lesley_hastings: The words "Lesley Hastings" on a parchment background (Default)
This is actually something that I've been sitting on for a couple of weeks, because it didn't quite seem real -- but Dreamspinner Press have accepted my novella, The Demon Catcher for publication as an e-book. It's currently in the editing stage, so I don't yet have a release date for it or anything like that -- I just know that eventually (I'm guessing at some point during the first half of 2011) it will happen.

And I'm finally allowing myself to get excited about it!

To all of you who helped me by reading over earlier drafts, allowing me to bounce ideas off you, etc -- thank you so much. I'm more grateful than I could say, and if we all lived in the same part of the world, I'd have you all over for dinner where I would make us a scrumptuous feast, which would be accompanied by lots of wine.
lesley_hastings: The words "Lesley Hastings" on a parchment background (Default)
I heard back from Dreamspinner today -- they have rejected "The Demon Catcher" as a story for the Myths and Magic anthology, but have suggested that I could revise it to novella length (15,000 words +) and resubmit it for consideration as a standalone story. This is rather encouraging -- clearly, they did not simply think it was crap.

I did say that if it was rejected I would post the story here, but as there is still hope for publication, I won't do that. Instead, I'll post the current story to [personal profile] lefaym under flock, in the hope of receiving feedback from my flist, although I will take it down again completely before I resubmit it.

As far as revision of the story goes, I'm considering two different options -- the first is that I could try to embellish the current story a bit more and do exactly what the Dreamspinner editors suggested -- resubmit a longer version of the same story. However, I also have the option of taking certain elements from "The Demon Catcher" and combining them with elements of the new Euan and Leon story that I'm working on, in order to produce something novel-length. I think I'm going to wait and see what sort of response I get from my flist re: "The Demon Catcher" before I make my decision.
lesley_hastings: The words "Lesley Hastings" on a parchment background (Default)
I've started writing a new story, set in the same 'verse, with the same characters as the short story I just finished. I have a basic plot outline, and I think that, if I manage to keep going with it, this could end up novel-length.

So far, I've really been enjoying working on it. I'm enjoying spending time with these characters. I'm learning about them -- they're revealing new things about themselves to me that I didn't originally plan, but just work in perfectly with what I've already planned. Or sometimes those new things don't work in perfectly, and I have to change things to accomodate this new information. Feeling this thing coming to life is great, and that's something I'll have even if no one ever reads the story.

However, at some point, I DO want people to read this story, and that is where all the self-doubt creeps in. I'm under no illusions that what I'm writing will be a great work of literature. If the short story that introduces this world gets published in the Dreamspinner anthology, then I will probably try to submit this story to Dreamspinner too. However, I am not counting on that happening, and if that's the case, I want to do something akin to the Extribulum process that [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge uses when producing his original fiction -- that is, putting the work up here on my journal, asking my readers to provide concrit and then edit with that concrit in mind -- with a view to eventual self publishing, if everything all works out.

The thing is, I have this nagging little voice in the back of my head telling me that I don't have the right to do that. After all, my fanfiction isn't wildly popular. It's appreciated by a small core group in one or two fandoms, and I don't think it's bad at all -- but I'm hardly one of the writers that one HAS to read in order to feel at home in my particular fandoms. And the reason that that core group of people reads my fic is because I'm building on something that other people have created -- I'm asking them to take a chance on an extension of something that they're already familiar with. But with original fiction -- I'm asking them to take a chance on something that doesn't have that basic groundwork already in place.

Now, of course, with ANY fiction, we're always building on things that other people have done; all fiction exists in an intertextual space. And, indeed, this story I'm working on now was originally something that I intended to write as an AU Torchwood story -- although I abandoned that idea when I realised that the characters were doing their own things. This story didn't WANT to be limited by a broader canon, and it's a better story for that. But at the same time -- it makes asking people to read this story a completely different thing. There's less in the way of familiar territory. If I ask people to read this, I'm asking them to invest their time in something that's less certain, something that isn't limited by the boundaries that are present when they read my fanfiction.

And this nagging voice inside my head? This voice tells me that I shouldn't be asking people to do that. It's telling me that I'll look silly for making the presumption that anyone would want to take the time to review my work, to offer criticism ... let alone consider buying a published copy of anything. Even now, I'm feeling doubt about whether or not I should post this -- but I WILL post it. And I will post my fiction here too. (If not the story I'm working on now, then something else.)

While I know that everyone experiences self-doubt, I have the feeling that this sense of presumptuousness in WANTING to put one's work out there is something that bothers a lot of women in particular, due to the fear of appearing arrogant. There is, I suppose, a certain degree of arrogance in putting any of one's work out there, and I need to learn not to fear that.

After all, if I fail, I've lost nothing.

Hurrah!

Jul. 21st, 2010 01:19 pm
lesley_hastings: The words "Lesley Hastings" on a parchment background (Default)
I've finished the first draft of my short story! I've formatted the Word document in accordance with the Dreamspinner guidelines, and now I'm just letting it stew for a bit -- I'm tweaking little bits here and there and desperately hoping that it isn't full of really obvious plot holes. Overall, though, I'm really happy, because this story is mine.

And I want to share it, because even though it's not the greatest story ever written, even though I doubt many people will read it, fiction is all about that sharing. Writers need to relinquish a bit of that ownership, because that's how successful fiction works. So, if only a few people out there read it -- if they take a chance on it for any reason at all... then that would be great.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to send the story off to Dreamspinner by the end of the week -- and then, of course, will come The Wait, but that's okay, because I have other things that need my attention. And, as I said earlier, if the story is rejected, then I will post it here, because even though it's just a romantic little puff-piece, even though it's probably full of cliches, and not terribly realistic on some points... it's still something I wrote, and I'm proud of it.

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March 2011

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