“I would also suggest that any aspiring writer begin with short stories. These days, I meet far too many young writers who try to start off with a novel right off, or a trilogy, or even a nine-book series. That’s like starting in at rock climbing by tackling Mt. Everest. Short stories help you learn your craft.”
– George R.R. Martin
Woops. Well not really since the greatest criticism I get was that my first two books were too short (they were meant to be!). I am finding myself… whats a word that doesn’t quite mean amazed, but close… well I am enjoying this thing called writing a lot and surprising myself with the growth I see in my rare moments of clarity. Its always been a weird, out of body type experience for me to go back and read what I’ve written. That probably helps actually now that I think about it, but to see where I was when I thought a section of writing was done to now be able to go back and effortlessly work it over and make it even better, well thats fun for me.
In the first two books I shot for 200 pages. In book 3, I cruised past 300 and am still adding more everyday. I’ve also tallied up over 100 pages of notes for a separate genera story, around 30 for another that I think will be a fun and challenging endeavor and maybe 20 for a short I’ve had floating around in my head.
I think it may all be so surreal for me because at the start of all this, I never meant for there to be anymore than my first book, Against the Grain. Now, I’m doubting it will ever stop. The marketing side of this all is surprisingly enjoyable for me as well. Not that I’ve been successful at it mind you, but trying out new social medias, identifying what may be a style of marketing I should get into and seeing how it plays out is all really interesting and educational to a guy who loves to learn about things.
I haven’t given up on the idea of traditional publishing yet for subsequent stories, or my previous ones either for that matter if someone were to want them. The self-publishing and self-marketing/promoting thing is a crazy animal that grows and changes faster than most people can write. Finding the just right formula for each person is such a shot in the dark with the ever evolving industries and trends and when there are writers like me who basically do this as a hobby in what small spare time we can manage, well it would take a dedicated full time staff to put in the proper amount of time to track histories and predict the futures of it all.
I have made the jump to exposing Twitter to my alter-personality of @idwritingworks and am constantly reading and researching within this craft. One of my friends who was there at the beginning with me wrote up a really interesting piece on Pen Names (check it out here: http://dustedglen.blogspot.com/2015/03/using-pen-name.html) and the psychology that goes into all this stuff is constantly a wonder to me. Incidentally, you want someone to take note of, Jen is it. Way smarter at this stuff than I ever will be. I can try though.
Lots to do and finishing, then releasing Book 3 is at the top of the list.