Objective reading and self editing.

With my self-imposed release date for my first novella creeping up, I’ve taken time out of reading Samuel Pepys and L’mort De Arthur to re-read “Prospect”.

AS pretty much everyone knows, it’s bloody difficult to be objective about your own work. Generally, writers tend to go towards what they like – that’s probably the reason the my wife says most of my characters sound like me! I think I’ve broken out of that somewhat with High Moon Rising, but it is something to keep in mind as I read the story back.

As far as readability goes, I’m pretty happy. Both of the completed stories feel like they work.There’s a couple of little tweaks I need to make to close some of the plot holes that have sprung up from the stories evolution, but mostly… yeah, I’m pretty happy with it.

But despite that, I have to try and take extra care to remain objective when I’m reading back the first story. It isn’t a long read, clocking in at 12000 odd words, but I have to make sure that the whole thing will get people interested in an ongoing series – after all, if I’m asking people to fork out money for it, it should at least be worth the effort.

As the time gets closer, I also have to start thinking about the Kindle market. Kindle is probably the biggest e-book readership available, so going there exclusively isn’t really a major issue for me, but given that – in an ideal world – I want to make a living off of my silly stories about magic and werewolves I have to start thinking about things like pricing structures, and Amazon’s new and irritating royalty structure for Kindle Unlimited. The great debate of readership versus profit certainly rears its head with the new per-page-read structure. I can understand people who write longer books being happy about the change, but with my plans it isn’t exactly convenient – and I can certainly appreciate the anger directed towards it! At the moment, it probably benefits me more to have my book there and get my name out into the world, but further down the line, where will it leave me? To be fair, the plan is to continue working my part time job alongside writing, so it won’t murder me as badly as some people, but it does make you start tow question your decisions.

It’s sad to say, but the printed book is almost becoming an anachronism in modern publishing, so whilst I’m going to be releasing a printed collection of the first three stories, it’s almost out of sentimentality rather than a serious business effort.

I also had to fill in tax information for amazon. That was mildly terrifying at first, but it got a lot easier once the US realised they couldn’t really get an awful lot of money out of a British citizen.

Eight years on, I certainly feel that I’ve come a long way from the bright eyed, long haired student who went to do a creative writing course at university I’m older, more cynical, possibly wiser, and definitely balder. My writing has evolved a long way from the high-fantasy stuff I started writing, and I feel that’s a good thing since – objectively – I’m not the best high fantasy writer in the world.

It’s good that there’s always a place for some good old fashioned pulp fantasy though!

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