This is weird! I don’t remember feeling like this last year.
I think this time last year, I had Immortal Engine and The Sixth Age of Sand under my belt and I was riding high on my first year of successful blogging, of writing 52 game pieces without really trying to, and generally felt like I could do the same thing again.
I wasn’t really excited about Immortal Engine or Sixth Age of Sand. I thought they were bad books, pretty basic and rubbish but they still sat in my personal achievement listing saying I finished a thing. A thing that lots of people say they’ll try and never successfully do. While I was proud of that I still wasn’t excited about them, because they were, well, bad books.
What I had in mind was One Stone, a book which I had planned ahead, where I had notes and ideas. I had maybe two weeks of work on One Stone done before the new year kicked off. I had sections of the book scribbled out, and some sections I’d never wind up using. The original idea changed a lot, but still.
Right now I don’t have that! I don’t want to move on to the next story yet because, I think, in part, I’m a little worried about it. I think One Stone is good. I know there are other stories I can tell and I even want to tell. I want to keep writing fiction. But I also think that the type of stuff I was doing doesn’t really benefit from a web serial format.
First, there’s the chapter sizes. One Stone is about 144k words, or about 3k words a week. Most of the chapters are therefore, kind of short; maybe two short scenes. There isn’t in my opinion, a solid feeling of continuity between parts. When I refine the book, chances are, there will be a shorter number of chapters – maybe half as many, probably fewer.
There’s also that the style of story it was just doesn’t suit a cliffhanger every week. There was never the tension, the hook to keep you tuned in. It was a story that relied heavily on tropes to convince you things were going wrong, then tried to subvert them. There wasn’t a punchline, week to week, there wasn’t a new cliffhanger, or even a particularly spicy scene every week. It was just the story wending out ahead.
Basically, I don’t think One Stone fit the format well.
I’m not sure if anything I do fits that format well.
I do want to keep writing. Chances are I might just release, every week, a tiny blog post indicating the word count of the new book/story I’m working on. While releasing the book as I worked on it was a good practice to ‘keep me honest’ from week to week, I know publishers hate that, and I know it meant rough chapters were dumped out there.
Right now I’m hankering for feedback. I want to hear I did a good job. I have ideas for next year. I’m just not fizzing to do them the way I did last year.
We shall see~!