Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On Rewriting

Oh, how I hate it. Time was, I wrote a story or a book, stuck it in the drawer and forgot about it. I had indulged my pleasures by writing it; it was my thing, like other people play hockey or go to the lake. I love to write. The creation was the best part. Now that I've gone all commercial, it means dragging that stuff out and attempting to make it marketable.

There's another word I hate. Mar-ket-ing. Bleaaaahh. The stories I write satisfy something deep in me. When I workshop them and discover a disconnect between my muse and my audience, it comes down to the old, icky decision of "Do I change it or do I leave it alone?" Is it truly impossible to sell a story that says profound things you want to say but has a main character nobody likes? It is especially hard to decide when the protag is that way for a reason--not necessarily unsympathetic, but nobody wants to relate to that person. Nobody wants to live inside the skin of a coward for 200 pages, but on the other hands, cowards can really be interesting. Or funny. Or pitiable. They make us think about our own limitations, which is why no one wants to inhabit the guy's head for any length of time.

I suppose I should spend more time reading "great literature" like Lolita to discover how to make a pedophile worth reading about. Or maybe just hunt hard for an editor who looks beyond the gut reaction to the truth in the story.

Okay. Back to my difficult rewrite of a story I like very much, but even I agree the protag needs work. (And no, she's not a coward. Just terminally naive.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Marketing Blues

Heh. SpoCon was a week ago in Spokane, Washington. It was fun, even if this year's organizing committee was not quite as--how shall I say this?--organized as last year. My friend Ann Wilkes (author of Awesome Lavratt, a very funny SF book), flew up from California and stayed with me for the duration. We teamed up with Maggie Bonham, author of many fantasy books, and Andrea Howe, freelance owner of Blue Falcon Editing, and laughed and laughed and laughed. I had the great honor of sitting on a couple of panels with L. E. Modesitt and chatting with him afterward. He is a gentleman, and after glancing through a couple of his books, I am officially jealous of his talent. I figured out after the con why I had never picked up one of his books--the covers. I just really don't like covers done by that particular artist....

The panel about using social networking for marketing your work hit home for several reasons--mostly because I have done so little of it. Yet it is the wave of the future and I need to hop on my cyber surfboard and get ahead of the curve. Hence, I have made a resolve to keep up with this blog. Yo ho. We'll see how that lasts. I also created a FaceBook page for Sue Bolich, and I have had a Twitter account for a while that I never use, not being glued to a cell phone all day. That one is suebthewriter. Not that even I can remember that!

Mostly of late I have spent some time putting together a video trailer for my upcoming short story, Who Mourns for the Hangman? It will be out as an ebook from Damnation Books September 1. I like Flash, and while I originally created it to post to YouTube and Facebook, I haven't do so yet. It's full high def at high res, so it takes a few seconds to load up, but I had fun.

Marketing is something none of us writers can ignore, unfortunately, so here's to forming a game plan and sticking to it. Wish me luck.