Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Serially Yours

Have you checked out The Mangrove Legacy recently? I only ask because I am thinking about the end of it. It will take some weeks yet, of course, but I can see the resolution now and I am also contemplating polishing it up to send off to one or two places. Like everything I do (apparently) it doesn't quite fit into a neat marketing niche. But who knows? The lazy way of novel writing -- for those of you who say you want to write but just can't find the time -- this story is up over 90,000 words now.

All it takes is patience and 500 words or so a week. It's really not so much: just persistence and commitment.

So many things require the same; we worry about the big issues and agonize over decisions, but much of our life results from the simple steps -- and continuing to make them. I am always reminding myself of this. It's worth doing.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Those five hundred words have to be good ones though. I move sideways more than forward most of the time. In other words, rewriting is my weakness.

The Queen said...

I say go for it, especially if it's working its way to an ending!

C. Margery Kempe said...

Well, Patti, I tell my students over and over that revision is where it all happens. However, I am also prodding them along with "if you haven't written anything, there's nothing to revise."

Thanks, QoE. It seems like the right time. It could go on indefinitely, but I think it turned out well enough to gather together and I am getting ideas for a new one (though I'm taking suggestions, too).

Jack C. Young said...

Absolutely you shoud go for it! It's a wonderful story so far. It deserves publication.
Persistence does pay off.

Jack C. Young said...

Absolutely you shoud go for it! It's a wonderful story so far. It deserves publication.
Persistence does pay off.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Thanks, Jack!

CL said...

The end is near! What will happen to poor Lizzie and Alice??

Oh, I await with a worm on my tongue (bated breath...get it?)


C. Margery Kempe said...

SHE LIVES!!! We were giving you up for a ghost, Cranky. Thought maybe you decided to go hang out among the gravestones for good.

Glad to see you!


Todd Mason said...

It's the use of worms to abate breath that can get you.

The discipline to get those 500 words down, and not to second-guess one's self into revising them endlessly until after one has enough story in place to make revision useful, is the rub...and providing the same-old does get some of us the big bucks, but sometimes actually advancing the art even makes a few useful pennies in the long run, as the publishers occasionally slip up and/or realize.

Frederik Pohl, not exactly a shirker at this business, advises two pages a day (though he's been primarily a writer for quite some time, though variously also an editor, lecturer, and instructor after giving up his literary agency in the 1950s). James Reasoner has a similar quota, iirc. Five hundred a week really isn't that much prose...and as you note, it adds up.

I will begin enjoying MANGROVE quite soonly (I must admit I have a default unwillingness to get involved with serial fiction till I have a sense that one way or another it's done).

Todd Mason said...

And it's nice to see that Paperback Library jumped in there and packaged NORTHANGER ABBEY as a 1960s gothic, rather than as an Old School OG (Original Gothic). My favorite example of that kind of not quite misleading repackaging is the late '60s Award paperback of Fritz Leiber's CONJURE WIFE.

C. Margery Kempe said...

I love those pulpy covers that make almost anything look lurid (e.g. the Frankenstein cover I have). That's why I think the Twilight-esque repackaging of classics like JANE EYRE are terrific. Hope they get a whole new audience.

Yeah, Todd, you completist! I can see how you wouldn't like serial stories, but they're so much fun.

Writing regularly -- however much or little -- cannot help but result in output. I have written as much as a couple thousand words a day for some projects, but it's not a pace I can maintain in my present circumstances. Part of the reason for this blog's existence is to make sure I am always writing something -- and for that matter "publishing" something, too. Given the length of time publishing traditionally takes, that's a real plus.

Not constantly editing your work as you write is a very important skill if you want to work on long projects -- or frequent ones. I am writing so much faster than I used to do, and with better results. Over-tinkering is not a good thing.