Gina Penn, unabridged.


I got some thinking to do.

For the past few days I’ve been in Virginia Beach attending the Hampton Roads Conference. While there, I met up with some very great people and attended some useful panel discussions about writing and the publishing industry. Never did I think this would be the conference that would make me seriously think about my career and ponder it in a way that could affect my place in the writing world.

When I first started writing, I wanted to traditionally publish. I wrote The Storm, then rewrote it, then submitted it out to a few agents for consideration. One I never heard back from, one denied, and one is still considering. The bad thing about The Storm is that it was written over two years ago and when I look at it now, I just see a big pile of crap. I’m a better writer now than I was then and I’ll be a better writer two years from now than I am right now. I don’t want to reach a point with my writing that I’m not always improving…but I don’t want to write inferior work either. I’ll be damned if I put some worthless piece of junk out there with my name on it. But my definition of a worthless piece of junk is different than all those who read The Storm.

Immediately after I wrote The Storm, I put it aside and began working on The Dark Layer. The Dark Layer took almost two full years to write and is still considered a work in progress, but it’s the one I consider the most finished. It’s an exciting book with an interesting concept and I worked really hard on it. It has problems but what book doesn’t? No one submits perfection and even after books are published, you can still find issues. Good writing is subjective, just as good stories and good characters are. And the problems it has aren’t terminal-they’re totally fixable and I’m capable of fixing them.

While waiting for The Dark Layer’s draft to mellow, I began outlining/writing a new sci-fi/horror possible trilogy. I’m very excited about this project because every day I get new ideas for scenes. I also have a pretty awesome idea of how it might end. Actually, it’s more than awesome; it’s biblical.

*I’m upset because WP did not save the rest of my draft. It sucks because it was really good too.*

When nothing began to pan out for The Storm, I decided I was going to self-publish The Dark Layer. The cover was done by a professional, it was proofread, beta-read, edited, all of the above. And over this past weekend, something changed. I decided that The Dark Layer isn’t quite finished yet.

I’m not sure what to do. I think The Dark Layer may go on indefinite hiatus. The Storm as well because it needs a really good thorough rewrite. Unfortunately I’m hesitant about tackling these jobs without having a professional to work with. I don’t want to devote hours and hours and hours to something and then post it without having a professional to tell me where the real problems are. Yet I also don’t like the idea of sitting on my hands and waiting for an agent and publishing deal to fall out of the sky and into my lap. It’s hard to tell what to do, what the right decisions are, where my best interests lie. I’m famous for making bad decisions and when it comes to my career, I definitely don’t want to fuck this up.

To be continued…?

4 responses

  1. Jason Darrick

    Can’t wait to read it!

    September 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm

  2. Hang in there, woman… Writing is a work in progress. We evolve as time marches forward, so it makes sense that our art would evolve with us. The key is not to judge the writer were were then, but to admire that step that brought you to where you are now. 😉 ((((hugs)))) Don’t give up!

    September 28, 2011 at 11:15 am

  3. The things you want to change in The Dark Layer – why can’t you change them and put it through at least one cycle of beta readers again? Are you worried about the editing?

    Maybe you should consider leaving both books alone for a little while, letting them settle, and working on the new trilogy idea. If you’re self-pubbing, you don’t *have* to stick to a rigid release date. You control everything. If the books aren’t ready, give them the time they need, and go from there. JMO.

    In the meantime, don’t fret. It’ll work out!

    October 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    • The changes are pretty minor and I’ve actually worked through many of them. I’ve decided that I’m going to release it and hope for the best. I have another book, The Storm, which is being worked on by an editor right now so I want to be less one project by the time it comes back so I can focus on that for a while. The trilogy is still under way. Slow but sure. Baby steps. That’s the great thing about indie publishing.

      Thanks everyone for all the kind words. It’s nice to know I have so much support. Writing is a lonely job.

      October 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm

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