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Writing with the door open
Why I'm giving away my novel one chapter at a time
TL;DR: I’m sending my novel out chapter by chapter to your inbox.
Writing is a dreadful hobby. It’s reclusive, anti-social and very, very slow.
But the biggest problem is just how hard it is to share it. I’ve spent years writing novels that have never been read because I finally get to the end of the sixth draft and suddenly decide I hate the thing. No matter how polished it is, to me it’s just a turd.
And that’s not right. I’m a good writer yet I give up on my own work before anyone has a chance to judge it. And the problem with that is that you miss every shot you don’t take.
So I’ve been missing a lot.
I want that to change.
A few years, I made my digital notebook publicly accessible. I called it ‘writing with the door open’. The idea was that anyone could search and find my ideas on fiction, literature, and whatever else I had mused on and comment on them to help me refine my thinking. And it worked. It was great fun to have people pick me up on things I hadn’t even considered.
That project is sadly over now. I found that the benefits of moving to an off-line note system outweighed those I had received through sharing my notes on the net. But for a time, I felt my notes really grew. I found I had to think better because I knew there was a chance that someone would actually find my thinking and pull me up on something. I had to be clearer in my own ideas because I was writing to an unknown audience and that made my thinking better as a result.
Now I want to do the same with my creative work.
I’m going to be releasing my eco-fantasy novel Kingdom as newsletter through Substack one chapter at a time. New chapters will be coming out every fortnight - sometimes in more than one part due to the length of some sections of the story. The story is planned out in four books and I plan to put some parts of the story behind a paywall eventually, with new chapters displacing older ones - though this could well change. It’s all an experiment.
I have no idea if this is a good idea but I’ll only know if I try it.
Right now, at the start, I just want to welcome you aboard.
Let’s get started.