A strategy that writers employe when working on their fiction books is to post sections of the book on their blog and solicit feedback from their blog readers. Successful writers like Guy Kawasaki – routinely post their books in progress and get immediate feedback and in turn, make immediate changes. But why do it? Should a writer be concerned that someone will steal the work? Nope. In the US the work is copy write protected as soon as it leaves your fingers. And if it is “stolen,” the providence is easy to prove. And if you are lucky and it’s stolen and distributed – you just increased your fan base, possibly your klout.
So if you are stuck, or if you’d like to experiment, posting your on-going story can accomplish a number of goals:
- It builds your base of fans who will purchase the book
- Those fans will be the first to purchase your book, why? Because they are involved with the book already.
- Those are the fans you count when you approach a publisher or agent
- And if you are lucky, those fans give you feedback you can use
- Those fans will give you encouragement to keep writing
- Conversely they may give you feedback that encourages you to stop writing – which while depressing, is at least an answer.
This week on Newbie Writers Podcast we are reading a section of my current project and commenting on it. I have posted a section here so you can play the game at home.
Comment here or email me.
Opening chapter – The Five Elements of Time
Premise: what if you have your whole future before you, and it sucks?
A rock shattered the stained glass window scattering shards of red glass at Charity’s feet.
She glanced up at the hole, almost perfectly round. Through it the sky hovered gray, heavy, and un-changed. The hole let in the escalating chanting outside.
Preacher John stopped Charity from reading any more from the One True Word.
A big imposing man, twice the size of slender Charity, he never the less, glanced out at the men in the congregation for approval. Charity didn’t see a single nod, or twitch from any one, but there must have been some sign.
“We will exit, this way.” The man of the One True God gestured, and the fathers pulled their wives and children from the cavernous temple and through a narrow door behind the pulpit.
Charity carefully set down the One True Word on the pulpit and silently waited to join her family. She was not frightened, the village riots had been increasing in the last few years. The Government Guards would protect them. It was just a aberration.
She glanced at the shattered window.
The families didn’t pause in the walled courtyard, where Charity used to play after daily Temple service. Her father led their family of five out through another door to the old abandoned parking structure and finally to narrow alley.
The sound of the chanting rose and fell, punctuated by the shattering of another window, of the temple or of a house, she was not certain.
The low beamed ceiling of the old parking structure was oppressive enough to hurry the congregation to the far door. She looked around for their preacher, their leader but he was no where to be found.
Did he escape and leave them to fend for themselves? You don’t leave your flock, or in the RC you never leave anyone’s avatar on the battle field. Even girls knew that.
“Heathens!” Preacher John’s voice rose above the babble of the villagers. He must have stomped through the front doors even as the last of the congregation members slipped out the back. His sudden words burst over the angry crowd. Charity felt, rather than heard a lull in the chanting as the big metal doors of the Temple clanged open. There was a pause, but then the crowd roared again.
She didn’t know there were that many villagers to make up such a crowd.
“That was the last of the colored windows.” Charity’s mother commented. Father, with one hand pulling Faith and the other gripping Hope, said nothing, he pulled them all along as fast as they could run.
Charity was unaccustomed to moving this fast and her breath caught as she struggled to keep pace. Young ladies strolled sedately, took their time, did not call attention to themselves. But now everyone was running, slowly, Charity was surprised at how many she out paced, but it was evil to be proud. Not proud, but opportunistic. She took advantage of the chaos to pull off her floppy brimmed hat and drag at her scarf, she couldn’t breath. Father had not slowed his pace, Faith was struggling to keep up, Father pulled her relentlessly behind him. Hope wheezed next to mother, Charity keeping up behind.
Charity raised her head and looked directly up into the sky. It loomed low and gray over their Great Suburb. Familiar houses seemed to shimmer under the diffused daylight.
The homes in their neighborhood were a purposeful jumble of architectural style, created to reflect the whim of the owners rather than display a uniform cohesion. Half timbered Tudors butted up adjacent to Craftsman Modern, and Mid Century Glory. All the homes in their neighborhood were Beautiful Mansions, fronted by lush lawns and gardens. Charity glance at them, familiar, solid. But as she ran, the facades seemed to shiver before her, as if they were painted transparencies. Charity squinted wondering if she needed laser surgery so soon, at 18.
They raced to their own home, an imposing Victorian Mansion, Her father did not loosen his grip on her younger sister, even after they gained their own front walk. There were no walls around their home so they were still vulnerable. Charity glanced around and watched her neighbors disappear into their pretty homes.
Some of the C Executives the families of the very powerful. Like the Knight leaders, they all lived in low walled compounds, in the center of the suburbs. She was sure they were all there now, behind bunkers of their own making.
Charity replaced her hat, not wanting to anger her father who was clearly agitated. She glanced down at the earth, since there was no where else to look but down. The ground wavered, it was lush green, then brown, then green. She blinked and followed her family into the safety of their home.