WRITING FICTION REQUIRES THE BEST I’VE GOT
And when I don’t have it, the fiction doesn’t done.
It’s also my life, and, if nothing else, that life has given me Pride’s Children, and so I forgive it.
Writing posts that reveal
I have two almost complete posts:
Laying out my writing wares for the passersby
Tagline, logline, pitch are the hardest writing ever
both of which are my brain kicking up something I’ve been resisting: serializing Pride’s Children NETHERWORLD.
Why? Because it is half finished, and I only had 40 finished scenes when I started serializing PURGATORY, and I have well over that for this book.
These posts are pending until I make the big decisions.
The first book was serialized several places, a new finished scene every Tuesday for two years. Read that again, and realize that, for someone as physically and mentally challenged as I am, that kind of commitment – which I fulfilled – is almost the same as spitting into the wind.
I honestly don’t know if it helped me write, or helped me focus. But I do know I finished.
At the time I hadn’t published anything else, so there was no sense of bravado – no one would probably care if I didn’t finish the story, the scenes didn’t get published on schedule, or I disappeared into the unpublished ether as a debut author.
Other publishing tasks got done simultaneously
During that same time, I learned Pixelmator and worked with J.M. Ney-Grimm, who kindly mentored me in producing my cover, a process which took a whole summer.
And I learned all the editing and formatting and proofing and layout tasks needed to produce an ebook and a print version. ALL. Seems a little foolhardy looking back – a rank amateur attempting a story which will be as long as GWTW when I’ve finished the third, as yet unnamed, volume.
Many of these tasks turned out to be easier for me to teach myself, at my own slow pace, than to find someone and communicate with them to get what I needed. For someone with a damaged brain, explaining is as hard as doing, and a LOT more expensive, so I just plowed through.
It should be easier the second time around
But it’s not. It’s harder – because there are expectations. And because the second book in a trilogy has to kick everything up a level – loosening up or staying flat aren’t options.
And, never fear, the kicks have been planned into the structure – but they are also harder to write.
And I’m older, and have been damaged longer
And there’s a pandemic going on, and a heated election, and a world going up in a different kind of flames.
The body’s older. The brain’s older than when I started this particular story – in 2000. If I weren’t so slow, I would have been long finished by now. GWTW took Margaret Mitchell ten years; I’ve already been at this twenty.
Serializing is a promise
But the idea of serializing again, only now with possibly more readers because they’ve read PURGATORY, excites me.
That, and developing the website for the books. (I have found a marvelous little book called Making Your Website Work: 100 Copy & Design Tweaks for Smart Business Owners, by Gill Andrews, just packed with good ideas I can’t wait to try.)
And publishing and making available as a reader magnet the Pride’s Children prequel short story, Too Late, which was a featured story on Wattpad, all this is exciting.
And I’ll put PURGATORY on sale periodically via Kindle Countdown, so that anyone reading something they like on the prideschildren.com website serialization can get PURGATORY, read and catch up, and enjoy knowing what happened before.
Just in case something happens to me
This is something any author involved in a several-book project right now has to take into account: not making it.
Many a series out there has been ended prematurely when the author clocks out for one reason or another, and Covid-19 is very hard on people in my age and disability cohort. So I will do a ‘Pride’s Children finish file,’ where I flesh out, just a bit, the structure of the remainder of the story, and leave instructions with my literary executor to provide the file to those who have signed up to follow the serial. Not as good as finishing, but, in my mind, a whole lot better than leaving it up to the readers’ imaginations.
Coming full circle to the title of this post
Forcing my body to obey me.
I am in the middle of a great experiment to work with the many problems, and use some of the features of a medication (ldn, low-dose naltrexone) tweak, to have more usable brain time every day.
I’m already getting a couple of pool dips, and possibly a trike ride – to keep things functioning – every week.
And I’m using the data I record about how things go to see if I can’t figure out a more usable schedule that caters to my dysfunctionalities instead of fighting them. For some reason (recent successes?), I feel I might be able to do that now.
I won’t start serializing until I’m sure, but it’s been my dream since we moved to USE the increased time I have here at URC, and during the pandemic when the social life is restricted, to finish the books, and then take a break from the writing to market more extensively.
Time’s passing, time’s awasting.
Cross your fingers for me!
A brief survey
- If you had a favorite book coming out with the same process that I use, a finished scene at a time, would you read it that way?
- Some readers won’t tackle something that is unfinished; but would the ‘finish file’ concept reassure you?
- If you’re a writer, have you had any experience with serializing – and how did it go?
I would love to have your answers in the comments.