Posts Tagged ‘novels’
One of the reason there are far more people who want to write a book than there are those who actually do it is that it’s hard. People who have not written a book don’t realize how hard it truly is to finish.
That’s the kick. There are a lot more partial novels than completed novels. The first 20, 50, or even 100 pages are easy, especially for the writer hatchling because the story has usually been stewing for years. The problem is, once you reach a certain point in the story, things get hard.
We call that the “middle muddles,” and that’s what usually derails people. I went through countless false starts before I finished my first novel. It takes a concerted effort to sit and write, to keep going no matter what. Even if it sucks.
The very act of finishing a novel means a graduation. You finish a novel, you finish armed with the knowledge that a novel is possible, and that’s everything. Subsequent novels may get derailed by the middle muddles–Lord knows A Darkling Nine and Rigel Kentaurus were–but those novels can be picked up and finished by writers who have completed novels under the belt.
The secret is to go into page one with the attitude of finishing, and being determined to see it through to the end. The first novel is probably not going to be the blockbuster best seller. That’s not what it’s for. It’s for getting over the hurdle of proving you can finish something, and that’s all it’s for.
I wrote my first novel from scratch a second time, and that’s the verison that is available to purchase. The first version is archived deep on my hard drive, where it will stay.
Yesterday, I started writing the second of four novels I intend to write this year. The novel is called “A Darkling Nine,” and I project it to be around 110,000 words.
In a break from my indie ways, I plan to run this past a handful of agents before I decide what to do with it. I have said publicly during interviews in print and podcast form that I favor having one foot on the indie side of the fence, and another in the tradpub side. But don’t worry, I still plan to release “Fishpunk” and other new material indie style.
Why this one? It’s the start of a new series in a unique environment. (Yes, Mike Stackpole, I can hear your opposition to this decision from all the way over here!) It’s a series that I don’t plan to parallel with any other work, and it is open ended.
This decision is strategic, not tactical. In that respect, it’s very similar to why I used KDP Select when I released “Rigel Kentaurus.”
I can see a number of scenarios where I kill a deal and release this novel indie,but I’m hoping to avoid those possibilities. Specifically, any broad non-compete clause that would strangle my indie side would be a deal-breaker. Any kind of nebulous reversion clause would be a deal-breaker.
I could be setting myself up for disaster by voicing those deal-breakers, but I figure it saves everyone time because I won’t sign such a contract anyway.
Enough about deal-breakers. I’m glad to be writing long fiction again, and glad I managed to start so quickly after my last novel. This is, for me, probably the most challenging novel project yet.