Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It Might Have Been

One of the extracurricular projects that has occupied much of my free time for the past year or so has been the writing of a "real" novel (i.e., not an exercise in unfettered silliness like Virus!, which I still like and find very funny, but, well, it is pretty silly and, hey, is now available for the Kindle or the iPhone Kindle app). It has gone by various titles (including Mass Medea and Irrational Exuberance), but for the nonce has become It Might Have Been. It is nearly "done" (only a few more chapters to go), and I am generally happy with most of it--to the extent that I can ever be completely happy with anything that I write, and the tweaking of older chapters is pretty constant (who was it who said that writing is never finished, just abandoned?).

The novel is basically the story of the staff of a popular computer magazine during the height of the dot-com boom years (1999-2000). It's largely a social satire of those years (my year of reading the collected works of Charles Dickens helped immensely in developing a narrative voice), but at the same time is a David vs. Goliath story of the publishing industry (easily translatable to any other industry you care to name). No, it's not a memoir of my Digital Imaging/Micro Publishing News years--1997-2001--by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, it's pretty much just a stretch of the imagination).

Anyway, one of the things I have taken away from various writing workshops I have attended in the past few years is that one strategy that successful authors have started using is "workshopping" books-in-progress online, and that by driving substantial site traffic and gleaning comments, authors can demonstrate to potential agents/publishers that there is actually a market for what they are writing. So, when in Rome...

Ergo, I have set up another blog over at http://massmedea.wordpress.com* (yes, I had not come up with the new title until after I had set up my user account). So, please, go visit, leave a comment, pass the link along, etc. Let's get those numbers up! Let's make this Web 2.0 thing work.

I will be posting a new chapter every Friday. Chapters 1 and 2 (a special "two-hour world premiere") are up already.

* There are three reasons I like WordPress vs. Blogger or Typepad. The first is that it makes it pretty easy to track traffic and other site stats. The second is that WordPress lets me paste text from MS Word and preserve formatting like italics and bold--something Blogger does not do (that I am aware of)--which keeps me from having to go through a post again and re-add formatting, which is a pain in the tuchis. The third reason--there are three reasons I like WordPress (nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!)--is that WordPress also allows me to add my own header illustration.

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