|Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons|
Anyone following Writing About Writing will, in the next few days, notice the addition of top level menus, disclaimers, and the ground floor of something big. For those on various feeds or e-mail lists I apologize if things get a little "busy" for the next few days. It should die down soon, and all these pages should bloom with content as time goes on.
Those of you paying attention know that I've always wanted to write more fiction, and I've been threatening to put more of it here on W.A.W for a long time. I love blogging about writing, but sometimes, with everything else going on in my life, it does kind of take me away from my fiction. As I've gotten better with time management in the wake of The Contrarian, and my fiction sessions are no longer furtive moments stolen from the insanity of caring for an infant. I can return to many of the long-term goals I have had for my writing instead of just treading water and trying to make it through the next day.
Now that I've basically given up on the traditional publishing industry the question of exactly how I'm going to proliferate and possibly monetize my longer works of fiction has become a question of some concern. I write for myself, of course, but an audience is awesome, and being able to pay the bills would mean I can write more. Of course there is self publishing and e-pub, but I also want to find out if it might be possible to make my writing completely free, save for ads and donations (and hopefully eventually just the donations).
This manuscript is something I wrote the first draft of in high school.
It's probably a manuscript I should bury and chalk up to "a good experience." However, I have a few reasons to put it here on W.A.W. First, even though it's sophomoric to the point of being a little embarrassing, it conforms to the mission statement of Writing About Writing to share the experiences of writing in real time. One of the biggest, most endemic problems among aspiring writers is the perception that writers simply spring forth from genius and "talent." They don't quite understand that years of hard work precede most success stories. The truth is most writers have some horrible first book tucked away that they never could publish and wouldn't want to once they realized how bad it was.
The more important reason is that I want to run an experiment to see how possible it will be to offer my longer fiction as serial posts. If this seems to be successful, I will put more of my fiction up this way and consider e-pub and self-pub as alternatives for those who are willing to drop the extra money to have their own copy.
However, perhaps the most important reason isn't even slightly pragmatic. It is fundamental to me as an artist. I have put this manuscript away in the back of a drawer. Twice. And many are the nights I have woken to the scratching sounds of it trying to get out, its paper claws dragging relentlessly along the inside of the drawer and my mind. I feel like I have to get it out there and I have to get it right, and I'm never going to do the latter if I don't do the former. Somewhere in the twisted landscape of my artistic development, this has become my "first real boss battle."
If my friends were with me, one would hold out their hand to restrain the others and say "We can't help him. He's got to do this on his own."
Since high school, I've completely rewritten this story twice, but it's still pretty rough around the edges. I'll be giving it another major revision (especially since its inception was well before my own social justice consciousness and it has some problematic parts that are going to take a lot of work) and doing my best to polish it. Though as with all my fiction published here, I welcome suggestions for improvement. That means it's going to come in slowly as I have a chance to revise and polish. I am going to try (with heavy emphasis at this time on TRY) to get a chapter of this uploaded each week, probably on Sunday.