Author Archives: Zechariah Barrett
I arrived home at about midnight this morning after a 10-day trip in Louisiana. The primary reasons for my visit were to see family, and to work on a romance novel and the third Detective Games entry; although it became a great deal more.
Instead of a linear progression for this blog post, I’d like to try out bullet points!
- I tried my hand… er, legs, at Irish dancing. My cousins had been Irish dancing for years, and I had come along to support them. Their instructor welcomed me to join in as well. My fencing instructor had always said I should go dancing, and about a year apart from his remarks, I was clumsily thumping across a multipurpose ballet studio.
- Trekking through Jean Lafitte National Park, I wished I had first put on some bug spray, with the presence of a multitude of mosquitos. But the beauty of the marsh and swamplands were incredible, and afforded the opportunity for many pictures.
- We visited Destrehan Plantation and took a tour of the grounds, with its grand trees covered in Spanish moss, and learnt of the vast history, including the day to day lives of the household owners and the enslaved, as well as the construction process and architectural functions. At the end, a blacksmith with a heavy cajun accent, demonstrated the use of his forge.
- The food. Oh boy, the food. The delicious simplicity of red beans and rice, messy po’ boys, savory gumbo and jambalaya, fun flavors with stuffed snowballs, and the mandatory beignets (from Café du Monde) I had to have on a daily basis.
- The French Quarter was a fun experience, with sights to see, a banana smoothie in hand, and trinkets to be had in the market.
In 2014, I conducted a poll inquiring what readers thought of “book serializations.” Out of a varied group of 41
respondents, 31.7% indicated that they did not know the meaning of ‘book serialization.’ 26.9% indicated a relatively neutral attitude,19.5% had a negative outlook, and 14.7% were positive towards book serializations. The opinion of the remainder was dependent upon factors such as the genre of book serializations, and the format (e.g. comics, manga) .
Being only a group of 41 respondents, it isn’t a representative sample of the general readership. However, it did provide a measure of insight – these reactions were mixed or unestablished.
The meaning of ‘book serialization’ varies. Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote serials, although they varied in length. In general, a book serialization entails a story begin broken up into parts, and then published in a periodical or in eBook form, rather than the entirety of the story begin published in a novel.
The question to ask may be, ‘why serialize in the first place?’ Unless the traditional format is such (e.g. comic books), why serialize mainstream genres?
The answer for me was a multi-faceted one. Firstly, why not? The fact that it’s a relatively unseen medium in novel-dominated genres does not indicate that it is unsuccessful. Could it not open up an untapped market? I thought of myself. I used to be an avid reader of novels. From my elementary into early high school years (primary to secondary), I was frequently looking for new books. As my schoolwork increased, and I was given assigned readings, however, I found that my desire and ability to recreationally read decreased. I began to shy away from 300+ page books. Yet, if a story was short enough, I would be more likely to read it. For I still loved to read. Now, there are readers who make time no matter the workload. They’re ravenous readers year round. There are also readers like myself who enjoy reading, but find it more challenging to make time, and for which serials could be a fantastic prospect.
Secondly, serials are great when there’s little time to spare on the writing. I had written about three novellas before I became interested in serializations. These novellas generally took a couple of years or more to develop, and I saw my writing style mature over the course of each project. However, I did not believe these novellas to be worthy of publication. I saw need for improvement. I then wrote two short stories (“War at Our Doorstep” and “400 Years of Silence”), which would become my first published eBooks. I felt fairly confident in my writing style, and the reviews I received were generally favorable if not exceeding my expectations. Shortly after, I had the idea for my current Detective Games series. The setting would vary across the world, and the character roster would be expansive. It would be a hefty project, and certainly take me beyond 300+ pages. But I wasn’t ready to write another novella, much less a novel. I was (am) in college and the coursework didn’t allow for as much free time or mental energy as I would require. So I wrote my first serial, and often found greater motivation than I had for my longer projects.
Thirdly, serials can be great for testing the market and trying out new ideas without fully committing to a novel. The idea of the Detective Games wasn’t an ordinary one. Detectives across the world linked by a common villain? Exploring the journeys of each detective, in each region (thus far the United States, France, England, and Ireland have been utilized. My vision is to include South American, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, African, and Asian countries with detective adventures as well) and then uniting them all in a finale? I wanted to get more feedback than could be offered by beta readers. Publishing serials could provide the feedback I needed (as indicated with the feedback I received with short stories), without requiring me to travel the globe and finish the novel first. Likewise, it could be beneficial to the readers who, as aforementioned, wanted shorter stories to read.
