[Warning: Another posting in my depression cycle. May include mopery.]
So I had this idea for a crime thriller, and thought maybe this time I’d try the traditional publishing route. Just to see if I could get any kind of traction.
Less than ten days from starting pre-writing to finishing the first draft, and it turns out All Roads Lead to Hell is only 40,000 words. So on the border between novella and novel (by some definitions), depending where revisions take it.
It’d need padding out to twice that length to be acceptable for submission to standard markets. There area a couple of extra chapters that could go in , and there’re gaps in the story where other stuff could be shoehorned. Maybe.
A quick look around doesn’t find many markets for crime thriller novellas, but I could always search further.
For the immediate future, I’m setting it aside to cool down while I get on with other work.
I have real trouble estimating how long a story will be. Even after breaking it down into chapters, I seem unable to call on past writing experience to properly gauge such things. And I’m not sure I really want to. The story’s going to be as long as it wants to be, and trying to force it to be otherwise to fit a certain standard seems dumb. Unless you want it traditionally published.
And I seem unable to write things of a commercially acceptable length (as defined by the traditional publishers). I feel part of the problem might be I’m too influenced by movies and television, so my storytelling muscle memory is drawing more from those than from other prose fiction. I’m not sure whether I can unlearn that though.
I also wonder whether writing so fast is part of the problem. I’ve tried slowing my writing rate slightly, but do feel an increasing desperation to produce more in a vain hope of breaking out of obscurity.
The not knowing whether I’ll ever achieve any success writing is causing increasing anxiety. I kind of want someone who’s opinion could be subjectively classed as authoritative to tell me I can’t write, and to stop trying. (More so than telling me I can, since I have trouble accepting praise.)
It’s tiring to keep pumping out stories that never find much of an audience. The readership for most of my stories is probably only in double digits (okay, some are in five digits, but that’s the free stuff). And even that might be too optimistic a view, since there’s no way of telling how many have been completed, or even read at all.
Of course I have no idea what else I’d do with my existence, so I’ll probably keep writing for now.