KingMidget's Ramblings

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I Need Your Help


Regular readers know about my struggles with my fiction writing. I’m at a crossroads. Hell, I’ve been at a crossroads for years now, and I’m still stuck. No idea which way to turn, or if straight ahead is the best option.

So, here’s where I’m at…

The Irrepairable Past is pretty much ready to go. A 30,000 (or so) word novella about an old man who lives alone on the shores of Sullivan Bay. The story looks back on how it came to be that he ended up alone and why he is perfectly (well, almost) fine with that.

Northville Five & Dime is ready to go and has been for some time. Another 30,000 (or so) word novella about Lily and Sophie, who were orphaned and injured in a car accident. They’re now on their own when Peter comes into their lives. Northville tells the story about how they come together as a “social family.”

The thing is that once I completed Northville and my son read it in one night and complained that the story did not end, I realized there was more story to tell. And I’ve been stuck there now for a couple of years. I’ve written another 25,000 words on Northville, part two, which I could wrap up in a few thousand more words. So, that could work as a second novella in a Northville series. And in my head, I’ve mapped out the idea for a third novella. Which really means I’ve mapped out the idea for a complete novel. Or three novellas. Take your pick.

But for some reason I find myself so incredibly stuck on wrapping up the second part of Northville. I know what I want to do with it. I even know how to do it, but … pffffft!

So, I realized something. Maybe I just need to do work on something else, and here’s the idea I’ve come up with. Publishing three novellas that are unrelated to each other. Publishing each as a stand alone novella, and publishing them together as a collection. Which is why I’m here, and you’re there, and I’m asking you for help.

What novella would you like to see added to the mix? (Vote early and often.)

  • K Street Stories — I started this years ago. It’s a series of interconnected short stories that bind together to a larger story. The stories are based on people I’ve come across in my time working in downtown Sacramento — homeless people, state workers, etc.  Truth is, this may be more than a novella, but maybe not. Maybe, novella length would be perfect. I wrote several “chapters” years ago, and maybe it’s time to go back to it.
  • Carlota — What I refer to as a space romp. Life on planet Earth is coming to an end. But a huge space ship has been built to take a few humans to an Earth-like planet to colonize and extend our existence in the universe. Carlota, a Colombian beauty, is on the ship and … well things happen. Again, I started this years ago, wrote some chapters, some thousands of words, and it sits there waiting for me.
  • Untitled — I wrote a series of “experimental” short pieces based on characters who work in a circus. I’d like to do more with this and turn it into a longer set. Novella length may be good, but this is undeveloped enough that I’m not sure. But … I really like what I did with it.
  • The Jump — my dystopian tale of an America with a dictator as President, a road trip, a place where the rules no longer apply. I wrote the first five chapters and then stalled. Maybe it’s a novella, maybe it’s a novel. Maybe it’s nothing other than those five chapters. (In case you want to check this out, you can find those first few chapters here.)
  • Wark Creek — a brand new idea that came up a month or two ago. A co-worker was describing this seasonal creek that crosses his property in the foothills of California. I suggested it should be named Wark Creek (his last name). And that there’s a story to be told about Wark Creek. This has intrigued me ever since. Fully unformed, no words yet written, but … there’s something there. I think.

So, there you go. As I move towards my semi-retirement that will be arriving in December, I’m trying to figure out what it is I want to do with my writing. I want to find the thing that I will focus on and move forward with. But the options that exist are maybe part of the problem. My dad once told me to finish what I started once I started writing it — or I may never finish it. He was right. I’m struggling with … this or that or the other thing. And while I struggle with that, I get nothing done.

I want to come up with a concrete plan for publishing The Irrepairable PastNorthville Five & Dime (at least part one), and a third novella to complete the set.

What say you? Which of the ideas above intrigues you as a reader? Feel free to say “none of them. What the hell are you thinking?”

 

 

22 responses to “I Need Your Help

  1. Audrey Driscoll October 13, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    I may have misunderstood, but it seems to me if Northville already has two parts with a third in the works, they would best be published together, unless you want to use Part 1 as an appetizer for a later complete appearance. In that case, to make up a set of three with The Irrepairable Past, I would recommend whichever one is complete or closest to completion. Otherwise, maybe a set comprised of The Irrepairable Past and two or more of those you’ve listed. If the Northville novellas add up to a novel, that would be worth finishing up.

    • kingmidget October 13, 2019 at 8:48 pm

      Part two of Northville is almost complete and, yes, I should finish it. But part three is completely unwritten and I feel like if I do anything with part two that creates a commitment to part three. And I just don’t know if I’m ready to go there. Does that make sense?

