Another year, another novel started.

writerIt has been a while since I’ve posted day to day writing updates, but I’m trying to get back in the habit. Progress is going well on my new project so I’m sharing a few details.

I don’t usually work on novels outside of November, but I really need more practice. I decided a few months ago that when I finished the last round of Flash Fiction stories, I’d work on something longer. The writing has been fast so far, I’ve been at it a week and I’ve already hit 10k, but I’m already seeing some of my old weaknesses peeking through. Characters are talking about events more than events are unfolding; there’s a lot of recapping and discussion. It makes me nervous even at this early stage because I don’t have much experience fixing these sort of problems.

One solution I had in mind was to rewrite one of my old NaNoWriMo drafts while I go. That way I can motivate myself by watching another rough draft improve. I started writing Flash Fiction because I felt like it took too long to get to the rewriting stage. The idea was to polish up these little gems and get a better idea of my abilities. In the long run, I think this has held me back as I’ve become more reluctant to tackle longer works. I’m hoping to break out of that bad habit this year. Hopefully, rewriting old rejected drafts will have the same benefits the short pieces did.

I like short fiction a lot, but I have always wanted to write good novels. Somewhere along the way I have stopped focusing on that, and it’s time to get back on track.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Is Short Fiction Selling for You?

It’s been three years since I started my path in self-publishing by posting Christmas Past to Amazon. I put a lot of work into preparing that little story, designing a cover and rewriting it so often I can probably still recite it start to finish. Since then I’ve published another standalone story and three collections, but I’ve noticed in the years since that short fiction has become a tougher sell. It used to be that sales would trickle in even when I didn’t promote the book heavily, since then I can’t even get a decent spike in my sales during a free promotion.

Over the last three months, sales for that first little book look like this:

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It has all be a little demoralising for me, because the big draw in self publishing has always been the opportunities it offers for writers working in non-traditional markets. With the decline of the fiction magazine, self publishing can fill that gap, but not if the market just doesn’t exist. I’ve made mistakes along the way, I know. I waited too long between books early on and I’ve really dragged my feet when it comes to getting a novel on the store, but performance is still way below what I’d expect by now.

So, I’m putting the call out. If you write and self publish short fiction, particularly for kindle, how are you doing with it? Has progress been in line with your expectations? Let me know in the comments, or drop me an email.