When I used to write, I blended a combination of what I thought writing should be: delectable prose with a good story. Over time I realized the delectable prose part was simply an extension of reading classic authors. Writing was much different in the distant past, as was the way people think. This is where I’ve come to understand more about prose writing. Prose writing is not about creating delectable sentences, though they may appear at times. Writing, itself, is about conveying thought. The delectable sentences of the past are products of the way English minds operated; they didn’t work terribly to produce delectable, difficult prose, it simply materialized from the way they thought and spoke. Nowadays, when I write prose, I write simply how my mind produces what needs to be said, not what I think should sound delectable, even though I do enjoy producing that sort of prose. When I write as I think, it’s more modern and simple, and shouldn’t be as confusing or difficult to understand as it used to be.
In addition, I’ve also come to enjoy the thought of unrestricted word count. When I first began writing stories, I thought immediately about entering contests. Everywhere I looked for a contest, a word count would be imposed, and I would stick myself with the task of checking the word count button every ten minutes to see what I could expand on and what to cut. Well, since I’ve never won a contest, this didn’t however remove the habit of trying to keep my word count down. Lately, with regard to one particular story, I’ve realized that word counts are nonsense and ruined my effect. Tell Herman Melville about word counts so he can win a contest…right. Since I’ve ignored the word count button, my writing is much better. It breathes. The characters grow and become real. When looking into my H.P. Lovecraft book, I realized his short stories are long, and I like that! Even if some of his stories are short, the point is, that space is taken to say whatever needs to be said to propel the story. I could do an entire post on how editors/agents/publishers are, in some scenarios, very lame (though I understand the need for protection from bad writing), but I’m much more on track towards healthy self-publishing; I’m just undecided as to which I should pursue first:
Novel #1 – I finished the first draft but I never performed the edit since I began school full-time. The story is not a mainstream idea, but more of a personally important piece of YA-type literature that involves Northern California for a setting. When school began, I turned my focus to short stories.
Novel #2 – I started this novel out of love for the subject matter. Dealings with the afterlife fascinate me, and in conjunction with the mix of theological elements, the ride of seeking justice is difficult but challenging to write about. I only started this novel because I used it as a way of breaking the tension from my first one. It just sits there, one-quarter of the way done, and does not fit into any mainstream category.
Novel #3 – I accidentally started a mystery novel while writing in my notebooks, waiting for teachers to arrive in class. I love the mystery, I love the challenge, I love the work it takes to create a vibrant, fully-rounded character, and I love that mysteries are marketable.
Short Story Collection: The Dark Eleven – This is a series of ghost stories I’ve been working on through college and is coming along quite well. Some of the stories are older, and they differ in style from the more recent ones.
Poetry Blog – I have a separate blog for poetry, which explains why I never post poetry here anymore. The poems are a mix of pieces from works I did years ago to spontaneous works I’ve done recently when I feel like quickly producing something, and I say quickly because the pieces generally emerge when I’m depressed and need to release emotions to feel better…so they’re not always fun to read.
So which do I seek to self-publish first? The mystery novel is a mainstream possibility which would sell, but it’s in the first chapter and needs lots of work. The shorts are halfway there, but I’m not certain about the mainstream-ness of the content. One novel is almost done, but needs mass editing, and it’s not mainstream. I guess there’s no answer, but the shorts are getting done, so I’m thinking The Dark Eleven may be my first publication, of which, mind you, is still a ways off, but inching closer.