Thursday, September 4, 2014

On Progress, Plans, and Pain (…and Patreon?)

There's a Yiddish proverb, "Man plans and God laughs." So true. Plans can go awry so fast.

Case in point: I planned to have A Fistful of Water out and A Fistful of Life done months ago. I planned to not miss any updates on my Wattpad postings. I certainly didn't plan to spend intermittent hours on the floor in pain, over the past two days. I didn't plan to spend last night tempted to take four or more ibuprofen.

I was smart this morning and took all the various herbs that stop/prevent that pain first thing, before it knocked me to the floor. And I took booster doses at lunchtime.

As far as progress goes, I haven't updated my website yet (bad author, I know), but newsletter subscribers have gotten the short story: "In the Hands of the Smith", whose narrator was picked by Pneumarian.

See, every 3 months, I have a drawing, where newsletter subscribers can pick a PoV character they want for a story. I'm behind on the writing of them, but I have that one done and 2 more in the queue. Want a chance to pick a narrator, yourself? Sign up for my newsletter.

Winning once doesn't disqualify you for another round. Pneumarian won "Mrs. Strongman" for a short story (from my flash fiction "Butterfly Boots"), and so he was the first person to receive an e-copy of the story of how Mr. and Mrs. Strongman met. Newsletter subscribers also got the story before it was available for sale.

That short story came out two weeks ago today. Today I released "A Badge and a Bully" (a Darkworld short story preceding "A Blackmail and a Birthday"—and you might want to hold off on buying, since I plan a mini-series with those that will end up in a bundle, and you'll eventually get to see what happens when a raised-as-human selkie meets Destiny in an emergency situation). Two weeks from today, I'll be releasing A Fistful of Water.

Hmm. Methinks this looks like a pattern…

And it is! I've decided to do something about the many short stories sitting on my hard drive in various stages of incompletion. I have a specific, hmm, setup that I want before I start bundling them. I could go ahead and do a bundle of what I have—I certainly have enough short stories for it—but the prospect makes me grimace. It doesn't match. My plan is to bundle when I have several stories with the same narrator or in the same mini-series, maybe including a "bonus" story that's another narrator at the end.

But to do that, I need to write more short stories. They don't take long—"In the Hands of the Smith" took me about 5 hours to write and edit, and that was with a false start. (Of the 4438 words I wrote in coming up with that story, I kept 3186 of them.) Add in the cover and formatting, and that was 9.4 hours total. If I'd gone the KISS route on the formatting, it wouldn't have taken that long. (I both made it fancier than necessary and made a template, which is included in that time.)

Theoretically, more time spent on short stories means less time spent on novels and other things. But more time spent on short stories (and finishing them) means better morale and improved mindspace for working on novels and other things, so that might just lead to more time spent writing overall.

All I can do is try it and see what happens. ^_^

I've gotten the "oops" checks back for A Fistful of Water, so that'll be going up for pre-order soon, to be released 9/18/14.

As another "*poke* *poke* Huh" item, I've set up a Patreon page. (Patreon, for those who don't know, is essentially a way to treat your relationship with artists as a patronage. Patrons voluntarily pay X per release or per month, which can be adjusted at any time, and a payment cap can be sent for those donating per release.) Feel free to look at it, poke around, and tell me what you think.

How are you? What are you working on?


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