I’ve been wrestling lately with the idea of posting some chapters from the book I’ve been working on. There’s a part of me that feels it’ll never get ‘published’ anyway, so what’s the big deal, and another that wonders if ‘ePublishing’ it in a blog would/could hurt its chances of being purchased by a real publisher.
Currently, it’s about a 50/50 split, and, as I have no actual (as in reality based) point of reference I continue to sit on the fence. I know if I started putting say a chapter a week out here, I’d pretty much force myself to get back to work on it as, hopefully, I’d have at least a few of you folks wanting to know what happens next.
So, I’m putting the question out there, to any of you who might actually know, is putting the ‘book’ out here a good, or bad, idea?
It’s only when I get a few days off, and my mind begins to clear from the day to day clutter that is part and parcel to application development, that I actually begin to see where the book might be headed. Everytime that happens, I start to get excited about it again.
Writing is a very strange experience for me. I rarely know, when I sit down at the keyboard (or with a legal pad), what exactly I’m going to write. I’ve had dozens of suggestions from friends that I draw up an outline for the book; describe each character, the various scenes and so on to act as a guide for my writing.
I’ve tried, honestly I have, and it just doesn’t work for me. Once I’ve done all of that, the story gets played out in my head and I can’t seem to ‘find the muse’ to take the time to actually write something to fill in all the details. Instead, what seems to work best for me is to start with a very broad concept and then to narrow and define that as I write. The writing is sort of a stream of consciousness process, where at times I simply can not type, or write, fast enough to keep up with what I'm thinking.
It’s been suggested that I ‘dictate’ those words into a tape recorder, strangely enough when I try that, the stream dries up. It’s as if the process of articulating the words activates some other, less creative, portion of my brain and the writing (creating) of the story grinds again to a halt. Again, I don’t know why, it just does.
Maybe it’s because when I first started writing for myself, and not for some ‘assignment’ by one teacher or another, that I did that long hand and as an escape from the realities of my life at the time. That by speaking, talking, I somehow burst that fantasy ‘bubble’ I create when I write. Maybe it’s that my ‘bb’ brain just can’t handle both processes, much like when I try to walk and chew gum.
The truth is, I’m not sure I want to know “why”… I’m just glad I’m able to build these creative thoughts, imagine things that may, or may not, really exist and articulate them well enough that others can follow my little excursion from reality.
So, with that said, my next task is to carve out at least an hour a day, and write. Once I start the process, often the words just flow and time slips away along with the pressures of the job and the ‘speed bumps’ we all face. I’m convinced my health would be better if I wrote everyday, I’d be happier and more focused ‘on the job’ and, I’d actually be moving towards, and not away from my goals.
I started reviewing what I’ve written so far on the book today, and actually I’m making some changes, not so much in content but in delivery.
I’m not very experienced in relating ‘conversations’ in writing, as I see my style as more ‘conversational’ or ‘story-telling’ in nature. So trying to develop characters, complete with interactions, dialogue and trying to maintain what I consider a readable pace, is a challenge for me.
For example, I like John Grisham and Dean Koontz, both of whom have writing styles that make me want to read faster than I’m able at times, such is the ‘pace’ of their writing. In a perfect world I’d learn to be able to do that when I want it, and to slow the pace down when I want as well. Trying to write this book is certainly teaching me more about what I “don’t” know, than about what I do know!!
To me, a novel (we’re talking fiction here) has to do three things well to be a ‘great book’ for me:
- It has to grab me in the first 20 pages or so.
- The story, and the telling of it, have to transport me to the fictional place/story.
- It has to be believable, things have to make sense. Of course if it’s Sci-fi then the more incredible the better, but a ‘real life’ thriller has to make me believe it could happen.
Grisham, Koontz, King (especially in his early work) and some others all do that for me. I find myself reading long past when I’d intended to go to sleep, putting off other plans in order to finish ‘one more chapter’ and in general wanting to read non-stop through the book. If I’m ever able to achieve that sort of feeling in a fictional piece, I’d be pleased even if no one published it!
So, I’m giving this a shot and we’ll see how it turns out.
In the process though, I’m hoping to put together a few short ‘stories’ to work on dialogue, pace and so on. My question to you all is… Should I post that all here, or start a ‘writing blog’ and post it there? Should I post it online at all?
I’d intended this place to be for my musings on life, passing thoughts, funny things, infuriating things etc… Seeing how simple starting a blog is, I don’t see a problem having two, I’m just wondering where you folks, the ones who actually read what I write, would prefer I post them?
Anyway, thanks again for stopping by, reading and leaving your thoughts and ideas in the comments section… I look forward to reading them everyday.