Writing on a schedule

Posted: June 9, 2013 in Details about my books, Writing Stuff
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

As some of you may know (since I’ve been screaming it from the rooftops), I’ve been serialized. I’m really quite glad about this, but I’ve been getting used to what being serialized actually means. It means being consistent and writing on a schedule. You don’t actually have to follow a schedule. You can post chapters whenever you feel like it, but I prefer sticking to a schedule. I post a new chapter on Friday for three weeks. No chapter on the fourth week because that’s a bit too much, even for me.

I used to write whenever I wanted to, and that actually worked quite well for me. Now, I have to be able to write a whole lot within a week so it can be edited properly before getting published. It’s honestly a dream come true. I like the fact that I now have people looking forward to reading the next chapter of my story. It makes me try a lot harder, and I’m currently working on something for a chapter in Radio Silence’s future where I do something really experimental.

But, there are downsides to this. Like I said in a previous post, I came upon a problem in writing a chapter for Radio Silence. I’ve since overcome that problem, but it still made me stop and think: “What if I wasn’t able to get over it?”

So, I will most likely be writing a lot more vigorously so I’m at least two to three chapters ahead of everyone. Chapter 4 of Radio Silence has already been written, and I’m working on Chapter 5 now. It was really cool to suddenly start writing on a schedule because it made me feel like a bona fide author. It also gave me some perspective on the problems some authors have when writing. I’ve seen and read the complaints of people when a writer can’t reach his/her deadline and isn’t able to get the book out in time (I was one of them, most of the time), but until now, I never realized just how hard it may be for a lot of them. Like I said, I am far from a professional writer.

Yet, I have been writing in the mindset that with a single sentence, everything could come crashing down around me. I didn’t have this feeling with the Line of Corruption because I felt safe with the knowledge that any mistake I made would be spotted and fixed long before it was ever published. Now, there’s a week – two weeks, maximum – before a chapter of Radio Silence is posted. I reread each chapter about five times, even after it’s published. But, I always keep in mind that each chapter has to be at least as good as the last one, and it would be great if each one is better than the previous ones. That’s how I write my chapters lately.

“Okay. So, this chapter’s going to be better than the last one. Oh, wonder how I’m gonna write a better chapter than this.”

It forces me to write beyond what I thought was my limit. I constantly come up with ways to make each chapter substantially better by trying out something I would never have imagined when I was writing the Line of Corruption. So, really, this post is more about how cool being serialized is… and why I think that it’s cool, even with the dangers. One thing I’ve enjoyed immensely since I started writing Radio Silence itself is finding new songs. As some of you may know, each chapter of Radio Silence is named after a song, and while I write that chapter, I listen to that song on repeat.

This has kind of gotten on my nerves when I had to listen to a song on repeat when I wasn’t even a fan of it. But, for the sake of matching the chapter to the tone I’d intended when I started it (and because the song was just perfect for it), I persevered. “Wow, listening to a song you don’t like. How do you do it, Jian?”

Eating healthily, and exercising regularly. Take that to the press. So, anyways. Those are my thoughts on writing on a schedule. I know it’s a really short post in comparison to my old posts, but I hate to try to drag things out to a thousand words when I can easily say it within 700. So, hope you’ve enjoyed this post. This was really a post telling other writers that if they’re afraid of the whole serialized thing… it isn’t bad at all.

For one, I am technically a published writer. So, that’s something to brag about at the Sunday dinner. (Be careful, though, because they might not give you dinner if you do it too often. )

Have a cool day.

~Jian

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Comments
  1. Does your book have a definite end? I’m not too familiar with serials. How do they work? Do they go on indefinitely like a TV show, or is it just like releasing a book a chapter at a time?

    • J.A. Romano says:

      Well, it more or less depends on the author. Radio Silence has a definite end, so it’s a lot like releasing a book a chapter at a time. But, some other authors (from what I’ve observed) seem to write their serials like a comic book. No third act. (At least, for traditional comic books.)

      So it really just depends on what the writer wants to do. Hope that helps.

  2. tktrian says:

    That sounds really cool 🙂 Prompted by you, we were thinking about pitching a story to JukePop too (The Reaver, it’s sorta-kinda fantasy, an older story), it’d be cool to be serialized though we have other plans for Solus, our main manuscript 🙂 by the way, we were supposed to ask about this earlier, but you use songlyrics of famous songs, right? Are they are copyrighted? just wondering if it’s a copyright violation :S (unless you’ve asked a permission). Songtitles of course aren’t copyrighted…

    • J.A. Romano says:

      Oh, yeah, I used lyrics. I don’t think it’s a problem, though, since that kind of stuff is used for movies. I’m not sure, and I really should look into it. I think it’s a good idea that you guys should pitch a story. It just feels really great to be a technically published writer. 😀

      It’d probably be easier for you guys, actually. There was a bit of an issue because of my age, but an editor of Jukepop Serials was really nice about it and just suggested I make an account under my parent’s email address. So, yeah, worked out fine.

      • tktrian says:

        If you make profit, then it is a copyright violation as far as we know. You might wanna ask about it, maybe start a thread on some forum? Usually some lawyer can point out what the fine print says. In general you need to ask a permission after which you can put someone else’s work into your own. Then again, the website owners should have pointed this out if it’s a problem. I don’t think the artist would start suing you over it, but it just may come off unprofessional IF songlyrics can’t be used without permission. It may be okay also if you just mention the source, which you probably did if we remember correctly from what we’ve read of Radio Silence so far. If a song appears e.g. in a TV show/movie, the songwriter(s) are obviously compensated. That’s only fair. Copyright doesn’t usually apply after a certain number of decades have passed unless the rights are passed to another party.

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