Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Reinventing the wheel and tearing my soul apart

Now that Die Laughing is done with, I've been working for the last few days on what's next. It's going to be a new version (and an expanded version) of a novella I wrote last year entitled Ascent. I've read through it a few times and I like the first draft more than I did this time last year - a bit of time and distance often helps - but it still needs work. I did consider leaving it as a novella after giving it a good clean up; that plan has changed, though. While I always try to write with the idea of what's best for the story, I'm also looking at the business side of writing. I've spoken to a friend in the industry who tells me novellas aren't selling as they have done. Bearing that in mind along with knowing the book can be improved with a lot more meat to its bones, it's time to turn it into a novel.

With all that in mind, I've considered ways of keeping the act of writing fresh - changing my writing habits, maybe writing longhand (which probably wouldn't work since my handwriting is awful) and utilising a different style and point of view to a lot of my stuff. This is all well and good, but it feels a bit like I'm overcomplicating things. I'm not creating great works of art here or reinventing the wheel; I'm trying to entertain people and take them out of their lives for 90k words. I don't want to be the next insert famous author's name; I want to be me. After all, I know what I'm good at and I know anything I write is uniquely mine in the same way another writer's book is theirs and theirs alone. At the same time, I keep thinking of a certain writer whose books, especially the openings, all read in exactly the same way. She's sold roughly a gazillion copies so she must be doing something right. That's not for me, though. I'll write in my voice; I'll shamelessly exploit what I'm good at and I'll keep reminding myself writing the best story possible is what it's all about.

If I don't, Pinhead will tear my soul apart.


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