Changing gears

Two days ago I decided to turn my full attention to Novel #2, The Test, setting aside Novel #1 (again), putting short stories on the back burner, and biting the bullet for a major rewrite. There is a lot of Novel #2, and as it stands it’s not terribly well-constructed — although it does have some mighty fine bits. Jane, the protagonist, is a finely-crafted girl, if I do say so myself. The first draft was written without a solid plan, however, and it shows. The plot is intricate, with many overlapping things happening, but the threads are born and fade away rather haphazardly. So, reading over the 600 untamed pages, I came up with a plan of attack.

“This would be a lot easier,” I thought, “if Jer’s Novel Writer could…” and off I went into software design. Now is not the time to be making major upgrades to the software, however. Now is the time to be fixing bugs and getting a good release out, now that hundreds of people are using it anyway. I looked back at the story. Threads. The ability to view the story from different points of view. Those changes sure would make fixing the novel simpler.

Faced with that dilemma, I did what any rational writer/coder would do. I set Novel #2 aside to work on Novel #3 instead. No new JNW features required, just prose that goes beyond storytelling into the realm of literature. Yes, Novel #3 is my Great American Road Novel. I’ve been looking forward to diving in to it for a long time.

While I was in this intensive review process, I had my phone turned off. Some of you may have the impression that I spend my days locked away in my room, writing, never emerging. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Most days I make it to the kitchen and beyond. On this day, however, I declined invitations from Graybeard, from my czech tutor, and from Belladonna. Pretty soon they’re all going to give up on me, and that would suck. So today I’m going to try to not quite spend so much time writing. When I woke I was going to try to go the whole day without writing anything except this, but that was just plain crazy. I am, however, going to try to catch up with people.

As soon as I finish the Las Vegas chapter…

2 thoughts on “Changing gears

  1. I just stumbled onto this site, arriving here somehow after searching this brave new world device the internet for some site to send my novels. I write fiction novels – one of them is published, the other 4 that I’ve completed have just collected dust. The writing comes very naturally to me, but dealing with letter writing, editors, publishers and all does not. I’ve yet to find a single publisher that would even give me the chance to get rejected. Initially, this was why I published one of my novels a couple years back. It’s called “More Booze than Blood.” It’s a story about a guy who gets hooked up with a crazy, sexy lady and her psychotic father. There’s a lot of drinking, fighting and fun stuff like that. Anyway, I don’t know where this goes or who reads it. I guess I’m just sort of saying that it’s not helping my mental stability not getting through, that I’m fairly cluless in how to go about selling myself to the lovely world around me. Anyway, if anyone reads this and feels like reading a book from an unknown writer, let me know. [email protected]

  2. If getting paid for your work is not so important, I’ve had friends who have had very good experiences with Lulu.com to self-publish. Getting people to buy the thing afterwards is entirely up to you.

    Are you approaching publishers directly? My approach has been to get rejected by literary agencies rather than publishers. That way after an initial success all the rejections will be filtered by a friendly voice, and rather than “Your novel sucks” I would hear things like:

    “They felt your story was too challenging for their dumbass readers.”
    “It frightened them.”
    “That publisher wouldn’t know a Pulitzer if it bit them in the ass.”
    “They wanted the movie rights as well, but they only wanted to pay two million for them.”

    Looking forward to that. In the meantime, I’d love to read your stuff.

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