Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Considering an E-venture

It's been ages since I have blogged here, or at least it feels like ages ago.

As I have slowly recovered from my surgery I've been picking up the pace with my writing related activities. I won't just say writing, because I don't know if I have done all that much actual writing.

My friend Sue (aka JT Webster) and I lead our first meeting as the new President and Secretary of the Dunedin Writer's Workshop this month. We've both been attending there for close to three years and it was interesting to sit on the other side of the bench. The feedback we had was positive at any rate.

It took me this long, but I think I've finally cottoned on to the fact that when people tell you to write what you love it's a big, fat LIE!

I mean, sure go ahead and write what you like if what you love and write are exactly what publishers are looking for, otherwise you're more or less just writing for yourself and your friends (if they like it too). However, if what you REALLY want is to be published you'd better love and write the kind of novel a publisher wants to publish.

I spent almost 15 months working on my YA fantasy only to finally figure out that it is too much like the old school fantasy which is 'so last year'. I wrote it because I love this sort of story. The feed back I got on it was good, people loved it, but that isn't enough. In it's present form it's not what publishers are publishing right now.

So I figured I'd got two choices.

1) Stuff it in a drawer and wait until high fantasy is cool again
2) re-write it

My choice? I decided to re-write.

I started working on it two days ago. I've tweaked the first two chapters, re-written the fourth and totally scrapped about eight. More will join the heap I'm sure. The middle will be tweaked, but it will more or less remain as is (that's the plan at this stage), while the end will be expanded and added on to.

The result? A different sort of fantasy novel, one I'm hoping will be more 'the thing' and one publishers will want to publish.

I've also decided to focus on making the book a lot more self contained rather than it having to be a trilogy.

In addition to working on this, I'm still writing my Steampunk story. I'm enjoying writing it, even if it's progressing in fits and starts.

I'm also working on an anthology of short stories set in the 1930-50's and I've had good feed back on those compiled so far. (Isn't the photo above just charming? Hat tip to Michele Dyson)

I'm also seriously considering an E-venture - an adventure in e-publishing!

This is not something I ever thought I'd do, but recently the opportunity has come up. It's a children's story in the tone of a medieval fairytale. A wonderful graphic designer who worked at Weta will create the cover art and illustrations. I'm really excited about this publishing adventure and the possibility that it might lead to other similar - or bigger - publishing opportunities.

So there's lots going on in my little writing corner of the world. How are about you? What adventures of the literary kind are you embarking on?


  1. You go girl!
    The picture is awesome too.

  2. Sounds like you don't have a writing problem; it sounds like you have a publishing problem. E-publishing is a long-term prospect, but you don't have wait for someone else's value judgement on your work. I like that, especially when I look at the best seller lists here in the States. Half of it doesn't interest me at all.

    Don't forget that if you write something good, it will sell regardless of the rules of the genre.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement John.

    It can be hard to gauge the quality of your own work. I think there is something reassuring about having a publisher validate that effort and back the quality of your work. (Though I know there are still some published books out there that are not up to the mark)

    Talking about novels now, if you plan to e-publish, how do you decide when your book is really or when it is "good enough" to be published?

    I'd really rather go the route of traditional publishing with my novels, at least initially. There is just something about holding that "real life" book in your hands - I WANT that!