Monday, November 07, 2005

Eye-Liner On-line

James of Rants, Raves and Random Thoughts, was kind enough to send me the back issues of his on-line novel, a WIP. A quick read-through indicates that it is exceptionally well plotted, and his alternate chapter POV's smoothly advance a curious tale.
Here is another brave soul who makes me wonder again about the advantages or disadvantages of putting up a work for which one intends to seek a publisher.
Am not sure the usual worried caveats about theft and copyright really apply regarding novels. For the simple reason that anyone clever enough to improve on one's story/plot/characters sufficiently to secure a publisher before you do is already clever enough to have an abundance of ideas and thus no need to steal yours. Short stories, essays or poems seem to be the most likely items to be lifted, not novels and often then out of ignorance.
But does putting up one's work really accomplish anything towards publication?
I still am dubious that editors/agents are so desperate for new writers that they roam the blogverse like hungry hunters. They claim they have a sufficiency of buffalo grazing right there on their office desks. They, in fact, seem more worried about being trampled by an avalanche of these tame creatures than galloping out to roam the range for the wiley wild ones.
Or is there such a thing among them as an "el dorado" mind-set? The desire to seek an elusive treasure waiting out there in the hills?
There are, of course, the usual examples of writers being "discovered," but it seems these are rare exceptions and in no way in sufficient numbers to be statistically significant.
There is one great advantage though. The very fact that you know someone, out there somewhere, a real live person, is actually reading your story tends to focus one's mind wonderfully on weaknesses one may not have previously noticed. Perhaps it's the connection with readership that may be advantageous beyond anything else.


James Goodman said...

Thanks for the link.

I think you nailed it with the last paragraph. The main benefit I've seen to date is the instant feedback from my readers.

I have found that the regulars have no qualms of letting you know if something does or doesn't work for them. On my current project, I have even went so far as let comments from the readers dictate which direction the story takes.

Knowing that the chapter will be instantly remarked on, definately makes one take more care in what they actually commit to the page.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I know the feedback I got over at Torgo's really helped me. When you have people you know critique, sometimes they just don't want to hurt yur feelings. Granted you don't have to accept everything, but a lot will ring true and those are the things you use to improve.

I don't think that I'd put out a significant amount though because I a publishing contract one of the first things they ask is has it been previously published, and having a majority of it on the Net counts as published!

AE Rought said...

I don't post my writing anywhere, but I did pick a few people to read my novel through their reading related blogs, or websites. Feedback is invaluable.

As to agents, the one that I have does not "search" but, just on sample, she did ask to represent my novel even though I hadn't queried her on it. I used to work as a submissions editor and I was swamped with mss. There was hardly timme to read what I had in front of me let alone search for more.

Bernita said...

Thank you, People!
I am tempted - mostly a wadyathink? huh? huh? sort of impulse.
Bonnie, I thought it was a great plot, just needed a little fine tuning of details, and not "slush"... I'm waiting to be eviserated by Torgo mesel'.

Sela Carsen said...

I've put up one short excerpt of something in pretty clean rough draft status, just for fun. And ego-stroking. You can never have too much ego-stroking. ;-)

Muse said...

I'm all for prolific engagement across spheres. Why not keep the most precious manuscript tightly in grip while unfurling great masses of secondary and parallel works to interested (or captive) readers. Comments on these secondary materials are likely to be at least somewhat applicable to the work one is trying to 'sell'. This way one may invite critical commentary, invite ego boosting (or crushing), and generally spread oneself around like the village tease while keeping something back for 'The One'. Publishers and agents seem to want 'experienced' writers who are also virginal. I'd suggest using secondary works like fluttering hankies and tight tube tops.

Bernita said...

Excellent article on synesthesia (sp?) on your blog, Muse.
An advantage to a writer, I would think, the verbal opposite of colour blindness.
Didn't seem too rough to me, Sela, had vigor and voice.