How One Writer Solved His Dilemma

Here was my dilemma. I am a writer. I like to write. Specifically, I like to write novels. And we have learned that, in these days of digital publishing, it is important – no, it is critical – to have as many books as possible on Amazon and other eRetailer sites. Just as important, it is vital for those books to be of similar genres because, whether we like it or not, authors are better off being categorized and catalogued as romance writers, mystery writers, fantasy writers, science fiction writers, or any number of new genres fighting for a position in the marketplace.

I have written more than fifty books, but so many of them were non-fiction. And a lot of them were travel or history oriented books.

What I want to do is write suspense thrillers, and I only have one on Amazon, Golgotha Connection.

I needed more.

But as each day dragged into a week, and then into a month, and finally a year, I could not find the time to sit down and write my novels in any decent, civilized manner. Wasted Days. And wasted nights.

My partner Stephen Woodfin and I were battling night and day to build traffic on Caleb and Linda Pirtle.

So I wrote two blogs a day, and sometimes three. I tracked down illustrations and posted every one else’s blog. I began at five-thirty every morning, and dark caught me still looking for the right key words to attach to each blog. And that didn’t account for my daily rituals with Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon LinkedIn, and emails, as well as various and sundry other social media machinations. You know the drill. You, I’m sure, are facing a similar dilemma.

Time was not simply running out on me. Time was already gone.

Then it dawned on us, and we discovered the right key word we had been missing all along: Serials.

Serials were a perfect solution. At least for me they were. Each of my blogs ran 750 to a 1,000 words each day. Why not turn them into serial chapters? Killing two birds with one stone is what I believe the edict was.

So I began writing daily chapters for two novels: Wicked Little Lies and Secrets of the Dead. I’ll confess that Wicked Little Lies was a re-write of a novel I first produced more than twenty years ago. All I had to do was revise and re-work each chapter into 750 to 1,000 words and end with some kind of hook.

Secrets of the Dead, however, was another story. I sat down each morning faced with the task of writing another chapter. Couldn’t miss one. Couldn’t break the rhythm.

The great golfer Lee Trevino was once asked about the pressure of making a putt at the U. S. Open. Lee said, “That’s not pressure. Pressure was when I was growing up, playing golf, and wagering ten dollars a round when I only had five dollars in my pocket.”

Well, I was sitting down with five dollars in my pocket.  The chapter would be written. I knew that it had to be written. There would be no excuses and no delays.

So I invested the same amount of time each day and solved my dilemma. My two blogs, as serial chapters, kept showing up every morning. And yesterday, on Thursday, I posted the last chapter of Wicked Little Lies. This morning, the final chapter of Secrets of the Dead is up and running.

In sixty days, I had completed two novels, each of them around 60,000 words. And from what I’ve read, the goal for most eBook novels these days range from 40,000 to 60,000 words.

Mine may be a little long. But I was writing blind. I’ll revise them again before they hit the eRetailers as eBooks next week.

And Monday I begin again.

If you need to blog and still want to write your novels, I’m sure that you are facing the same dilemma I was. Maybe serials are your answer. At Caleb and Linda Pirtle, we are looking for those who want to serialize works in progress, serialize completed manuscripts, or serialize books that are already written, produced, and demanding attention on Amazon.

Serials solved my dilemma. They can solve yours as well.

If you believe, as we do, that serials can help build your name, your brand, and your books, email me at caleb@calebandlindapirtle.com, and tell me what you want to do. I bet we have a slot waiting for you.      

  • Sara Marie Hogg

    This is great, as I have expressed before. I have a work in progress that could possibly be adapted, but my chapters are twice as long…and there is always that problem: what if I leave out some important information that reader needs, that longer thought on the matter would self-correct. In my police thriller, I let a friend who reads nothing but this genre read my first 50 pages and she told me that she wanted the two heroes described in more detail early on so she could visualize them better. GREAT advice but not really the way I wanted to go…wanted to leak it out gradually. Wanted them to retain an air of mystery. They are complex characters. (My bizarre sense of humor has the author saying, “by the way, in Chapter 6, I forgot to mention that the police officer was highly allergic to bee stings”) Now I am torn. Do I go back and insert character description chapters or go with my original idea? Also I don’t know if I intend to stay in the police thriller genre. I suppose the answer is continue to write police thriller novels, but write the other genres on the side. Like you yourself said, “No TIME left for this.” The sands through the hour glass… ;- D

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