The Hybrid Author

Hybrid – the word doesn’t just refer to a new car any more, it applies to the literary world too. It’s the new term being whispered agent to agent, a term that denotes not only a traditional publishing route but also a self-publishing route – in the same up-and-coming author!

According to one of Kristen Nelson’s blogposts – http://nelsonagency.com/pub-rants/  -apparently this is a promising path for new writers. It is one that expands their market and allows them to both have the joys of traditional publishing and the freedom of self-publishing. Apparently the agents want these two warring options to meld in order to further the author (and themselves).

Intrigued? I am too!

So many questions arise out of the ashes of the traditional vs. self-publishing duel. How will the traditional publishers take to writers who are self-published already? How much will doing both cost? What will the copyrights look like? What will the contracts look like? What took them so long to figure this out?

It’s little surprise the traditional publishing avenue is hard – there are so many steps to even contact the publisher (an agent must do it for you, most of the time), so many hoops to jump through, so much money to doll out. It’s a process that could take years.

Many also know the self-publishing avenue is hard, too – you have to do everything yourself (obviously), from finding the right company to self-publish with, footing the entire bill the whole way through, making your own cover and blurb and generating marketing ideas.

But the end of both is the same – a book has been successfully published. (I’m speaking of both the hard-book and the e-book categories, as they go hand-in-hand now.)

While I don’t know very much about this new term or how wide-spread the idea has become I believe it’s a good idea – if allowed to flourish. Speaking as a writer, doing both the traditional and the self-publishing route would be better. It would allow the writer to generate more content of differing genres – the traditional publishing would stick to one or two, while the self-publishing could be anything at all. It would allow writers to showcase smaller stories and poems and such while the larger, more time consuming projects are being worked on, thereby allowing the readers to be active and engaged in the writer year-round. It could be a way to publish both in hard-copy traditionally and self-publish e-books (though, to be fair, the traditional publishers are doing both now).

If allowed to flourish I think this would be a lovely avenue for writers, agents and publishing companies alike. Expanding the marketability, getting your work to as many people as possible, is key to being a success out there. Plus, I think it would be fun to be a part of both worlds (and yes, I’m humming Little Mermaid now, too) 

Are Hybrid Authors the new thing? I hope so.

Have a lovely weekend!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Status Update

…like the title says…


Writing Adventures

Science Fiction Novel (2nd installment in my duology)

– 21,500 words 

– 7 chapters

– Commentary: After being stuck on this one area for the past two weeks, I was finally able to break through! I finished chapter 7 and am currently on chapter 8. Ah, the crazy world of writing….

Science Fiction Short Story (an AI piece)

– 952 words

– Commentary: I’m not very far into this one, I’ll admit, but I thought of the idea last Friday (3/8) and I’ve been working on it ever since. I’m excited to see how I can weave all my ideas into the plot-line and characters. I think my take on AIs are different than other versions, but I’ll definitely send it out to my writer friends for critique first.

Fantasy Novella Series (magic, swordplay, scribes and more!)

– 200 words

– Still on 1st chapter

– Commentary: I was so psyched about my first main character that I started writing it before realizing I should probably put this one on hold so I can fully concentrate on my 2nd novel. But I am 200 words into it!

Fanfiction Fluff Piece (Teen Titans)

– 10 words

– Commentary: I started this one today because I was tired of writing science fiction stuff (I love my sci-fi pieces but sometimes I need a break and, while I don’t want to write two of my ‘huge’ projects at once, a fluff piece is a good middle ground.) It’s going to be a romance between two of my favorite characters of TT – Raven and Starfire. Yes, it’s a lesbian piece. Yes, there will be feels. Yes, I am trying this out to hopefully get better at it before I have to write out a very specific scene in my sci-fi novel. (Bonus – I’ll probably have to watch Teen Titans in order to ‘get back into’ the characters again. Memories.)

 

Publishing Adventures

Submitted to: RAW – Beware, the Temptress Comes

Submitted to: Poety24 – Alaskan Adventure

Working on: Submission to Laser and Sword – the sci-fi AI short I mentioned above, unnamed as of now

Working on: Submission to F Magazine – The Damsel’s Knight

 

Editing Adventures

My freelance editing has taken an upswing as recently I got to edit some more of my client’s works. Currently I’m in the midst of two: 

– A collection of Alaskan Articles

– Various selections of a proposal

I’m going to put my ad up on craigslist with my website and facebook – I made a facebook page for my freelancing! – links to hopefully hook some more clients in. I’ll also be shooting a ‘How are you doing?’ email to my current clients that I haven’t heard from in awhile.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with this facet of my life and I hope you are as happy with yours as well.

Have a lovely weekend!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Oh Horror, Why Do You Haunt Me?

So I’m thinking about writing a new short story for an upcoming contest (A Sword and Laser Anthology, if you haven’t heard of it, you should check it out! Here’s their website – http://swordandlaser.com/) and as I’m attempting to come up with new characters and new plotlines I find I always seem to fall back on my standard…

Horror.

