So, while I am consulting with others to ensure that my first book Elegy properly meets all formatting guidelines and is set to begin the ebook conversion process that will land me on Amazon and Smashwords, I am also working on writing its sequel.
This is interesting for me, because I’ve never done it before. I’ve been writing here and there since the tender age of six or so, but as it turns out I was never actually that good at finishing anything. (I have a problem with writing projects similar to that with video games… I tend to lose interest or something newer and shinier comes along to replace it). It’s only since the first of my NaNo days that I’ve actually begun to finish things, and even then, most of my NaNo projects hit the “winning” count, but aren’t actually finished. I always say ‘oh, I’ll go back to it and finish it’ and then I never do.
So actually having a project that is a complete story, revised, edited and revised again and ready to go out in the world is something completely new to me. Elegy is that story, and its particular qualities which make it completely unpublishable in a professional arena are those which allow it to be in its current, finished state: the fact that no matter how hard I tried, I could never make its word count stretch past roughly 50,000 words. It’s a complete tale at that length, and refuses to be begged, borrowed or stretched into a longer work.
The fact that it actually ended meant that I was free to go back and revise. The fact that it ended right around 50,000 words meant that I was free to have other thoughts about it, instead of the pro-publishing arena. It was good, it was solid, but there was no way any agent or publishing house would touch it based on its length alone. I could have sought ‘Net publication, and did, for a short time… there’s a sad tale behind that which unfortunately does not end in a rejection, yet my story will not be published there nonetheless… since the venue no longer exists.
Once that fell through, I had to think long and hard about what I wanted to do with it. Was an ebook publisher right for me, one of the small indie presses that hang around the web? I knew someone who worked as an artist for a few of them for a while, and when I researched them, I could not find one which properly fit Elegy‘s tone. (If anyone’s writing romance, though, that could be a way to go!)
After much deliberation, it seemed to me that going completely independent was going to be the only way I could make this happen the way I wanted it to happen. Freedom was the word, and still is.
And as to sequel writing – well, let’s say that I’m finding it easier than first-novel writing. When you already have characters and a setting established, plus plot threads from the first novel to draw on and run with… this is what I always wanted to experience in terms of writing. I’ve always said that I wished I could just write book 6 in a series, and to hell with all the rest – origin stories are often dull, anyway.
Well, this ain’t book 6, but book 2 is a pretty good ride so far.