I’ve been thinking, off and on all week, that I should discontinue God in the Machine before it gets rolling too far along and I wind up disappointing both readers who enjoy it.
The reasoning is easy: It’s not making money. I am a stay-at-home parent and full-time writer, which therefore means I need to Make Money, Damn It. Time spent writing robots is time not spent finishing my Roman novel and getting it out there, or preparing notes for my next novel (which I’m going to talk about a little further in an upcoming post).
On the other hand, I like having a serial, most of the time. The weekly schedule was a horrible idea, because I burned out badly on it (and I quietly think you can tell when you read Voice, Echo, Silence, Part 2; and the difference is huge compared to Voice, Echo, Silence, Part 3, which was written in a much less burnt-out state). But it’s kind of fun.
So mostly, I’ve been indecisive about keeping it, just as I was indecisive about starting it in the first place. I just keep writing. It’s the easiest option.
Then, yesterday, as I’m lying in bed wondering why I thought a biiig mug of caffeinated tea was such a super idea before bedtime, the story of God in the Machine arrives in my head, neat and tidy and entirely capable of being told in novel form. A long novel, but a single novel nonetheless.
That was one of the reasons I made it a serial in the first place: Because the story was just too long and too complex to be told in anything less than several novels. Maybe you can get a hint of that through the episodic format, maybe not. Regardless, that was a mighty tempting revelation. I like to think it’d make a pretty good novel.
Which is not to say I’m ending the series or anything. I’m just stewing.
I spent three happy hours yesterday writing my Rome novel (have I told you the title of it yet? No? It has one, finally. I’m very pleased). This chapter, oddly enough, is structured like a stand-alone episode, as if the Roman novel were a serial. I’m wondering if the remaining chapters will structure themselves like that. I really wouldn’t mind. I wonder if they would have done it anyway, or if this is the result of my other major project being a serial.
If so, that’s a good reason to keep doing a serial. I write best in that format (I don’t know if you can tell. The robot stories come faster and easier and more confidently. I know when I’ve written something good. I know when it sings and when it rasps. I can play a serial like a musical instrument. With novels, I’m like a man in an iron lung with a tuba).
I am technically Not On The Internet Thank You. This is because I realized, yesterday, that I had gone beyond moderation and was spending all my time online. I don’t have good middle gears, so when something like this happens, I just cut myself off the internet almost entirely and go do other things until I can approach the internet with some sensibility. So I am answering my e-mail in the morning and in the evenings (when my wife is home and I am therefore less likely to spend much time online). The only reason I’m posting this is, I’m eating lunch.
I’m still on the computer too much, I just flick the switch that turns off the wireless internet. I wish I had an old electric typewriter, I think I’d do some articles and short stories on that and be a happy camper. Of course, living in an apartment makes this impractical. My neighbors would think I’m firing off guns at 100-shots-per-minute. Then again, if they came and complained, I could dispatch them much easier with a heavy typewriter than with a small laptop. It’s the difference between hitting someone with a baseball bat and a loofah.
And now I’m blithering. So I’ll head back offline, thank you so much.