Hopefully back in the saddle

I enjoyed writing my most recent short story and had enough fun with the characters that for the time being I’ve decided to TRY to write a series of shorts around this ship and crew.  I’ve posted this short story, The Voyage to Caer Headland, here.  The next short story in the group is already under way at 984 words typed in yesterday.

These short stories will be written in no particular order all over the timeline of the ship’s life.  The characters and location are new, for those of you that might be wondering about AS and similar days.  I have one other character hanging nebulously on the outskirts of my imagination trying to decide whether to join this adventure or not.  Or I may strip his skills and give them to the captain.  That could be fun.  Complicated, but fun.

The frustration for me was my small Beta group was really extra slow getting back to me on this one.  Family problems:  daughter had surgery, grandkid broke an arm,in  general real life interfering with the writing process.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

What comes after this paragraph is strictly me musing and opining:  strictly my thoughts the way I see things right now, rightly or wrongly.

Someone suggested I submit this one traditionally but I’m not going to.  I am not happy enough with it as a submission grade short story even though I like the story.  I know I tend to be somewhat overly critical about my own work and yeah, that may be a part of it.  So be it.

OTOH, I’m not so sure that going the traditional route is really worthwhile.  I respect those that do and my hat’s off to them.  But for myself, this is how I see it:  I’ll never make a killing in it, probably not even recover enough to pay for all the time and effort I’d expend trying to get traditionally published.  For the sheer pleasure of seeing my name in print as author of a book, that would be OK.  IF by the grace of the gods I were to be picked up and published, I would benefit from their exposure value.  There’s no doubt of that.  There’s probably other intangibles involved as well that would make it worthwhile but at the moment I’m just not seeing them.  So, I’m going the self-publishing route, publishing it here on my blog site.  That’s good enough for this short story and the others up to this point.  Future short stories I might submit just to see what kind of feedback I might get, but I’m not going to pursue this path too vigorously.

The same friend pointed out that traditional publishers and agents won’t touch anything self-published.  Right now, that’s OK.

One aspect of this is that I want to put out ebooks much more than I want to put out a paperback or hardcover.  That’s even more scary, given many of the works of fiction being offered as ebooks right now.  Many have been properly proofed and presented, but many, many more are just pitiful.  So many seem to be put out from the viewpoint of “hey, I can create an ebook and put it out there on Amazon, Kindle, whatever, and I’ll be an author!”  Typos abound, the ebooks are poorly laid out, the story wanders or is just a nebulous idea, diagrams and text are all out of whack.  I believe that if, no make that when my ebooks start gathering readers they will stand out on the basis of the writing and presentation every bit as much as by the story itself.  I have a pride in my workmanship.

Then, too, I write for myself.  That’s a little bit of a problem in the publishing world in a way, at least for new authors more concerned with getting into print.  I write my stories because I want to write them.  I might see where the general fad is at the moment and maybe think of writing a story set that way, but I wouldn’t necessarily be as happy writing that one.  Editors and agents are necessarily focused on the bottom line, which is good for the authors as well, but that also means having to change your writing to be more profitable.  Once you’re established, have a large following, then you’ll have better luck arguing with the editors and publishers to keep your work more intact.

How much of this is true?  Probably all of it to some extent, if not necessarily all at once.  I know there are lots of bad ebooks out there by people self-publishing.  Even ebooks by established publishing houses.  I know because I’ve seen them.

It’s maybe more work to self-publish and get away with it, but I believe I that’s the path I want to follow.  I want equally as much to create ebooks as I do write.  Right now, though, I’m focusing more on writing.  I want to create a group of short stories that eventually I can put together in an anthology that I can offer as an ebook.  That I can offer with pride.  For now, that’s my goal and my two novels are going on the back burner.

I’ll likely work on the two novels in tandem with this short story endeavor, but much of that will likely be in bits and spurts, notes as much as actual writing.

We’ll see.

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