Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Stubborn Side Of Writing (1)

By the time the spring of 2009 rolled around, I was sufficiently recovered from the battle scars that I gained during the disastrous adventure that was my first self-pubbed novel to take another crack at self publishing. I felt extremely confident about my abilities to write a good story, and since I came up with a plan during the interim that called for me to self-pub a bunch of chapbooks and try to establish myself as a writer, I felt that now would be good time to implement it.

Since I had all the components in place at the time ("publisher", money, rudimentary marketing strategy) all I needed to make this plan a reality, was a good medium length short story.

Problem was, what short story should I use as the opening salvo to my master plan of making me a semi-well known writer. Although I had quite a few to choose from, the minimum page constraints that the "publisher" had had forced me to narrow my selection down to a story that met that minimum page requirement (which was 44).

The one story that met that particular requirement, "A Betrayal of Vows", was one that I spent a considerable amount of time trying to covert into a novel (about six months or so), but had recently put it away because I had written myself into a small corner with it.

I actually gave this particular story a lot of thought, not only because I was trying to convert it into a novel, but it was one of the first stories that I posted here on Cedar's Mountain, back when I was trying to first establish myself as a blogger before I added writing to the mix to make myself what I am today, a blogger/writer. So if I wanted to self-pub this story and have people buy it, I would have to remove it from my blog.

And that's what I did. I reluctantly went back to the first year of my blog and nuked all 35 posts that were related to that particular story. With the exception of taking down my short story "Cedar Mountain" so that it could eventually be published in Beat To A Pulp, that particular block of posts remains the only posts that I've ever removed from this blog.

Anyways, I dug out the story and got right to work on it, because the version I had posted here was quite frankly, a piece of garbage. I originally wrote it during my fertile and personally forgettable year of 2006 and what I learned in the subsequent years, was that the original story was a piece of shit. The only good thing about that original story, was that it became a thirty-five plus page outline for me to work from.

Up next: turning that thirty-five page outline into a reasonably coherent and entertaining story.


  1. i am thinking of self-pub'ing book, but the thing i war with is that money thing.

    i have none.

    looking forward to the conversion story.

    i have to figure out how to turn all my 4 chapter ideas into actual books.

    nothing so glamorous as a novel or coherent mystery...just a bunch of semi- autobiographical satire.

    still and all the whole idea of just getting published is sooooo appealing.

    my hat is off to you sir!


    ps btw the captcah is

    brogramo def= brospeak the way guys talk to each other aka guyspeak...

    too much coffee...and snow...

  2. Interesting to read about the process.

  3. The beauty about the net is you can start over.

  4. Bruce: This particular series of posts will be part writing proces and part navigating the self-pubbing world.

    I covered this topic before back in 2008 with my first book and again during 2009 when I was self-pubbing my second book.

    All I can say there are pluses and minuses to everything and you should research it very carefully befoe you do it. There are right ways of doing it (I did two book reviews of people who did the right way. Check out the review for "Dad and Me and Muhammad Ali" and the one I did for a murder mystery as examples of how to do it right) and wrong ways of doing it.

    Lynn: It should be a good read as I plan on covering things differently this time around with this book, compared to how I did back in 2009.

  5. David: So very true.

    Sometimes though, you really have to wallow in the purgatory before people will think about giving you a second chance.

  6. Like Lynn, I'm very interested in learning about the whole process.

  7. I look forward to reading the story. And I'll bet it's much better than you think...the good writers are always the hardest on themselves. The worst think they should be on Oprah.

    Trust me, I used to work at a publishing company.

  8. Mama Z: Like I said, I should be able to put a new twist on it this time. I first wrote about this back in '09 and I thought it would be good to revisit this topic again.

    Hopefully this time around, I can give a few more pointers and a few more insights on my experiences with self-pubbing.

    R: Actually, you got a copy of this story. This time around though, I'll try to make it a little more interesting.

    Deconstructing the story you might say. Making it a little more personal you might say (or at least, I might say).

  9. Sounds like quite a stiry transformation odyssey -
    I've never deleted any old embarrassing stuff off ESR.
    So I'm wondering if it's done yet-

  10. Snaggle: About the only other thing that I've removed, albiet inadvertantly, were a few pictures that I thought I was purging duplicates of from my Picassa account.

    Other than that, every strange little thing that I wrote about since May 2008 is still here.

    And yes, it should be an interesting odyssey at that.

  11. I know you'll get a lot of quality stuff out of that 35 page outline. Looking forward to reading your story. In case you missed it (and only if you're slightly curious), I posted a 24 second vlog last week. Here is the link in case you want to get a quick peek at me: (I'm tired in it, but I did make a promise to make one :)

  12. Self analysis is an imporant skill for a writer. Sounds like you may be being a bit hard on yourself, though.

  13. Kelly: Thanks. I actually was able to use quite a bit of it in the new version. I did catch your v-log last week and it was very cool.

    Charles: I've always been my harshest critic because I hold myself to a very high standard, be it writing or work. So when I do stuff that doesn't meet that standard, I do have a tendency to beat myself up over it. The stuff I'm writing now, while not yet published, is light years away fromi what I wrote four years ago. Back then, I was still trying to find my voice and learning to write from scratch as well.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

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So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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