“If you want to learn how to build a house, build a house.”
I once heard that quote attributed to Christopher Walken, although WikiQuote has no record of it at all. But who cares where it came from? It’s true. If you want to learn how to do something, do that something, and you will learn. You learn from success and from failure (although failure may be the better teacher).
I have learned how to self-publish a novel by self-publishing a novel. I stumbled through it, sure, but next time, well… I won’t stumble quite as much.
But there’s also the ever-present urge to… make changes. I get new ideas several times a week: “Oh, man, I should’ve done this in White Friday…” and “Hmm, what if I had mentioned that in White Friday?”
There are some good ideas in there, but I’m not going to use them. Why? Because White Friday is finished.
I spent a lot of time working on that book, and there comes a time when you say either, “I’m going to continue tweaking this indefinitely” or “It’s time to let go and move on.” Moving on is not the easiest thing, but I think it’s essential if you want to grow as a writer. You need to tackle different stories and new characters and expand your fictional world. And, personally, at least, I want to get my next novel out to avoid being pigeonholed.
So, if any typos have survived to this point (they shouldn’t have), I will fix them. But I won’t add, subtract, or alter any content. It is what it is.
Prepare to be shocked! Okay, maybe not.
White Friday was originally a screenplay. I wrote it in the summer of 2010. I had just finished grad school and I was thinking I might get into the film industry through my writing. The idea had come to me a year earlier, when trying to think of ideas for a short film. “What if the elevator doors opened and there was a dead person laying there? What would I do?”
The problem with writing for the screen is that it’s very shallow and very difficult to get into characters’ heads. I’m the kind of guy who wants to get into their heads. And I won’t lie, a lot of the things done and said in White Friday were originally included “just because.” Writing the story in novel form forced me to provide justifications for everything… and I’m glad, because it was a wonderful journey.
It also forced me to turn most of the characters into well-rounded human beings with histories, and I think I succeeded at that. I certainly enjoyed it, anyway.
White Friday is a short novel because it was a short screenplay, and I’m okay with that. I think it’s a good idea to use a relatively simple, limited story for my first foray into the world of novels. I did consider various methods of lengthening the story, but I think a good writer knows when to let a short story be short.
So, now that you know White Friday began life as a screenplay… which actors would you cast in it?
Well, because I’m crazy, for one.
But also because Story Cartel is a great tool for writers… and it’s a good deal for readers as well. You get to read a book, for free, in exchange for your honest review on Amazon. And for every book you review, you get a chance to win something. I chose to review a wonderful book called My Father’s Son and I ended up winning a $10 Amazon gift card. Bonus!
To be honest, I’m nervous. I’ve never released any of my works to the public before. I’ve never gotten reviews. I think White Friday is pretty good, but… what do you think?
And yes, I will take constructive criticism into account for my future books.
Self-publishing your first novel certainly is an adventure. I stumbled through the process and learned by trial and error. Okay, mostly error. BUT… it will be relatively smooth next time.
Yes, there will be more books by me. Scary, huh?
For now, though, I would like you to enjoy White Friday.
And, please, let me know what you think.