Sunday, April 15, 2012

5Ws and 1H: What

Continuing our 5Ws and 1H series, today we tackle what. Or “What do I write?”

This one is easy. I’m a genre writer. I write crime and sci-fi stories, mixing a little of each into just about everything I do.

I write about the underdog. I write about the everyman who’s been put in a situation that’s not of his making. His back’s against the wall. He’s being forced to act, more than likely in a way he never thought he would.

I am also a short writer, or I tend to be so far. Chasing Filthy Lucre is 21k words. Reunion is 8k. Scouts -- the follow-up to Reunion -- is about 13k. I like stories that move quickly. Shorter stories do that. 

One of the reasons that I really like the digital publishing movement is that it allows a writer like me to have a chance at some success. In the print world there’s not a place for someone like me. There isn’t money in publishing stories at that length. But doing this myself, I have no expectations. Any sale’s a positive. I can ride out those slow months. Not panic. Let my stories find an audience, because I think there is one. I think there is a definite group of people who want to read the kinds of stories I write. 

Digital publishing also gives me a chance to try different things, like something I’m calling Episodic Fiction. Yeah, I know that’s a fiction term already, but I’m co-opting the phrase for myself.  Think of a serial TV series. Each episode tells another part of a larger story. That’s what I’m going to try to do. Each chapter in the series will be an episode. One entire story arc will be a season. Each season will be six to eight episodes long.

Just something I want to try. I know that the concept isn’t really original, but I’m excited about it. I think there’s a market for something like this. Priced correctly, with compelling covers, and smart marketing people will buy these types of stories. Will I become a best seller? Who knows. But it won’t take me becoming a best seller to consider myself a success.

Enough rambling. Next week we tackle “where,” and I don’t see how I can handle that one without some pictures. So, you have that to look forward to.

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