As we edge closer to NaNoWriMo, I am giving some thought as to whether or not to post the WiP on this blog, someplace else or not at all. And, if I ignore the third option, I’m considering how best to go about it.
Assuming that I don’t decide between now and then that publication of a work in progress is the ultimate vanity and in self-importance [believe me, that might be the deciding factor in choosing door number 3], there are a few options…
Post here with scene sticky post at the top
WordPress.com isn’t really designed for long-form novella publication, but it is the site that I have the most control over (there are plugins for the self-hosted WordPress, but I don’t feel like paying for a domain at this time). It would be nice to integrate the story here, but I’ve got some work pre-November to solve a few issues.
Not everyone comes here for my sad attempts at fiction writing. Some people want to chuckle at my other utter stupidity (Filed under: Brain Vomit), others may prefer that I stick to poetry. Still other might prefer that I just visit their pages without reciprocal reading on mine. Publishing lengthy WiP pieces here could turn those folks off.
I need to figure out how to keep it inobtrusive and yet easy to find. I’m thinking of employing Pages for the various scenes, with a sticky post updated as time goes on to list the pages in a sequence. I could do the same with posts and keep the lead excerpt short and minimalist as well.
Sticky posts would be essential for this format.
Another WordPress-hosted Blog
I could start another blog with ONLY the story on it and keep the reverse chronological posts and have a sticky post at the top for sequential reading. Alternately, I could have a static front page with auto-updating archive in sequential order (as opposed to reverse order, as is typical in blogs). This would be the cleanest option, but require me to maintain two blogs when I am supposed to be writing. And, because there would be potentially fewer people following such a site, I would lose visibility unless I did a lot of cross-posting. Again, I’m not supposed to be promoting, but writing a novel in 30 days.
But it spares everyone except for those actually interested in the WiP/First Draft story and its development. Again, I have a ton of control over the look and feel of such a site and I could just issue occasional reminders instead of daily cross-posts to increase visibility. And I could easily lock it down and make it private when I decide it is time to retire a bad story or move on to the revision stage. Talking this through in this post, it makes me lean towards that route.
If it was promotion I wanted to pursue, I could do something like post the story in serial form on Wattpad. It’s still under consideration. If you are not familiar with Wattpad, it is an online writing community that is designed for serialized fiction, with places for commenting, review and revisions. That said, my presence is private on that site, as I have a hard time thinking that I have any business posting there. I don’t know that I take myself seriously enough to consider my writing worth posting with the actual idea of soliciting feedback. Not that I mind feedback when I get it, but WordPress has always been less focused on the feedback part.
In essence, Wattpad reminds me of a terrible experience I had taking several courses at the local literary center where most of the attendees (as well as instructors) seemed bent on putting the other participants down to elevate themselves. The critiques given to each other (not just me) were kind of backhanded complements when they were “positive” and some were outright unhelpful — including some comments from one instructor who seemed hell-bent on making everyone write like Cormac McCarthy mixed with Twin Peaks; everything needed to be gutsy and visceral, or obtuse, to get even small praise from him. And he thought he was pretty hot shit, more than willing to spend a chunk of instructional time using his own writing to show just how to do it fucking right. I hated his selection of example writing that was “good”. What a waste of $100.
So I hesitate to go to a “community for writing” because of that experience, combined with some of the elitism I found in open mic nights as they insulted and berated their competition in the search of ever-greater shock factors.
Nor would I consider going to a fanfic site, as what I am planning is not fan fiction.
Ugh. Recounting that one instructor may have stuck a fork in this path. I’m not sure I want to be part of a community. I much prefer the stumble-on elements of WordPress in terms of gathering followers and readers.
This is still a choice. I’m not convinced anyone will want to follow the NaNoWriMo effort I plan to undertake this year.
Maybe that’s the best option…