While my roommate yells at Halo in the other room, I’ve sat down to reexamine my goals for 2016.
2015 was a weird year for me. I opened a brick and mortar restaraunt, discovered that I do not have the personality to work in the service industry on a day-to-day basis, and sold that business after ten months. I spent most of last year not writing and it was incredibly frustrating and painful.
I also experienced several personal challenges between family, friends, guildies, and roommates. Basically, 2015 was a really turbulent year!
But after a winning November 2015 NaNoWriMo, I’ve been able to get my writing back on track and finished the year with TWO new releases–crazy!
And I kicked of 2016, curled up in bed, typing away at my next full length release. I have a feeling 2016 maybe be a tough year fiscally (my living next September is going to be a headache thanks to the aforementioned friend-roommate drama but we’ll cross that bridge when it gets closer ;)) but I think it’s going to be an amazing year creatively!
A few months ago I released a short story titled Lachlan Graham: Occult Investigations. Lachlan was written over the summer while I worked in my tea room and originally conceptualized to be written as a series of short stories in the same vein as Sherlock Holmes. At the time, I didn’t have much energy to write, so I hoped the short form would be doable despite my tight schedule.
A month after I released that short story, I learned that there was a buyer for my tea room. Within a couple of weeks, I was free of the responsibility and time suck that was my restaurant and back to writing full time.
I think you’ll all agree, that we love longer novels than short stories around here, and the BLOOD & BONE series remains my most popular work. So, with that in mind I had a tough conversation with my editor: What do I do about Lachlan?
You see, Lachlan Graham lives and works in the same universe as the Blood & Bone series and it was always my intention for his story to cross over with Ethan and Patrick’s. But in writing that first short, I’d had to trim down a lot–an entire POV in fact!–and I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the way my plan for Lachlan. My writing partner made things easy though, she looked at me and said: so turn it into a full novel, you’ve got enough story for it, right?
And I do. I have a LOT to say about Lachlan (and Vector!).
A few of you have noticed that Lachlan Graham #1 The Suicide Case is no longer available on amazon and that is because that short is being retooled into a much longer novel, which will be part of a COMPANION SERIES to the Blood & Bone Series titled: The Profane Series.
Confused yet? lol
I’m writing a new series (The Profane Series) starring Lachlan Graham and Vector Clanahan, that will interweave with the BLOOD & BONE Series. Furthermore, I’ve got a FOURTH B&B novel in the works 😉 I just can’t leave Ethan Ellison alone, okay?
Here’s a sneak peak at the rough draft for the updated Lachlan 1 cover
This post has gotten a bit long winded so let me wrap it up by saying I’m sorry I disappeared in 2015 and I promise that you’re going to be getting a LOT more from Lia in 2016.
And just to give you an idea how much more, here’s my updated publishing schedule for the next 7 months!
On the subject of multiple drafts: drafting and re-drafting should not be confused with EDITING (which is a very valuable and necessary process). I define drafts as rewriting the same story in its entirety over from start to end. I spend a significant portion of time thinking about my story so that when I sit down to write I know what needs to be written and how it needs to be written, where form is as clear in my head as content. I could maybe understand writing a second draft for one or two books in a catalog of a dozen. But I cannot fathom why I would do this for every book.
If you aren’t writing the correct story STOP WASTING YOUR TIME WRITING THAT GARBAGE and go back to the drawing board.
I don’t care that Hemingway said you should write 30 drafts of something. I think that if you NEED to write 30 drafts some something, there is a fundamental problem with your process such that maybe you should spend a little more time thinking about your story before you sit down to write it. But then again, I’m not a fan of wasting my own time.
Have you noticed I’ve been trying to write more regularly here? 😉
Today I want to talk about something I hope will prompt some reader responses. I hang out on a couple author forums (notably Kboards) just to see what other people are trying because I’m curious what has and hasn’t worked for them.
I hear this advice given all the time. I’ve HEARD this advice given since I was a kid. If you want to make some money, write a series. It’s not new advice.
THIS seems to be the new tweak to the above adage. If you want to make money, write a SERIAL, and it seems like everyone is doing it!
Okay, but you’re thinking to yourself, technically serials aren’t a new thing–they’re a pretty old thing. Serials are how ACD, Dickens, Poe and a bunch of other authors were published back in their day. True–but I think we can make a distinction between the sort of serials that Poe was publishing and the sort i’m talking about now. Namely, that Poe’s serials were part of a larger work–e.g. a newspaper–and today’s serials are stand alone ebooks.
So, I see people advising other writers to write a serial–readers love them! they say–but this advice always comes with the caveat that these same serials always attract low-star reviews. Specifically low-star reviews from readers complaining about the length of the work.
This brings me to the DISCONNECT I’m seeing between readers and authors. Authors say serials are great, readers love them, they make them lots of money, etc. But then you have a huge chunk of readers unhappy because of the length of the serial and the fact that it is NOT a full story (obvs, it’s part of a larger body of work, it’s a piece, hence serial).
What’s the break even point here? Do readers actually love serials or are they just buying them because that’s how authors keep breaking up otherwise great stories and thereby deluding authors into thinking the serials are doing great because hey, their sales numbers are still good, even though the whole format is leaving the reader cold?
And on a related note, going back to my first point which is GO WRITE A SERIES, this bit of advice is usually coupled with: be sure and use a cliffhanger so that your readers have something to look forward to in the next book. With this, however, I see some unhappiness cropping up over cliffhangers. Are they good? Are they bad? Are they something readers suffer through because they enjoy the story?
What are your thoughts? Do you like serials? Do you hate them? Do you think serials belong as independent ebook entities or does the format really work best as a larger body of work?