Okay, so I realize it's taken me FOREVER to give you an update on The Morph, for which I apologize profusely...but the ebook is finally up on Smashwords (YAY!), and the paperback is in process, as well as ebook versions for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks and many others, which should be available within a few days.
Since I'm doing kind of a "soft" launch with this one, I wanted to take this opportunity to do two things,
1) have a giveaway!
2) thank everyone profusely who followed along with the serialized version of this novel!
(especially now that it's been through editing a number of times and I realize just how very, very rough it really was...yikes! And...sorry?)
(Added after the original posting ~ I'm also adding the first two chapters as a sample on the blog, to provide a bit of a teaser. I don't think those changed as much as later parts, but they're definitely cleaned up a bit, thanks to my wonderful editor!)
So now, the important part ~ the giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I think those who read the book during that first go-around will be surprised by the book in it's final form...a lot is the same, of course, but a great big chunk of it changed, too, especially in the middle 1/3rd of the book, which was probably the most heavily edited. Hopefully this will be an interesting glimpse into the writerly process, and not annoying, lol...I'm really hoping that at least it's MORE interesting than annoying...and that you like the final product with all of the rough edges smoothed out and my better grasp of both characters as well as their dynamic together.
In any case, I wanted to thank people again for reading along with the serialized version...I've never posted a book in progress before, certainly not a rough draft as I'm in the progress of writing the sucker. I have to say, it was a neat experiment for me...and one I'm still trying to decide if I should repeat.
For that reason, I wanted to share here the Author's Note, which was included at the end of the final version of the ebook ~
Note from the Author
This novel actually started out as an experiment, my second one really, with serialized fiction. The first one was The Slave Girl Chronicles, which I handled (and mishandled) somewhat differently. In the case of The Slave Girl Chronicles, I’d published chunks of the story outright, each comprised of between 10-20K words, but partly because some readers weren’t really clear on the whole ‘serial’ concept, and partly with my own unfamiliarity with the medium, a number of people were disappointed when they found these serialized chunks weren’t novel-length stories, but shorter arcs that would comprise a longer whole.
After a few months of The Slave Girl Chronicles ‘experiment,’ I reworked that one on the fly, and republished the chunks into more of a traditional novel length of 60K words for part one, “The Culling,” then 80K words for part two, “The Royals.”
The Morph, I handled somewhat differently.
This was never really a serial, per se, but a regular novel published in a weekly, serialized format for free on my blog. Also as an experiment, I decided to go ahead and put out those weekly segments in their rough, uncut form, essentially right after I’d written them, which is sort of an off-the-top-of-my-head process for me in general. Each segment was roughly about a chapter in length, and I basically put out the entire first draft of the novel over a series of months.
Crazy, yeah, I know.
I was nervous about doing this, of course, since I knew it would inevitably be a mess by the time I finished. I have a tendency (like many fiction writers, I suppose) to suffer from pretty big continuity errors in my first drafts, and often don’t know precisely where I’m going until I’ve written my way to the end of the first draft. Therefore, once I’ve puked out that initial mess, I often get these light bulbs going off that require me to step back and redesign some elements of the book’s structure, along with a lot of the specific details of the plot, to make it all fit together in a way that’s more or less harmonious. I also have a tendency to overwrite (sometimes to a ridiculous extent), so I often end up having to cut out large segments of text that don’t aid the story enough to justify their presence in the final.
If this all sounds like a chaotic process, it kind of is. I’m primarily what’s known as a ‘pantser’ writer, and only work from outlines occasionally, so while I tend to have major plot points worked out in advance, my manuscripts (and characters!) still surprise me more often than not. I imagine a lot of writers, even ‘pantser’ writers, do this more cleanly than I do, but hey, I’m a work in progress, too.
The long and the short of it is, I’m still not sure (precisely) how this experiment worked out. I had a steadily growing group of regular readers of The Morph on my blog, despite it being the confusing and overwritten mess that it was...which tells me that it more or less worked. I also received a number of really nice, private emails, although no where near as many as the number of visits to the pages. I never got any comments on the blog about the story itself, although I was told that’s pretty normal unless you provide a specific incentive for people to comment.
Oh, and none of these observations are complaints by the way.
The quieter comment of the growing number of readers (which is really the loudest and most important one to writers, come to think of it) made me happy enough to write The Morph all the way to the end in that format, even with all of the flaws of publishing something ‘unfinished’ and badly in need of revision. Even so, I still can’t help but be curious as to how the format worked for people, given how much the story ended up changing once it had gone through the editing process a number of times. I wonder, for example, if most readers find the process of novel writing interesting enough to bear with me on the flaws as I work out a first draft of a story and characters...or if they’d rather if we writers did that sort of messy business in private, and didn’t bother them until we’d scrubbed and polished the worst of those dings and dents out of our final product.
I haven’t had a chance to survey readers on this issue yet, or to start working on a new novel from the beginning in the ‘rough draft/quasi-serial’ format, as I’ve so far spent 2013 finishing up projects I already had in the works...but I probably will. I might even use this ‘Note from the Author’ to do so.
I did want to say, though, if you were one of those readers, and whatever you thought of the format or final product or the story in its rough form...thank you! It was fantastic and heartening to see people tuning in every week to see what Nihkil and Dakota were up to, and pretty cool to share the unfolding of their story in real-time with readers, something I’d never experienced before as a writer, either. Writing rough drafts is usually a pretty solitary process, so indulging in a more social and interactive means of doing so was really a treat.
I’d also like to say, if you did enjoy reading the serialized version every week, messy as it was, please drop me a note and let me know. I mainly say this so I’ll get off my butt and start working on a new one...but I’m also really curious to know what readers think of the concept in general.
But really, my main words are of thanks. It’s a cliché, sure, but writers write to be read, first and foremost. I can’t tell you what a kick I got out of seeing people read The Morph along with me as I wrote it week by week. More than anything, I hope it provided an entertaining diversion for you, and maybe even something you looked forward to catching up on every week.
Which again, is really the point.
Hope you enjoyed this, and thanks again for reading along, especially those who stuck it out until the end! I really hope you enjoy the final product, and found the process at least, err, interesting...?