27 June 2012

Experiment (Just Don't Inhale)

This blog post actually got its inspiration from a recent comment on my Facebook fan page...thanks go out to Robert Pollock!

Anyway, everyone knows that the writing business can be rife with disappointment and despair...and if you haven't figured that out, you need to dig a little deeper in your research. Fear not! Situations that disappoint one day are simply circumstances you can turn around to your advantage. All it takes is a "can do" attitude...

The most famous example of my own is my novella Seeker. I'm certain most of you have heard this story at some point or another during my travels around the 'net, but just in case you haven't, I'll share it again. This novella actually came about from a call for anthology submissions from a fairly large romance publisher online. I had about three or four months to write the thing, and took the entire time to get a piece put together for submission. Sadly, it didn't have the level of romance (read: wasn't steamy enough) they were looking for, so they passed. Now, I could have tossed in the towel at that point, and wondered what I was thinking in trying to write romance. Instead, I decided to try something else. I kept up with revising the piece and toning down the level of steam I had put in. If I'd been thinking at the time, I should have kept some of those old drafts so that I could post "deleted scenes" later, but unfortunately, I was considering it as part of my short story line, which I never keep old drafts of. But in any case, I finally polished it up, found a cover artist and put it up for sale on my own. Which, as you may have read, has started me along this wondrous new world of self-publishing.

Long story short, I took a rejection and made something great (another publication and learning about a new avenue of publishing) out of it.

So, as I mentioned, Robert made a comment on my fan page which churned my memory to bring back thoughts of a failed attempt at pulling together an Aston West comic book series. I had someone pulling together the parties involved (including the one with the money to make it happen), an artist was in the loop, and I had put together a pair of "scripts" for the comic (the first being an adaptation of "Little White Truths" and the second was a brand new story specific to the comic). Unfortunately, nothing came out of the deal in the end...so again, I could have just sulked off in disgust and self-pity. But I decided to make something out of that second story. I'd created it specifically for the comic series, but since that had gone nowhere, I went ahead and pulled it together as a short story. That story then went on to earn me money through a short story publication over at ResAliens, and another publication that I'll announce sometime later.

Again, I took a failure and made something out of it.

So, if you ever come across a situation where you've been trampled or beat upon, take my advice and make something happen from it...and I'd love to hear your own examples, if you have one you're willing to share.