…and no, I am not travelling back to 2015.
I took some time; I talked to people. I did some research; I procrastinated on Twitter. And then I let all that percolate until a decision brewed: I need to focus my website on building up an audience.
Currently I have two objectives, namely finding an agent for my novels, and building up a readership to show my potential agent that I am a Good Bet to represent. Or at least not a bad bet. Both of those objectives point towards making my website more reader-friendly.
- *Insert Subplot Here is a great tool for talking about my feelings and experiences while I do all this, but makes it definitely geared towards other writers, not fiction readers, and so it’s going to need to take a back-burner. I will still update it when I feel like it, but I am taking it off the once a week schedule. I can channel my writing inspiration into more (hopefully sellable) short fiction. And writing up long-neglected tootles over on michaelamowbray.com
- I need to write more fiction for the website. To that end, I am dusting off two anthology ideas; I can write the stories in and around my editing, which will also give me more opportunities to submit/collect rejections (I am STILL at 24 rejections for the year. Argh. So frustrating).
- Anthology the First: When The Goddess Walked, a collection of Sinferreous stories, fairy tales, legends, epic poems (who knows, maybe I will throw in a collage in there, see how the spirit moves me). It’ll give me a chance to investigate some of the lesser-seen nations in Ashes and Embers, and also hopefully introduce people to the world and maybe get them interested in reading the novels. I have some stories already; I’m aiming for about 40-50K words. I might try to submit some of them, but most will be available for free on this here blag, and when I am all done I can bundle them into a chapbook epub for convenience. This has me pretty excited.
- Anthology the Second: originally conceived as a novel back in like 2011 long before the site was even a notion, Fletcher & Cooper is a Jane Austen-esque sword-&-sorcery adventure tale set in a variety of worlds as the titular heroes attempt to find the lost explorer, Livingstone. It has one plot like a novel but very episodic segments, which would be perfect for a fiction website. BUT as I am afraid of falling afoul of the Middle Slump while posting chunks online, I haven’t tried and it’s still just a collection of scenes and scrap notes. Grace pointed out that I could write the whole thing for a NaNo (Camp NaNo this July maybe??) and then only have to edit each chunk to post once a month. That way I won’t have to worry about writer’s block while people are waiting on me. This also has me pretty excited. But I still have to figure out if it’s viable.
- I will probably have to redo the website, or at the very least rearrange it so that it’s easier for people to get to the fiction parts. Most likely in the coming weeks I will just turn off some modules and highlight others but who knows! Maybe I will start from scratch! (Note: I will likely not do that. I do not have the time and I have already asked enough of Alan.)
Building a career–especially one as weird and ill-defined as ‘writer’–is never quite what you expect it to be. I had a career as a graphic designer already, so I figured I’d know a bit more the second time around, but nah. It’s a roadtrip into unfamiliar territory and I keep having to back up and retrace my steps to take a different–hopefully more effective–fork in the road. I designed my site based off some advice that I was given at a con, and research that I’d done, and here we are almost two years later, and it’s not where I need it to be. So gotta reverse, try again. It happens; sometimes when the direction is anything other than “forward” it can feel like a mistake. But today, at least, I am just glad I am moving.
So that’s it for the weekly posts. Hopefully in the coming months there will be more fiction to post, and exciting developments. I’ve got my hands of fate at two and ten, and plenty of tunes and timbits and coffee.
It’s going to be an interesting trip, where ever I end up. Hope to see you all there.