Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IWSG: A New Direction?


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It's been a tumultuous 2015 so far, for both personal and professional reasons, for both good ones and bad. It's been a season of change and growth, and I'm ready to change and grow as well.   

I am a writer. No doubt in my mind about that. But I've been floundering for awhile, unable to find my footing in novels, in a genre, in pinpointing who my readers are, etc. I feel like I've been trying to shove a square peg in a round hole. 

So, I'm going in a new direction. Or, rather, I'm naming and claiming the direction I've actually been going in for the last few years. Not only that, but I'm also celebrating it!    

* I write short - and even shorter! - stories. 

* I no longer force myself to write novels just because I always said I would. The world changes. People change. I've changed. I can't remember the last time I truly enjoyed the novel writing journey. 

* I write dark fiction. I write horror.  

* I will publish a new collection of flash fiction this summer. 

* I plan on writing novellas. And linked stories. And maybe some other forms I haven't even heard of yet.  

Here's hoping the summer, and the rest of 2015, will be a good one for us all! 

72 comments:

  1. Awesome. I really enjoyed The People We Used to Be, so I can't wait to read a new collection from you! I'm similar, I love writing shorts and novellas, although every so often a novel appears - I've started just writing the story I want to tell and letting it decide the length. (This is also why I've started to think an agent wouldn't be the best fit for me!)

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    1. Thanks so much, Annalisa! I appreciate that.

      And I love the idea of just writing the story and letting it decide the length!

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  2. This sound exciting. I love writing shorts. It's the challenge of fitting a huge story into a few words. I hope you find it as much fun as I do.

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  3. Good for you! And, hey--I've got a project you might be interested in. Shuffle on over to my side of the internet, and we'll talk. ;)

    IWSG #126 until Alex culls the list again.

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    1. Sure! Or shoot me an email if you want - there's a Contact tab at the top of this page. :)

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  4. That's so awesome! It sounds like you had an epiphany! It's important to do what you love, write what you love. There's no sense trying to force the novel writing if you don't love it. You're so good at flash fiction and horror! Good luck and happy writing! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kristin! It really felt like an epiphany of sorts. :)

      Happy writing to you, too!

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  5. There you go! Follow where your passions and your talents take you.

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  6. Sounds like you have a plan. And short stories and novellas seem to be selling like hot cakes on Amazon!! Good Luck!!!

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    1. Now, if only I can turn the plan into actual action.... :)

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  7. Good for you! I love it when people recognize where their hearts lie.

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  8. I bet you'll have a great, highly productive summer! Although I do right novels, I've only published short stories and novellas. I think many will be shocked when I come out with a full-length novel. haha Do what brings you passion, Madeline!

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  9. So glad you found your direction. I think the horror genre does really well in the short story market.

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    1. Thanks! I love writing those dark, creepy snippets. :)

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  10. Yes, yes, and yes. You are definitely a talented short-writer. That kind of gift should be embraced and magnified.

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  11. Way to go! Your short pieces are absolutely phenomenal and I think you are wise to focus on what you love and excel at. Here's to great times for the rest of 2015.

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    1. Thanks so much, Julie! I'm hoping to pour my writing/creative passion into those short pieces. And yeh for the rest of 2015!

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  12. I love your plans and your affirmations! You are an amazing short story writer! I'm always awed by the punch you pack into so few words and the character development that takes place in your stories. I agree that pouring your passion into your area of excellence makes sense - I'm looking forward to reading that collection and those novellas. :)

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    1. Thank you, Tyrean! I hope you enjoy the new collection when it comes out this summer. (Notice I keep saying "when" and not "if" so I don't chicken out.)

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  13. Congrats on finding your footing, Madeline, and welcome to the world of horror! I had no idea you wrote dark fiction, and I'm excited to see what you come up with.

    It's funny that you felt pressured to write novels, because I feel like I should be writing more short stories. Perhaps we could swap aptitudes occasionally?

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    1. My work has always tended to be dark - check out the three stories under Recently Published! :) - if not necessarily horror. I'm finally letting myself explore and enjoy that whole aspect. Any words of wisdom from the dark side? :)

      I would still like to write novels some day - not ruling them out, never say never etc. I'm just not putting that pressure on myself anymore. :)

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  14. Awesome! :) I really struggle with short stories and admire people who can write shorter pieces. Every writer is different, and I'm glad you've found your path. Best of luck with your writing!

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  15. Best of luck in your claimed direction! I hope you are very successful. :)

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  16. Glad you found your path and your niche. I write long and can't seem to write short. That focus and economy of words seems tough. Then again, I'm getting close to self-publishing a novella, which is really just a short story that went long ;-)

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    1. I'm hoping to try my hand at novellas. Good luck with yours!

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  17. Good for you! It's important that what you're doing feels right, otherwise this is no longer any fun at all. I love your flash fiction stories and I'm sure your novella will rock.