      So, part one of Northville could be a stand alone story. And if I get to it in the future, I could turn it into something more. While that percolates somewhere in my subconscious, it may be worth a try to make a go at one of my other ideas. While publishing part one of Northville and seeing if it produces any interest while also putting some other stuff out there and seeing what happens.

  2. Dale October 13, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Well… Having read The Irrepairable Past (and loved it) – for sure I’d love to see that published.

    K Street Stories sounds like something I could really get into as does Wark Creek.

    Northville – why not publish as a trilogy off the bat? And since part three is already simmering, I think I’d try to finish this one first.

    • kingmidget October 13, 2019 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you! I have Irrepairable still in limbo with a small publisher. But I’m starting to ponder moving forward with it in anticipation of the inevitable rejection.

      I also want to put a good amount of content out there in a short amount of time. Just trying to figure out the right combination of stuff.

      Wark Creek intrigues me, but it is just the kernel of an idea at the moment.

  3. S.K. Nicholls October 13, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    I wish I could help you. I have the first four or five chapters written for about six books to follow Naked Alliances Book One. I also have two other novels deep into more than a few chapters. It’s uncertain if I will ever get myself back to being dedicated to writing. Maybe, if I run out of room to put canvases that have not sold. Life is short. Lots of people around me are dying or recently died. I’m just doing whatever brings me the most pleasure at the moment. Always and forevermore.

  4. cinthiaritchie October 13, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    I’m intrigued by the K Street stories. Would love to see those published as a collection. I also like the idea of novellas published alone and also then, later, as a collection. This way you’d get them out there twice (like, offering them together as a boxed set and also individually). I’m kind of jealous of your ideas and output. I’ve barely written a word in month. P.S. Bet you’re looking forward to your semi-retirement. And it’s almost here!

    • kingmidget October 14, 2019 at 6:17 am

      Oh, I’m not writing much at all these days. These were all started a number of years ago and then have just sat there. Trying to come up with a plan that might motivate me to get re-started on the whole thing.

      And, yes, semi-retirement is now two months away. I can’t wait.

  5. Kevin Brennan October 14, 2019 at 8:59 am

    One nice thing about indie publishing is that you can publish novella-length pieces alone. So I’m not sure you need to package two or three together. That way the Northville books could come out in their own time, then you could publish all three as one book later.

    K Street sounds like a good stand-alone project too.

    Jim Harrison put out several 3-novella books, by the way, but if memory serves, they always had thematic connections that made the 3 feel like they belonged together.

    • kingmidget October 14, 2019 at 10:43 am

      Yes. One of the things I like about having these short pieces is the greater flexibility to mix and match. If I ever do finish the three pieces of Northville, they will definitely be combined into one product. At some point. Hopefully.

  6. Jennifer Kennedy Coyle October 14, 2019 at 10:41 am

    K street

  7. Berthold Gambrel October 14, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Hmm. Based on the comments, I just have to hope Carlota wins in the Electoral College. 😉

    But, whatever wins, I know I will enjoy it. This is the first election I can remember where that was the case.

    • kingmidget October 14, 2019 at 6:08 pm

      I think if I had to rank the options it would go like this:

      The Jump
      Carlota
      Untitled Circus story
      Northville
      K Street Stories

      But they each have complicating factors, which is why I threw it to the voters!!

  8. TamrahJo October 14, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    My vote is too push the two that are ready (even if they leave ya hanging for the next portion of the story to be published) you listed as ready – AND add in the K stories novella – then do boxed set of the those for Black Friday/Holiday sales, or bundled for ‘early adopters’ and while those are up for options, start figuring out where to go on the multi-series or which novella to start in on next – seriously? In today’s world of ‘read on my Kindle while waiting here there and yonder’ seems to be gaining popularity, especially for those who are in life phases that don’t afford much reading time – AND – publishing a novella or three and then formatting them all into a 3 part novel is simply a reformatting issue – not a whole writing issue, isn’t it?

    Just my two cents from ye old peanut gallery o here – who is very intrigued by the top 3 picks o mine – (fingers crossed, please, please, please hit the publish button for those – – 🙂 🙂

    • kingmidget October 14, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      Well, The Irrepairable Past and Northville, Part One, are definitely going to go out there into the world within the next few months if I have anything to do with it. Just a question of what comes next.

      • TamrahJo October 14, 2019 at 6:38 pm

        Okay then – my vote is still for the K Series – :). but I’m sticking with my preferred genre/story types and am usually in the ‘minority’ on such things – :D. so what would I know?

  9. lydiaschoch October 15, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    I vote for K Street Stories. They sound really interesting.

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