Hello readers! I’ve been using this blog more or less as both venting (and ruminations/examinations of thought processes to do with mental illness; I’ve removed some posts because in hindsight I realize they contain interesting ideas which might be useful in fiction, but otherwise I leave things up, because I am not ashamed of my disability) and to inform the very few regular readers of my progress with different fiction projects.
I’m going through a career shift- I am realizing increasingly that I can’t really make a living just doing scientific consulting work part time (or even full time) and I’d like to focus on three different aspects to a new career: fiction writing, science communication, and the development of novel ideas I have had which could form the basis of new software (I have also had ideas for technologies but these would require an unattainable amount of investment, so I am starting where I can). I have formed a strategy for researching and brainstorming on each of these three prongs of potential career directions, mostly focusing on what I can accomplish with the network and limited resources I have. So I’m actually looking forward to that.
My notes for my pilot project, “October 6th” are taking shape and to relax I may work on this a little bit tomorrow. I don’t know the business of writing for television at all, so this is really just a vanity exercise; I will do more digging into the business of writing science fiction, but I strongly suspect I will start with cranking out stories as I am able and trying to publish those, and work on fluffing out the novel or novella-length works I already have produced and seeing if I can find someone to represent them. I’m bemused: when I grew up SF and fantasy novels could be quite short, and there are some gems in the literature which are classics now which can be read in under four hours, and are quite thin. I really dislike this current trend of publishing giant fat novels, many of which probably started as novellas which had to be fluffed out and expanded just to meet “market demands”, and I wonder if this expansion process actually helps or detracts from the craft. I know publishers want a fat book so readers think they are getting value for their money, but I also have put down giant books by new authors mostly on the basis of: if I hate this book, it’s huge and I’ll be wasting so much more time trying to read it.
Still, who am I to argue that my novella should be publishable on its own as a novel, or that my too-short novel should stand on its own as a work and not be fluffed out an extra third in length with description and subplots and whatever else I can stuff into it to make it longer just so it meets “industry standards”. I am of the opinion that a story should not be longer than it needs to be and I actually like short novels, but who am I to argue with established industry practices. These are products to sell, not artworks. I actually rankle at that but I can’t argue that no one will buy a thing they think can’t sell, so it’s up to me to make a thing that meets the established criterial for ‘saleable’.
So I’m not a huge fan of arbitrary page or word counts for artwork, obviously, and I consider a science fiction novel to be a work of art. I plan on doing more research into what I can produce in a reasonable amount of time with fluctuating energy and an assortment of other responsibilities, and what I actually feel comfortable producing. I have considered and may branch out into turning my novella Anagama into a podcast series. I am not an expert audio editor but I could surely find help. Writing up a “business plan” for myself as author will be informative and useful in channeling what energy I have into productive actions, so I look forward to tackling these planning projects in the next week or two.
In the meantime, I wish whichever readers stumble across this blog a good night, and I look forward to posting an update on progress, no matter how incremental.