Yes, you read that title correctly. So much for a break from writing another Meghan Bode short story on the blog. Those of you who said she wouldn’t fade into the background were absolutely right. This week is my break. A new adventure begins next Tuesday, whether I’m ready or not.
But first, I want to share some of the thoughts that crossed my mind while writing about her brush with forensic archaeology.
1. I’m Still A Pantser, But I Learn From The Experience
When I started the second installment of Poetic Archaeology, I had no idea I was about to write a short story and put it on the blog—while I was still writing it. But as I wrapped up that first post with an unexpected three lines of dialogue, I knew I was in for a wild ride.
But if I’d taken more time to think, I would have done things differently. Don’t get me wrong, I would still “pants” the story. But I wouldn’t have made it part of Poetic Archaeology. I may have lost out on a larger audience. Some people who saw the story under the “writing” tag in the WordPress Reader might have been turned off by the initial poetry—not realizing a serialized short story followed.
So the second story won’t be categorized as Poetic Archaeology or carry a poetry tag. I’ll focus on the short story/mystery aspects.
2. The Style Is Different From My Novels. Will That Matter?
One of my initial reasons for blogging was to introduce potential readers to my novels-in-progress, Death Out of Time and Summer at the Crossroads. These Meghan Bode short stories aren’t comparable to either book, except for an archaeologist as a main character. Will future readers assume the novels will be like Meghan’s stories and thus be disappointed? Or won’t they care as long as they like the stories being told? I don’t know the answer, but I still wonder about it.
3. Am I Crazy To Do This Again?
In my one-year anniversary post, I said I might need a break from Poetic Archaeology because writing the “live” Meghan story was tough. But my subconscious left some wiggle room. I noted that Meghan and the Muse might drop an idea on me, and we could be back soon. Yeah, that Muse is one sneaky goddess. She’s spent the last few days laughing over her mojitos.
As I wrapped up the last installment, I thought, “Maybe Meghan finds…. Hmm, could it work? I’ll think about it for a while.” Two days later—BAM! Breakfast and my morning workout were flooded with ideas how it WOULD work. I couldn’t write as fast as the ideas were flowing. I wondered if this is how Julie feels every day. 😉
Part of me acknowledges the fact that some agents and presses won’t touch a story that’s been “published” anywhere else—even excerpts on a personal blog. Some people would argue I should write these stories in private and submit them to traditional outlets. Maybe. But the monetary reimbursement would be negligible to nonexistent. And how large would the audience be? My current thinking is that, if I decide to, I can revise the stories by fleshing them out and adding more to sub-plots and e-publish them myself as a collection.
4. Meghan Is Quiet, But Determined
She had me put together a page for her stories, which you can find on the top menu or by clicking HERE. She’s also far more visually creative than I am, but she’ll have to suffer my limited graphics abilities for now. Don’t worry, Meghan. I’ll hire a professional for a book cover.
So that’s the path my Muse has laid out for me. We can’t do things the easy or traditional way. Some of you may give me good reasons why I shouldn’t do this. Others may say, “Go for it!” In the end, we all have to do what feels right for us in all parts of life. One thing I do know as I set out on this next story—I’ll enjoy the ride again, harrowing as it may be.
What do you think? I’m crazy? It’s too risky? Would you try something like this?