Wednesday, October 16, 2013

MT volume 3

After a flurry of things to do last week, I managed to squeeze out the third volume of The Quantum of the Past. I feel great now that it's over.

I remember when I said last year that I would have it out by November 30th! It has been a year since that. But that time doesn't compare to how long I have worked on the story of Miles Trevor.

I think it has been a little more than ten years since I created Miles Trevor. Ten years. A decade. I was about to leave the army. I finished a draft of another novel with him a year later (the first of several novelizations of his life). How ironic then, that this is just the start of his story.

The process of publishing the novel in parts taught me some valuable lessons.

1) Serial publication of novels is an old strategy that magazines used (still use?). Charles Dickens serialized novels that were very popular, like Oliver Twist.

In this age it is a way to give the reader more than just 15% (what ebook dealers give as a sample). It is cheaper too; they can purchase each volume for under $2.00.

2) Releasing a novel in volumes will not work for all novels. I don't see me releasing Ascension that way. There has to be natural breaks in the narrative to do it.

3) The careful author must be able to control the material. It is very easy to lose control. Consider that one volume could read differently than another. For a novel like Quantum, this is not a problem. But for linear novels, this may mean a vital flaw that produces a disjointed text that has varying tones and pace.

4) However, looking at each volume separately allowed me to truly focus on them. I said before that I am only human. Looking at about five hundred pages of fiction all at once is tiring, especially the way I look at it. If I had done the whole novel at once, the result might have been lower quality in the third section.


And so, with The Quantum of the Past complete, I can move on to other projects. I am currently trying to finish out the second short story for the workshop I'm in. I need it done by Monday. Talk about a tight schedule!

After Monday, it's back to The Wizard of Oxnard. And yes, Ascension.