Monday, February 25, 2013

The Writer's Brave New World

Today's world of e-publishing gives writers a chance to publish all forms of fiction and a place to publish them. The number of publications before e-publishing that accepted short stories and short novels were few and far between. Now, there's a place for almost anything a writer wants to do. To my way of thinking, this is a tremendous improvement over the pre-e-publishing world. Until recently, there was little point in writing short stories, because so few magazines wanted them, and the few who did want them were extremely selective. Your story had to fit their orientation. Today, your short story can fit your orientation, and possibly a lot of readers' orientations as well.

RaShelle Workman wrote a post on her blog Rashelle Workman "the-novelette-and-novella-rule" about the advantages of writing novelettes and novellas. Basically, they're short (novelette 7.5k-17.5k words, novella 17.5k-40k words). Like novels, they have a plot arch or character arch, but they are fast-paced, with little back story and few or no subplots. And, according to her, characters should be drawn vividly.

Recently, I've turned primarily to writing short stories. I hope to write about forty to fifty of them this year, and self-publish them in several e-books. There's always the possibility that one or two of these stories will turn into novelettes or novellas. I'm open to any possibility. I'm no longer tied to the old model of querying literary agents, who query publishers, and then publish as a novel or possibly a collection of short stories if you're a NY Times bestselling novelist. I write what I want to write and self-publish it in the best format possible.

I know several other writers who are writing and self-publishing short novels as e-books. I've seen single short stories self-published as stand alone e-books. It's a new world of publishing. You have the choice of following the old model or the new or some blend of the two. The key is to write as much as you can and put it out there, and to do it as professionally as possible. We no longer have to wait and follow a tortuously slow publishing process.

To me, this is the writer's Brave New World.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Writing More Short Stories

Now that my collection of short stories has been out there a week or so, I've gotten back to writing. I'm still trying to write one short story a week. This week, I'm nearing completion of a new story. Looks like it'll be about 2-3,000 words. I have until tomorrow to finish it for this week, a Monday-Saturday week. I have several other stories in mind and new ideas appearing all the time. So, I'm happy.

I'll say that I'm extremely happy with the sells of The Gunman in Black. Granted, most people would die laughing if they knew how many sells I've had, but I'm ecstatic that I've sold a few copies. I'm amazed, really. The future looks bright to me.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement. It's going to be a great year.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Gunman in Black is now self-published on

My short-story collection The Gunman in Black, 5 stories of crime, is now live. It took me two weeks to proofread, edit, copyright, and upload. I'm happy with the result. There are only one or two formatting mistakes and they are minor. Because the two weeks of editing was more work than I had imagined, I was unable to write a new short story a week. So, my goal of writing fifty stories this year might not be do-able, unless I hit a strong writing streak. But, I'll be happy if I can finish forty or so stories. I have some ideas, and now I can get back to writing.

The cover image fonts had to be reset over and over again, because the words on the cover were not readable as a thumbnail. The present cover seems to be the best.

A new cover can be added at any time, but I'm happy with this one for now.

The biggest challenge was in converting the .docx to Web Page, filtered. It's necessary to make this change in order to insert hyperlinks to allow a reader to go from the index directly to the story she wants to read without scrolling through each page to get there. Actually, switching to Web Page was relatively easy. What confounded me was going back in new files to .docx. I spent hours trying to figure that one out. I finally joined Microsoft Community, explained my problem, and within a few minutes someone gave me the answer. I was so relieved, you can't imagine. There is so much help out there if you just look and ask.

If you get a chance to read the stories, I hope you enjoy them. And, please send me a comment via e-mail, or on this blog, or a review on about the stories. I'd like to know what you think.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cover Reveal (2)

Based on feedback I've been getting, I've made some changes to the cover. Unfortunately, I do not know how to use Photoshop, or any of the imagining programs. So, I'm pretty limited in what I can do. I hope this cover is more appealing. Please let me know what you think.

Cover Reveal for my short story collection

I've decided on the cover for my upcoming collection of short stories. The title of the book is The Gunman in Black, which comes from the title of the lead story. I would like to hear your feedback on the cover and suggestions you might have for improvements. I hope to publish the book in a week or two.

So, what do you think? Please let me know.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Writing Short Stories (2)

My plan this year to write about fifty short stories and publish them in a series of collections of about 12-15,000 words each is coming along. I've just finished writing the fifth story for the first collection, which will be about 13,000 words altogether. I now have to revise and polish these stories, design a book cover, and publish them on Amazon. I'd like to get it done within one to two weeks. I also hope to write one or two new stories for the next collection while I'm finishing this first collection. It'll be a challenge. But I'm up for it.

I haven't felt this much excitement or optimism about writing in a very long time. I've basically accomplished my goal thus far. I'm eager to see how it all plays out. Sometimes, I wonder if I'll ever work on a novel again. This is just so much more pleasant. The requirements for a short story are much different than those for a novel, much looser. I guess the question is, do I have fifty stories in me. A couple of months ago, I wasn't sure I had even one story within me. So putting out five in about five weeks has surprised me, pleasantly.