In August of 2011, I self-published a novella. Despite great reviews, the book never gained any traction at all. After a few promotions, I finally made about $500 off the book, with sales somewhere around 1500 copies (not counting free copes sold through Amazon Kindle Select promotions). That story was originally written as a screenplay and adapted after a careful critique of the screenplay revealed that I just wasn’t ready for screenwriting. Instead of writing another book after that, I dove into the study of screenwriting, taking ProSeries classes through ScreenwritingU and eventually winning the 168 Film Project’s Write of Passage screenwriting competition in 2013. Still, I wasn’t happy with my work.
Through Facebook, I’ve made many friends in the screenwriting world. The most successful of them contend that studying structure and analyzing stories is a waste of time; the only way to write a good story is to sit down and write a good story. Yet, I’ve kept on my path of study. My one question has been, how will I know I’ve written a good story if I don’t know what a good story even is?
Many people who read my first book loved it, and quite a few have even asked me recently when my next book is coming out. Short answer is, it will be out when I finish writing it. The long answer is this series of blog posts.
Throughout this series, I will talk about books that have helped me, about my outlining process, and—while I won’t reveal character names or specific plot points until the final draft is copyrighted—I will talk about the process of writing my current novel. Will it sell better than my first? Will it flop? Hopefully, we’ll find out soon.