As I predicted, the writing goals for 2016 that I listed in December have changed; I’m barely into the new year and I’ve chucked those tasks to focus on a (kind of) new project.
It began when I was organizing some space in our bedroom, putting Christmas stuff away into the closet and making room next to my writing table. In an old, dusty wine crate I found some folders of early writing, novellas I’d written years ago about a fantasy world I’d made up in my twenties. I dusted off the first story in the series, turned to the first page, and started reading.
And was instantly transported back to this world that had burned in my mind for so long, that had kept me up nights as I plotted and created and gave voice to characters that I knew better than some of my own family members. I didn’t stop reading until some responsibility pulled me away, and I couldn’t wait to get back to it. As I did so, I thought, You know what? This is pretty darn good, if I do say so.
The first three novellas are in fairly good shape, but the rest are pretty raw and unedited, or not even finished. That doesn’t seem right for a work that meant so much to me for so long. That’s when I decided: this is the year that I finish it and find a home for it.
I’d always considered it unpublishable. Not necessarily because of the writing or the plot, but because of its form. It’s a series of novellas, each told from a different character’s point of view. Each character has their own story arc within the novella, but their story also propels the larger, over-arching story arc along, bringing it to its ultimate conclusion. I’d tried, over the years, to meld these various characters into one big book and to tell the story from a third person multiple point of view, but couldn’t seem to make it work. I didn’t have the skills then, and I’m not sure I have the skills now. I’ve decided I still like the form it’s in, and don’t want to change it. But who publishes novellas, never mind a series of linked fantasy novellas told by different characters? I could do some research, but my gut is telling me to investigate Amazon.
Now, I’ve recently ranted a little bit about writers self-publishing on Amazon before they’re ready, and I don’t want to include myself in that group. Yet, I feel strongly that this may be the perfect place for my beloved story. A story of kings and queens, priestesses and barbarians, gods and goddesses, magic and prophecy, romance and death. They deserve a place in the sun, even if it’s just a little beam.
So this will be the year I breathe new life into an old project and finish what I began long ago. At the same time, I’ll learn something about the world of self-publishing, which remains a little mysterious and more than a little intimidating. No matter how it turns out, it will be worth doing, from an artistic angle and an educational one.
To the Four Realms!