Diversify! The watch word for business, life, investments – and publishing! Sometimes you don’t know what works until you try a little bit of everything. In the midst of a busy gallery schedule and upcoming Art Walk, a serialized steampunk story is in the works. Why a serial? Perhaps it is a great way to determine whether or not a story is compelling – if the first few installments don’t attract attention, why continue? A novel is a full-time commitment as well as a huge risk. However, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t experiment with different formats.
Here are two recommended resources for authors in general, and steampunk authors in particular. Get your hands on the February 2014 edition of Writer’s Digest and read the article “Best of Both Worlds” by Chuck Wendig. This no-nonsense article addresses issues that many authors face who find themselves navigating through various publishing format options. There is a statistical insert based on an author survey conducted by Digital Book World in 2012, identifying not only approximate income for three types of writers (self-published, traditionally published and hybrid authors), but show how much work goes into self-marketing. There is also a useful article about outlining and story mapping “7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story,” by K.M. Weiland and recommendations about which publishing experts to follow online, “10 Top Publishing Insiders (& Outsiders) to Follow Online,” by Jane Friedman.
The other resource is the book “Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction,” by Orson Scott Card, Philip Athans, Jay Lake, published in 2013. What is great about this book is how it breaks down not only the differences between these genres, but the conversational writing tone. The history, culture, glossary of terms for fantasy and science fiction makes this a nice reference book. In addition, the authors’ first-hand experience with these writing styles is invaluable.
Find steampunk and science fiction books and comic books at Steam at Harper’s Ferry, as well as our soft cover “Guide to Protecting Fictional Characters.”