Now That Helen Has Your Attention

I should tell you that I don’t mean to post the entire novel. It’s possible that I will, but doubtful. I like getting feedback, but a first draft can be fairly temperamental. It can be shy. I don’t want to force it out in the open if it seems to want some time to develop before it’s shown to the world. Particularly because I have no intention of editing until the whole first draft is done, and therefore it will not be the version that would appear in a published book, I’m not sure it makes sense to post the whole thing.

My current thoughts lean toward posting passages only, up to a few pages long, that especially speak to me – or that especially might speak to anyone else – and passages that didn’t quite turn out right, but I can’t figure out how to fix. Of course, the general lack of comments on my posts doesn’t indicate that this is the best forum to ask for that kind of help. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ask at all – right?

Regarding other works, it’s come to my worried attention that posting pieces in a blog might make them ineligable for publication in certain literary journals to which I might submit them. The problem is that they all refuse to publish previously published works. Although it is not often specified, at least some of them consider blogged writing to be published. This is where the problem lies – does posting in a blog count as publishing? Should it? I happen to feel that only publishing by the discretion of someone else (I was going to say “professional,” but I guess it’s often true that the writer is not paid in those cases…) or self-publishing in order to sell should be the only types that count. Having put a short piece in my writing blog should not exclude it from being put into a literary journal. I think, because of this odd gray area, I will try to avoid posting works that I intend to submit to contests or journals. It’s a shame, though… it feels so limiting.

3 thoughts on “Now That Helen Has Your Attention

  1. I’m not quite as worried about the novel, since it seems more likely that more publishers would still publish a novel that was written in a blog. It’s more the shorter pieces that I would submit to journals, ones that I’d like to publish in a collection someday, since literary journals often seem more strict about their rules than publishing houses do.

    Of course, you’re right, I would be nervous about putting the entire novel up for the reasons mentioned in your comments… and I wouldn’t have any trouble finding people to read it and comment just by asking some friends.

  2. I have heard varying opinions about works published in blogs. Some tell me a publisher will not use it; some say otherwise. I would play it safe. A novel is a lot of work to risk losing.

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