So yesterday I decided to poke a couple of stories with a stick and see if either of them responded. One did. With the help of a worksheet on 30-minute-outlining, I think I might have a handle on a story that I started four years ago but just didn't seem to want to gel.
Funny, isn't it, the writing time line? It's so much longer than we want it to be. I do know writers who can go from first draft to submission in 30 days, but I also know many like me (and know of many well-known published writers in the same boat) who don't find resolution to stories for years.
Something I've been thinking about a lot lately is online publishing. We of Forward Motion, past and present, know that online publishing is a viable medium. We know this because we have FM, we have Zette, we have access to people who have published that way. But we also know about First North American Serial Rights, and password-protected forums for crits (thank you, LJ,) and we get a little nervous about certain things.
My old website is down. I took it down a few weeks back — I was tired of the design, and unhappy with the content. I bought www.christieyant.com and Patrick and I talked about doing a redesign (he's a web designer, among other things – check out the superhot redesign) and possibly including — gasp — my actual fiction. This, as we know, negates the ol' First North American Serial Rights and makes any works published on the web unsalable except as a reprint.
The question is: Do I care?
The answer is: No.
I've been looking into Creative Commons licensing. Let's face it — anything that I put on a website is a) still under my own copyright, and b) not good enough for the print (and online semi-pro) pubs to consider. They've been through rejection after rejection already. Putting them on the web really just reveals what a hack I am. I still want to protect it, because even after six years at this game I'm a n00b, and that's what we do.
The thing is this: we are on the cusp. Zette was way ahead of the curve. Online publishing will soon be The Way To Publish — without the overhead of the traditional press, and with Print on Demand available to satisfy our booklust, and with decent PDAs and actual eBook Readers available, we would be foolish not to embrace the new paradigm. It's coming, and we could be out ahead of the pack. I could finish this novel, for instance, and make it available online as a PDF under Creative Commons (as Cory Doctorow did with Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom*,) and who knows? Maybe it'll find an audience.
I was thinking about Clam's novel from a couple of years ago. It was so atmospheric — there is an audience for it, it just might be a POD audience, or a Free Download audience. And what's wrong with that? (Of course it could be a Tor audience, too, and who doesn't want that?!)
So these are the things kicking around in my head as I try to finish 'Red Carpet' and work on editing Found Objects. I will submit 'Red Carpet' via the traditional routes, but when I've had enough of that (and I typically only go with five rejections before I retire a manuscript) maybe it'll end up on my [new] website as a PDF under Creative Commons.
What about you? We can't all be Moosey ;) in anthology after anthology (but man would I like to be. There is something SOOOO sexy about print — ha! Sexy. Moosey in print. Get it?) Is online publishing-without-pay, or Creative Commons, something you've considered?
* I first read Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom as a free eBook on my Zodiac PDA. I have subsequently bought two print copies because I loved it so much and wanted others to read it. This is the point.