Hello friends and the occasional relative!
This has been a disjointed weekend, and as expected, I only managed one chapter, that looked easier on paper than the last couple, but turned out to have a lot of challenges. The surprises of writing. Three chapters to go!
So I am now 90.9% of the way to completion. Still no progress bar graphic.
*Spoilers* The next chapter is part one of the two chapter action climax to the book, with the final chapter being the emotional finish. *End spoilers* If you just read that sentence, I don’t think I actually spoiled much, TBH.
I have stuck to my Really Detailed Plan™, but this week I have felt the call of my Mountain of Notes™ because I have a vague feeling there is a bunch of stuff in there I want to try to squeeze into the finale in terms of character interactions, and little nuggets that would be telling for the wider saga these three stand-alone books have set the stage for, and which I’m not writing next because I want to let these three breathe, write some other stuff for reasons previously explained, and then decide if it is worth my time to write the probably four minimum large books required to convert the story in my head into sequential novel form. (There is an ending after two books, but not the ending. To paraphrase Robert Jordan.) That’s a lot of writing. I’m also going to ignore the MoN™ call—because it is a big fat procrastinatory distraction—and stick with my gut and my RDP™, as I’ve known for years what needs to happen in the next two chapters, the fun part will be compressing it into isolated lines of dialogue and description. And it is doable, and will be most exciting and gratifying to complete.
So while I’m facing the tricky finish line of this individual novel, I am also cognizant of its place within a much larger theoretical story, and how much work would be required to finish telling it. It’s a lot. And without a great (ongoing) marketing plan and solid sales, pursing that path could be ultimately fruitless in terms of return on investment. Not merely monetary, but the time spent on one story when I could conceivably satisfyingly finish 3+ others in the same period. Hence my pivot to another set of stories entirely. (While still not doing any marketing. This is really an advertisement to my fellow authors to do and maintain a marketing plan and activity. I just genuinely can’t be bothered with it right now, and don’t know if I’ll ever be, and that is okay with me, at present, and subject to change. There will come a day… etc.)
Another reason for me being able to say a temporary farewell to the World Belt is that I don’t want to be tied to one world, or one set of stories, and get on a treadmill of grinding out novels in one almost never-ending saga. It is often advised that writers open with a series, and try to hook loyal readers into it, give them a reason to keep coming back, to increase buy-through for all titles by virtue of having them linked. It seems to work for many writers, and I’m not knocking it, but by writing three stand-alone novels with different protagonists in different environments within the same world, I bucked that trend already. I know they hold up individually, and that readers of all three will gain extra enjoyment by seeing the links between them, and would perhaps be excited by the tantalizing prospects ahead. If enough of them eventually appear on my horizon clamoring for more, (aided by my future marketing and advertising commitment), I will be glad to provide it to them. But until then, each work, like the cheese, can and does stand alone, and does not need its fellows for support. This was always my plan. Might not be a good one, but there it is.
Why this plan? Because I want to be a creator of worlds, plural. (With no intention of later franken-welding them into some bogus multiverse.) That’s why switching to a new setting attracts me, why revisiting the old book also pleases me, because by the end of writing my next book and tidying up the old, I will have three separate worlds out there, with more to come, time permitting.
So by then, I can brand myself as someone who creates different settings to explore, in different ways, some with completed single-shot stories, others as an ongoing series that will hit a final satisfying conclusion, and others episodic yet linked. This is a tad ambitious, I admit, but it is the long road (see the tie in there) I’m committed to. To which I’m committed. Yeah.
2 thoughts on “Seven weeks in a row: truncated activity and a difficult finish line”
Sounds brilliant Roddy. Keep your integrity
Thank you Trish! Integrity or foolishness, I think the jury is out on that! I’m doing what I’m doing until I do otherwise. I recognize how it could be self-defeating, but I’m at peace with that for now. I’m enjoying the writing and that’s what matters – I’m not in a place where I’ll enjoy doing the self-promotional work – but as I keep saying, that day may dawn!