Saturday, March 5, 2011

End of Week Update - Miscellaneous Progress

This week was a bear, but I got through it. I got not only some decent brainstorming in, I also have a bunch of story ideas lined up. None that quite excite me enough, though.

I also did some good work on a few other projects. (And I came up with some really good ideas for Old Paint while writing up yesterday's sample posts. I had to remove the stuff I decided to use from the examples!)

The interesting thing that happened to me this week, though, may have been a side effect of the brainstorming. Once my head got outside of its box, I saw a few things about my career and direction for the next couple of years. One thing I realized was that the genre for Wife of Freedom is "melodrama," and so I should just give up and call it that.

The other thing I realized was that I had made a mistake in how I collected the stories for The Enchanted Tree. I made it a home for all of my published fantasy fiction, but the truth is, that's too disparate a group of stories. And even though thematically the two grown up fantasy stories fit with the rest, I really should not have included them. I should have focussed that collection more closely and saved those two stories for another collection....

Like the next collection I've been getting ready to publish next month. That one was really troublesome because, again, the stories fit together in a thematic way, but two stories are modern times with a fantasy element thrown in, and the other is a space opera, but kind of a low key TV show type space opera. And the two fantasy stories have very different tones. (One funny, the other darker.)

So I decided to reconfigure it all. In preparation for that, I have unpublished The Enchanted Tree collection -- to be republished with only the stories suitable for children later on. The two end stories ("Like the Wind" and "Away He Run") which are both modern setting stories with a magic element, can go with the new collection. And the space opera gets set aside until I write another story or two to go with it.

I'm doing this because I have realized that in this shift to e-publishing, minor works are very important to a writer. They don't take a lot of effort, so you can charge low prices and even give them away. They also don't take a lot of time to read, and can be a low-commitment way for readers to discover you.

Short works are, in essence, a major part of this new era of pulp. You could say that a short work is "cheap" to produce the way that pulp magazines were cheap. In those days, the publisher was the one incurring the cost, and it was the printing and shipping that was made cheap. Now days the writer is the "manufacturer" who has to find a way to supply inexpensive items -- and the only way producing a work is "cheap" for the author is if it doesn't take long.

I haven't decided for sure what I'm doing for Sample Sunday this week, but I think I might post an excerpt from my melodrama, and then in the story notes, explain why I wrote it, and what makes it a melodrama.

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