Finally, it could gradually provide resources and exposure. Over time, readers could discover the series as it was being released, as opposed to releasing a single colossal book or trilogy. It could generate more exposure through the additional releases, revenues to continue supporting the series (rather than potentially waiting for years, or even never earning enough to cover the costs of time spent), and allow for the series to be cancelled if the reaction was overly negative. The alternative being years upon years spent on a dismal book. Readers couldalso contribute to the series as it progressed by providing feedback and speculation – establishing a collaborative environment – rather than an author or editor calling all the shots. And it could be fun!
As it stands, the Detective Games has one installment. I’m receiving a great deal of feedback, and have finished the next installment and am having it beta read. Although the revenues are very small at this point, that’s not the point. I’m engaging readers and learning along the way. Revenues can come as the series progresses and gains greater exposure. In my experience, serializations are a worthwhile endeavor. In addition to benefits separate to author and reader, they may also serve to bring both groups closer together. That’s ideal in establishing a lasting impact.
- I’ve been utilizing Write On by Kindle, Goodreads, and WattPad to gather more feedback prior to publishing serials, and I’ve received a great deal of constructive feedback!
Today we used our fireplace for the first time in a long while. Naturally, this provided a great opportunity for some photography.
And unfortunately, it has little to do with Bilbo Baggins. Though it may at some point (I’ve just gotten into LoTR!). I am starting a new blog with a much more specialized focus, and as a result, am also limited this blog as well. The Adventure Writer’s Blog may continue to host reviews, photographs, poems, and the like. But the vast majority of my writing / literary endeavors will now be recorded at the “The Contingency Writer” blog.
Thank-you to all who have joined me throughout the years! I hope you will continue to enjoy posts here at the Adventure Writer’s Blog.
Recently our family got two members bigger. Enter: Norman and Oliver, the Goldendoodles.
When their owner came unto very unfortunate circumstances, she decided it was time to give these two boys a new home. That’s when my family came in. They loved the dogs, and asked if I would be willing to walk them and invest time in caring for them. Having never met the dogs, but anxious to have another pet since our Akita passed away, I agreed.
Tonight I was meddling in smoothies, and put together one that is the perfect balance of sweet and not too tangy. The flavor is mostly that of pear and apple, with a significant hint of strawberry.
The smoothie is made up of approximately…
5x Strawberries, 5x Carrots, 1x small container of Blueberry Yogurt, 1x Pear, 1x Apple (a sweet one!), a small bowl of ice, one scoop of vanilla ice cream. (Optional to decrease thickness): 1-2 cup/s water.
Serves around four people.
I excluded the water, because I don’t mind the thickness, and I wanted all the flavors at their height. To remedy this however, one could substitute fruit juice, which would add rather than take away any flavor.
Plus, if you or your friends are among the camp who dislike yogurt but would readily eat it for its health benefits if not for the flavor, then this smoothie is prime way to do so as the yogurt isn’t very prominent.
Retaining the same URL as before, I have decided to change the name of this blog to “Contingency Writer” : Spur of the moment contemplations, reviews, and wondrous tales.
As I tend to post quaint poems, various other literary pieces, and the occasional photography highlight, on a spur of the moment basis, I thought this would be a most fitting revision. And there are already numerous “adventure writers.” It didn’t hurt to innovate a little.
I would also like to welcome one who is new to the WordPress blogosphere, a friend and skilled programmer: the contingency coder.
For 2013, I’m getting things in order. I’m setting deadlines for a story I’m posting for kids in my spare time, gauging interest in my latest publication (“The Detective Games” serial), and returning to social networking such as WordPress, with a more solid game plan than I’ve had in the past.
In regards to the Adventure Writer’s Blog, first it’s time for a makeover. As I begin to post regularly again, I want to focus on a particular topic, as is frequently recommended for bloggers. That focus will be on my writings, with the occasional review and photography selections. Not unlike what I had planned during 2012.
I look forward to delving once again into the blogosphere, and I thank all my readers for continuing the journey with me.
Everything is so very different! Well, I suppose just the WordPress homepage, streamlined post editor, and Go Premium button.
It has been quite some time since I last posted! I was originally making updates weekly, but I haven’t really had much of a chance to write anything of note, with the hubbub that accompanies the Christmas season.
First off, I’ve gotten nowhere with the literary agents. Many of the agencies have response times posted on their web pages, and it would seem my queries have surpassed those. Therefore, I’m moving on. Self publishing has become ever more tempting, albeit I have a gut feeling that I should pursue publication traditionally, at least, for this particular novel.
I have also been meddling, once again, in the photographic arts, and in the pencil-paper arts as well (I’m attending a college course). Oh the joy of perspective of drawings.
A Merry Christmas to all, and a happy end to the 2012 blogging season!