God in the Machine is a blast to write and I’m having a lot of fun. I’ve been waxing nostalgic for quite some time, trying to figure out a way to do a serial story again. Now that I am, I’m having a huge amount of fun. The only part I’m NOT having any fun with is doing it once a week. That is just exhausting. It also means some of the editing is bordering on sloppy, or non-existent, because I’m finishing episodes late-afternoon Mondays. (And the ideal release is late Sunday night).
Still, while doing a two-week schedule gave me the ability to work waaay ahead, as well as edit and tighten each episode (and make them around 15,000 words instead of 10k), it really did seem like two weeks between episodes was just too long to make people wait.
The reason I originally went with a two-week schedule was easy: Back in the day, when there were a big group of us writers who hung out together, and many of us were doing serial work (it was a fad: you started with a fanfiction series and went from there.) that’s how it was done. Usually, the series worked together so that they provided a smooth schedule among all of them. I was the 7th and the 14th, I believe.
I’m just unsure if that works any longer. Especially with a series like God in the Machine, where I think that I have to really fight for people’s attention. It was a fad, online series, and now it’s gone and if I’m going to keep building my readership, I have to give them something to come back for on a fairly frequent basis, I should think.
Another not unrelated point: I was really bored with my Rome novel, which is partially why I quit working on it. I know every scene and all the details from now through the ending, but they felt contrived and awkward and I was uncomfortable with it all.
Then, when I was reading the wonderful Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton, I stopped and stared into space for a few minutes and realized that — unrelated to the Peter Hamilton book — I’d just solved the Rome problem without even thinking about it. I know how to make it work. I know how to keep all my details exactly the same, from now through the end, and make them work.
It requires really expanding the novel, but that’s okay. Fantasy-ish novels aren’t generally short. It also requires expanding my locations and my timeline and that’s…actually fun. For one thing, it means I have to do more research on Roman society as well as Roman legal affairs, both of which I’m happily looking forward to digging into .
(the baby pictures I posted are my secret weapon against Lori’s new blog. I have baby pictures, she doesn’t. Nyah nyah. Sigh.)
So I was going through a journal I have. It’s this beautiful red-leather bound book with a nice silk page marker. Very fancy. The first thing I did was scribble in it. My theory is, once scribbled in, it’s defaced a little, and therefore I am less intimidated in just letting loose and writing any ol’ thing in it. It’s still intimidating, but it’s also been around the house long enough that it’s comfortable and familiar.
I was flipping through it, reading notes on my Rome Novel and bits of earlier drafts. Forty pages in, one draft stops almost mid-sentence on one page. The next page is blank, except for the following line. After that, the next page continues with the draft of something else. This is the line:
A rather perplexed London Times Newspaper announced that it would be a rough year, because the first song of the Cuckoo had been heartbreaking.
I read it and I was floored. I have zero idea what it means. I don’t even know what to make of it. Usually when I stumble across something I don’t remember writing, it’s enough like “Me” that I think of new ideas (or remember old ideas, if this makes sense) based on it. But this…I get nothing.
I don’t know what to do with it, I don’t know if there’s a short story in there, I don’t have a clue. But I love that it’s here, alone on a page, randomly in one of my journals, found by accident.
Right-o. I’m off to read some more and then fall asleep, until 5 A.M. when Mr. Baby decides that it’s really time he was fed now, darn it.