Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where Has The Mongolian Girl Gone?

A few people have been asking me this question and I feel I owe you an explanation. I am sorry I didn't post one sooner, but I was still undecided about what to do next. Where shall I begin? Perhaps I should go right back to the very beginning. When I was a boy I told my favourite uncle, who had been a sailor in the Pacific fleet and was quite an inspiration to me, 'I have a plan: I am going to travel the world and then write about it,' and in a way I have been quite faithful to that plan. It wasn't really my own plan. I got the idea from Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, Paul Theroux and other writers of exotic tales set in faroff lands.

The first novel I started to write was set in Malaysia. It was called South China Sea Dreams and I had the whole story in my head, but somehow I could never seem to get past writing the first chapter. It's still there in my head and I hope that one day the pages will all come spilling out.

The idea for the second one came much later, after I'd been in Outer Mongolia during one of the most turbulent phases in its history. Out of this came The Mongolian Girl. I wrote feverishly day and night and finished the first draft in just twelve weeks. If the book gets published, I will tell you more about what happened to that first draft.

Recently, I decided to completely rewrite The Mongolian Girl and every time I finished a section, I posted it on this blog, where many of you were kind enough to read it and make encouraging comments, which really motivated me to keep going. Altogether I posted about 22,000 words, which is between a quarter and a third of the whole book. Everything was going fine, then one day I was surfing the internet and came across a blog post warning that if you post a novel on the internet, you won't be able to get a publishing deal. This made me really worried, so I started to look into the matter and found that this is essentially true.

Because it has been my life's dream to become a full-time writer, it really is important to me to get The Mongolian Girl published, so I cannot post the rest of the story online. This is not for any financial reason. Money has never been important to me. I just would love to see my novel in a bookstore. I'll probably buy every copy I see.

I know I owe you, my loyal online readers, a big thank you. So, when I finish writing it, I will e-mail you all a complete manuscript free of charge.

Since I stopped writing online, I have discovered just how much your encouragement meant to me. It is so much harder to write now. Perhaps you can help me finish writing it by telling me what you think is going to happen next and how you would like to see the story end. Here is a link to the last online chapter of-------------->
THE MONGOLIAN GIRL

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13 comments:

  1. You have all my support... I understand you arguments!!!! And I'll wait for the book (an try to perfect my english for it !!! lol).

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  2. Being a newcomer I had just begun to read your posted chapters and gave no feedback, having not read all posted chapters. I guess it makes sense that the publisher's goal is to sell books. I look forward to your post announcing the publishing of The Mongolian Girl and anything else you have coming.

    P.S. I noticed you've changed your layout. I liked the black because it made your pictures stand out, but the white makes it easier to read. Either way, it works well.

    P.S.S. I am familiar with Al Stewart if he's the same Year of the Cat, Time Passages Al Stewart, but am happy to discover more about him, as well as Mr. Chapman.

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  3. Klou, you are so right. You have summed it up perfectly. Therefore, I have decided to use the black background when I want people to focus on the photos and white when I want my readers to concentrate on the text.

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  4. Makes sense to me. Considering the information you found regarding publishing your book, I would do the same thing if I were you. Best of luck getting back into that 'dreamy' space where the story comes faster than you can write versus you having to chase the story (which is nearly impossible!).

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  5. I would love to read your manuscript once it's completed. Odd that some publishers encourage online sharing (e.g. Harper Collins/Authonomy). Personally I post my fiction freely because I would rather it be read - but I completely understand your decision. Good luck!

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  6. I was one of the those who didn't comment but read all posts and checked regularly for updates. Good luck with the continued writing; i'm curious to read the final story...

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  7. "Miss Rumphius"inspired me in the same way your uncle did. The little girl in that book decides she must travel the world and leave something beautiful, like her grandfather. He traveled the world and painted; she traveled until she couldn't anymore, and then scattered flower seeds everywhere.

    Good luck with your publishing dream, I can't wait to read the finished book.

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  8. That is such a nice comment, E. Thank you.

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  9. i agree - it's really helpful to get the support of other writiers. often when we write there is something in our head which doesn't make its way onto the page. i love having someone objectively look my piece over and "tell back" what they they think it says... i wonder if there is a writer's group where you are - or maybe you could start one? also was wondering if you've submitted your first three chapters to publishers yet? that's all you submit, along with an outline synopsis of the rest...so don't panic about finishing it yet. "Novel & Short Story Writer's Market" is an invaluable resource...i know you can do it!

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  10. but maybe you didn't want feedback. maybe you just wanted encouragement.

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  11. Both are much appreciated. Thanks, Kim.

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  12. You might want to update your profile, if the serialization on your blog is dead. Darn.

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  13. I've been away for a while and now I come back for the story to only have found this post. I understand it, though. Wish you all the best.

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