Reflections on the first instalment

This is the third post for The Ride: a record of my thoughts, fears, ambitions and experiences of blogging an unpublished novel. For the first post of the actual story, see the next post down

There, it’s done. Am I calm? No. Excited? Yes. But you can be ‘excited’ if an angry rhino is bearing down on you and there’s nowhere to hide. All I’m doing here is blogging a book, so what’s with the anxiety?

While I’m not risking death or dismemberment by taking this relatively unusual step of committing a new novel to a blog format and relentless schedule, I am exposing myself to the potential for a very public kind of failure.  I hope the blog is very public. I also hope it’s not a failure.

So there’s at least two ways to fail here. First, the writing might be rubbish. That would be failure whether I blogged it or not. If I took the traditional route and completed the manuscript then sent it to potential publishers via my agent, they’d let me know if they thought it was rubbish through their deafening silence, weary ambivalence or unrestrained scorn. So on the first count – failure because the writing stinks – I’m in favour of the blog.

Second, there’s the public nature of blogging. There are so many reasons given by writers more experienced and successful than me why you shouldn’t blog fiction. The one that gives me most reason to pause for thought is the conflicts of pace in long versus short form publication. Each post feels like it needs a cliff-hanger, a climax, at least a red-herring. But that is inconsistent with the longer form of a novel. Managing those competing demands is a risk I’ve got to take. I will do my very best to keep you engaged while also letting my characters and plot grow the way they should.

The whole reason to blog this novel, scene-by-scene, is to throw it open to the public. I’m counting on it being public. I want and need it to be public. I’m embracing the chance of a failure for all to see because it gives me a chance at success, which I will only grasp if all do see.

2 thoughts on “Reflections on the first instalment

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