Sunday, November 29, 2009

To Serial or not to Serial??

Today has been a particularly refreshing day. Thanks to the wisdom of Victoria Nelson's On Writer's Block, I think I may be making some headway in my block.

Nelson's thesis is that a block is actually a message from your subconscious telling you that you need to change something about the way you are working. In my case, I think that I'd been using writing as a place to run away from the rest of my problems for a long time. Maybe years. So I couldn't control my job, relationship, (or lack of relationship at certain points) or social life. I could sure as heck control my novel, darn it.

It was only recently that my subconscious put up a block. "No," it said. "I'm not doing this anymore. Go face your other problems. I can't play in this much pain." And so, this morning, I actually spent some time facing what was going on in my life. And after looking at it head on and crying a good bit, I suddenly felt waaay better. Like better than I have felt in a really long time. I've spent the whole day actually feeling comfortable in my skin. I cannot tell you how relieving that is.

Anyway, one of the things that I think my subconscious is trying to tell me about my writing is that my subconscious does not want to write serials. Jason and Azazel were not written as a serial. They were written as books--a trilogy. I've chopped them into chapters and put them up piecemeal, mostly because I thought that was how internet publication was done.

I'm starting to think that's not the best idea for me. For one thing, I'm not sure that I particularly like the format. I don't particularly like to write about the same characters for a really long time, and I don't write indefinite story lines. I'm much more comfortable in a novel format. Furthermore, I don't like to READ serials. When I like a book, I want to get into it--read the whole thing in a few sittings. that end, I'm thinking about experimenting with various kinds of publication models.

One thing I want to try is posting an entire book online for free, and having it available on Smashwords as a free download for ebook devices. I'll see if I can get donations for that. Even if not, I think the free book will serve as an advertisement for other stuff that you have to pay for.

Another thing I may do is to post half of a book for free on my site and then tell people to buy it if they want the rest.

A model for something like this might consist of two new books a year, which is a pace I THINK I can live with but am not sure. Certainly, the pressure of trying to get Poisonlands together was really getting to me. Whether this was because it was a format I really didn't like or whether it was because I was pressured by the idea of deadlines, I'm not sure.

What not serializing would do is free me up to concentrate on marketing, blogging, etc. I need to find a real niche for this blog, so that it can kind of function as its own entity and bring in some revenue as well.

What are your thoughts? Do you like serials? How do you like to read books?

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