Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stages of Success

A brief song of priase and frustration:

I have finished the latest draft of my novel. The ghosts have spoken, and turned my way of telling their story around somewhat. So be it. They have their own way of doing things, and sometimes I feel I am only the conduit. What has happened is that all the material I have been amassing for Ghost Music turns out not to fit together. Instead there are several stories that need their own, independent, voice. I therefore wound up working on just one story arc. Oddly, and perhaps perfectly (who knows?) that particular story is too long for one volume, so I have decided to make it two, and it is just Volume One that I have finished. I know exactly where Volume Two will begin and end, which is a comfort, but first Volume One must be readied.

So now I have to go back through the manuscript page by page, word by word. I have to make sure the timelines and story liines are consustent, that the facts are all accurate (except where fiction allows me to play with them), and that everything makes sense. Then I will have to proof it again, trimming excess and repetition out, before giving it over to my editor in chief, Diane. After that, probably another run-through, then formatting for Kindle and CreateSpace, unless I can sell the idea to a "real" publisher in the meantime. Which means queries, proposals, sample chapters, and lots and lots of leg work.

Writing is easy. Re-writing is hard. Selling is impossible.

On that note comes the success and the frustration. I have placed three short stories wirh an online magazine called Black Heart Magazine, and all three will appear in their September 28 issue. All three are flash fiction, under 400 words. One contains less than 12! And Clever is going to publish me again, date uncertain, with a story about our trip to Yellowstone. Meanwhile, sales of my novel Amber Waves have stalled (not that there was much action to begin with) and I have no real idea as to how to make people aware of the book. So the frustration comes from being in print and still being unread.

I am working on it. But the axiom does not apply: if you write it, they will read. It ain't necessarily so.

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