Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Working Here, Working There

For the last week or so we've had a steady stream of snow coming into the Pacific Northwest and the pace of life has crawled to a halt. The phone doesn't ring at work and the family pretty much stays home without any hustle and bustle. That's turned out to be kind of a good thing. We roll around on the floor and laugh a little more than before and I've been plugging away at both "River of Bones" and "Broken Rocks." (Former is over 12K words now and latter is just over 4K.) The two stories are coming together as ideas cross-pollinate between the two and start forming a cohesive whole. I'm thinking in terms of serialized novel now but I'm cautious enough to leave unhatched chickens uncounted. I think soon the two will transform into first drafts. Hopefully by then, the story that started it all will be on publication track and more can be revealed. Anyhow, I pray for you all and hope you have a Merry and Blessed Christmas and enjoy the times you have been given.


NewGuyDave said...

Are serialized shorts easier to sell than independent stories?

Jeff Draper said...

I don't think I could put odds on it but several writers amongst the e-zine crowd have serial characters that they write stories about. There's a lot of variance in them, for example, Steve Goble's Calthus stories are pretty much independent of each other. This group of stories I've begun are almost chapters in a book because they follow directly off one another. However, I do try to make each one it's own entity with a beginning-middle-end and a character arc. Our hero learns or discovers something about himself every step of the way.

The inspiration for this method of writing came from Michael Ehart's book The Servant of the Manthycore, which is a short story collection wrapped around a novella. Most of the stories were actually published in various places like The Sword Review and Flashing Swords but then they were collected into one Magnum Opus.

Really, these stories are like episodes in a serial TV show. (More like Terminator; less like House.) You really need to read the first ones to understand the next. That in and of itself makes selling them more difficult when you try to spread them around to different markets. What I really want to do is see the first one in print and then figure out what to do with the others. In that way, it's sort of like the original Star Wars trilogy. Lucas made the first movie as complete and total as it could be and hoped it would be a hit. That way he could make the others after the fact. If not, then at least Star Wars would be a complete experience by itself.

Don Wilson said...

In my part of the Pacific NW, the snow all melted, today.

Jeff Draper said...

We've got rain and rain and rain over on this side of the mountains now. It's pretty typical.

(BTW, ignore any comments you may see on this blog regarding Yakima. They were made when I didn't think anyone that lived there would actually read them.)