Well, I’ve had a few things get in my way over the past couple of months, but finally my new novella “The Map in the Fortune Cookie” is nearing release! It has to go through my editor (My partner Benedict, who is a wonderful editor), and once it’s gone through the process of review and update it as necessary I will publish it on Smashwords.
When I first started writing this story, it was initially looking at around 8,000 words. I deliberately stepped away from it for a good month or more so I could look at it again with fresh eyes. On reading through, I realized that I was quite terse in some sections; I hadn’t put the picture in my head on to the page.
I also realized that my plot needed an extra step to make sense; the story was too simple and the map was almost redundant. I knew this before putting it to sleep for a while but didn’t really think through how to resolve it. However, when I read it again, the missing section seemed to appear fully formed in my head and I was able to write it in just a few days. Clever little subconscious.
As at the current draft, it’s crept up to around 11,500 words, which puts it more into the “novella” category rather than “short story”. The growth occurred organically; I did not set out to make it longer, I focused on the storytelling and that was what fell out.
I am very aware that my story is nothing special; the plot may or may not be tired, the characters might be a dimension or so short of three-dimensional, but that’s not really the point. The goal was to write and publish, to put myself out there. Too many prospective authors, musicians, or any other creator are afraid of criticism. It might get panned, it might not get read by anyone, but it’s still MY work, and I’m proud of it. Criticism is a way for me to learn, and to improve. To write and not to show anyone is a lack of conviction and faith in yourself.
Irrespective of how The Map in the Fortune Cookie is received, I will continue to write, with my goal for the next book to be a full novel. I haven’t decided on a genre or anything else yet, just that the desire to write is very strong in me. Now that I have my first one at the final stages, I know that I can.
So by the end of this week, barring incidents and accidents, The Map in the Fortune Cookie should be out there!