Monday, September 17, 2012

Putting my money and mouth in the same place

A couple of years back, I started a workshop on shorts. I'd always focused on fulls and it surprised me to find out people wanted to talk about shorts--not novellas, but actual shorts in the 15K< range.

I'd seen the indie platform grow and thought it'd be perfect for serials and interconnected books, not that I could convince people, lol. The market had always been about full-length 100k + stories, and woe betide you if you were targeting a single title and didn't produce 90k or more.

When Harlequin dropped their word counts it was like a ripple effect, telling people it was okay to write short. I still think it has a lot to do with attention spans. For me at least--Harlequin is like those deep sea buoys that tell you a tsunami is headed your way. They respond to industry changes "before" they become industry changes. Mobile phone apps, tablet stuff, digital this, that and Carina.

I was still editing--in a formal kind of way, and...trying to talk people into shorts. Nothing happened. Maybe I wasn't forceful enough or people just weren't ready. My first Short Story workshop came and went with a little fizzle. I'd never flopped so badly. It felt weird and kind of like someone'd thrown jello on me, all sticky and nasty. Fast forward a year and interest was up, "but" more for the technical aspects. A lot of people have problems writing shorts and I worked my way through a lot of literary theory--exactly how shorts worked and why, but I still felt something was missing.

Not that I enjoyed it when my kid got sicker, but after awhile, when it didn't look like my brain was going to come back, the short story workshop was the first thing I thought about. Some people like to knit, some people collage--I work on craft stuff, lol. And I wanted to prove my theories. Everything was there for someone to do a successful run as a short story writer and what's the point in teaching stuff that doesn't work?

Honoria is the product of my experiments. The first installment had some issues. I'd been away from regencies so long I couldn't remember things and had to look stuff up and I've always written fulls. It wasn't so much a pacing issue as it was a where to stop and how issue. I suspect it's still a little clunky but it hasn't stopped a very nice amount of sales. Writing the second installment--is more about the lack of time in my life than any actual problems. I've fixed the pacing issues and focus, and tied it into the larger storyline. I really enjoy it, and I suspect anyone who enjoyed the first Honoria will love the second. Not sure what that says about the inside of my brain.

I'm a couple hours into my first workshop of the season, and I'm hoping it goes well. The Christmas kindle season is coming up fast. Time to break out the shorts.

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