Friday, December 13, 2013

The Great Writer's Dilemma: What Route Shall I Take?

So maybe I could say that I'm busy, but the fact that nobody outside of Facebook knows that I finished NaNoWriMo is my fault. Sorry, folks. Have a screenshot:

And okay, I'll admit it: every year, I promise myself that I won't flag after NaNoWriMo, and every year, I succumb to post-NaNoWriMo laziness.

So as of right now, I still haven't finished The King of Three, although I'm five to ten thousand words away from completion. But victory is near, and with the last week of school coming up, my schedule will be freed to finally wrap up the novel. All going well, I should have it done before January at the latest.

With the completion of The King of Three also comes the completion of the series as a whole. And Tornado C is finished, too. Having those two novels off my back will allow me to start on new projects, which is a huge amount of fun.

But here's the problem...I don't know where to start.

Right now, I have somewhere between five and six incubating ideas ranging from sci-fi to time travel to epic fantasy. And since my self-imposed rule is to never do more than one major project at a time, this means that I have to choose. Choosing is awful.

So, with that in mind, I'm going to lay out some of my ideas and have you choose—or, rather, advise me on what to choose.

Route #1: Publish ALL the stories!

Well, not really. But this is the more publishing-heavy idea of the three that I'm outlining here.

If I chose this route, my schedule would look like this:

As soon as I finish the King of Three, I return to my long-neglected Will Vullerman stories, revise the three remaining ones, polish all five, get them some spiffy covers, and publish them on Kindle for $0.99 each, and $2.99 collectively.

Then, after I finish that, I'll write the sequel to The War Horn, tentatively titled “The King's Coffin”. I'll probably take a break after finishing to fiddle with some other stories, but after a while I'll revise it like crazy and send it to pre-readers to critique. After that, I'll format, get a cover, and publish it on Kindle for $2.99.

Since that work will take up quite a bit of the year, by the time The King's Coffin is published, I'll probably start working on my massive Tornado C overhaul and see what I can do to find it an actual name. (I STILL don't have the foggiest what I'm going to name it. Titles have never been my forte.)

The main idea behind this one is twofold: first, to get my work out there so that when I have a “big” novel, one that I'll try to get traditionally published, I'll already have a reader base and some published works. Second, I have this crazy idea that my novels will become runaway bestsellers and I'll raise enough money to go to the 2014 OYAN Workshop.

The big drawback of this route is that raising enough money for an international plane ticket is improbable at best and impossible at worst. And if I knew for sure that I wasn't going, I probably wouldn't invest my time in publishing.

But there is this little thing of mine called hope...

Route #2: Become a publishing hermit!

That is to say, take the absolute opposite of my previous idea and publish nothing at all.

Under this route, I would mostly ignore my Will Vullerman stories (again) and focus on new projects, rather than working with old ones. First up would be a new novel completed with the OYAN supplement “Other Worlds”. It would be a sort-of sequel to Tornado C, but with less emphasis on “epic and dramatic” and more on “small and structured”.

Depending on how long that project takes, I'll either work on The King's Coffin (putting the publication date somewhere between Fall 2014 and Spring 2015) or go straight to Tornado C to start my revisions. (As you can see, I'm serious about getting my Tornado C revisions done.)

The main issue with this route is that Will Vullerman has been ruminating in my head for awhile. It would be nice to get it to the point where I can be done with it.

Route #3: The Great Compromise

My final route will take a middle road in between these two options, giving me a foot in both trenches. I'd start out with publishing Will Vullerman and then go on to work with my “Other Worlds” novel. After all this, I'd work on Tornado C revisions. This would put the writing of “The King's Coffin” somewhere between Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.

The biggest issue with this one is that, if I was to give my foolish hope a chance, I would want to go all in, rather than just publish some short stories in hopes that I'll get thousands of downloads.

And Route #4 is to ditch school to write and publish all of the above. Needless to say, route four is not an option, as much as I'd like it to be.

So there you have it! It's a choice between lots of publication, some publication, and no publication; little chance for the Workshop, even less chance for the Workshop, and no chance for the Workshop.

What do you think? I admit that I'm a little tied up about it. Spare me some wisdom!


Bluebelle said...

As much as I sympathize with you wanting to go to the Workshop, I don't think publishing everything will help you. I think the risk there is that you'll compromise on quality, not necessarily on purpose. But I think it could happen really easily if you're rushing somewhat. I would suggest you work on what's teasing your brain right now (so, Will Vullerman) and then seeing where that leads. Hope you find the right path! :)

Sarah said...

Congrats on finishing NaNo!
I would agree with Bluebelle; work on what you're enthusiastic about. Route 3, with some publishing and some new works, sounds like a good idea to me.
I hope you can make it to the OYAN conference!

Keturah Lamb said...

Route 3 seems the best to me also. :)