Thursday, August 8, 2013
Sorry, folks. The free ride’s over.
For the last couple months I’ve been sporadically posting scenes from a story over on Shapeshifter Seductions (www.shapeshifterseductions.blogspot.com). In brief: a human woman moves to Montana to reinvent herself as a romance novelist. She’s writing a paranormal about a woman who becomes involved with vampires, and “casts” the people she sees in town in her book. Unbeknownst to her, the people in this particular town are shapeshifters. Any time a human starts watching them and taking notes is cause for major concern. Our oblivious heroine finds herself the bone of contention in a power struggle between the local ruling wolf pack and the dreaded Tiger Yakuza. She also eventually ends up in bed with two randy wolves, which ought to lend her novel authenticity.
Usually when I do this, the storyline lasts for a post or two and then it peters out. I’ve abandoned tons of stories over the years. You should see the pile of notebooks in my closet. They go gangbusters for a while and then wham! You hit the wall. Yeah, well. On to the next idea. It’s just flash fiction scenes.
This one sort of had a momentum going. It certainly made coming up with a blog every week a lot easier. Just write the next installment. Until I wrecked everything by deciding, “Hey, I’ll bet I could make a book out of this.”
It’s not exactly consuming me, the way the really urgent ones do, but it’s got my interest. I’ve had a succession of dry stretches this year, so I’ll take whatever turns up. Half the fun is in following clueless Chloe, so immersed in her vampire story she doesn’t even realize she’s surrounded by shapeshifters. That should come as a shock to the system when her werewolf lovers reveal themselves. I can picture her already, staring at the two wolves before her in disappointment. “You’re not vampires?” she says.
Yes, that’s lovers, plural. Like Chloe, I’ve decided to take a stab at M/F/M ménage. I’ve only written one other ménage, and that was M/M/F (two guys in a relationship pick up a woman). Right now it looks like she’s going to end up with one over the other—both she and her chosen hero seem inclined that way—but they’ll let the other guy join in when he’s around. The more the merrier, especially when the other guy’s a coyote.
On top of my own book, I have to write Chloe’s as well. I’m heading chapters from her viewpoint with snippets of her vampire WIP. So I’m writing a book and a half. She thinks she’s got it bad, not knowing where her plot is headed? I’ve got two plots and I don’t know where either is headed. Just recently I realized Chloe’s book has a bad guy but mine doesn’t. I had to throw in an extra chapter involving the villainous Tiger Yakuza. Where’s that going to lead? Hell if I know. She and I will have to find out together.
Whether or not I make good on all this, we’ll have to wait and see. The story might go dead on me, as so many other ideas have in the past. So far I don’t really have much of a plot, or any purpose to the story other than to get the girl in bed with two horny wolf boys. But if I do finish it, I’ll want to send it out to market and hope some epublisher picks it up. Or this could be my virgin foray into self-publishing. I haven’t decided yet.
I have decided it’d be really nice if I could make a little money on this. The whole point of me being a writer, other than to get these damn annoying, pestery stories out of my head, is to maybe make a living. Given the economy and my age, finding a regular job isn’t a guarantee right now. Tell that to my monthly expenses. I’ll settle for gas and grocery money, though the rent would be nice too. Maybe even enough to afford home Internet so I don’t have to worry about the Mennonite ladies glimpsing me researching sex toys on the library’s computers.
Which is why I won’t be posting installments of this particular WIP any more. If I post the whole book for free, who’ll want to pay to read it? Even Stephen King couldn’t make a go of a pay-to-read, serialized novel. Nobody wants to pay for stuff on the Net. The Net’s supposed to be free. So, now that I’ve got you all hooked on the story, you’ll have to pony up the pennies to see how it turns out. Heh heh. My evil plan is working.
TANSTAAFL = There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
There might be snacks in the future, though. If the book thing doesn’t pan out, I can mine whatever I produce for future blog posts, up until the point where I stopped. I could hold a contest: how do you folks think I should have finished this? Best answer gets a book from my backlist. But NOT RIGHT NOW. THERE’S NO CONTEST RIGHT NOW. That’s just an idea in the event the book goes belly-up. We’ll have to see how it turns out.
If you want to check out the story so far, it’s posted on Shapeshifter Seductions under “The Write Stuff,” “Meanwhile, Back at Java Joe’s,” “Crisis,” and “Wolf. James Wolf.” I’ve already added an extra chapter, and I’m expanding the other ones. Then it’s off into unknown territory, for both Chloe and me. At least I’m writing something.
Speaking of the unknown, it occurs to me at least 4000 words of this have already appeared as a free read. Some publishers may not want to take it on, for the reasons given above. I could wind up self-pubbing after all. Cool. I’ve lost an easy topic for the other blog but gained a topic for this one: My Self-Publishing Diary. If that fails, I can always write fan fiction. I hear you can even make money with that these days. These are great times to be a writer.