m finding that writing something with an ending not too far ahead means a lot less pressure and a lot more fun. Tentatively, I can write and publish at least two, and maybe three novels a year. Short stories will give me more scope for exploration into techniques and genres. I never imagined that I’d ever write a creepy SF/horror story, but that’s what the black mask is. Pushing the boundaries of my personal expectations. It feels good.

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4 thoughts on “Everybody Wants a Piece, and Other Nonsense

  1. We learn every day, hopefully. Expanding to different styles can be an invaluable process. Concerning short stories: I posted a quote over on UhW by Larry Niven some time ago:
    “You learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The money’s in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.”
    -Larry Niven

    1. That’s good advice. I write pretty lean, but I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from doing short stories — even though I don’t usually care to read them these days. They usually feel unsatisfying.

      I have a ton of story ideas and I used to think only in terms of developing them into novels before I realized that some story ideas can’t be stretched out that far.

  2. You’re right. The great thing about writing short stories is that you can learn an incredible amount in a comparitively short time. This is especially true of POV and tenses. Often, looking at the same story’s effect using different POVs is really educational – and doesn’t take half a year the way it would if it were a novel of 100,000 words. Also, as you say, building up a literary CV is really good thinking.

    1. I like that idea of doing the same story a couple of different ways. Sometimes it’s not always clear what a novel wants in the way of POV, but as you said, experimenting with that much material could take forever. One short story I’m working on right now is first person, with a very limited POV, and I think before I publish it, I’m going to try to get some feedback to see whether it works. That’s another advantage, now that I think of it. Very few people have the time to read and critique a novel, but a story isn’t so demanding of time and energy.

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