Secret Love

December 5, 2017

Forever, that is what we said;
But you are there and I am here
And someone else is in the bed,
Though forever is what we said.
My longings I have quieted
And my face has a look of cheer:
Forever, that is what we said —
But you are there and I am here.

CW Hawes
Published in the December 2005 issue of Makata.

Prolific Writers

December 5, 2017


I read an article today in the Christian Science Monitor which posited that the e-reader market has caused writers to basically pull a double shift because of demand. James Patterson published 12 novels this year alone and is churning out even more short stories and Kindle Singles for the growing e-reader market. “[T]he e-book age has accelerated the metabolism of book publishing,” Julie Bosman writes for the New York Times. “Authors are now pulling the literary equivalent of a double shift, churning out short stories, novellas or even an extra full-length book each year.”

What does this mean for we self-publishing novelists? It means that in order to say ahead of the roar of other writers who may publish one book per year, we should probably be writing little short stories, poetry collections, or serialized novels in order to get more of our writing in front of readers.
I have a few thoughts on this subject that merit discussion:

1. The Day Job – People who have to work to make ends meet (in my case, sometimes the ends don’t meet) must sacrifice evenings and weekends to write a novel and often shun family and friends to produce good work. Will the e-publishing industry be led by those who are either independently wealthy or are supported by a spouse? If I had all day to sit around and blog, promote my book and write my novel, I could probably turn out more than one novel a year.

2. Quality over Quantity – Even if I were independently wealthy and sat around all day writing, not all the prose I write is the best I am capable of writing. Sometimes my ideas are not good ideas. Sometimes I write 1000 words of garbage. Even if people like James Patterson can turn out best selling work it doesn’t mean it is any good (Stephanie Meyer comes to mind). I have to admit I haven’t read any of Patterson’s work, but apparently its popular enough to merit 12 books. I know people who read Patterson and love his work. Patterson will release 7 books in the next five months and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon…

3. Stress – I like having my own deadlines as a self-publisher. I do not set them so that I can laze around and give myself extra time like some high school student too busy texting to do his work. I stick to my deadlines so that I can set and reach personal goals. I also have friends who keep me accountable. I have enough drive to get novels finished, but I would be stressed out trying to get 12 novels done in a year. I know that some people are taking the 12 novels challenge this year, and I applaud you, but I know too that this is not for me. I would rather focus on one novel at a time and produce my best work by carefully crafting the prose…then revising that carefully crafted prose…and revising again.

Roger Colby
Speed Writing: E-Publishing Demands Prolific Writers

imagine the future…?

December 5, 2017

Reading New Scientist, I am acutely aware of how fast science and technology are changing — and in so many areas. Cybernetics, biotechnology, nanotechnology are all evolving quickly. Theoretical physics and cosmology are very much in flux, with facts that don’t fit into current theory, such as dark matter and dark energy, and hypotheses which can’t be tested, such as superstring theory. So how does a writer imagine the future, with so much changing rapidly and so much uncertain?

Eleanor Arnason
Me and Science Fiction: Dystopia, Dark Urban fantasy, Zombies and Monsters from the deep.

How James Patterson churns out his co-authored books:

“It isn’t terribly groundbreaking: It’s been done a lot. The newspaper business, the movie business—they’re full of teams. A lot of art was done by teams, a lot of cathedrals… I’ll write an elaborate outline, maybe 70 pages, very detailed, clear, and focused. The co-author will write the first draft, and I’ll see the work every few weeks. I’ll do two to seven more drafts. I’m very easy to work with. I don’t do a lot of silly nitpicking. The job pays well. Everybody likes it. Nobody quits.”

James Patterson
Interview by Alison Beard published in the Harvard Business Review