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Vision for Fiction

Listening to Slate’s Money podcast, Carl Richards was speaking about one page financial planning, which in itself sounded fascinating (seriously, it sounds like something imminently sensible as a first step) and he was talking about vision. Why are you investing? What is your goal?

This got me thinking about my goals. Not for my financial planning but for my writing. What am I doing and why am I doing it?

For riches and glory! Not going to happen. Listen, I might have believed there was a shot of this just after I got out of university. I may have thought this while I was writing regularly, when I got my first story published, but somewhere along the line reality caught up with me. I am not saying that there is no possibility that I won’t make it big as a writer, but I am not putting the work into marketing myself – both inside the industry to editors, publishers, and agents, and outside of the industry to readers – to make that happen.

And frankly, if Howard Andrew Jones can’t make it happen, what chance do I have?

Am I compelled to write? I kind of am, but not as much as I once was. I have so many outlets for my ideas these days through RPGs – playing and running as well as publishing – that they have become my primary creative outlet. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I find fiction much more creatively fulfilling. There is more cachet to being a fiction writer, but that’s not it – fiction does not have the mechanical component of RPG writing and design, so it is much more creatively free than RPGs.

Do I like to entertain people? Yeah. I definitely do. It’s why I like to GM rather than play.

So what does that mean for my writing?

Well, I am still mercenary, so I would really like to see money for my fiction. When it comes to something that is marketable, I’ll try to sell it first, but a lot of my writing is either not marketable or am I completely ignorant of the markets into which it might fit. I’m thinking specifically of my modern action stories.

I have three stories in various levels of completion that have laid by the wayside because I don’t really know what to do with them. I have other stories that don’t really fit into the modern fantasy market, at least not in venues that pay professional rates. This means I have a small collection of stories I could share.

I figure once a month I can share some fiction – sometimes a whole story and sometimes part of a story. This will give me impetus to finish some of the stories that have languished and hopefully give me a chance to entertain some people as well.

I guess that’s my vision. I aim to please.

You can find the Slate Money podcast here.

You can find out more about Howard Andrew Jones here. He mentions the poor sales of his Dabir and Asim novels in this post.

I have two short stories collections – For Simple Coin and Gifts of the Elder Gods – because I am mercenary.