Wednesday, June 30, 2010

First Story Published

Last week I riffled through my old stories and selected some for editing. My ideal target length for a work will be novella -- 15000-40000 words. In the meantime, I selected a novelette (9500 words) and edited it. I threw together a cover using a public domain photo, Gimp (an open source graphics editor), and Amazon CreateSpace's cover art generator.

Working with CreateSpace gave me a view into the world of on-demand print, which I may venture into. For now, their cover art generator is really useful. I figure a "cover" is important. It should be eye-catching and attractive. It should help to both sell the writing and quickly help readers identify it in their library.

The story I chose is called "Guardian at the Gate". I wrote it 12 years ago in response to an assignment from Roundtable writer's group, which was to write a story with the title: Guardian at the Gate.

I set the story in my cyberpunk universe that I'd been working on for a novel. As I recall, I free wrote it. Surprisingly, my technology concepts were not outdated at all. The story only required a few terminology and slang updates to bring it into the modern world.

After giving it a facelift and bringing it into the 21st century, I passed out copies to my family. The story had already been critiqued by Roundtable, so I figured one more pass should get make it presentable. My family did a great job of unflinchingly marking it up and making it a better story.

I finished the last edit today. At first, the editing process went really slowly, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it again. It's hard to get started again after all these years!

After all the edits, the cover, and copywriting a story description, I uploaded it to Amazon. Amazon has informed me they have 48 hours to review it to make sure it isn't complete crap. Then I'll have J download it on her Kindle to make sure it displays well.

The story is only $1.19.

My next project is a horror novella about a ghost and a vampire. It's pretty bad in places, but hopefully I can rework it. It's not as poorly written as Twilight, so that's a plus. :) And the rules of the world I created are interesting.

I also have some short stories I will probably publish as collections, since they are much shorter than Guardian at the Gate.

Eventually I will write something new, but the act of doing so is a bit scary. The flow just doesn't come as easily as it did 12 years ago. For now, I'm playing with some ideas in my head. One day soon I will manage to regurgitate them onto paper.

I'm also looking for a local writer's group. It will be necessary for motivation, support, and skill-honing.

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