Friday, March 28, 2014

It's Still Exciting But I'm Starting To Feel Impatient

I posted the sixth installment of GOTG on Squidoo this morning.  It brings the first act of the novel to a close.

The serializing process has really made me focused and I've found myself rewriting and editing like crazy.  I accidentally found a new subplot last week and I'm fleshing it out, too. 

I'm going to eventually hit into the "no sex" policy on Squidoo so I've been trying to make a sex-free version of several future chapters so they can go up on Squidoo.  I guess maybe people will buy the finished ebook to see what they missed out on?  I sure hope so because it's kind of a pain in the ass to get some of those bits right without the sex and to still leave the same impression.  What I've fixed up so far works but I'm not so sure it works as well. 

The violence has been easy to make Squidoo-safe because all I think I need to do is go a little lighter on descriptions to avoid pushing it beyond a PG-13 sort of level.  I fixed up one scene last night by taking out four sentences, removing some adjectives and expressing how unsettling/horrifying things were by showing the characters' feelings rather than showing everything they witnessed. 

I'm wondering if I should somehow indicate the parts appearing in a censored version on Squidoo both to let readers know that something is being left out and perhaps to excite their curiosity?  Anyway, there's some time before we hit the first sex scene and violence and profanity only need some minor tweaks in the next few installments and chapters.  Or so I think.  I'll play it by ear, I guess and the eBook version can always deliver the uncensored goodness if the online segments don't.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fifth Installment

So I obviously forgot to post the link to last Friday's installment of Gruldak.  I hope you can forgive me my slip.  But I did get an email out to all of the email subscribers so I don't think it makes me too much the baddy.

Anyway, you can read installment number five at

If you forgot where the last installment left off, you can scroll up just a little and see the end of that segment.

Happy reading!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Installment Four Went Up Today

Early this afternoon I posted the fourth segment of Gift of the Gruldak on Squidoo.  It is the longest segment I've posted so far and contained the most "meat" so far also.  I surprised myself when I checked the word count today when I realized I've put up the equivalent of 36 pages of the book so far.

If you've read the earlier segments you'll realize the book is weird.  This portion might bring some of that oddness into perspective but probably won't dispel any of it. 

Check out installment #4!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Writing In The Moment

I feel I'm writing Gruldak in a style that is a little different for me but I'm finding the process delightful.

Writing in the moment is the only sort of writing that flows well for me.  I greatly enjoy writing freely as I'm imagining images and sensation impressions.

I think there's a special appeal to living in the moment, something so many people forget to notice in their own lives that they are drawn in by it on the page.  I think maybe that's where all those young adult authors are all going on about with that recent rash of novels written in first person and in present tense.  However, I think the readers I'm trying to reach can connect to the past tense at least by the time they've connected to the first person.  As history spins itself out in reverse order so they learn something at the end of the story that ensures they will have known it all along they'll connect to one or the other.  At least that's what I'm hoping for.

Anyway, I'm writing and, in some cases, re-writing this novel with that in mind.

I've Danced Myself Into A Joyful Groove

When I've written everything there is to write about my adventure with serializing and writing Gift of the Gruldak I wonder how many times I will have used the word excited and its synonyms? 

I'm still so excited!  I've gotten more email subscribers including a woman whose writing I admire and a science writer I follow.  Gruldak gained fifteen new followers on its Twitter account overnight.  Squidoo also included an image link to Gruldak on a Squidoo Writers Are Awesome page where they've chosen a bunch of Squidoo hosted webpages begun in 2014 to feature.  The link is under the "book" header.

I'm bubbling over with that feeling I keep mentioning so much I may write another post today.  I'm trying to think of the words to express this groove I've danced into while editing and writing this book.  It feels amazing and I'd love it if I could help other writers to figure out how to get in such a joyful groove of their own by sharing my experience.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Today I put up the third installment of GOTG on its webpage.  I also emailed its subscribers with links to the first three installments from Gruldak's brand new email address.  Of course I tweeted the link to the new installment and posted it on the Gruldak facebook page.

I looked at the webpage's stats and I've noticed that the page is getting plenty of repeat visits but not so many new visits. 

In reading through the segment, I realized that there's a small part of the next installment I could edit to read a bit better before I put it up next week.  I also thought of a twist on one of the sub-plots that hadn't previously occurred to me so I'd better start laying the groundwork for it soon.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The next installment of GOTG goes up tomorrow.  I'm glad it's hit a point where more happens that speaks to the characters' backgrounds and their relationships to each other.

I'm hoping that the views will start to snowball but that may take a lot more time.  I'd like to have less than a quarter of the book up before the page hits a solid readership because it will be more fun for people who get in at the beginning, I think.  So I'm kind of trickling it out in very short installments until I see the response moving a bit faster.  Once I feel its readership is taking off, I'll probably put out larger installments, at least some of the time.

Of course some of the decision as to how much to put up in an installment has to do with where I can find a good stopping point.  I want to give some possibly surprising new information in each installment while giving readers a brand new question to ask by the end if not before. I have a feeling it will get easier as the readers have more previously learned information to work from as I present an adventure set in a universe where that information applies.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Gruldak is up to 33 email list subscribers!

Yeah, I know that doesn't sound like much but it's an awful lot compared to zero.

However, somehow, subscribers aren't translating into views the way I thought they would.  I also don't understand why it seems as if half of the readers subscribe either via email, facebook, or Twitter ?  It can't really have that good of a subscription rate, can it? 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Yes, I'm probably a little off my rocker

About a year and a half ago I gave myself permission to start writing more science fiction stories.  I'd guess that sentence might sound odd to some people but, if you knew me, it wouldn't seem at all unusual coming from my fingertips.  I adore writing science fiction and I've gone on and on at great length about it but it has seemed liked a guilty pleasure.

I guess I've felt guilty about writing science fiction because I've always felt that I was investing my time into something no one would ever read.  I guess I always felt that I should be writing some dry-as-toast commercial material to pay the bills.  But the fact is, when I'm writing sci-fi, I'm not taking time away from any sort of paying writing to write something useless; I'm refreshing and resetting my mind.  I'm engaging in a relaxing activity that leaves me more productive afterward.

My inner nay-saying voice did have a fairly valid point about the science fiction I write being unlikely to be read.  I've tried the route of sending short stories to magazines and even sending a novel around to assorted publishers.  Obviously, my writing does not have whatever it is that is necessary to please an editor.  So that leaves self-publishing of some kind.

I could just create a Kindle version of my novel and put it up for sale on Amazon but I suspect the only folks who'd buy it are my closest friends.  I am a lousy marketer.  If my writing doesn't sell itself, it just isn't going to get sold.

For some reason, I latched onto the idea of serializing my novel online. For some even stranger and doubly elusive reason, I've latched onto the idea of serializing a novel on a website called Squidoo.  If you have any idea of what Squidoo is like, you may be thinking I'm a little bit nuts by now and you wouldn't necessarily be wrong.

Anyway, that's where I'm serializing Gift of the Gruldak online.

I've created this blog to share my odd journey serializing a science fiction novel on a website designed for something else entirely.  I suspect I'm going to learn a bunch of things (make mistakes) so I thought it might be a good idea to process this venture by posting my thoughts about it in a dedicated public space.  It's maybe a little like the phenomenon of blogging about a life-changing illness to come to grips with it and to help other sufferers feel a little less alone.

That's my story and I'm probably sticking to it.

If you'd like to, you can read the first two installments of Gift of the Gruldak online.