Now, it’s not like I love horror. It’s not like I love frightening scenes and scary creatures but it seems to be the genre I gravitate towards when writing. I can write other things, of course – my NaNoNovel was biopunk, my poems are often about love, my flashes are about dragons – but when I first think of a story I think of horror first. (It took me awhile to get out of that mindset when writing my current sci-fi novel, and even then I’m basically writing about an antihero anyway.)

What’s odd is I don’t like watching horror films. Yes, I sometimes do watch them but my overactive imagination tends to have me up at night wondering if that tiny creaking on the stairs is an ax-murderer coming to get me or that shadow is a poltergeist hovering over my bed. Not good things to think about when trying to sleep. (I do, however, watch The Walking Dead every Sunday. Zombies aren’t that scary to me. Weird, right?)

Why do I write horror then?

Well, I like writing bad characters. I like writing that sexy temptress who will kill you if you get too close, that jaded lover who will get revenge, the misunderstood nymph whose job it is to destroy the forest. I enjoy writing about characters that belong in those dark empty alleyways. I like writing that… and I like to think that I’m good at writing that too. (Ask my writer friends, they’ll tell you how often I end things ‘badly’ for my characters.)

And it’s not like I would ever want to meet these people but the psychopaths you hear about roaming the streets right now, for all their terrifying attitudes, are fascinating to me. How did they get that way? Why are they doing these terrible things? I ask, and poof, a story.

So it’s no surprise that I’m slowly heading that direction when coming up with a new short for this contest. Even now I can see a character in my mind discussing his origin with his latest kill while eating a limb. See? Creepy. And yet, intriguing.

Sometimes I think the genre is misunderstood. When I, as a 5’5” 24-year-old woman wearing glasses and sporting short hair say I write horror, people get a look of shock on their faces and, more often than not, disgust plays on their features as well. I have to go on to explain that I don’t write the slasher-type pieces, the lets just write to torture the reader’s scenes, or the age-old-and-yet-not-a-classic teenagers-lost-in-the-woods-who-come-upon-a-horrible-insane-person stories. (And for the record, there is nothing wrong with writing those types of stories; it’s just not my style.) For me, though, it’s not all about blood and gore and showers of red, it’s about the mindset of the person (or creature) that’s doing it, the reason why he or she or it is terrorizing people.

Now I don’t know if I will actually write a horror slant for this contest. I may try my hand at a romance piece or a coming-of-age tale. All I know is that it has to be in the science fiction or fantasy realm because that’s one of the stipulations of the contest… after that, it’s the writer’s fancy. Scary, huh?

Have a lovely weekend!
Warm regards,
Kellie

What the Heck is a Flash?

There is something of a “new” phenomenon going about the writing world these days, catching eyes of both writers and readers alike. It’s called a Flash. I mentioned it in one of my previous blogposts and honestly though people knew about it by now. But when I submitted one of mine to my local creative writing group I received some questioning stares. They hadn’t heard the term before and didn’t know what basic ground rules applied to it. And, since I shared with them, I figured it would be best to share with the blogosphere as well. For those of you who don’t know…

Actual Definition:

Flash – verb, to rush or dash, to break forth in or like a sudden flame, to appear suddenly

Writing Definition:

Flash – a very short story (other specificities depend on the writer or contest)

Other Names:

Micro-fiction, Sudden Fiction, Postcard Fiction, Short Short Story, A Smoke Long Story (Chinese, fabulous, right)

Basic Guidelines:

1)      It has to make sense. That being said, the shortest ever known was written by Ernest Hemingway, it went “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Yes, that’s a story; the reader gets to fill in the gaps. Other examples are Aesop’s fables, if you are more familiar with the classics.

2)      It has to have the classic elements of a story – protagonist, conflict, complications, and resolution. But, because it’s so short, most of the bulk of the story is unwritten. Take, for example, the 6-word Hemingway flash – almost the entire story is left up to the readers, did the parents give up the child? Did the mother lose it? Did an overenthusiastic aunt give the would-be parents an early present only to have it be a false positive? I’m certain he had a specific world built around these few words, but we will never know the rest of Hemingway’s tale because it was never written. We are forced to make up our own. As a writer, it forces us to leave out details, to hone our craft, to leave the reader with a sense of mystery… simply because we were not given enough words to tell the tale.

Important (not so little) Little Quirk:

(There is only one slight quirk defining the Flash from the rest of the styles of literature…)

There will be a horrible word-count.

It will be tiny – I’ve seen flash contests with a 300 word limit.

It will seem impossible to fit an entire story into that word count.

It’s not.

I’ve also seen a word limit of 1,000.

It depends on the contest the story is for, or the amount of torture writers want to put themselves through. (Personally I’ve done both ends of the spectrum and, although it may feel like someone’s stretching your mind on a rack, it’s fun to write a story in 300 words.)

After that, it’s just writing.

Interested? Find a contest online by typing ‘Flash Fiction Contests,’ see if there’s a prompt (it depends on the contest), write one out and submit! It’s a pretty interesting way to challenge your writing skills.

Annnd, that finishes up my What the Heck is a Flash post for the week. 

Warm regards,
Kellie