Tag Archives: Novelists

FRAGILE GODS – Finished

It is my distinct pleasure to announce that I have FINISHED Fragile Gods, my first completed fantasy novel (first draft only).

Though I missed my original deadline (Christmas of 2009), I did meet my revised deadline, which was June 1st, 2010.

Are you going to try to publish it?

I’m going to send queries and samples see if I get any bites.

It would be naive to assume it will automatically be published, or even represented.

Even award-winning books selling over 400,000 copies will be rejected when the author’s name is unrecognized.

And 99% of the recent success stories I’ve heard for newly published authors involve stalking agents or editors at conventions in order to buy them lunch…not impressing them with an anonymous manuscript. 

So you’re done with this book?

Not even close. There’s a lot more polish required before I’ll be satisfied.

Are you going to take us all out for lunch when you’re rich and famous?

 Sure. But less than 1% of novelists EVER turn a profit. It took me 1 year to write FRAGILE GODS, so if I sold it for a $15,000 advance, BEFORE TAXES, that’s a pretty crummy yearly salary, even assuming I could do it annually. The gulf between “finished book” and “rich & famous” is wider than the Gulf of Mexico. But I’ll make you a deal…even if I sell one book, I’ll take you out for lunch.

Do you want me to read it?

I want everyone to read it who is willing. But I prefer that: 

  1. You regularly read fantasy/scifi, or at least popular fiction of some kind
  2. You fully intend on actually reading it (within a week or so), not setting the printout on a shelf somewhere
    1. That may sound harsh, but I’m completely un-offended by NOT offering to read. People are busy, and I guarantee you that *I* have no desire to read the work of amateur writers. Why should you? But it does get my hopes up of getting feedback and criticism when someone offers to read, and you have to understand that for me, this is a major project and one of my deliverables is obtaining tangible feedback from my alpha readers.

So what’s your next project?

I am considering going one of three directions.

  1. Get more practice writing short stories
  2. Write a science fiction novel called Music of the Spheres, which so far is about a soldier who was ordered to kill a baby after a space battle, and has refused the order and is now on the run from his commanders
  3. Write my non-fiction book: Accelerate the Progress of Mankind (by using your turn-signal), which is all about boosting world efficiency by making tiny common sense decisions, such as using your turn-signal, or deciding what to order BEFORE you get to the front of the line, or using both doorways of a double-door.

I haven’t forgotten you.

Dr. Mr. & Ms. Reader,

I haven’t forgotten you.

Illness has kept me mostly bedridden except for general house-puttering. I have missed a week of work due to illness: Both my day job and my night job (writing).

No Dream Job

Did you know that novelists don’t get any paid sick-time? Unless, that is, you make enough on royalties that you can live off of them entirely whether you sell another project. But that falls into “independently wealthy” territory, rather than “working as a novelist” to make ends meet.

Only 1% of novelists ever turn a profit.

So far, I’m part of the other 99%. This is unacceptable. Just being an A+ student won’t get the job done in this case; I must rise above those who themselves excel.

Daunting? I don’t care.

Dear readers, please accept my apology for the break in writing. Though still under the weather, I am back in the office.

The first 50% of FRAGILE GODS will be ready for my Alpha Readers soon.

Competing with peasants, competing with giants.

horror_normalLast entry, I vented some of the frustrations of more-amateur-than-amateur writers adding to the slushpiles where I also submit work.

There’s a certain sense of impending doom when one considers competing with the masses. When there’s enough competition, the fastest, cleverest, or brightest dog doesn’t necessarily emerge victorious. Sometimes he doesn’t emerge at all.

But that sense of overwhelming odds has its evil opposite. (Yes, in this case BOTH twins are evil.)

Any reader who receives my story is looking for the first reason to reject it so that s/he can move on to the next manuscript in the pile. That’s a given.

But if Stephen King approached the same editor with a story, s/he would drop everything to read it. Said editor’s attitude would be the polar opposite of what it is for new writers. For King, they’d be deliberately forgiving flaws while actively looking for positives. Same for Dean Koontz, or Chuck Palahnuik, or Orson Scott Card, etc.

This would be true even if my story was better than King’s. I’m an unknown, he’s a national bestseller.

How does one compete with such giants and remain sane? Some publishers/magazines advise you to compare your work to something similar so that they have an idea of your audience. But how pretentious is it to put on a cover letter, “This is similar to Dean Kootnz.” I can only picture the recipient rolling his eyes.

Not only has everything been done, it’s been done bigger, stronger, better, faster, and with an immediate readership. That’s the competition I face. Thousands of Davids, and dozens of Goliaths. And I have to beat them ALL.

That’s why less than 1% of novelists ever turn a profit.