In the final installment, Diane Vaughn discusses publishing a work of fiction in non-traditional online avenues.
Historical Fiction 101: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Historical Fiction
Part 8: Publishing
by Diane Vaughn
Now that you’ve finished the revisions and final draft, you are now ready to publish. If you are submitting to a site such as fictionpress.com, which publishes original fiction online, be sure to check that your material uploaded properly to the site. Use the document preview to read everything in your chapter and even do a live preview of the chapter if the feature is offered to see how it looks on the site.
Accept early on that not everyone is going to like your story. Even bestselling authors such as J.K. Rowling and Stephen King have harsh critics, so it’s okay if people don’t like your writing. It’s really all a matter of taste. If reviews are enabled on your site, be sure to acknowledge people who are reading your story and respond to them personally in some manner if you can. If you have someone who flames your story, do not give a response! I once had a person who flamed a fan fiction of mine, and I made the mistake of firing back because I just could not keep my mouth shut. Needless to say, I had a flame war going within my private messages. I also had a friend of mine who had a flame war going on in her reviews page because her friends started replying to the person that flamed her story, and she was caught in the middle of a flame war on her reviews page between the reviewer and her friends.
If you happen to receive constructive criticism, bear in mind that it is not flaming. Even with all the best editing software and beta readers in the world, you may inevitably get constructive criticism. Good constructive criticism (and how I critique when I beta read or review) is when the reader brings up things they liked about your story but pointed out things they felt you could have improved. They often (and should) offer advice on how to improve the flaws they found within your story. You do not have to take every piece of advice, but do keep an open mind to what others have pointed out. Explore the suggestion at the very least and simply go with what works for you. A good writer is always improving.
If you are met with harsh criticism, however, you need to learn to accept it and be mature about it. I admit, even I have difficulty with this. It is very difficult for a writer when her story isn’t loved by every person on the planet because this was something that you worked very hard on! Instead, try to learn from the comments, even though you want nothing more than to find that person and throttle them.
If you are publishing on a website and you plan to update as you write, be sure to work at least three or four chapters ahead. Until recently, I was very bad about posting as I wrote the chapters, because life or writer’s block would sometimes get in the way, and I would wind up not updating for months. Therefore, I would wind up losing some or most of my audience, depending on the lapse between updates. If you have the extra chapters on hand and edited, you can put up those chapters and attend to other and more important needs.
Last but not least, keep in mind that while writing historical fiction may be a challenge at first, it gets easier to write, as with any genre. Your current story may be your best one now, but this will not be the case the more you write and allow yourself to evolve and explore writing historical fiction or any type of genre for that matter.
Now that I have given you some insight on writing a history-based story or novel, I wish you good luck with your endeavor and happy writing!
This article was originally published in its entirety on DeviantArt and can be found at Lexeme Sketches.
Come back next Sunday for a new series entitled Fairy Tales Retelling. I will focus on a different, original fairy tale each week and will review novels and movies that retell that particular fairy tale. The first installment will discuss Sleeping Beauty. You won't want to miss it!