The Road so Far...

 
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The Road so Far…

Happy Friday to all dozen of you that will probably read this! This week’s interlude marks a good excuse to look back at After Moses, as Chapter 8 (one of my favorites by the way) is approximately one-third of the way through my outline. There’s a little bit of wiggle room in the last few chapters that I’ll be resolving as I finish getting those chapters written in the next few weeks, but you guys are at the one-third point. I hope you’re enjoying it!

How about some numbers for fun? So far After Moses has about 51k words published. That’s roughly half the length of the average novel. (Though science fiction does tend to run longer than that average) From my analytics data, it looks like roughly 50 people have kept up with every chapter on my website. Chapter six has more reads on it than every chapter except the first two. Don’t ask me to explain that one, because I’ve got no clue what’s going on there. Across my site (and a few others that I use to draw readers here) I’ve had a combined total of 2,450 page views. Demographics data estimates that they are mostly male and mostly older than me. The 45-60 age group seems to be most interested in After Moses.

Guess that means I’m hitting my target of it feeling more like classic sci-fi.

How about a few lessons that I’ve learned? Serials are unique beasts to write. While there is an overarching structure (and there is a destination being worked toward), each chapter gets to stand more on its own, more like a television episode in some ways. The positive part of this is that I get to show lots of places, explore lots of ideas, and in general have a broad story. I get to linger on Mars for a while, stop in on Ceres, move onto Ganymede, etc.

Further, I get to have vastly different kinds of stories. Some are more strongly western, some heavily sci-fi. Chapter six was quieter and focused on characters. In a few chapters, you’ll get to read my take on a more tense and suspenseful tale. I get to dip in and out of places and genres like it’s a buffet.

Which is also a downside. I spend a lot of my writing time establishing new places, people, and plots for the given chapter. I find that most of my chapters are slow in writing for several days before I get over the hump and finish it all in a few hours. That hump tends to be me getting a grasp on the new setup for the chapter. Television shows are usually written by small teams of writers. I imagine that’s how they handle the constant shift in mindset. With the load split between different minds and different people heading up different episodes, theyprobably don’t have to struggle with the feeling of herding cats like I am.

A final lesson learned? I’d have a lot more readers if I were good at social media. The honest truth is, I just don’t have the will power to market myself on the socials much. Twitter would probably actually be the best for promoting After Moses, but I just can’t make myself want to use Twitter. I’m also slightly afraid of the roaming Twitter hate mobs. Annoy the wrong person and you attract trolls like flies. Nonetheless, I think I’m going to have to figure out how to do more than the absolute minimum for social media. Bummer.

I think that’ll probably do for this week. I need to get editing on a chapter I finished writing yesterday. I’m feeling pretty good about it, but I think I need to check it for some logical consistency to make sure everything makes sense.

Take care and check back next Friday for the next chapter!

Michael F. Kane

 
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