Sunday, November 8, 2015

Gettin' Hairy in November

With Movember, Muffvember, Novembeard, and National Novel Writing Month all happening simultanously, things are getting very hairy out here in the Fringes.

My (2013) short story collection, Tales from the Fringes, is getting a makeover. I am in the process of reformatting and re-editing a new edition, which will be available in early 2016 (stay tuned for a specific date).

The biggest changes are to the design. When I published it the first time, I didn't have a full grasp on publishing design standards. Now the paragraphs are justified, and the punctuation marks are all formalized. The divides between the sections are also clearer and more consistent, and the page numbers and headers are more functional. Most of this will also carry over to the eBook design.

I have also eliminated the three weakest stories ("Wrist Cramps," "Reggie's Tale," and "The Other Side of Greed"). "Wrist Cramps" was one of the first stories I ever wrote, and, while it has its strong points, its weak points are more noticeable, and really not fixable. "Reggie's Tale" is just not worth updating, either, and "The Other Side of Greed" is really more of a fictionalized personal essay and a bit redundant.

Additionally, I have put the stories in a slightly new order (switching "Greasy" and "A Hipster Confession" around being the most noticeable change), and I have renamed a couple ("The Marriage Bed" is now "Flowers" and "Survival" is now "People These Days"). These are all small details that make a strong impact.

Finally, I am making relatively few edits. My biggest concerns are grammatical; however, I also want to eliminate anything unnecessary and maximize the quality and the descriptiveness of the language.

It's important to me to get this right, as people seem to like my short fiction, and this collection, in particular. I have gotten some good constructive feedback, and I have also learned a lot since I first put it out. It's definitely worth polishing, and I believe I will be able to use it to build a bigger audience.

In that regard, I am also working on new fiction: a novel (or two, actually) and multiple new stories that I hope to get published in journals and put out as a collection (eventually).

I am not technically doing National Novel Writing Month, since I already had about 6,000 words before the month began, but because I am technically writing a novel, I can relate to those people who are officially participating. So there! On that note, Happy #NaNoWriMo!

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