In the in between

I’m in this strange place, schedule-wise. I have finished the first draft of The Iron Hound and shipped it off to the appropriate authorities. While I’m waiting to hear back from them, I’ve got a small contract for a gaming company that’s sort of open ended. I keep circling around it, taking passes and then letting it sit before I come back to review what I’ve done.

I could start on book three (tentatively titled The Winter Vow) but I’d rather not do that until things firm up with book two. I’m comfortable with what I’ve done with Iron Hound, but you never know. Characters may need to get yanked out or stuffed back, or consolidated, or punched up. Plot lines might need reworking. And I don’t want to start building a book on unstable footing.

So what do I do now? Well, I’ve been pushing this novella around on my desk for a while, but my problem with it is that I’m not committed to the form. I’ve always struggled to write short stories because they’re just too narrow, and I keep trying to shove novel sized ideas into them. Very good short story writers have an entirely different set of skills than I do, something I learned during my years of struggling to sell short stories. When I take a small idea and write it out, they usually end up at novella size. And that’s more of a problem than a solution.

I should be a natural for the novella length, right? Well, maybe, except what do I do with them? There are a few novella markets, but it’s a very few, and they have a lot of submissions and I don’t really have an “in” with any of them, or the kind of name that opens doors. I would probably end up having to self-publish it, and while I’ve done that a number of times in the past, the results haven’t been groundbreaking. I’ve made more money picking up loose change on the street, and I’m something of a germaphobe. It’s not profitable for me at this stage of my career.

Thing is, I’m going to need something to present my editor after The Hallowed War series wraps, which if everything goes to plan will be sometime early next year. I already have one book completed in an entirely new universe, but I know it has a few problems that might be salvageable, or might require binning completely. Or I could turn this weird thing I’m pushing around right now into a novel proposal, but it’s intentionally very strange, bordering on the grotesque, and my current publishing tack has been toward the commercially accessible.

So who knows? Who knows what’s next. For now I guess I’m just going to muse about it in public, to let you know that I’m working and working and working, and eventually something will find traction and become the next thing. Or not.

Who knows? Not knowing is part of it.

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