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  18. Congrats on naming them down! I need to do that..
    And props to you on the short story thing. It's not my preferred story telling type at all. I find it really hard to wrap things up in a short amount of time. I'm getting better at it, but I'd still rather write an epic series. :)

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    1. Thanks! I love the idea of writing an epic series but I think my brain would explode. But, never say never.... :)

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  19. Go you! I feel like holding up a foam finger and cheering on the 'you' team. This is awesome. Free yourself to be who you are and write whatever you want!

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    1. Love the idea of a foam finger! And thank you for cheering me on! :)

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  20. Cool! I know a few writers going that route. You're right, things change. Nothing wrong with going with your gut.

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  21. Being flexible on this journey of ours is essential. Things change, we change, and there's nothing wrong with that.

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    1. I'm not the most flexible of people in general but I'm getting better at it. I hope. :)

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  22. I enjoy reading novellas and short stories. They are relaxing at bedtime and don't take up my whole day like novels. Good for you on figuring out what you write best and want to write.

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  23. Yay for finding and accepting your passion for shorts and novellas, etc. Dark fiction will be fantastic for that, have fun!!! And yes, Summer 2015, bring it!

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    1. I think it will be a lot of fun. Work, too, of course. :)

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  24. Hey Madeline, I purchased your short story collection and have been reading your tales. You need to add one more thing to your list: You write good stories. =)

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    1. I so appreciate that, Cynthia. Thank you! I hope you'll enjoy the new collection when that comes out.

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  25. Hi,
    It is great that you're willing to change and rediscover. Sometimes that is necessary. That's one of the reasons that I don't believe in burning bridges. You never know when you have to go back over them.
    All the best.
    Shalom,
    Patricia at Everything Must Change

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  26. I think at one time you had to figure out a niche and stick with it and usually novel-length was that niche. But with so many different publishers and self-publishing options available today, that's no longer the case. Doesn't Amazon have a publishing program specific to shorter stories where they pay writers? I thought I heard that somewhere...

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    1. Yep, way back it seemed it was novels or nothing for the most part. Now the opportunities for other forms are amazing. And yes, I do think Amazon has something for shorts....

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  27. Congratulations on finding your calling. I'm still searching for mine. :-) Actually, I love writing both long and short pieces. Some day I'm hoping to be able to say – I have written – both long and short pieces, meaning finished ones. :-)

    I heard Amazon publishes shorts as well, but I've also heard from some unhappy authors that if Amazon is your publisher, bookstores won't carry your books. So, I'm assuming that would include collections of short stories.
    I guess it wouldn't matter, if you sell enough on Amazon. And I'm sure you will. The book I have of yours--THE PEOPLE WE USED TO BE--is awesome, and I can't wait for you to write another. I'll be first in line to buy it.
    Best,
    Deb

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    1. I would love to have stories, novellas and novels out there, and maybe I will. I'm just done putting so much pressure on myself. :)

      Thank you so much, Deb! Since the next collection will also be an ebook, you can buy it while sitting there in your pajamas, no need to get dressed and go out and get on a line. :)

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  28. Madeline, I know so many folks who've found the beginning of 2015 to be a mess of writing and personal upsets, me included. The stars must not be properly aligned! Good luck in your reset -- I'm doing the same thing.

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    1. It blew my mind to read about how many of us struggled with various issues the beginning of this year. Good luck with your reset, too!

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  29. Sounds like a great plan! Whenever I'm stymied with a book, I turn to short stories and flash fiction to keep those creative juices flowing.

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    1. I especially love writing shorts to themes and contests - forces me to think INSIDE the box. :)

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  30. Oh, good plan! You need to do what works for you. I wish I could write short. I think getting out there in collections is a good way to build a name for yourself and having several novellas available is a good way to tempt readers to your stuff.

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    1. It's funny because for almost every NaNo, I've pretty much written novellas but I always tried to make them longer, turn them into novels. I should've left well enough alone. :)

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  31. Congratulations, Madeline. You've found your niche. I wish I could write short stories well. Have fun!

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  32. You're the second author this month I've run into that has changed to writing short stories. Could be a change in reader preference too :)

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  33. I love linked stories, haven't managed to write a set of my own yet though. It's good that you've made the choice - I might have to make a similar one in the near future. I find it much easier to write short stories than novels.

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    1. It's nice to know though that it doesn't have to be a permanent change. :)

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  34. Good for you! I am still trying to find my niche in writing, in fact, I was thinking about that for my IWSG topic next month :) Thanks for stopping by my page with the IWSG.

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! Good luck with finding your niche. :)

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  35. That sounds great! I'm glad you've found your niche!

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  36. Yay for more flash fiction! And that's definitely okay to change direction. If you're not enjoying the novel writing, then don't do it. Do what you love!

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    1. It took me awhile to understand, to believe, that it really IS okay to change that direction. I'm kind of stubborn that way. :)

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