Monday, March 11, 2013

Should I Blog Free Fiction?

I've been considering blogged stories, lately. As you might know, I serialized A Fistful of Fire on purpose. I read Stormy's geeky (but adult!) urban fantasy series, Mirrorfall, over on Require: Cookie. I've kept an eye on case examples of serialization, through the years. I've watched the rise and fall of a few different serialization sites. I keep an eye on the stories posted on Camille LaGuire's blog and on Kristine Kathryn Rusch's.

Overall, as a reader, I tend to prefer complete works, these days. I've been burned by a lot of incompletes that…languish (including my own WiPs). Serialization could be a way for me to kick myself in the pants to actually get words out on the story I need to get done, rather than on anything and everything else.

It might also overwhelm me to the point of wanting to cry (due to a lovely genetic disorder, my hormones are annoyingly willing to put me in that state of mind)—in which case, it would be self-sabotaging to serialize.

And I would like to submit to places like magazines and small publishers, so I have to be careful about which stories I post publicly.

But I very much like the "Free Fiction Mondays" over on Kris Rusch's blog. She posts a single short story every Monday, taking down the one from the week before (leaving blurb and links to buy that old story). I'd like to do something similar, but I'm not (yet?) at the point of writing a short story or four per week or month.

However, I also know myself well enough to realize that, without any reason to write regularly, I won't. I'll want to, but I'll get distracted by everything else that needs to get done, get overwhelmed, take too long doing the minimum that must get done… It's a nasty cycle, annoying when I'm lucid enough to see it, but I'm not sick enough for conventional medicine to really, well, help. Taking iodine helps a lot, when I remember, and I'm currently having some other things checked. Lord willing, that'll help me stay on the "Oh, goodie! Let's get stuff done!" swing of things.

Now, if I could just remember that increased activity means I need to eat an extra meal per day… ^_–

But I work well with having betas on WiPs (which, from what I've observed in general, is actually unusual), and I know that A Fistful of Fire would likely still be its original mess if not for my putting it on FictionPress years ago and getting feedback.

So bearing all the pros and cons in mind, I suspect serializing would be good for me—only left temporarily or behind a password wall—but what to post? An in-progress story or a short fiction piece each time? What genre should I post? You readers here know me as a fantasy writer, but I cut my writing teeth on soft sci-fi, space opera–type stuff. And I'm seeing more authors come out with story ideas comparable to ones I've had on the back burner for years, so I'd like to have something out in that field so I don't come across as an imitator.

Sure, I have a blog story I want to write at some point (same world as "PRIMpriety", though Lyn won't be a main character), but that… Will take prep. Lots of prep, like suitable blogging software for the specific things I need to do with it (anybody know something where you can schedule blog comments?) and custom blog themes and a start date in September or October. (I could possibly get away with November, but that would be pushing it.)

Yes. That particular idea would be insanely complicated to implement. But it would be pretty freaking cool. (Picture a blog, run by one character, with the webmaster being another character, and the two argue in realtime…and can interact with readers in the comments, with others from that world sometimes popping in and responding.)

So… That's not an option to start serializing, right now. Though if I get in the habit of blogging now, maybe I could be in a position to start it later this year. Hmm… ^_^

One thought I've had is serializing the rough draft for a novella or three that I've been trying to finish for months.

Or I could serialize an all-new project that bit me this past week and is pretty much pitching a hissy fit, insisting I write it now. Starting premise:

Time travel's possible.

It's possible to travel to different universes, too.

Sometimes, folks escape to another universe and live there.

Now, picture how that could get if two different versions of one young woman reached the same universe, they met, and they decided to rent a place together to save on rent, with a third person who doesn't know they're versions of the same person…and there's a third version of herself who works for the pertinent stay-in-your-own-universe authorities.

Confusing, right? But it'll be fun. I think. I mean…

[rough draft snippet]

When Raleigh entered the apartment she shared with Janni and Kitten, the latter sat at the dining room table, staring at a tower made of wooden rectangular prisms that Raleigh’s recognition software told her was Jenga—a game that Raleigh couldn’t ever remember seeing in this universe. She opted not to ask. It was best to leave Kitten be about things like that. At least Janni would tell you if she couldn’t answer a question. Kitten…

The auburn-haired girl—who was the youngest of the three of them, and her too-big secondhand sweater made her look younger than she already was—turned her ice blue stare on Raleigh.

[/rough draft snippet]

^_^ "Kitten" is sorta River Tam (Firefly/Serenity) meets Sicarius (The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker), but unlike them, she isn't unique, as far as others from her universe are concerned. (She also isn't telepathic. Well, two versions of her aren't. "Cop"-one is, but her range is too large, so she has to keep it blocked unless she wants a migraine, because she hears too many freaking people. The other two versions of her were supposed to be telepathic, but the mod didn't take, which is part of why their native universes deemed them cripples. Or so's the current setup; it might change.)

I want to blog something. I haven't decided yet if I'd post it here, or on a separate WordPress thing, or maybe even on DeviantArt. (I'm leaning towards maybe Wattpad or FictionPress, though. Their current ToS look good, at first glance.)

I'll be asking some of the small presses I want to work with what their opinions are on stories that have had blogged first drafts. Their answers will affect what I post—so far, I have one story confirmed that I can post—but more than that…

Your input will affect what I post and where I post it.

So what do you think of free fiction, reader? Would you rather see…

  • (complete) short stories?
  • WiPs related to specific already-released stories? (If so, which stories do you want to see related stories for?)
  • WiPs in unrelated worlds?

And do you have a preferred site you prefer using for reading online fiction?


P.S. I couldn't help it. I've been playing with cover ideas, so here's a concept cover for a current sci-fi story ideas:

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