Post-Vellum Euphoria

My novel Elbert was at 96,000 words, final chapters unsettled, manuscript no longer consistent with the outline. So, I went back to the beginning — in the expectation that a better understanding of where I started would suggest how the story should end.

After four laborious rewrites of the book’s opening act, the text was hitting 100,000 words, a surprise since I thought I was streamlining it. The good news — I know what I’m dealing with. Yesterday, I wrote:

“Elbert is a story about relationships, self-discovery, and the necessity of facing the future with courage and compassion.”

This after explaining to editor Jonathan Oliver, scheduled to perform a developmental review in November:

“What Elbert and Charlotte imagine as a visit to a perfect world is not to be. The story moves through a series of changes in their lives, difficult choices, catastrophic events, victories and losses. It is a tale of transformation that the author intended to culminate with an explosive conclusion, but which now suggests a more thoughtful approach, wherein actors resolve their journeys by way of some final change, insight, or revelation.”

Authors will say, “You’ve written a hero’s quest.” Yes, and thank you for noticing. Now maybe you can tell me if this is science fiction, fantasy, drama, literature … or what, exactly? I expect Mr. Oliver to help me decide, but comments are welcome.

None of this would matter if I was content to continue as a hobbyist, writing for my own satisfaction, publishing only because it’s not much trouble. But, as different as Elbert is from the usual fare, it seems possible the story has potential in the marketplace.

Amazon’s foray into serialized episodic delivery, Kindle Vella, is in post-beta. As near as I can tell, there are only 1,000 science fiction titles on the site, versus perhaps 6,000,000 plus on the main Kindle platform. I’m thinking — market test.

Now, if William Gibson was to drop a goose-egg onto Vella, that might make waves, but I don’t think John G. Dyer has much to worry about. There are no cross-links between Vella and my Kindle profile, nor search by title or author. Not much risk of wrecking my reputation, what there is of it.

Minimum episode length in Vella is 600 words, so 39 chapters became 20 episodes. The act’s ending is firm enough to call it a novella. Oh. Kindle Vella. Now I get it.

Anyway, why not? You can find Elbert – Act 1: Earth’s Secret History by moving your finger now slightly to the left. Amazon will allow you to read the first 3 chapters with no obligation, and offer 200 free tokens which, if I may be so bold as to suggest, you can spend on reading the rest of it.

Likes, faves and reviews are herein shamelessly solicited. Not only will you pop Elbert into view on the trending titles list, your input will help me decide whether to push this project to the next level.

Featured image by Mariana Anatoneag.

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