Writing for me is a very intimate process. My stories well up first as images to form a vision. Sometimes they are intensely detailed and other times mere wisps of idea. My challenge is to translate the still fresh vision into words that can, hopefully, accurately portray it. This is the essence of creation, something no one can do for me or help me with. To do so would interfere with the act of birthing the vision onto paper. Until the story takes form, until it remarkably transforms into something that conveys meaning, it remains vulnerable and I remain vulnerable. Until then the nascent story must be protected, because until the story can stand alone, it is not really mine.
Not long ago, another blogger described their writing process. He said that he always had trouble at the beginning. He started out almost mechanically, like he was filling out a form, but after a while it would all come together for him. In another forum, a writer said that he decided on the ending first and then wrote the words that would get his characters there. Is this why Amazon is filled with hundreds of books on vampires and zombies? Is this why short, quick reads are becoming the mainstay of pop fiction?
In response to my last post about whether I should keep Any Tomorrow as a trilogy or reconstitute it into a single book, the vast majority commented that (a) no traditional publisher will touch a 300K word book from new writer and (b) no one will read a 300K word book. It was even suggested that I make the trilogy into four or five books for quicker reads. Or condense the reconstituted book into a thousand words.
And I received other comments, some very helpful, about my covers, book descriptions, formatting, and overall marketing. These comments really did give me pause because for some time now I had begun to doubt that what I had written was truly horror/fantasy. I had begun to believe that it was more adventure or sci-fi or even historical fiction. All those elements are there, but when I reread Any Tomorrow I could see that I was right from the beginning. It is horror in the truest sense. And it’s a damn good read, all the way through.
So, while I have incorporated some changes, such as reworking my book descriptions, you can get to them from my Amazon Author’s page (here), and have been mulling over my marketing plan, I will not sacrifice my story for the sake of short attention spans. My chapters and paragraphs are already intentionally short to work better in an eBook format. And the book itself is divided into eleven interwoven tales of terror that take the reader on a roller coaster of horror right up to the end.
So, to those who provided me with comments on my blog, google+, facebook, gather, linkedin, and goodreads, thank you. For those who took the extra step of actually reading my blog, checking out my book descriptions, author’s page, and even sampling my writing before commenting, a very special thank you!