The site migration's going a little bumpier than I'd like — some pieces are working better than ever, others not at all — but I'm still capable of blogging here.
Last night I did some final cleanup on Welcome to the Fold, with one very last touch to add — an additional scene suggested by my editor that puts a few things into perspective near the middle of the story. I'll need to sketch that scene out and then write it, but I think I have an existing sketch I dashed off in email to Ellen that will serve as a good model to work from. Then, again, comes the whole business of seeking out publishers, agents, etc.
I'm still debating whether or not this was the "right" project to try this with, but I'm coming to the conclusion that may be irrelevant in the long run. What matters isn't that I have the right project, but the right habits -- that I'm getting myself into the habit of making my work seen and comprehended by others. For too long I operated under the assumption that just finding any audience I could was enough, and it hurt me in ways I wasn't prepared to deal with. I only hope the damage it did to me wasn't permanent.
It's tempting to think the next project is going to be the more salable one, because it is drawn from that much greater a pool of experience than the previous one. I suspect it would be easy to make a case that Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned is the more "commercial" project between it and Welcome to the Fold, but I also have to temper that judgment. What I think is commercial isn't always what's likely to actually be commercial, and what I think would only attract the tiniest of audiences might well be far more popular if only given a chance.
The typical definition for what is "commercial" is "what a lot of people buy", but as of late I'm thinking it might be better defined as "what someone somewhere thinks is worth selling to a lot of people". Slight variation there. People generally only buy something en masse if a) they know it exists and b) they think it's worth spending the money on. The a) part of that formula is the hard part, because the single toughest mission anyone in media has right now is getting people's attention without annoying them, which is why such drumming-up typically falls to people who have money to burn. Word of mouth doesn't scale the way folding green does — or maybe better to say, it doesn't scale anywhere nearly as consistently. (Also, as far as b) goes, it's easier to fool people into thinking something is worth it than any of us admit.)
Anyway, main subject again: Much of why I'm pitching Fold as a psychological thriller is because I had to put some kind of label on it, and I figure that label will get it as close as possible to whatever audience is as likely to receive it. AONO is closer to soft-SF-bordering-on-fantasy, so it'll be relatively easy to drop into that particular bucket. At least, I think.
Other Lives Of The Mind