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November 9th, 2012, 04:01 PM #1
Posting fluff on your blog - a bad idea?
Ok... let's say you've had several dozen short stories published in past years, many of which have disappeared from circulation since the webzine on which they appeared is defunct or the antho/magazine is out of print. And yes, you have the right to reprint them as you only sold the first rights for an exclusive duration of six months, or whatever. Now, the stories are not necessarily THAT crap as they were published in paying marketing, so somebody liked them... but they are significantly less deep than the novels you are getting ready to publish, which are not literary masterpieces themselves, but a step above the completely mindless fun of the shorts.
Is it a good idea to reprint said silly romps on your blog, or do you run too much risk of turning away readers who assume your novels are equally shallow?
November 9th, 2012, 04:24 PM #2
November 9th, 2012, 04:24 PM #3
There's a difference between romps -- satiric, comic fiction -- and stuff where you don't think your writing is very good and may not be seen as very good. One is a tone question -- if you put up satiric fiction, which are perfectly as full of depth as drama, will people assume that this is what you write and then be confused by novels that are not satiric? The answer to that is usually no. While some writers specialize, a wide bundle of SFFH authors don't and are likely to write series with different tones. Core SFF readers are used to this, and your friends and such likely hanging around your blog right now will know you have multiple interests. Publishers will have your novel to look at and won't expect short stories of yours to necessarily be the same. And if they like the writing of the satiric stories as much as the editors of the webzines who originally published them, that might be a plus for you.
If you're talking about quality of writing, however, that's a different issue. If you think that the stories are poor examples of your writing, even though they were published, then you might not want to reprint them on your blog. (Although again this is unlikely to effect publishers who are looking at your novel ms.) If you think the stories are okay examples of your writing, interesting experiments, then chances are since they already had a positive reception that some other readers will like them too. If, however, you are thinking about submitting a story for a reprint sale in an anthology that takes reprints, you might want to hold off on putting the story up on your blog, so as not to have any rights complications, until you can see if you can sell it again that way.
November 9th, 2012, 05:14 PM #4
I still like the stories as they stand alone and I think the writing is good technically speaking, the issue is with their mostly intentional lack of depth... basically most of the shorts I write are very shallow action(sometimes /comedy) fests while my novels are generally at least somewhat less shallow, the concern is readers of the shorts thinking the novels are similarly as deep as a puddle.
November 9th, 2012, 06:59 PM #5
Why not simply brand them as exactly what you see them as: a bit of fun. If you're worried people will tar all your work with the same wrong brush, just let them know what to expect. You could even drip feed them out to build anticipation.
"My new novel about dystopian cannibalism will be hitting the shelves any day now, so to wet your appetites, here: the buddy-cop-movie parody that I had published two years ago in Defunct Mag #12, freshly polished for you, my beloved blogging audience. Next week, I'll be sharing Two Puppies in a Blender, for which I won the Least Likely To Win A Hugo Award award in 2004."
November 10th, 2012, 02:44 PM #6
Wait, wait, now, two puppies in a blender -- wouldn't that be a spin off story to the dystopia cannibalism novel?
Glutton, we're trained to believe by social mores that comedy and action are easier to write and have less depth, but this isn't actually the case. Something that is fun does not necessarily have less depth. It's just coming at things from a different angle. More to the point, you will never get to decide how your audience will react to and interpret your text. You could write the most serious, complex, dramatic, imagery heavy, interior novella and have some readers declare it to have the depth of a puddle. So you could put the stories up as a training session in learning to have author armor +4, which everyone needs. But again, review your plans for reprint sales before posting them maybe.
November 28th, 2012, 09:02 AM #7
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Hmm. I figured this would be a post about whether to blog about 'trivial' stuff, like what you had for breakfast, or the like.
My stuff is often described as "quality pulp" and that pleases me. It can exist. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed of what you've written. Unless it's utter garbage that was clearly fanfiction written in highschool with the names changed to avoid copyright infringement and chock full of amateur writer mistakes so obvious that they bring into question your intelligence and experience. Then you might need to get them into critique groups, STAT. Then you should be ashamed, or at least made aware of your mistakes.
Ah, writers. And artists of all stripes. We're so blind to our own strengths. It's not a crime to be aware of your strengths and your flaws, at least last I checked. Often writers worry too much though. If the magazine was reputable, then you're probably fine. I'm not completely surprised about the going out of business thing, though. I've heard stories, is all I'll say. We live in a tumultuous time for writing, and for a lot of arts-on-the-web stuff too. So just because the place where you were published went downhill, it doesn't mean it's disreputable. From what I've got to go on, it doesn't seem to be the case. It's often very human to be proud of garbage and ashamed of diamonds. Skewed understandings, and all that.
I wouldn't trust myself to be the best editor for my writing, but then I'm blind to my mistakes and many of others' mistakes too, at least the non-obvious ones. (On that note, I've found it's one thing to be aware of my strengths, quite another to be aware of my weaknesses.) Definitely send them to a critique group (I think we have an area here) and see if you can make them shine even more. I went through four drafts in my sample before I got a Distinction AND an offer for publication from a new publisher looking for stories. I didn't spew out diamonds first try. If I did I'd be rich and famous right this second.