Monday, May 15, 2017

Space Corps...just putting it out there...

So anyone who has visited this blog recently knows that Terrestrial Affairs has been released, and that it's a Space Corps story.  I've got a Space Corps label where you can trace back every time I've mentioned it previously, and you can see without even looking at all that material that I've talked plenty about it.  A few years back, on another of my blogs, I spent a whole A-to-Z April exploring different characters and stories from the Space Corps saga, and that was well before I really had anything available to read.  Earlier this year I wrote a Space Corps story for the IWSG anthology contest, and it wasn't selected, but it kicked off a renewed sense of interest in finally getting Space Corps out in the open.

So I did something pretty radical.  I finally started using my Wattpad account, which I set up years ago, and began posting edited chapters of Seven Thunders.  (You can read them here.)  I finished the manuscript four years ago, and it's been sitting in a computer file, because I didn't know what to do with it.  This was the story I'd wanted to write since 1998.  It sat percolating for years, and in the meantime I started writing other novel-length stories, sort of figuring out what that was like.  I tried getting a number of them published, had no luck, and then started self-publishing them.  Then I lost all faith, basically, in my ability to be published traditionally, but I didn't want Seven Thunders to be dumped unceremoniously in anonymity, like the rest of my self-published material.  I suck at blogger networking.  I admit that.  I started blogging well before all the cool bloggers you read and/or are ever considered blogging.  But I blogged back then like I did anything else I wrote, which was just for the fun of it.  It wasn't until much later that I even thought visitors could be a real thing, when I randomly started getting comments about stuff I said about TV shows.  Then I found a community, and they were all writers, and they all supported each other and...

Well, I didn't really fit in.  Everyone I connected with, they didn't much care about how blogging was "supposed" to work, either, or we parted ways eventually, and so I never got that bump that everyone else in the community seemed to. 

But that's not really here nor there.  The point is, I got past that.  I started editing, and posting, Seven Thunders.  It's been interesting.  If I were to write Seven Thunders today, it would probably look a lot different.  Recently I've written a lot of much shorter works.  Seven Thunders was written when I had come across a formula for works of a certain length, and that was always my goal, and somehow I always hit it, one way or another.  But it always felt vaguely stifling, creatively.  The more I worked the shorter lengths, the more I saw the creative potential in that.  I'm not saying I don't stand by Seven Thunders, today.  Hey, I'm posting the thing once a week, over at Wattpad.  And I'm not saying the shorter works I've been doing are inherently better.  I'd like them to be longer.  Until Terrestrial Affairs I had gradually been pushing them to be longer.  Terrestrial Affairs, which I'm perfectly happy with, thank you, ended up being the length it is because I had a very short window in which to write it, and I was able to finish it in that window, but I didn't have a lot of time to punch it up to greater length, which meant I had to go with my first creative impulses, which is not something I normally like to do.  But again, it worked with Terrestrial Affairs, especially when I realized how the previously unrelated Wendale sequence fit into it.

I wasn't particularly updating this blog when I developed Wendale, so there isn't anything to see here about it, but I was mulling it through last summer, last fall, and on into winter, three seasons of development, evolution, only to discover what it really was, something embedded in something else, in the spring.  And while I had envisioned Wendale to be more like the Miss Simon stories I was doing last year, I'm actually happy that I was able to do that style but in a genre context as well, because that was what I'd been thinking through that period, too, but I couldn't quite decide how to do it.

I have no idea how interested anyone will be in Space Corps.  I have no idea if Terrestrial Affairs will be anymore successful than the other stuff I've self-published.  I have no idea if Seven Thunders will find an audience on Wattpad.  But I'm starting to not care.  Space Corps began on notebook pages, stuff I obsessively chronicled, for myself, because I wanted to see where the story would go.  Now, it seems to be looking around the public sector.  But nothing about it has changed, really.  I'm okay with that.

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