This one’s not a how-to; this one’s a request for help. Have you ever put down something you blocked hard on, only to pick it up months or years later, and go “Oh! That’s where it went wrong! …well, and there, too. And I could have done that better. And that’s not quite right… I should explore this bit of worldbuilding, and flesh that out…”
If so, how do you decide when to edit, when to rewrite, and when to rip the characters out and start anew?
Anthologies are a funny thing, for someone who started as indie: you write a short story, to a mandated length instead of “until it’s done”, and on a deadline. Sometimes, it has to be on a theme, sometimes in a particular universe. And then there’s the contracts: they range from life-of-copyright (an unthinkable contract for your own work… but what if you’re playing with someone else’s IP?) to reversion after a year just like a magazine. How do you decide to be in one?
Rule one: If you aren’t entertaining your readers, you’re doing it wrong.
Rule two: There are no rules, only tools.
Welcome to the business of monetizing intellectual property.* No, you’re not in a different dimension or that nightmare of a class where you showed up for the test without studying (or clothes). I say again, welcome to writing and publishing.
What is a story? What is a nonfiction book, or a work of art? The writerly answer may be that it’s a form of communicating facts and emotions to an audience. The business answer is that it’s intellectual property, and intellectual property is something you can resell again and again to many audiences, in may formats. For art, the original may be an oil painting, but it can be resold as a poster, a fine art print, a t-shirt, a mousepad, a desktop background, or a book cover. For a story, it might have been written on paper (or not), but you can license or sell it as a paperback, as a hardcover, in English, in Polish, in ebook, in Indian translation, in audio, as the basis for a movie, a play, or tv show, or all of the above. As long as you hold the copyright, you can license the IP to anyone you want, or not, for any terms you can come to mutual agreement on how long, and for how much.
Dorothy here, writing you from somewhere in the Pisgah National Forest, on Peter’s login since it’s functioning better than the laptop I brought. (Two is one, and one is none…) Today’s article is dialogue: how not to do it. Read more
Or: I recognize that bit of sausage!
Recently, I was reading a few friend’s books – Sabrina Chase’s Soul Code, and Cedar Sanderson’s Possum Creek Massacre. (They’re both very good books in their own right, though if you haven’t read the earlier books in the series, there’d be a bit of a learning curve to get up to really enjoying it.) And knowing both authors, I’ve been around for their lives the months before and during the writing… and so I started seeing bits of pieces of real life incidents, accidents, hobbies, and conversations that I recognized converted into fiction.
Many of us here are married, or live with a long term partner. How do you deal with criticism on your art from your spouse or partner? Is it helpful? Did you and your other half have to work out ways to communicate what they mean better? (On art, specifically. We all have to work out communication on everything else, as well.)