2.156 Tara, dinner, Vella

Wednesday 05/12/2021

Went for a walk first thing. On return, had coffee in the dining room. I’m not thrilled with our selection of pastries, and future occasions I may have coffee out rather than coming back.

Sat in the seating area next to David Morrison who is running this afternoon’s Speaker Series zoom starring Tara Vanderveer. We talked briefly about that, how I should log in about 2:45.

Between then and 2:45 I did a few things. Read over my introduction for Tara and timed it (2 and a half minutes). Re-oiled the coffee table for one. And spent an hour working on a little software project which is threatening to get out of hand and turn into a big software project.

At the appointed time I logged in and shortly, so did Tara. At 3pm David opened the meeting and we soon had 75 participants, which I learned later is about 30% more than usual for the Speakers Series. I gave my intro, then Tara took over and talked for 20 minutes and answered questions until 4pm.

Afterward I got a couple of emails congratulating me on the intro, and in the dining room a couple of people went out of the way to come and tell me how they like the intro. So that was nice.

Dinner was arranged by Patty, inviting me and the Beelers, Leon and Margaret, who are relatively new on our floor. Leon worked many years as an accountant at Sunset Magazine.

Peter is trying to start a more serious critiquing group, with a few people initially. I guess I am flattered he invited me to join. Anyway, what to offer up for nit-picking?

Coincidentally last week, Amazon announced Kindle Vella, a marketplace for serialized stories. I guess Amazon has taken note of how many writers are self-publishing their books as serials, chapter by chapter as blog posts. Most famously Andy Weir published the first draft of The Martian that way, leading to a book contract and a Major Motion Picture deal. But I know of lots of others. Most of them are fan-fic but some are serious novels. Anyway, that put me in mind of my novel Pelajis, which last year I tried to get accepted by agents, to universal turn-downs.

The way Vella is set up, the first 3 chapters of a serial will be free to read, then the reader pays roughly a dime per thousand words to keep reading. So, exactly as with agent queries, the emphasis has to be on starting strong and hooking the reader in the first 1000 words or so.

Well I think Pelajis is quite well suited to being serialized, and its opening chapters need to be made more attractive. So I sat down and did some revision trying to do that, and sent them off to Peter’s group list for critiquing.

Gotta keep flogging that horse. Is it dead?

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