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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Writing: More Analysis On Myself

I'm now starting to work in a new direction. Well, that's not entirely true. What is happening is I am switching a bit on where I'm placing my focus. I've spent a lot of time focusing on short stories. While I don't believe that is an entirely negative thing I have noticed that this focus has sucked away the time I spend on other projects--namely novels. True, I want to write short stories, get some published, and be known as someone who writes good shorts, but I also want to write good novels and, well, with my spending so much time on shorts it's hard for me to get a lot of practice in on writing novels. I've only finished one novel--WISB--and really, I should be writing more novels.
Let's face it, the short market isn't as viable as it once was. Novels are the big career makers and I want to have a career at this--this being writing,
of course. I want to go on tours and meet new people and do autographs and have people tell me "hey, I read your book and it was good" even if it's only one person saying it. Yet I'll never finish any of the many novels I have in the works if I don't take a moment to actually finish them.
The Lies of Venicia is about 1/3rd finished, maybe 1/5th depending on where the story goes. I've started a novel for young readers--The Mysterious House of Mr. Whim--and I've barely dug into it. I have many other novel ideas in the works, some partially written, some that began as short stories before I realized they were something more, but put to the side because I couldn't devote the time they deserved to finish them. That said, I have at least ten novels in various genres that I could be writing, fixing, editing, formatting, and submitting to agents. That's what I should be doing. I know, short stories are great, and I won't stop writing them, but I have to focus on the novels long enough to get one in submittable condition.
Additional to this, I've noticed that I've spend so much time writing shorts that I'm not editing them, or putting enough focusing into the editing. This is creating some issues in the writing that are now coming to my attention. Some stories feel strained, others feel like they are missing something important, or have too much going on.
So here is what I'm going to start doing:
  • All short story writing is officially on hold except in the following cases:
    • Finishing stories that have been started, but still need finishing.
    • In the event that some super crazy awesome idea comes to me that I must write down or I'll die, or implode, or explode like a supernova, thus causing irreparable damage to the inner solar should beg me to write the story then, for all our sakes...
  • Assessing all the shorts and novels I have to find those I feel are most promising for publication.
    • Weeding out stories that were written so long ago that they aren't worth working on anymore due to my style having changed or my writing having matured.
  • Editing stories that have been finished to make them publishable.
    • Submitting those stories and keeping my shorts in circulation until they are published, since that is one of Heinlein's rules.
  • Writing the novels that need to be finished.
    • The Lies of Venicia, The Mysterious House of Mr. Whim, The Spellweaver of Dern, for starters.
    • Also, planning these novels as necessary.
I feel like this is an appropriate change to the way things have been going. I can still push the short story market, still bring in new material, and also focus on finishing a few other projects that are simply being set aside and ignored, which isn't fair in some respects to you guys--my readers--since some of you might be waiting for me to finish The Spellweaver of Dern.

So, that's what's going to go on here!

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